In a huge streak that begins the weekend, Northeastern swept UConn hockey. After falling 3-1 in Boston on Friday night, UConn men’s hockey lost 5-2 on Saturday.
Northeastern scored two unanswered goals followed by an empty net in the third period after officials canceled a goal that would have given UConn a 3-2 lead. The goal returned due to questionable goalkeeper interference.
UConn dominated long stretches of the game and beat the visitors 42-27 – the Huskies totaled 103 shots over the weekend – but came away with zero points on the weekend.
“It’s been a disappointing weekend,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “I think we played well enough to win two games and we ended up losing two games… At the end of the day, it’s a results-oriented business and they ended up winning tonight and we ended up by losing.”
UConn led 2-1 early in the third period and had about 30 seconds left on a 5-for-3 penalty and a 1:47 advantage overall. However, he couldn’t capitalize and minutes later Northeastern tied the game on a snipe from Jack Hughes on point.
Less than 20 seconds later, UConn appeared to respond. On the power play, Carter Turnbull stole the puck off the goal line, skated in front of the goal and sent it past Northeast goaltender Devon Levi to give UConn a 3-2 lead.
Or so we thought.
Turnbull’s leg made contact with Levi’s head, although the netkeeper appeared to initiate contact by diving into Turnbull, who was trying to shoot.
Northeastern challenged the play for goaltender interference and after lengthy review, the goal was disallowed.
“[The official] said our guy (Carter Turnbull) crossed the crease and interfered with the goalie,” Cavanaugh said. “I mean, I can’t control what the referee does or says. It was his explanation.
Even though UConn still had most of a power play remaining, they couldn’t capitalize. In fact, the Huskies grew visibly frustrated as the game progressed and Northeastern took advantage.
Aidan McDonough got behind the defense and slid the puck inside the post past UConn goaltender Darion Hanson to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Three minutes later, they added another when Ty Jackson buried a rebound into a cleared net.
Just like that, UConn trailed 4-2 after thinking they were leading 3-2.
“We have to be mentally tougher,” Cavanaugh said. “You have to be able to handle that and I don’t think we handled it well as a team. This is a good lesson for us. »
103 shots, zero points
In both games this weekend, UConn topped Northeastern. On Friday night, UConn took 61 shots on goal but only managed to score once – in the dying moments of the competition after the hosts took a 3-0 lead.
The next day, UConn fired 41 shots on goal but actually had success against Levi, who entered the weekend with the second-best save percentage and third-best goal against average in the nation.
UConn owned the first 10 minutes and created plenty of Grade A chances, only to be denied by Levi. On one occasion, Jonny Evans appeared to drive past the goalie only for Levi to somehow recover and make a save to keep the game scoreless.
The breakthrough came in the closing seconds of the first period on UConn’s first power play. The Huskies controlled the puck but didn’t threaten the goal much until Evans fired a shot from the top of the face-off circle that bounced off Levi and found Jake Flynn, who finished the rebound with 12 ,1 seconds to play. UConn entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
With 1:33 remaining in the second period, Jachym Kondelik’s first attempt went off the post, but the puck bounced off Levi’s back and fell into the crease. Kondelik followed his own shot and exploited it to give UConn a 2-0 lead.
“I think we did a much better job of getting traffic and being able to get the pucks to the net tonight,” Cavanaugh said. “There were probably a lot more quality chances tonight than last night.”
From there, UConn’s offense fell silent, failing to score in the next 38:27 – at least on the official scoresheet – while Northeastern scored four goals.
UConn will end the regular season with two home games against Vermont next weekend, Friday and Saturday.