College Hockey Series of the Week: No. 3 UMass vs. No. 10 Northeastern
While Penn State opens up conference play this weekend by welcoming the Wisconsin Badgers to Hockey Valley, the No. 3 Massachusetts Minutemen will be battling the No. 10 Northeastern Huskies in CommRadio’s series of the week.
Although it is a very rare occurrence for this early in the season, this will actually be a rematch, as the teams played two weeks ago in each of their conference openers. In that game, Northeastern was able to upset then No.4 UMass on home ice, 3-1.
In order to once again pull the upset, Northeastern will need to rely heavily on star forward Tyler Madden, who has five goals and is just two behind the nation’s top goal scorer, Cole Caufield of Wisconsin. Northeastern also will need a stellar weekend from goaltender Craig Pantano, who has had an excellent start to the year, being in the top three in the country in both goals against average and save percentage.
On the UMass side of things, it is likely that both junior Matt Murray and sophomore Filip Lindberg will see playing time, as coach Greg Carvel has been using them as a tandem so far this season. Since their loss in Boston against Northeastern two weeks ago, UMass has been on a tear, having won three straight while outscoring their opponents (Union for two games and AIC for one) 15-2 over that span.
Northeastern, however, was not able to build off of their huge win, having gone just 1-1-1 with a tie against Holy Cross and a road split at St. Cloud State. This series will be a home and home, as the two schools are located only two hours apart. With the Friday game is in Boston, UMass will be looking for revenge from their earlier loss to Northeastern that occurred on the same ice. Northeastern will be looking to get back on track after sputtering the past few games, and wins on home ice and on the road versus a top five team would be a way to do it.
Prediction: 1-1 split
Game 1: Northeastern 3, UMass 2
Game 2: UMass 4, Northeastern 1
Jeremy Schooler is a junior studying broadcast journalism and business. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.