Men’s Preview: #12 Northeastern @ UVM (2x)

I don’t know what’s weirder: the fact that UVM, after showing zero signs of life in November and December, has gone 7 games unbeaten, or the fact that Northeastern is the reigning Beanpot champions.

Maybe the fact that both are true?

The Catamounts have been one of the hottest teams in the country lately with their 7-game unbeaten streak. But now they face a tough test in a strong Northeastern team on an emotional high after becoming legends on Huntington Avenue, ending 30 years of Beanpot misery for the Huskies behind an Adam Gaudette hat trick.

This Northeastern team scores a ton of goals – they are tied for 7th in goals per game. But unlike last year, they can actually keep the puck out of the net and are 7th in goals against per game. Ryan Ruck is still there, and he’s still mediocre, but he’s also injured at the moment. But Cayden Primeau has stolen the show and the starting job with a .926 SV%, making me eat my words on him from the start of the year.

Three Things to Look Out For:

  1. Oh God That Top Line. You simply cannot beat Northeastern by trying to outgun the top line of Gaudette, Dylan Sikura, and Nolan Stevens, a unit that has combined for 121 points. Gaudette and Sikura are the top two scorers in the country, and Gaudette has the most goals in the nation. UVM is going to have to try and slow them down with good positioning and reading the game and outgunning the bottom 3 lines.
  2. Emotions All Over. On one side, Northeastern is coming off an emotional high of getting that Beanpot monkey off their back. On the other, it’s UVM’s senior weekend, and that’s always an emotional time. Look for a highly spirited affair, and I expect the emotional state of the teams to affect the play.
  3. NU Road Semi-Woes. The Huskies are 17-8-5, but they’ve been pretty shaky on the road, with a 4-4-3 record away from Matthews (and TD Garden which was basically Matthews…what direction is TD Garden from Matthews? I’m not an expert in Boston geography). They have not won a single game outside of the state of Massachusetts. That’s an interesting observation, and unless I’m missing something, Vermont is not a part of Massachusetts. If the Cats can get some home cooking going, I’m more optimistic.

Games are Friday and Saturday at 7. Keep the momentum going.

UVM students, I know I’ve been critical…but let’s give the team the best home ice advantage we can on senior weekend and keep pushing for Octofinals home ice – we’re one point up on UMass for the final home ice spot with a game in hand but UMass has the tiebreaker.

GO CATS.

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