No. 4 Boston College completes series sweep of Northeastern

By: Josh Brown

CHESNUT HILL, Mass. – Coming off of a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Boston College last week, the Northeastern Huskies (5-7-4, 1-6-2) had its chance for revenge over the cross-town rivals Tuesday night.

Unfortunately for Jim Madigan and company, BC set the tempo early and despite pulling it to 4-3 with 9:29 left, a late goal by Scott Savage sealed the deal for the Eagles.

“I didn’t think we were very good for the first two periods,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan, “I thought in the third period we competed much harder. We got pucks to the net, we got a little bit more offense and I thought we were one call away from going on a 5-on-4, instead it ends up in our net and they go ahead by two…so we need more guys going and we got to defend a lot better in our own zone.”

The Eagles did not waste any time going up 1-0 just 1:17 into the first period via JD Dudek’s 7th goal of the season. Fighting along the boards to the right of Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck(30 saves), Matthew Gaudreau sent a pass to a patient Dudek in the slot who took a stride to his right before firing it over the shoulder of the Huskies netminder.

Just six minutes and change later BC doubled its lead courtesy of Zach Walker. An off-balance pass in the Northeastern defensive zone found the stick of the freshman who roofed his third of the year over Ruck.

Northeastern would make it a game just 2:59 later when Dylan Sikura and Zach Aston-Reese hooked up on one of the prettiest goals you’ll see this year in college hockey. Entering the zone with poise, Aston-Reese threaded a pin-point pass to Sikura who was charging up the left side. The junior effortlessly tapped the puck past BC netminder Joe Woll (28 saves) for his 10th goal of the season.

The Huskies would get four minutes of power play time at the 18:34 mark after Gaudreau committed slashing and tripping infractions just seconds apart, but Northeastern could not capitalize.

Midway through the second period BC would score two goals just 55 seconds apart to put the game out of reach. Dudek got it going for the Eagles collecting another pass in prime real estate from Gaudreau and beating Ruck, and freshman Zach Walker tipped in his own rebound to put BC up 4-1.

Northeastern would not roll over quite yet, cutting the deficit to 4-2 with Gaudreau in the box for hooking, his fourth penalty of the night. Apparently in the holiday spirit after receiving a gift from Aston-Reese on his first period goal, Sikura sent a beauty to freshman defenseman Jeremy Davies on the weak side that was easily tapped home.

The Huskies and Eagles traded goals in the third period, with John Steven scoring his second of the season at the 10:31 mark and BC answering just under five minutes later courtesy of Scott Savage. Northeastern had a couple of opportunities in the final 2:14 with an empty net but could not muster anything by Woll.

Northeastern will next take the ice on Sunday, November 18 at Michigan State. Josh Brown and Dan McLoone will be on the call from East Lansing beginning at 2:45 p.m.

Begley sparks comeback, NU upends Kent State, 73-70

By: Mack Krell

Despite trailing by 17 points at the half, Northeastern rode an 18-point, seven-rebound effort from junior guard Devon Begley to defeat the Kent State Golden Flashes in Matthews Arena Sunday afternoon. After playing one of its most disappointing halves of basketball this season, Northeastern trailed 42-25 at the half but was able to turn it around in the second half, walking away with a 73-70 victory.

“I know it didn’t look like it in the first half, but this team had a great week of practice, getting better,” said head coach Bill Coen post-game.

“I was really happy with their response to it today in the second half. I thought we played really well in the second half.”

Over the last 12 minutes of the game, Northeastern slowly cut into Kent State’s lead. NU ultimately took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Begley with just 2:01 remaining in the second half that made it 69-68. He then iced the game for the Huskies by making 2 free throws to put the Huskies up, 73-69, with 25 seconds left in the game. In one of his best efforts of his college career, Begley did it all for the Huskies by contributing 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

“We needed every bit of him today,“ Coen said of Begley. “I thought he stepped into a couple big shots.”

In the first half, Northeastern struggled on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court. Northeastern shot just 35 percent from the field and 18 percent from behind the three-point line. They also surrendered 11 turnovers. Defensively, Northeastern gave up six three-pointers and put Kent State on the free-throw line eight times. The Golden Flashes was able to hit all eight of those free throws in the first half. The 1st half ended on a buzzer beating bank 3-point shot by Kevin Zabo that gave KSU a 17-point lead.

The second half was a totally different story. With 16:14 remaining in the second half, Begley hit a ttriple that sparked a 16-2 run for the Huskies over the next four minutes. During the run, Max Boursiquot scored six points for the Huskies by attacking the rim and getting points in the lane. Boursiquot, along with Shawn Occeus, have been big contributors this season as freshmen.

“We have a young team and we’re just in this process of improving,” Coen said post-game.

Following this 73-70 win at home, Northeastern will travel to Ithaca, New York to play Cornell. Discussing their next game, Coach Coen said, “It’ll be great preparation; they play Princeton-style offense and that’s going to get us ready for William and Mary in our league and that’s really the purpose of our non-conference play.”

That game will be Wednesday, November 30th at 7 PM.

“I thought we were a rebound and two foul shots away from being 5-0 over the weekend,” Coen added, alluding to a 1-2 weekend at the Steve Wright Classic.

“We didn’t get it done but we weren’t that far away. “This team just has to get a little bit better each and every day when we go to practice and concentrate on the fundamentals, take better care of the basketball and rebound the ball and when we do that we’re a good team.”

Four goal third period leads Northeastern to comeback win over No. 11/8 Minnesota

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- With No. 11/8 Minnesota leading Northeastern 4-2 after two periods at Matthews Arena on Friday night, it looked like it would be old friend Mike Szmatula getting the last laugh.

Returning to Matthews Arena for the first time since transferring to Minnesota at the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season, the undersized yet pesky forward saw his team dominating on all fronts, culminating in four goals on just 22 shots.

But the second period intermission ended up being a time of reflection for Northeastern (5-5-4).

“We were just not in sync,” said Huskies coach Jim Madigan. “we weren’t generating much offense and then in the third period we just said ‘hey, you know what, we haven’t played well, and let’s admit it and let’s say we have 20 minutes here to go.’”

Although the message may be simple, it was all the Huskies needed. Scoring four unanswered goals in the game’s final 20 minutes, Northeastern shimmied away from Matthews Arena with a 6-4 win.

“I credit the players,” said Madigan “they came out and they stuck with it and they battled, and for me this is a real character win for our hockey club. Probably our biggest win this year.”

“When you score four goals in the third period against a team like Minnesota, who’s a nationally ranked team, well coached and highly skilled, it says something about your hockey team that their resiliency and their resolve was there tonight.”

The star for Northeastern was Dylan Sikura, who shot the puck often and from rather unusual angles to net his first career hat trick. Linemate Adam Gaudette chipped in with a goal and two assists as well.

“It feels good,” Sikura modestly put it, “got that one out of the way.”

“They played last year together,” Madigan said of Sikura and Gaudette, “they’re finding each other a lot more this year. We’ve been on Dylan to shoot the puck more and he certainly has tonight.”

“I don’t have to tell Gaudette to shoot the puck, he’s [going to] shoot it which is great cause we want the puck in both their hands. Sikura, it’s an accurate shot. Those goals weren’t heavy shots but he gets it off the stick, and he’s so smart to be able to thread the needle in through traffic and that’s what he did. He can place the puck in a pretty good spot, he’s got an unbelievable pair of hands and you saw that here tonight.”

Northeastern got it going just 35 seconds into the game courtesy of Garret Cockerill’s third goal of the season. A Patrick Schule pass found the junior defenseman in the high slot, and he proceeded to one-time it past Minnesota netminder Eric Schierhorn (21 saves).

Minnesota came roaring back scoring a pair of goals two minutes apart midway through the period. Kloos started the rally redirecting a Tyler Sheehy past Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck (27 saves), and Vinni Lettieri converted a nifty wraparound to make it 2-1.

As he did all night, Sikura would not let the Huskies roll over. Collecting a turnover in the neutral zone, Gaudette found Sikura who fired a shot from the left faceoff dot that willed its way in between Schierhorn’s left pad and the goalpost to tie the game.

The back-and-forth first period found Minnesota with a 3-2 advantage after the first 20, as with 2:28 left in the period Kloos picked up a puck that ricochet off the boards and sent it under the pads of Ruck.

After Kloos scored the only goal for the Gophers in the second period, completing a hat trick, Sikura got his second of the game less than two minutes into the third period. With an Adam Gaudette faceoff win landing cleanly on his stick, Sikura shot a slow but accurate puck past Schierhorn to cut the Gophers lead to 4-3.

Less than two minutes later on the power play Sikura and Gaudette reversed the roles. Floating on the weak side, Sikura fired a cross-ice pass to the sophomore who easily sent it home to tie the game.

Exactly ten minutes later Sikura ensured that the spotlight was back on him. Using a ferocious forecheck to keep a play alive in the offensive zone, he collected a loose puck and threaded a shot through traffic that found the back of the net. A Zach Aston-Reese empty net goal with 32 seconds remaining sealed the deal.

The Huskies will be back in action Tuesday night when they host crosstown rival Boston College at 7 p.m. WRBB will have full coverage beginning at 6:45.

 

 

Husky Sports Update Week 10: 11/14-11/20

Freshman Bolden Brace  tallied his first career double-double in Northeastern's 80-72 victory over Maine on Sunday (Image Credit: Northeastern Athetics).
Freshman Bolden Brace tallied his first career double-double in Northeastern’s 80-72 victory over Maine on Sunday (Image Credit: Northeastern Athetics).

By: Jacob Sauberman

It was a week of highs and lows for the Northeastern Huskies men’s basketball team, shocking one team before collapsing twice and ending the week with a victory, leaving the team at 3-2 on the young season.

Nov. 14 – The Huskies stunned the University of Connecticut in enemy territory in a nail-biter, 64-61. Point guard TJ Williams dropped 20 points and 6 assists, while Donell Gresham hit a trio of threes en route to 13 points. Forward Alex Murphy cleaned up the glass, recording 15 rebounds despite 6 turnovers. One of those turnovers almost cost Northeastern the win, as he passed the ball into the hands of UConn with 11 seconds to go, giving them a chance at the game-tying three, which missed.

Nov. 18 – Northeastern lost a close game at Boston University, 63-65. TJ Williams had another big night, shooting 7-12 from the field and scoring 24 points. They had a 12-point lead deep into the second period, but the Terriers stormed back to win at the end. The difference in this game was free throw shooting, as NU struggled to a 63% clip from the line – crucial in a tight game.

Nov. 19 – NU dropped their second game in as many nights on Saturday, losing to LIU Brooklyn by a score of 74-78. It was another case of a second period collapse, as the Huskies were outscored 48-34 and shot just 35.29% from the field. Northeastern enjoyed a more even distribution of scoring in this one, with four players reaching double digits.

Nov. 20 – The Huskies managed to end the week with a victory, taking down Maine, 80-72. After back-to-back late game collapses, their first half lead of 37-36 was extended after a 43-36 second half that saw Northeastern shoot 52.4% from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc. TJ Williams (26 points, 10 assists) and freshman Bolden Brace (10 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles, and the Huskies improved to 3-2.

Northeastern will look to gain some consistency when they take on Kent State on the 27th at the friendly confines of Matthews Arena.

Women’s Basketball

Nov. 18 – The women’s basketball team suffered a big loss at the hands of Saint Mary’s, dropping the game 77-53. Francesca Sally led the way with 22 points on efficient 10-16 shooting, but no other Husky managed to shoot over 50%. That inefficiency led to a dismal 34.4% shooting on the game, making it easy for Saint Mary’s to roll to the victory.

Nov. 20 – Quinnipiac didn’t bode any better for Northeastern, as they lost by a wide margin of 76-59. The team started out the game 2-11 from the field, digging themselves a deep hole. They showed an admirable effort in attempting to climb out, shooting 40% over the next three quarters, but it wasn’t enough to take down the 4-0 Bobcats. The Huskies finished the week sitting at 2-2.

Women’s basketball has a busy travel week ahead, as they venture down to Mexico to play three consecutive games starting on the 24th against Stanford, Purdue, and Wichita State.

Men’s Ice Hockey

Nov. 18 – Northeastern men’s hockey recorded their first win against a Hockey East opponent of the season, defeating Providence College, 5-4. The Huskies got off to a quick start, taking a 3-0 lead in the second period on goals by Jeremy Davies, Patrick Schule, and Zach Aston-Reese.

That lead was increased to 5-1 before Providence began a furious comeback, scoring 3 straight goals in the last 13 minutes of play. An easy win became a nail-biter, but the Huskies prevailed nonetheless.

Nov.19 – Back in Providence, Northeastern fell on the wrong side of the same score as the previous night, dropping the game, 4-5. This time, it was the Huskies who fell behind early, taking a 0-2 deficit into the second half of the first period. They would tie it up at 3 on a power play goal by Adam Gaudette, part of a second period that saw a whopping five total goals.

A late power play goal from Dylan Sikura was too little, too late, as Providence held on to the one-goal victory, bringing the Huskies down to a 4-5-4 record, and just 1-4-2 in Hockey East play. Northeastern will try to recoup on November 25th when they take on Minnesota at Matthews Arena.

Women’s Ice Hockey

Nov. 18 – Northeastern women’s hockey took on the University of Vermont on Friday, playing them to a 3-3 draw that went to OT. The Huskies showed great resilience in this one, eliminating a 1-3 deficit in the third period with two late goals by Hayley Scamurra and Kasidy Anderson.

Nov. 20 – The Huskies fought a good Boston College team to another draw, McKenna Brand stole the show, scoring both NU goals and leading the team with 7 shots on goal. Northeastern finished the week with a record of 10-3-3, clearly showing that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Women’s hockey returns to play against Boston College on the 26th, this time looking for the win.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

Nov. 19 – In their last meet of the season, Northeastern cross country dominated at the IC4A and ECAC meets in the Bronx. The men’s team took first place behind senior Paul Duffey (25:41) and sophomore Dan Romano (25:50), who took first and second place overall, respectively. Sophomore Michael Potter (25:52) impressed in his own right, coming in fifth overall. Freshman Cameron Dickson finished 25th and fellow freshman Chance Lamberth finished 36th to complete the Huskies’ top five.

On the women’s side, senior Jordan O’Dea (18:22) placed first overall as NU took a third place finish. Elizabeth Harrington (19:22) followed her at 23rd overall, and Louiza Wise (25th, 19:23), Kerri Ruffo (28th, 19:27), and Brooke Wojeski (33rd, 19:30) rounded out the top five.

On her first place finish in her final meet as a member of Northeastern cross country, O’Dea said: “It was so exciting to end my season with a first place finish. I am a senior this year and so this was my last ever collegiate cross country race and so I couldn’t have been happier to end it with a first place finish.”

Women’s Swimming

The three day meet for the swimming and diving team saw Northeastern finish with historic results. Placing third overall with 1,194.5 points, they fell just short of Columbia, who had 1,233 points. Over the duration of the weekend, Husky swimmers set three school records en route to 24 season-best times and 45 swimmers advancing to the final round.

Freshman Megan Clark was the talk of the meet, setting three school records. It started with a 23.06 time in the final round of the 50 freestyle event. She then recorded 50.52 time in the preliminary round of the 100 freestyle, just before smashing that record again in the final round with a 50.29 time.

Women’s Volleyball

Northeastern volleyball couldn’t keep up their hot start on the 18th, dropping a match against the University of Delaware, 0-3. The Huskies couldn’t get much by the Delaware line, as the Blue Hens managed an impressive 41 kills. Northeastern put up a fight in the first and last sets, losing by just two points as each went into extra points.

It was the end of a historic run for women’s volleyball, as they defied experts’ lackluster preseason predictions to finish 20-11 overall and 10-6 in CAA play. The Huskies were given seven postseason awards for their play this year, more than any other CAA team. Additionally, senior Jamie Bredahl set a school record, becoming the first player to ever record over 1,000 kills, digs, and assists over a career.

Northeastern holds off late Providence surge for first Hockey East win

By: Dan McLoone

The Northeastern hockey team bent but did not break defensively at Matthews Arena on Friday night, outlasting three unanswered third period goals by Providence to notch their first Hockey East win of the season, 5-4.

Senior captain John Stevens returned to the ice for the Huskies after missing four games, and Ryan Ruck started between the pipes after five days after Jake Theut posted a 22-save shutout against Notre Dame.

“Having 18 back in the lineup also gives you another very good player but a leader and our captain and an experienced guy in the locker room,” said head coach Jim Madigan. “Now we can spread our lines out a little bit and we’ve got 8 and 9 together and we got a little bit more depth there, and that showed there tonight if you look at the scoresheet.”

In what was an uncharacteristically high-scoring game against a Friars squad that entered the weekend allowing just 2.25 goals per game, the offense did not come early. The squads skated to a scoreless first period, extending the Northeastern scoreless streak to five periods, a run that began in the second period against Notre Dame last Friday.

Jeremy Davies broke the scoring drought for the Huskies 11 minutes into the second period, collecting his own rebound after a Hawkey save and wrapping around the net to give Northeastern a 1-0 lead. They doubled the lead three minutes later as Patrick Schule netted his first goal of the year, collecting a loose puck in front of the net and sending it home.

Zach-Aston Reese scored his 100th career point with the Northeastern hockey program with 1:50 left in the second period, collecting an Adam Gaudette centering pass from behind the net and firing it home on the power play. The goal moved Aston-Reese into 47th place on the Northeastern all-time scoring list.

“This leagues a tough league to score goals, score points, and 100 points for me reflects…your production and how good a player you are,” said Madigan. “It’s a testament to him of what he’s accomplished and in just over three years.”

The Friars got one back with 56 seconds left in the second period, as junior defenseman Jake Walman scored for the second straight game to cut the lead to 3-1.

Northeastern came out firing in the third period, as a great string of passes during a 4-on-3 power play led to Dylan Sikura slotting home his fifth goal of the season just 1:33 into the frame. Aston-Reese netted his second goal of the game just over two minutes later, sending a soft shot through Hawkey’s legs to give the Huskies a 5-1 lead.

“We had some real good offensive zone possession time,” said Madigan. “We had all five guys involved in the offense. I thought our forecheck was going. I thought through the neutral zone we had real good speed to the puck. We were transitioning pucks quickly in the defensive zone.”

Holding onto a four-goal game with 14 minutes to play, Northeastern got a little sloppy and complacent. Brian Pinho trimmed the lead to three at the 6:59 mark of the third period, sending a shot from the slot past Ruck.

The Huskies proceeded to try and weather a storm of penalties, as Garret Cockerill, Garrett Cecere, Stevens and Ryan Shea all got sent to the box over a span of three and a half minutes of play. The Friars capitalized with 11:07 to go, as Anthony Florentino fired a shot from the blue line over Ruck’s far shoulder to cut the lead to 5-3.

Trailing by two with two minutes to play, the Friars chose to pull Hawkey in search of their fourth goal. The decision paid off immediately, as Josh Wilkins scored from the blue line with 1:52 to play to trim the lead to one. The Huskies played on their heels defensively for the rest of the game, but did not give up the game-tying goal, as Ruck made several big saves to preserve the win.

“Our lack of discipline allowed them to get back in the game on a power play…and then we got on our heels, so it’s a learning experience,” said Madigan. “When we’re hanging on like that, that’s not how we want to win. Our kids see that, so they know going through that experience the last four or five minutes [that] we’ve got to be better and not put ourselves in that situation in the future.”

The win moves Northeastern to 4-4-4 overall and 1-3-2 in Hockey East. The Huskies will square off with the Friars again on Saturday night at Schneider Arena, with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. Full coverage of the game will be provided on WRBB.

Josh Brown contributed to this article.