By: Josh Brown
BOSTON – Connecticut entered this season 0-10-0 all time against Northeastern. But after defeating Northeastern 4-1 at the XL Center in late November, the Huskies from down south cut into that record a little bit more on Friday night.
UConn scored the game’s first three goals and were able to stave off a late Northeastern rally, winning 4-2 in front of 1,955 fans at Matthews Arena.
The win extends UConn’s (14-16-2, 10-11-1) win streak to six games and moves them into a tie for fifth place in Hockey East. For Northeastern (16-8-5, 11-6-3), the loss was made even more devastating by the fact that Boston College and Providence earned wins on Friday night. Northeastern now sits in third in Hockey East.
Tanner Creel continued his hot stretch in net for UConn, making 34 saves on the evening. Freshman goalie Cayden Primeau stopped 30 shots for Northeastern.
UConn scored two goals just 18 seconds apart beginning at the 4:52 mark of the second period. Spencer Naas extended his point streak to six games with a shot that beat Primeau five-hole and Benjamin Freeman deflected a Miles Gendron bid into the back of the net to give UConn a 2-0 lead.
The lead swelled to three when Maxim Letunox scored his 10th goal of the season at the 1:46 mark of the third period. With chaos ensuing in the Northeastern offensive zone, the junior calmly finished off an odd-man rush with a shot that sailed over Primeau’s shoulder.
Northeastern battled back midway through the third, scoring two goals just 4:31 apart. Nolan Stevens struck first, tapping in a Jeremy Davies shot that produced a rebound in front of the net. Adam Gaudette cut the deficit to one with 6:59 remaining in regulation, scoring on a weak-side feed from Nolan Stevens in transition.
Although Northeastern had an abundance of opportunities in the game’s final minutes, Corey Ronan sealed the deal with an empty net goal with two seconds remaining.
Northeastern will be back in action on Monday night when they take on Boston University in the championship game of the 66th Beanpot Tournament. Josh Brown, Joe Barbito and Christian Skroce will be on the call, with pregame coverage beginning at 7:15 p.m.