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UConn Hockey Gameday Preview: Huskies host UMass in season finale

UConn's season has already exceeded expectations, this weekend we find out if they

Stephen Slade

Radio/Web: Friday's game can be heard on WHUS 91.7 FM and streamed online at www.whus.org/live/

Video: HuskyVision on UConnHuskies.com

Live Stats: UConnHuskies.com

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After a disappointing sweep in a home-and-home with New Hampshire, the Huskies are riding a four-game losing streak heading into the season finale against last-place UMass. The Huskies have lost five of their last six games and have only two wins in their past 12 contests. This rough end to the season has UConn sitting 10th in Hockey East with one game left. Depending on how the season closes out, UConn can finish anywhere from 8th to 11th.

The high end of that range is significant because sliding into that 8-seed would mean an opportunity to host the first round of the Hockey East tournament March 6-8 at the XL Center, which would be wild. Unfortunately, those chances took a nosedive after being swept by New Hampshire and Northeastern. Here's what it would take:

  • Win tonight
  • Maine to be swept in two-game series at third-place Providence
  • New Hampshire to be swept by Merrimack in a two-game home series

So it doesn't look great. And while watching the chances of a home postseason series at the XL Center slip away is hard enough, the pain is amplified by the fact that we're likely making a visit to Maine or New Hampshire. Gross.

The UMass team which UConn will be facing tonight is currently last in the conference with 11 points. They are coming off a split against Providence in a home-and-home, snagging a win at home in overtime this past Saturday. UConn first met the Minutemen Jan. 2 in a 4-3 win in Amherst. Freshman Spencer Naas notched his third game-winning goal of the season late in the third period to earn the victory. The Huskies are 3-10-1 all-time against UMass since moving to Division I.

The Huskies will be honoring seniors Tom Comunale, Brad Smith, Jacob Poe, Cody Sharib, Trevor Gerling and Ryan Tyson along with student assistant coach Bobby Seguin tonight in a "Senior Night" ceremony before the game. Tyson is a captain and Gerling is an alternate, while both Poe and Sharib have been key contributors this season. All four have played over 120 games in their UConn careers.