UConn Men’s Hockey struggled mightily in a home loss to Northeastern, 3-0. The Huskies’ last win came on Jan. 27, when they beat No. 11 Vermont at home.
Mike Cavanaugh’s squad simply did not play well with the puck. They had trouble on the breakout which prevented them from having any cohesion offensively. They got only nine shots on goaltender Ryan Ruck through the first two periods.
“I think the story of the game was that we didn’t generate any offense,” Cavanaugh said.
Northeastern had the same problem through the first period and a half. The other Huskies put nine shots on Adam Huska through the first period, but then picked up a pair of goals in the second frame.
Sam Kurker broke the tie just over the halfway mark, 12:52 into the second. He found a loose puck just outside of the crease to Huska’s left and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Just shy of five minutes later, Adam Gaudette notched a goal of his own. He drove to the net from the left and stuffed the puck in to make it a 2-0 game.
The referees initially called no goal because the net was knocked off its moorings, but the referees reversed the call on the ice.
“It was good to get a couple of greasy goals,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said.
UConn needed a big third period, but came out flat in the first five minutes and Derek Pratt took a tripping call soon after. They appeared tired through the middle stages of the period.
“This isn’t the energy that we’re used to,” Cavanaugh said. “It’s something that we have to figure out.”
UConn’s passes were sloppy and when they made it into the opposing zone, Northeastern kept them to the perimeter, away from the dangerous scoring areas.
“We’re not really skating and applying as much pressure as we should,” Cavanaugh said. “When we get the puck we’re not putting it on net.”
The Huskies got more shots on goal in the third than they had all game, but it was not enough, as Ryan Ruck completed his shutout with 20 saves.
UConn (10-13-8, 6-9-4) will take on Northeastern again on Saturday night at Matthews Arena in Boston. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh & Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan