The Huskies return to Hockey East action with a home-and-home series with UMass Lowell this weekend. The Riverhawks will host the Huskies for a Friday night showdown before UConn returns the favor and welcomes UMass Lowell on Saturday at the XL Center.
Despite not collecting a win last weekend, there is reason for optimism in the UConn lockerroom. The Huskies played No.17 Ohio State tight all weekend, falling 5-4 on Friday before posting a 1-1 tie with the Buckeyes on Saturday.
Senior Jesse Schwartz will be hoping he can continue his recent scoring output. The forward lit the lamp three times over the weekend, including the game-tying goal on Sunday. Schwartz had gone the previous 49 games without a goal.
UMass Lowell is looking to get their first win against UConn since 2014.
The Riverhawks were picked to finish second in Hockey East in the preseason coaches poll, but haven’t quite lived up to the lofty expectations, entering this weekend with a 6-6 record.
The Huskies will have their work cut out for them this weekend if the Riverhawks put out their best goaltender. Christoffer Hernberg is tops in Hockey East in just about every meaningful stat including goals allowed, save percentage and winning percentage. Despite his eye popping stats, Hernberg barely started over half of their games, with sophomore Tyler Wall getting five starts as well. In the seven games Hernberg has started, the Riverhawks have a 6-1 record.
The Riverhawks also have representation at the top of the offensive charts. Sophomore Ryan Lohin leads Hockey East in points with five goals and nine assists. UMass-Lowell also touts a balanced scoring offense behind him with 16 different players scoring goals this season.
UConn’s power play is still struggling to round into form. The Huskies went 1-10 with the man advantage against Ohio State. UConn is now 2-22 with the man advantage in their five games.
UConn and UMass-Lowell will open the weekend slate with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop at the Tsongas Center on Friday. They’ll run it back less than 24 hours later in Hartford for a 3:35 p.m. start time on Saturday.
Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.