Quick Update: SCSU Huskies vs Northeastern Huskies

Sam Hentges with a career game vs BC on Thursday (Photo Prout)

Boston, MA – Here’s a quick update prior to the St. Cloud State University Huskies game vs Northeastern University tonite at 6:00 PM CT:

A northeastern weather system has hit New England today so we’re getting dumped on with quite a bit of rain. However, that shouldn’t dampen the enthusiasm for tonight’s match-up with the Northeastern Huskies of Hockey East. I’ve run into a lot of SCSU fans on this trip from a variety of locations around the country. It’s great to see the support and excitement for the program and new head coach Brett Larson.

As you know, the team is off to a torrid start and is currently 5-0-0 in the early season. One of the keys is the stellar play by all of the first-year players. The defensive crew of Spencer Meier, Brendan Bushy and Nick Perbix have all been as good as advertised and are doing everything asked of them on the ice. They’ve certainly been a part of a very stingy defense that in the past three games has allowed only one goal. But, they’ve also contributed offensively with all three on the score sheet Thursday led by Meier’s three-assist night.

Likewise, the forwards have been nothing short of spectacular. Freshman Hentges and Walker showed no signs of being intimidated Thursday with Hentges getting the hat trick and Walker netting two in the 7-0 blow out of the Eagles. First-year players accumulated 11 points on Thursday. The third rookie forward, Micah Miller, has had limited time thus far but expect to see him in the lineup tonight vs the other Huskies.

We can’t underestimate the effort of David Hrenak vs Boston College on Thursday. As Coach Larson mentioned post-game, It could have been a different game without a number of key saves by the sophomore goaltender. Obviously, a hot goaltender affects the psyche of the opponent and despite outshooting the Huskies 32-27 BC couldn’t solve Hrenak and that in itself created offensive opportunities for the Huskies.

Expect to see Jeff Smith in goal for SCSU tonight. The rotation between our goaltenders has been effective and successful and there is no reason to deviate from the routine. Besides, Smith has faced Northeastern his first year while with Lowell and earned a shutout. Let’s see if he can duplicate that previous success tonight.

As for tonights opponent, Northeastern, expect a very tough matchup. I attended their Friday road game with UMass- Lowell at Tsongas Arena and was impressed with this squad currently ranked #12 in college hockey. They lost a ton of scoring from last season but seem to be gaining some traction with the returning forwards. They are relying on upperclassmen and returnees Grant Jozefek (3-2-5), Lincoln Griffin (1-4-5), Patrick Schule (2-2-4) and Liam Pecarano (2-4-6) to fill the gap offensively and thus far they’ve been reliable in that department. On Friday vs Lowell Schule netted two goals and Grant Jozefec a nice conversion on a breakaway in the win. They seem to be a team that can bury their opportunities and the Huskies will have to be on their toes defensively,

Defensively, they have two very high quality blueliners in Jeremy Davies (1-5-6) and Ryan Shea (5-0-1). Both juniors, they are the key line of defense for Northeastern and do a nice job of moving the puck. Davies reminds me of Jimmy Schuldt in the kinds of things he can do out there.

Finally, back in goal they have an athletic netminder in Cayden Primeau. The 6’3″ 200 pound sophomore covers a lot of the net and his reflexes are very smooth and quick.He can be a game-breaker for the Huskies.

This team has good speed, is well coached and has an effective power play. This will be another strong test for SCSU particularly at  the historic Matthews Arena in downtown Boston. A good crowd is expected and for the visiting SCSU fans should be a real treat.

We plan to jump on the train, hit Faneuil Hall for a pre-game bite to eat and then head to Matthews. I’ll capture some additional game images for you tonight.

All the links for this game are HERE.

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