In their last game before their opener at the Toscano Family Ice Forum located on the Storrs Campus, the Ice Bus traveled to Boston to face Northeastern in the Frozen Fenway.
In the first period, UConn appeared to have the upper hand as freshman Jack Percival’s shot just missed the net, which would have been the first goal of the game. They had other strong opportunities to get on the board, but were turned away by the Northeastern defense. After Connecticut’s missed attempt, Northeastern got to the net 10 minutes into the game with a goal by senior captain Aidan McDonough who was left on a breakaway. To double the lead, graduate student Liam Walsh netted the second of the game. Northeastern went into the intermission with a 2-0 lead over UConn.
The amount of action was limited in the second period as the hometown team of Northeastern kept their 2-0 lead against the Connecticut Huskies. This was all due to the netminders having full control of the offense of both teams. UConn’s Arsenii Sergeev made nine saves and Devon Levi made seven all in the second period.
With one period remaining in the Frozen Fenway matchup, UConn had to generate some momentum if they wanted to stay alive against Northeastern. Freshman Matthew Wood was the answer as he fought for the loose puck and scored off of a rebound shot to make the score 2-1. This cut Northeastern’s lead to one, but that did not last long as they quickly responded with a goal scored by sophomore Justin Hryckowian, extending their lead to 3-1.
After Northeastern regained their two-goal lead, Connecticut kept fighting and struck again a goal scored by junior Hudson Schandor. Unfortunately for UConn, after a review of the play, the referees concluded that there was contact with the netminder and determined a no goal from goaltender interference. In a way, the disallowed goal ended the momentum for UConn as the amount of chances they had to make a comeback were coming to a close.
This put the score back to 3-1 with Northeastern still with the lead as the clock was winding down on Fenway Park. For the remainder of the game, the Northeastern Huskies had full control as they finished off the game with an adding goal by freshman Jack Williams, to take away the victory 4-1 in their home city.
Northeastern’s known strength coming into the game is goaltender Devon Levi. The junior is viewed as one of the best in the country and he definitely lived up to that with his performance of 29 saves against UConn. Levi limited the opportunities Connecticut had to score as they had 15 in the first quarter then just another 15 in the second and third periods combined. He played big minutes for the Northeastern Huskies and had a significant role in propelling them to the win in their home city of Boston.
“It’s always a fun experience,” said Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh on the scene of playing at Fenway Park “My team is disappointed for sure but it will be an experience that they will never forget.”
This loss makes UConn’s record fall to 13-6-3 on the season and Northeastern improves to 9-9-3 overall. This is not the end of the double Husky matchup as they will meet again on Saturday January 14 when Connecticut plays in the Toscano Family Ice Forum for the first time ever. Puck drop is set for 7:35 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+.