BOSTON — Good evening and welcome inside historic Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern University where the Huskies are set to host No. 11/8 Minnesota for a non-conference contest for the second time in three years on this Black Friday night.
Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on GoNUxstream.
After splitting a pair of 5-4 decisions with Providence last weekend, the 4-5-4 Huskies enter this contest in search of their fourth non-conference win of the season. NU had is coming off a seven-game Hockey East stretch over which it lost to Vermont, tied and lost to both Boston University and Notre Dame, and split with the Friars.
Senior assistant captain Zach Aston-Reese became the 48th player in Northeastern history to reach the century mark in career points in last Friday’s win, scoring two goals. The next night, he scored a goal and added three assists for his second-ever, four-point output.
Aston-Reese leads the Huskies with 20 points, while junior Dylan Sikura has 18 and sophomore Adam Gaudette 17, including seven goals. NU is one of only two teams in the nation with three 17-plus point scorers, matched by only Union.
Tonight is NU’s seventh of nine straight games against teams ranked in the top-20 of the USCHO national poll, a stretch that will continue with games against Boston College on back-to-back Tuesday nights.
The Gophers, meanwhile, finished their latest set with a 1-0 home win over Minnesota State. Minnesota has a pair of Boston connections as freshman defenseman Ryan Lindgren was a Bruins draftee in June and junior Mike Szmatula played his first two collegiate seasons at Northeastern.
While sophomore Tyler Sheehy leads Minnesota with 12 points, Szmatula ranks second with just one fewer. The Gophers’ scoring is balanced as they have scored 34 goals in ten games, and five different players are tied for the team lead with four goals. Sheehy and Szmatula are two of them.
While the Gophers have a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series, none of their wins have come in this building. NU won a 3-2 contest here on Nov. 29, 2014, but was swept (4-0 and 4-3) in last year’s series in Minneapolis.
Here are tonight’s lines:
Rem Pitlick - Justin Kloos - Tyler Sheehy
Connor Reilly - Tommy Novak - Leon Bristedt
Brent Gates Jr. - Mike Szmatula - Vinni Lettieri
Ryan Norman - Darian Romanko - Jack Ramsey
Ryan Lindgren - Jake Bischoff
Steve Johnson - Jack Sadek
Ryan Zuhlsdorf - Ryan Collins
Zach Aston-Reese - John Stevens - Patrick Schule
Dylan Sikura - Adam Gaudette - Lincoln Griffin
Matt Filipe - Brendan Collier - Tanner Pond
Biagio Lerario - John Picking - Jake Schechter
Jeremy Davies - Garret Cockerill
Ryan Shea - Eric Williams
Trevor Owens - Garrett Cecere