Mariucci Classic Preview: Northeastern

While it is uncertain who the Gophers will play in the second game of the Mariucci Classic, a first round win for Minnesota will likely mean a matchup with Northeastern for the tournament title. Northeastern presents the biggest threat for the Gophers in the Classic and could prove to be a very exciting game if the two teams meet.

Northeastern has been on a tear recently, winning their last six games despite a poor start to the season. In those games, the Huskies are averaging 4.5 goals per contest, while only giving up an average of just 1.33. Despite the Gophers' rank and home ice advantage, the Northeastern Huskies pose a serious threat to take home the Mariucci Classic title.

Season to Date
The Huskies currently do not have a winning record, posting a 7-7-2 mark overall and 4-7-2 in conference play. Northeastern had a dismal start to the year, beginning the season just 1-7-2. Since then, the Huskies have rattled off six straight wins including a sweep at 5th-ranked Notre Dame where Northeastern totaled 11 goals on the weekend. They also have recent wins at 20th-ranked Michigan and against 17th-ranked Massachusetts-Lowell.

Team Defense
The Huskies are allowing just 2.56 goals per game, good for fourth in Hockey East. With the absence of scoring threats Kyle Rau and Nick Bjugstad, the Gophers will need to find a new batch of scorers if they meet Northeastern in the finals.

Players to Watch
Junior-G-#37-Chris Rawlings: The 6-foot-5 Rawlings has started all but one game this year and has had quite an impressive season thus far. He has posted a 2.25 goals against and a .933 save percentage, both good for third best among Hockey East goaltenders.

Junior-F-#10-Steve Quailer: Quailer, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward out of Colorado is leading the Huskies in scoring this year. To date, he has tallied six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 14 games played.

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