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Quinnipiac at Northeastern: Pregame Notes and Line Combinations

Pregame notes and line combinations from Matthews Arena before No. 2/3 Quinnipiac pays Northeastern a visit for the first time since 2002 on Saturday night.

Michael Garteig's Quinnipiac Bobcats visit Northeastern for the first time since 2002.
Michael Garteig's Quinnipiac Bobcats visit Northeastern for the first time since 2002.
Matt Dewkett

BOSTON -- Good Saturday evening and welcome inside Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern University where the Huskies welcome in No. 2/3 Quinnipiac for the first time since 2002. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Huskies and Bobcats are meeting for just the fourth time ever and third in the last couple seasons. Quinnipiac earned a pair of one-goal wins when the teams met last season (Nov. 1-2, 2014) in Hamden, Conn., but have not met in Boston since a 2-1 NU win on Nov. 23, 2002.

The Huskies have not played since a 2-1 win over Michigan State here at Matthews on Dec. 19. The win marked NU's first against a team other than Colgate, but it remains the only Hockey East team without a conference victory to date.

Junior Zach Aston-Reese scored the Huskies' game-winning goal to extend his five-game point streak which continues into the 2016 calendar year. Aston-Reese has scored goals in three of the last four games, a stretch in which the Huskies are 2-1-1.

Freshman Ryan Ruck made 26 saves against the Spartans, including 14 in the third period, to earn his first collegiate win and Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors. Ruck has started three consecutive games for the Huskies and ten of their last 11.

The Bobcats swept ECAC travel partner Princeton in a Tuesday-Wednesday series to bounce back from their first loss of the season, against Boston University on Dec. 12. Before a 4-3 win to cap off the set, senior Michael Garteig scored a 6-0 win for his conference-leading sixth shutout of the season.

No team finished the opening half of the season with a better goal differential than the Bobcats' plus-46. Quinnipiac has scored at least four goals in 13 of its 20 games, with junior Tim Clifton leading the team with 12 markers in his 16 outings.

Clifton became just the second QU skater to record a four-point game this season on Tuesday night, scoring a goal and handing out three assists. He also scored a goal in Wednesday night's win over the Tigers, the 12th of 16 games in which he has scored.

Here are tonight's lines:

BOBCATS (17-1-2, 8-0-2 ECAC Hockey)

Sam Anas - Travis St. Denis - Landon Smith
Craig Martin - Tanner MacMaster - Tom Hilbrich
Bo Pieper - Tommy Schutt - K.J. Tiefenwerth
Soren Jonzzon - Tim Clifton - Scott Davidson

Kevin McKernan - Connor Clifton
Derek Smith - Chase Priskie
Devon Toews - Alex Miner-Barron

Michael Garteig
Sean Lawrence

HUSKIES (3-12-3, 0-8-3 Hockey East)

Nolan Stevens - John Stevens - Zach Aston-Reese
Dylan Sikura - Adam Gaudette - Mike McMurtry
Lincoln Griffin - Brendan Collier - Sam Kurker
Mike Jamieson - Tanner Pond - Ryan Rosenthal

Jarrett Fennell - Matt Benning
Colton Saucerman - Eric Williams
Trevor Owens - Garrett Cockerill

Ryan Ruck
Derick Roy
Jake Theut