Men's Hockey: Battle of the Huskies

Freshman defenseman Wyatt Newpower (20) fights a Providence forward for the puck during the Huskies 4-1 loss to the Friars on Feb. 8, 2017 at the XL Center in Hartford. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)  

UConn men’s hockey is looking for its first win in four games Friday night when the Huskies take on Northeastern at the XL Center.

In the month of February, UConn (10-12-8, 6-8-4 Hockey East) tied twice against Merrimack early on and was swept by Providence in a home-and-home series last week, falling 4-3 the last time out, leaving them in eighth place in Hockey East.

Northeastern is (13-12-5, 6-9-3 Hockey East) is coming off of two big road wins against UMass-Amherst and No.7 Boston College. The win over the Eagles was Northeastern’s third of the year against a ranked opponent. Northeastern is sitting in ninth place in the conference.

Both teams are in the home stretch of their seasons and this weekend’s home-and-home series with Northeastern could have major implications for the postseasons. Currently, UConn is set to host Northeastern to the XL Center in the first round of the conference tournament in a best-of-three series.  

Northeastern has a lethal attack and three of the top scorers in the conference. Zach Aston-Reese, Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette all rank in the top five in the scoring charts. Aston-Reese and Sikura are tied atop the list with 12 goals each while Gaudette is just behind with 11. Sikura and Aston-Reese also sit near the top of the assist leaders. Overall, Aston-Reese is the top scorer in the country with 52 points on 24 goals and 28 assists. Sikura, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, leads Hockey East in total points with 12 goals and 18 assists in conference play.

Tage Thompson and Spencer Naas have been the main scoring outlets for UConn in conference play. Thompson, an Orange,Connecticut native, has nine goals and eight assists, while Naas has seven goals and three assists. Max Letunov has also been the key to the Huskies offense, dishing out nine of his 18 assists on the season in conference play.

Last season, Northeastern swept UConn, 5-2 and 4-1, the two times the two faced off.

UConn will need at least one win this weekend to pick up some momentum heading into the postseason.

UConn will conclude its regular season next week in a home-and-home series with New Hampshire.


Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at antonio.salazar@uconn.edu.