HARTFORD, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey team fell behind 3-0 in the first period on the way to a 5-2 Hockey East loss to the No. 12 nationally ranked Northeastern Huskies Friday night at the XL Center.
The loss drops UConn to 7-8-4 overall and 4-5-2 in Hockey East while Northeastern moves to 12-5-2 and 7-4-1 in league play.
Northeastern junior Zach Solow scored twice to help lead his team to a 5-0 lead late in the second period. Sophomore Tyler Madden scored a goal and picked-up an assist while freshman Aidan McDonough dished a pair of assists.
NU put three on the board in the first period, the first coming just 30 seconds into the game from Matt Filipe and they never looked back. Northeastern was 1-for-3 on their power play chances and goaltender Craig Pantano stopped 26 shots to earn the win in goal.
For UConn, sophomore Jonny Evans (North Delta, British Columbia) and freshman Vladislav Firstov (Yuroslavl, Russia) scored the Huskies' goals. Firstov added an assist to his point totals. The Huskies were 0-for-6 on the power play in the loss.
Northeastern got out of the gates quick putting their first of three goals in the period just 30 seconds into the game. Coming off a UConn turnover in the neutral zone, Ryan Shea fed Filipe into the zone up the left wing and he cut to the net, beating Vomacka five-hole for a 1-0 lead.
NU's Solow scored his first of two on the night at the 10:40 mark, again coming off an UConn turnover in the neutral zone. Solow drove to the left circle and snapped a rocket past Vomacka to the glove side for a 2-0 lead. Northeastern made it 3-0 at the 15:57 mark as Madden took a feed from Grant Jozefek and picked his way through the UConn defense in front of the net before placing a pretty backhander top-shelf.
Northeastern got a 5-on-3 power play chance midway through the second and were able to capitalize after it went to just a man-advantage. Madden took a cross-ice feed from McDonough and rifled on net where Solow was waiting to redirect into an open net for his second of the night at 11:46.
Freshman Matt Demelis made it 5-0 at the 16:25 mark as NU got free for an odd-man rush with Neil Shea firing on Vomacka and the rookie getting in front to clean up the rebound.
UConn ended the shutout bid at 18:56 as Firstov buried his sixth on the season. Sophomore Carter Turnbull (Nanaimo, Bristish Columbia) fed the rookie right on the doorstep and he patiently waited for the goalie to commit before burying it.
UConn pulled within 5-2 at the 7:11 mark as Evans scored his fifth on the year. Sophomore Ruslan Iskhakov (Moscow, Russia) carried into the zone and sent a shot wide to the right corner. Evans picked it up off the boards and threw it on net, fooling Pantano at the near post.
The Huskies got a 5-on-3 chance in the closing minutes and a five-minute power play after a game misconduct on Mike Kesselring at 15:37, but failed to convert and close the deficit further.
UConn will be back at home on Tuesday night to play host to the Merrimack Warriors in a Hockey East match-up. Tuesday will be UConn's Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer Game as part of a Hockey East league wide initiative.