Despite dropping two games to Northeastern earlier this season the UConn men’s hockey team will enter this weekend’s Hockey East Playoffs with a renewed sense of confidence.
UConn (12-14-8, 8-10-4 HEA) is heading into the post season with some momentum after sweeping New Hampshire in a home and home series. UConn was able to resolve their offensive struggles last weekend, winning the first game 5-3 and the second 4-2.
The two teams will face off in a best of three series in at Matthews Arena as Northeastern (16-13-5, 9-10-3 HEA) is the higher seed.
At the end of UConn’s third season in Hockey East sophomore Tage Thompson led the team in scoring with 32 points and 19 goals, the highest goal total by a Husky since the 2011-12 season when Cole Schneider finished with 23 goals.
When the two teams met two weeks ago, Northeastern swept the home and home series.
In Game 1 Sam Kurker tallied a double at the XL Center in a match that ended 3-0. Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck kept UConn off the score sheet, making 20 saves in the process. Adam Gaudette had two assists on the night and also got on the score sheet for the Huskies.
UConn also struggled to get their offense going in Game 2, which finished 4-1. Zach Aston-Reese finished with a hat trick in his team’s win, while Gaudette snagged his second of the series.
Northeastern has historically had UConn’s number leading the all-time series 8-0-0.
Northeastern has one of the highest powered offenses in the country, boasting three lethal forwards that rank amongst the leading scorers in Hockey East. Aston- Reese is the leading scorer in the country in goals and is tied for the lead in point with 59. Shortly behind him on the national leaderboard in the fifth and sixth spots are Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette, respectively.
Northeastern is entering this weekend coming off a loss to Maine 5-4. The Huskies split the series with the Black Bears winning the away game 5-4.
Last season, UConn did not advance past the Hockey East opening round of play falling to Vermont in the first two games. A win this weekend would give UConn its first playoff win in their young history in Hockey East.
Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.