After suffering a six-game losing streak, UConn men’s hockey used the holiday break as an opportunity to right the ship. The Huskies snagged victories over Vermont and RIT last week to push their record to 5-10-2 for the season. UConn will hope to push their winning streak to three games when they host Hockey East rival Northeastern at the XL center on Tuesday night.
UConn’s power play, which had been lifeless for much of October and November, has been reenergized over the two-game winning streak. Both of UConn’s goals in their 2-1 win over RIT on Saturday came with the man advantage. Philip Nyberg also lit the lamp on the power play during their 4-1 win over Vermont last Tuesday. The Huskies had gone 0-12 on the power play in the previous three games.
UConn will need to take advantage of every opportunity given to them if they’re going to knock off Northeastern for the first time in program history.
The No. 12 ranked team in the nation is going to be well rested after a nine-day layoff.
Northeastern is a deep and well-balanced team. They are one of only three programs in college hockey to have five players with a double-digit point total. Junior Adam Gaudette leads Northeastern in scoring with 17 points, good for 14th in the nation.
Senior Dylan Sikura also knows how to put the puck in the net. The senior forward is third among active players with 107 career points; 15 from this season. Guadette and Sikura are the only Northeastern skaters this century to record four straight multi goal games to begin a season.
If UConn doesn’t come out strong in the first period, the game may be decided quickly. Northeastern typically comes out of the gate hot, outscoring their opponents at a 15-3 clip in the game’s first 20 minutes.
As good as Northeastern has been in the first period, UConn has been almost as bad at points. The Huskies have allowed 20 goals in the first period, the most in Hockey East. However, UConn has either matched or outscored their opponent in the first period in their last three games. If UConn wants pull off the upset on Tuesday, that trend will likely have to continue.
The Huskies of Storrs and the Huskies of Boston will renew their rivalry at the XL Center at 7:05 p.m.
Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.