UConn men's hockey tops Northeastern, 4-3

Matthew Wood recorded a hat trick while Arsenii Sergeev stood on his head.

Photo: Daniel Connolly

UConn men’s hockey snapped a four-game losing skid with a 4-3 win over the Northeastern Huskies at Matthews Arena on Friday night.

The road Huskies scored the first three goals but the hosts came back with three unanswered — including the equalizer with 9:28 left in third period. But Matthew Wood’s third goal of the night with 5:08 remaining put UConn back on top for good. It held on the rest of the way — and survived a penalty with 59 seconds left — to pull off the victory.

Wood recorded his first career hat trick after being held without a goal in his previous six games. He also lit the lamp in Hockey East play for the first time since Nov. 10. Nick Capone opened the scoring for UConn with his fourth goal of the year while Ryan Tattle had a three assist night.

Arsenii Sergeev stood on his head in net and made a behind-the-back stick save in the third period to preserve UConn’s lead. He stopped 35 of the 38 shots that came his way.

It took UConn less than 90 seconds to get on the board. Capone skated the puck into the offensive zone, let a wrister fly from the top of the circles and scored to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

Wood doubled the advantage at the other end of the first. He connected on a give-and-go with Ryan Tattle and scored on a diving finish to put UConn up 2-0. The visitors took that lead into the first intermission.

The good feelings continued in the second period when Wood got his second goal of the night by putting home a rebound. Just like that, the Huskies had three goals — more than they scored in any game during the month of February.

Northeastern wouldn’t go down without a fight, though. The hosts got on the board with a power play goal after a slashing penalty against Jake Percival midway through the period. They then pulled back within one with 53.8 left before intermission on a back-door goal to cut UConn’s lead down to 3-2 after 40 minutes.

The home Huskies held a 19-3 edge on face-offs in the middle stanza.

Northeastern dominated possession early in the third period and finally found the equalizer with 9:28 left when Vinny Borgesi drilled a slap shot into the net. Just like that, the other Huskies evened the game at 3-3 with three unanswered goals.

UConn responded well and got itself back into the game. Then with 5:08 left, Tattle and Wood found themselves on the rush. Tattle dished to Wood, who scored to notch a hat trick and put the Huskies back up at 4-3.

Despite the lead, UConn didn’t make it easy on itself down the stretch. With Northeastern already up a man after pulling the goalie, Jake Percival took a boarding penalty to make it a two-man advantage. In the end, UConn held on to secure the much-needed victory.

With the win, UConn secured three points in the Hockey East standings and moved into a three-way tie for seventh place with 26 points alongside Northeastern and Vermont. The two Huskies will battle again on Saturday at Toscano Family Ice Forum.