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Providence at Northeastern: Pregame Notes and Line Combinations

Pregame notes and line combinations from Northeastern University's Matthews Arena before the Huskies host No. 1 Providence in a 7:30 p.m. contest on Saturday.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

BOSTON -- Good evening and welcome inside Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern University where the Huskies will conclude a Hockey East home-and-home series with the defending national champions and top-ranked Providence Friars. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Friars scored four goals over the final two periods to take Friday's series opener by a 5-2 score at Schneider Arena. Senior Mark Jankowski found the back of the net twice in the victory and his five power play goals are tied for the most in the nation.

In addition, two of Nick Saracino's three assists went to Jankowski in his second such outing this year. Saracino is now just three points shy of the century marker for his career.

Sophomore defenseman Jake Walman leads PC with nine goals and 16 points just ten games into the season. The Friar back line has scored 15 goals this season ― more than any defense in college hockey ― including six on the power play.

The Huskies have not defeated a defending national champ since Oct. 13, 2012 against Boston College, but held a 2-1 lead early in the second period last night after new assistant captain Zach Aston-Reese struck for just his second goal, but team-leading ninth point, this season.

Garret Cockerill continued a strong scoring streak by NU defensemen in the first period last night as he scored his third goal in the last four games to lead the group. The blue line has accounted for three of NU's last four goals after Cockerill and junior Matt Benning scored in last Saturday's 2-2 tie at Notre Dame.

Here are tonight's lines:

FRIARS (7-0-3, 1-0-2)

Nick Saracino - Mark Jankowski - Garrett Gamez
Erik Foley - Kevin Rooney - Steven McParland
Brandon Tanev - Brian Pinho - Bryan Lemos
Niko Rufo - Robbie Hennessey - Ryan Tait

John Gilmour - Vincent Desharnais
Jake Walman - Josh Monk
Kyle McKenzie - Tom Parisi

Nick Ellis
Hayden Hawkey
Brendan Leahy

HUSKIES (1-9-2, 0-5-2)

Zach Aston-Reese - Adam Gaudette - Dylan Sikura
Nolan Stevens - John Stevens - Ryan Rosenthal
Brendan Collier - Mike McMurtry - Sam Kurker
Lincoln Griffin - X - Patrick Schule

Jarrett Fennell - Matt Benning
Colton Saucerman - Eric Williams
Trevor Owens - Garret Cockerill
Jake Schechter

Ryan Ruck
Derick Roy
Jake Theut