BOSTON -- Good evening and welcome inside Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern University where tonight the Huskies return home for the first game of a Hockey East home-and-home series against Vermont. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
Both teams started the season with victories against ranked foes on Oct. 10, but have lost four consecutive games since. One side will break out of an early-season funk in the lone conference game scheduled in the country on this Thursday night. The home-and-home series will conclude in two nights at UVM's Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Huskies are coming off consecutive weekend sweeps at the hands of Bentley and, most recently, Minnesota. NU struggled early in each of last week's games in the The State of Hockey, surrendering a combined seven first-period goals in 4-0 and 4-3 losses.
Freshman Eric Williams and juniors John Stevens and Sam Kurker each scored a goal for the Huskies on Saturday. Redshirt junior Derick Roy allowed three goals on the four shots he faced in NU's opener in Minnesota, but rookie Ryan Ruck came in to stop 21 of the next 22 shots and 28 more the following night in his first collegiate start.
UVM started its season with an impressive 3-0 win over the Golden Gophers, then ranked eighth in the country, but have since been swept by Omaha and North Dakota at home.
The Catamounts dropped 2-0 and 5-2 decisions to North Dakota last weekend with junior Mike Santaguida making a career-high 39 saves in the first contest, including 33 in the first two periods combined. Santaguida, who posted his fifth career shutout to open the year at Minnesota, is set to make his 50th appearance with UVM tonight.
Mario Puskarich missed 11 of the final 12 games last season with an injury, but has posted three goals and five points to lead the team five games into his junior year. Freshman Liam Coughlin, an Oilers prospect from nearby South Boston, handed out two of his team-high four assists on Saturday.
Here are tonight's lines:
CATAMOUNTS (1-4-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East)
Liam Coughlin - Jarrid Privitera - Mario Puskarich
Tom Forgione - Jon Turk - Anthony Petruzzelli
Brady Shaw - Craig Puffer - Kevin Irwin
Dan Senkbeil - Rob Darrar - Malcolm McKinney
Rob Hamilton - Alexx Privitera
Mike Lee - Yvan Pattyn
Trey Phillips - Ori Abramson
HUSKIES (1-4-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East)
Kevin Roy - John Stevens - Nolan Stevens
Zach Aston-Reese - Adam Gaudette - Dylan Sikura
Mike McMurtry - Dalen Hedges - Sam Kurker
Lincoln Griffin - Brendan Collier - Ryan Rosenthal
Garret Cockerill - Matt Benning
Colton Saucerman - Jake Schechter
Jarrett Fennell - Eric Williams