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UConn Men’s Hockey Squanders Lead in Loss To Northeastern

UConn couldn’t hold on to a 2-1 lead on the road and suffered its third conference loss of the season.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

For two and a half periods, the UConn men’s hockey team seemed like it did just enough to secure a win. Then, in a span of barely 10 minutes, Northeastern snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at home to squeak past UConn, handing Mike Cavanaugh’s squad a tough 3-2 loss despite a standout performance from goaltender Adam Huska.

UConn (4-4-1, 2-3-1 Hockey East) got ahead of Northeastern with the only goal of the first period. Freshman Roman Kinal notched his first-career goal with less than four minutes left in the period with help from Benjamin Freeman and Carter Turnbull.

After holding Northeastern scoreless for almost 30 minutes, NU finally got on the board with a power play goal 9:07 into the second period to tie things up, 1-1.

While UConn did well against Northeastern at even strength, penalties ultimately cost them the game. UConn racked up 10 penalties for 20 penalty minutes, and a faceoff violation penalty from Ruslan Iskhakov led to the Davies’ goal in the second. Fortunately for UConn, Iskhakov helped his team regain the lead, spearheading a rush that led to Max Kalter scoring his second goal of the season and giving UConn a 2-1 lead 17:19 into the second period.

UConn held on for much of the third period before penalties did them in once again. After playing a clean first part of the final frame, Karl El-Mir was called for offensive interference, giving Northeastern a power play. A little over a minute later, Brian Rigali was called for tripping, giving Northeastern a 5-on-3 advantage. NU would need just 19 seconds with the two-man advantage, with Zach Solow scoring his fourth goal of the year off a shot from Davies.

Northeastern then completed the comeback with just 1:14 left to play on an even-strength goal from Brandon Hawkins, the first even-strength goal Huska surrendered all night. Despite allowing three goals, Huska put together an outstanding performance, making 36 saves, including 17 in the third period. The junior even stopped a penalty shot in the second period after a tripping penalty from Miles Gendron. UConn leaves with no points despite a solid overall performance.