|1st||10:36||NOE||1-0||PP||Garret Cockerill (7)||Dylan Sikura/34, John Stevens/21|
|2nd||11:58||NOE||2-0||EV GW||Brendan Collier (4)||Matt Filipe/10, Ryan Shea/12|
|3rd||18:39||CON||1-2||EV EA||Benjamin Freeman (3)||Johnny Austin/7, David Drake/4|
|3rd||19:17.8||NOE||3-1||EV EN||Nolan Stevens (9)||Zach Aston-Reese/31|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Adam Huska (L, 7-8-4)||57:20||2||5||8||13||26|
|Ryan Ruck (W, 17-12-4)||60:00||1||11||10||9||30|
BOSTON - Ryan Ruck stopped 30 shots and the Northeastern men's ice hockey team (17-13-5) received goals from three different scorers along with a strong defensive showing late in regulation to take Game One of the best-of-three Hockey East First Round series, topping Connecticut (12-15-8) on Friday night at Matthews Arena, 3-1.
Garret Cockerill gave the hosts a 1-0 lead with a power play goal midway through the opening frame before a Brendan Collier tally with 8:01 to go in the second period extended the Northeastern to two through 40 minutes of play.
Benjamin Freeman scored an extra attacker goal with less than two minutes to go in regulation to make it 2-1, but Nolan Stevens regained the Huskies' two-goal edge just 38 seconds later with an empty net goal. Connecticut kept battling, though, and thought it had cut the deficit to 3-2 with 24.7 seconds remaining on a goal from Tage Thompson, but after an officials review the play was ruled offsides.
Zach Aston-Reese had an assist late in regulation to move to 60 points on the season, the ninth highest single-season point total in Northeastern history. He is the first Husky to reach 60 points in a season since Jay Heinbuck in 1985-86. The Hobey Baker candidate now leads the nation in scoring with 29 goals and 31 assists. Fellow Hobey contender Dylan Sikura, meanwhile, moved into a tie for ninth on Northeastern's single-season assists list with 34, and into a tie for 16th for points in a season (54).
Ruck was solid throughout the evening to pick up his 11th win of the season and seventh career victory in the Hockey East playoffs. Adam Huska was strong in net for Connecticut at the other end, making 26 saves.
Connecticut outshot the Huskies 31-29 in the game while NU went 1-of-3 on the power play and held UConn to an 0-of-4 showing.
- Northeastern drew first blood midway through the first period on Cockerill's seventh of the season. With the Huskies on the power play, John Stevens controlled the puck in the attacking zone before finding Dylan Sikura along the half wall. Sikura then tossed the puck up to Cockerill, who ripped a shot through a screen and under the blocker of Huska for the score.
- The Huskies extended their lead to two with 8:02 remaining in the second period when Collier buried his fourth of the year as Northeastern struck in transition. After staving off a couple Connecticut bids in the defensive zone, Ryan Shea quickly moved the puck up ice to Matt Filipe in the neutral zone. Filipe then battled behind the UConn goal before dashing out front and firing a shot that Huska saved. Collier, though, was ready and waiting on the doorstep, and pounded home the second attempt to make it 2-0.
- Connecticut made it a one-goal game with 1:21 remaining in regulation with an extra attacker tally from Freeman, his third of the year. At the tail end of a UConn power play and Huska out of the net to give UConn a six-on-four skating advantage, David Drake controlled the puck at the point before sending it down to Johnny Austin on the right side of the cage. Austin then fired it across to Freeman crashing the net who banged it home to make it a 2-1 game.
- Following a Connecticut timeout, the Huskies pulled Huska again in search of the tying goal, but strong defensive work from Zach Aston-Reese forced a turnover in the NU zone, springing Nolan Stevens for an empty net tally, flying through a pair of UConn defenders to tuck home his ninth of the season.
Stats of the game:
- Northeastern is now 9-0-0 all-time against Connecticut.
- Aston-Reese became the ninth player in team history to reach 60 points in a season with his third period assist, and first since Jay Heinbuck in 1985-86. He now leads the nation in scoring and points per game (1.71).
- Sikura moved into a tie for ninth on Northeastern's single-season assists list with 34, and into a tie for 16th for points in a season (54).
- Shea how has assists in each of his last three games, while Filipe has three assists in his last two games.
The road ahead:
- The two teams will meet again tomorrow night in Game Two of the best-of-three series, beginning at 7 p.m. from Matthews Arena.