Men’s Preview: Northeastern @ #13 UVM

So this is basically a re-write of when UVM played NU at Matthews earlier this year.

The Huskies were 3-1-2 going into last time these two met, but have fallen to 7-8-4 and 1-6-2 in Hockey East (though one of the ties was 40 minutes, as a NU/Notre Dame game was called off after two periods with a 0-0 scoreline), third from bottom ahead of Providence and Maine, both with games in hand. That said, NU has a habit of getting hot in the second half, as was proven last season when they lost just one regular season game after the New Year before falling in the NCAAs to North Dakota.

Doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to find the problem here. Ryan Ruck has been flat-out terrible. The sophomore has a .889 save percentage this season and has cost his team numerous games, including their loss to Yale last weekend. He’s okay against bad teams (before that game he had a .911 against teams outside the top 20 in the Pairwise), but downright atrocious against top-20 teams (.874). The Cats have to take advantage of this.

Can’t really blame the defense for Ruck’s incompetence; they’re around the middle of the pack in shot suppression, and their CF% is 49.9, which though not great isn’t awful. Offensively, Garrett Cockerill has been great, posting 16 points in 19 games, and Jeremy Davies, Ryan Shea, and Eric Williams are no slouches either.

The big star for Northeastern is the offense. Zack Aston-Reese is basically scoring for fun this year, and is tied with Mike Vecchione of Union for most goals in the nation. Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette are also top-ten scorers in the country, and the Huskies sit 8th nationally in goals per game and 9th on the power play. This team knows how to score goals, and the Cats, having struggled to prevent goals against St. Lawrence on Tuesday, need to up their defensive game.

Game’s on CatamounTV. Big two points in Hockey East on the line.

Go Cats.

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