BOSTON -- Northeastern looks to ring in the New Year on the same note as it ended 2014 when it welcomes St. Lawrence to Matthews Arena for the first of two this weekend on Friday night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. in the 29th all-time meeting between the programs.
The Huskies closed the first half with wins in five of their last seven games, including a 8-3 win at UMass on Dec. 16, and are skating on home ice for the first time since Dec. 3, 2014 when it fell to Providence for its last loss.
Junior Kevin Roy, whose five points against the Minutemen tied a career-high, enters 2015 tied for the team's scoring lead with sophomore Dalen Hedges with 16 points in as many games. Northeastern scored six power-play goals to defeat UMass, its most in a game since 1992, and received points from 13 different players.
SLU finished 2014 on the opposite end of the ledger, falling to Vermont twice in a home-and-home series Dec. 12-13 to run its losing skid to four games. Senior center Patrick Doherty leads the team with five goals and 13 points while sophomore Drew Smolcynski is the top assist man with ten, including four of his five power-play points.
The Saints' record is sub-par but the team has been sparked by the emergence of freshman goaltender Kyle Hayton, who is one of five Division 1 and two ECAC goaltenders with four shutouts on the season. He has factored into each of SLU's eight wins, allowed three goals or less in 13 of his 16 appearances and posted a .935 save percentage which is tied for seventh-best in the nation.
Here are tonight's lines:
SAINTS (8-8-1, 4-3-0 ECAC)
Gunnar Hughes - Patrick Doherty - Tommy Thompson
Drew Smolcynski - Brian Ward - Joe Sullivan
Mike Marnell - Ryan Lough - Christian Horn
Alex Hagen - Sean McGovern - Woody Hudson
Gavin Bayreuther - Mitch Eden
Eric Sweetman - Nolan Gluchowski
Chris Martin - Brian Masella
HUSKIES (5-10-1, 3-6-1 Hockey East)
Kevin Roy - Dalen Hedges - Mike McMurtry
Zach Aston-Reese - Mike Szmatula - Torin Snydeman
Nolan Stevens - John Stevens - Ryan Rosenthal
Dylan Sikura - Brendan Collier - Adam Reid
Jarrett Fennell - Matt Benning
Trevor Owens - Colton Saucerman
Dax Lauwers - Garret Cockerill