Week 18 Preview: UConn

Zach Aston-Reese

After keeping us a long time waiting, Northeastern hockey is back this weekend for a home and home against their fellow Huskies from the University of Connecticut.  With the two teams being tied in the Hockey East standings, this becomes another huge matchup for both teams as they try to remain in the top eight (top four seems likely out of reach for both).

The Ice Bus rolls in with quite a mixed bag of a resume.  Over their last six games they are a perfectly even 2-2-2 including a win over Merrimack on Tuesday.  They have some very impressive results, though, with wins over BC, Vermont, Union, and Lowell; and a tie at BU.  However this same team lost to Sacred Heart, Brown, Colorado College and got annihilated 7-1 by Penn State.  It’s worth noting that all of those terrible losses were on non-home ice (I think? It’s hard to tell what UConn considers home) and most of the big wins took place on home-ish ice (again, I think).

UConn sports the conference’s worst scoring offense, putting up under two goals per game, as well as the conference’s worst powerplay.  That offense is paired with a mediocre defense (seventh in scoring), and a pretty bad penalty kill.  I’m not sure how much stake to put into rest and time off, but UConn just played on Tuesday night, and Northeastern has had a fairly light schedule, planning on playing in the Beanpot.  Either way, I think Northeastern takes at least three conference points this weekend against UConn.  The Ice Bus has proven itself to be tough at home(?) though, and there are big Hockey East points on the line.  Northeastern will have to be on its game the other Huskies this weekend.  I love you, #icebus, being my home state and all, but this week I’m pulling against you.

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