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Big weekend ahead for Northeastern hockey

Left: Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University; Right: Photo by Jim Pierce/Northeastern University

Much is at stake when the Northeastern men and women’s hockey teams take to the ice this weekend, with the Huskies slated for critical postseason games.

The women’s team, which last weekend captured its first-ever Hockey East championship, heads to Colgate to play in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. The winner will head to the 2018 Women’s Frozen Four in Minneapolis on March 16 to 18.

The Huskies are familiar with Colgate, having lost a pair of road games to the Raiders early in the season. But Northeastern enters the NCAA tournament having won four of its past five games. “We started playing our best hockey the last couple of weeks,” head coach Dave Flint said in his postgame press conference following the Hockey East championship game. “I told the team all along it’s how you’re playing in late February and early March, and we got it going at the right time.”

The men’s hockey team will stay on home ice at Matthews Arena this weekend, facing Massachusetts in a best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series beginning Friday night. The surging Huskies have won five in a row, beginning with the Beanpot championship game on Feb. 12 to capture the coveted title for the first time in 30 years.

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“We’re excited about this opportunity,” head coach Jim Madigan said in a teleconference this week. “We know we’re playing a very good UMass team. They’re a team that is young but plays fast. They have a well-balanced offense and a group of defensemen that jump in the play.”

Northeastern’s top line of Dylan Sikura, Adam Gaudette, and captain Nolan Stevens have led the Huskies’ scoring attack all season. Gaudette, for his part, leads the nation in scoring (56 points) and goals (29).

Freshman goalie Cayden Primeau has also been phenomenal, and this week he was named a semifinalist for the 2018 Mike Richter Award—presented to the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. He has the fifth-highest save percentage (.933) and fourth-lowest goals allowed per game (1.85) in the country.

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