MONTREAL - Over the weekend, Cayden Primeau proved once again why he's one of the best young Americans at his position.
The 19-year-old goaltender turned aside 74 of 76 shots against to lead the Northeastern University Huskies to a two-game sweep of the University of Maine Black Bears in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
After downing the Black Bears by a score of 2-1 in overtime on Friday, the Huskies won Saturday night's matchup by the same scoreline, but accomplished the feat in regulation.
Primeau made 41 saves in Game 1, and another 33 saves in Game 2.
"I feel really good, but obviously that comes from the confidence that I get from the team," Primeau told reporters following the series-clinching victory. "When everyone's blocking shots and buying in and doing the little things in the defensive zone, it's huge and it makes stopping the puck a little bit easier."
As for Primeau's approach to pressure-packed contests like these, the Canadiens prospect indicated a preference to treat them like any other outing between the pipes.
"I try not to look at bigger games as if it's a bigger game," explained Primeau. "I just try to approach everything the same and just try to go out there and do my job, which is to give the team the best opportunity to win."
He's been doing just that all season long, boasting a 23-9-1 record, along with a 2.05 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and four shutouts in 33 games.
Head coach Jim Madigan was quick to praise his star netminder for leading the Huskies with his stellar play, but Primeau wasn't about to let it go to his head.
There's still plenty of work to do, of course.
"It goes in one ear and right out the other," said Primeau, who was recently named a semi-finalist for the Mike Richter Award, which is presented annually to the top goaltender in the NCAA ranks. "It's a huge team win. We wouldn't be this far without the guys that go to work every day. I can only try to stop the puck, I can't score."
For his part, fellow Habs prospect and Huskies defenseman Jordan Harris was held without a point in the series.
Poehling, Stapley advance as well
Ryan Poehling and the top-ranked St. Cloud State Huskies earned their spot in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Frozen Faceoff with a two-game sweep of the Miami University RedHawks.
The 20-year-old centerman scored the game-winning goal in the first matchup, but was held off the scoresheet in the second.
The Huskies closed out the 2018-19 campaign with a remarkable 17-0-1 record on home turf, going undefeated at Herb Brooks Arena.
Joining Poehling in next week's Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Energy Center will be fellow Canadiens prospect Brett Stapley after the University of Denver Pioneers swept the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
The 20-year-old centerman didn't register a point in the series.