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UConn Men’s Hockey Falls to Northeastern, 4-1

Northeastern takes the series sweep and the Huskies are winless in their last six.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Men’s Hockey’s free fall down the standings continues. They lost their fourth straight game Saturday night against Northeastern at Matthews Arena in Boston, 4-1.

“I’m not happy with the loss, but I am certainly pleased with the effort for the first two periods,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said.

Maxim Letunov had UConn’s only goal, his seventh of the year.

Meanwhile, Zach Ashton-Reese notched a hat trick on his senior night. He got three shots by Rob Nichols, who made 25 saves on the night.

“It’s comforting to have [Ashton-Reese] on the ice,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “Even when he doesn’t score, he plays 200 feet. He’s very good defensive player.”

UConn played really well in the beginning of the first period. The Huskies came out like they were shot out of a cannon, hemming Northeastern in their zone for much of the first four minutes.

“I thought for the whole first period we played really well,” Cavanaugh said.

At 4:16, Ashton-Reese found a loose puck just outside of the crease and stuffed it in to make it 1-0.

Northeastern started to turn the tides and scored again less than three minutes later when Ashton-Reese took a great pass across the slot from Nolan Stevens. He rang it off the post and into the net to give the home team a 2-0 lead.

Adam Gaudette added another after a scramble to make it 3-0 in the middle of the stages of the period.

UConn did not play poorly, but just couldn’t get one through while Northeastern capitalized on its chances.

‘“We played a great period of hockey,” Cavanaugh said.

Just 1:47 into the second period, Karl El-Mir and Letunov were on an odd-man rush. After a scramble, Letunov buried it to cut the deficit to two.

“That’s how you have to play,” Cavanaugh said. “We did a good job of forechecking and forced a turnover.

“Heading into the playoffs, that’s how you have to score goals.”

With just over three-and-a-half minutes left in the middle stanza, Ashton-Reese completed the hat trick on the power play and effectively put the game away.

UConn (10-14-8, 6-10-4) will have a home-and-home series with New Hampshire over the final weekend of the season. Friday night’s tilt will be at the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.

Photo Gallery:

UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh postgame:

Photo Gallery credits: © Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog