UConn men's hockey falls to Northeastern, 4-2

The hosts had 40-24 advantage in shots, but weren't good enough in front of either net.

Photo: Daniel Connolly

In its penultimate game of the year, UConn men’s hockey fell to the Northeastern Huskies 4-2 at Toscano Family Ice Forum on Saturday.

Despite a 40-24 advantage in shots, the home Huskies weren’t good enough in front of either net. They didn’t capitalize on their chances and weren’t stout defensively.

Ethan Haider struggled between the pipes, making just 20 of 24 saves. UConn also didn’t get enough from its special teams — the penalty kill went 1-2 while the power play failed to score despite putting 12 shots on net with the advantage.

UConn was the better team through the opening 10 minutes, but Northeastern scored first. Dylan Hryckowian chopped a bouncing puck into front of net home and put the visitors up 1-0.

Less than 30 seconds later, the home Huskies gifted the visitors a power play when Jack Pascucci went to the box for hitting from behind. On the ensuing advantage, a deflection in front of net left Haider out of position, which allowed Justin Hryckowian to skate in on the back post and score to double the advantage.

UConn got its first power play of the day in the final minutes of the period and nearly lit the lamp just before the buzzer, but Northeastern cleared the puck off the line to keep it a 2-0 game at the first intermission.

Like the first period, the home Huskies came out strong in the second but the visitors ultimately found the back of the net. Off a UConn turnover in the defensive zone, Northeastern skated in on an odd-man rush and scored to make it 3-0.

The hosts wouldn’t be held off forever, though. Samu Salminen scored from the top of the circles to finally get UConn on the board and cut the deficit to two. The Huskies had a chance to get closer with a power play late in the period but couldn’t convert despite some dangerous opportunities.

The 3-1 scoreline held into the second intermission.

UConn didn’t have a comeback in them, though. Northeastern added a fourth goal just 1:18 into the third to put the nail in the host’s coffin. Oliver Flynn scored his first career goal with less than a minute remaining, but it was too little, too late.

The loss gives Northeastern a three point lead in seventh place in the Hockey East standings with just one game remaining for each team. UConn will close the regular season next Thursday against Vermont at Toscano Family Ice Forum.