The Huskies play their last home game of the fall semester Saturday at 7:00 when they face #18 UMass Lowell. If you haven’t heard, a “White Out” has been called by the Doghouse at the request of Huskies Captain Mike McLaughlin.
Lowell (9-4-0) is on a 4 game winning streak. Last weekend, they swept UNH. Like Northeastern, Lowell is a young team some interesting results. They lost to UConn, but also beat BU 7-1. 2 of their 4 losses have been against BC and they both came early in the season. But also like Northeastern, they have begun to figure things out and have gone on a bit of a “heater” as the guys would say. In addition to being ranked 18th by the same voters who gave Notre Dame a 1st place vote this week, they are also ranked 1oth in the Pairwise and KRACH. So don’t let USCHO fool you, this team is the real deal.
Matt Ferriera and Riley Wetmore lead the River Hawks with 14 points and 7 goals. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has 10 assists. He is averaging a point per game which is good for 4th best in the country among defenseman. Goaltending has been a huge part of Lowell’s success so far. Sophomore Doug Carr is allowing just 1.78 goals a game, which puts him 5th nationally. He stopped 70+ shots last weekend, yet did not win Defensive Player of the Week (much to the dismay of the Lowell bloggers).
As a team Lowell is scoring 3.54 goals a game, good for 2nd in Hockey East. They give up 2.54, which is the 3rd best in HE. They also average the second fewest penalties in the league. That may actually be a good thing for NU, who continues to be much better 5 on 5, than they are 5 on 4. Lowell has the 3rd best Power Play in Hockey East at 21% so the Huskies will have to stay disciplined.
As for the Huskies, they will look to win their 5th straight game against Lowell. There is no word on whether Mike McLaughlin is ready to return from injury. The Huskies could use him, as he leads all NU players with a 3-2-5 career line against Lowell. Garrett Vermeersch also has 4 points (all assists) against the River Hawks. You can expect to see the same lines for NU. In 7 games together, the Quailer-Pimm-Ferriero line is a +25. NU’s record in those games in 5-2. In 4 games together, the Karlsson-Vermeersch-Saponari line is a +18. The Huskies are 4-0 with that combo. Every single one of the Huskies defenseman has a positive plus/minus. That just goes to show how good this team is in 5 on 5 situations. The fans would love to see Rob Dongara get back in the lineup, but it is unlikely Coach Madigan would change a lineup that has won 5 straight.
The offensive outburst has got them up to 3.07 goals per game, which still leaves them 9th in HE, but they are only giving up 2.60 (4th in HE). The Power Play is closing in on double digits, but right now it sits at a conference worst 9.7%. The PK is still just under 80 at 79.7% (7th in HE).
Ludwig Karlsson is averaging 1.08 PPG which is 3rd in the country (1st in Hockey East) for freshman.
Steve Quailer is riding a 6 game point streak. Garrett Vermeersch is riding a 4 game streak. Braden Pimm has a 3 game goal-scoring streak. All of those streaks are career bests.
So take a break from studying and come support the Huskies as they look to extend their 5 game winning streak. Lowell may not be a marquee name, but this is definitely a big game for both teams. Don’ forget to WEAR WHITE.