Men’s Hockey Preview: UConn heads to Boston for a top husky battle 

The UConn Huskies played at the XL Center in Hartford on October 8th against the Boston University Terriers. Even though they lost this series, they have a chance to win against a different Boston team- they’ll be playing against the Northeastern University Huskies in the upcoming series. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/The Daily Campus.

The University of Connecticut men’s hockey team will play the Northeastern University Huskies in Boston at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

UConn heads into Northeastern’s Matthews Arena coming off a series loss against Ohio State University. The Huskies from Storrs are looking to fight for a win over the Huskies from Boston as they return to Big East play. 

“They’ve got some skill up front, there’s no doubt,” Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe said of UConn’s team on Monday. “They pressure the puck all over the rink so they put you in some tough situations; you’ve got to be prepared for that. They play a different type of D-zone where they put a lot of guys at the puck, so there are definitely some things we need to go in prepared for.” 

The last two Huskies vs. Huskies match-ups have been played in Boston, and UConn  reigned as top dog in both games. On Feb. 5, UConn blew out Northeastern 4-1. 

The February game was a complete team effort, with impressive action by forward Artem Shlaine, who was a freshman at the time and scored his first career goal. Seniors Jonny Evans and Ryan Wheeler also came up with goals, while Jachym Kondelik had two assists that night. 

Photo from the series against Boston University the week of October 3rd. The Terriers were able to protect their lead they gained from scoring twice late in the third period to come away with the win, leading the Huskies to lose this Hockey East opener. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/The Daily Campus.

Prior to that, UConn forced the game into overtime and completed a 3-2 upset of Northeastern  on Jan. 18, 2020. 

Now a junior, forward Vladislav Firstov was in his freshman season and scored a pair of goals during that Saturday afternoon game in 2020. Two other then-freshmen defensemen, Harrison Rees and Jake Flynn,  each had an assist to put UConn on top. 

Considering these players are still key members of UConn’s lineup, the pressure is on for them to keep that same level of performance, if not increase it. 

Kondelik currently leads the team in scoring with six goals. Firstov follows with three goals, and Evans comes in with a goal and three assists so far. 

Going into Tuesday night, Northeastern holds a 3-2 record, while UConn sits at 2-3. However, Hockey East rankings have UConn in fifth and Northeastern in eighth. 

The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Matthews Arena in Boston. The game will be broadcasted on NESN and on NESN Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub. This marks the first time this season UConn fans will have the opportunity to catch the Huskies in action on NESN. 

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