Hear from Northeastern coach Jim Madigan and Umass Lowell skipper Norm Bazin and defenseman Dylan Zink after the Huskies 3-2 defeat to the Riverhawks Friday night in Belfast.
Coach Bazin/Dylan Zink
By: Matthew MacCormack
“You just set the bar. That was the hottest team in the country. They’re talking about them, ACC champs, everything else. You just set the bar. When you set your minds, that’s who you can be.”
Northeastern head coach Bill Coen could hardly contain his excitement as he addressed his players in the locker room Friday night. And who could blame him? His Huskies had just recorded the program’s first win against a ranked opponent in nearly 29 years, all thanks to a game-winning, buzzer-beating jump shot from redshirt senior Quincy Ford that buried the No. 15 Miami Hurricanes, 78-77 in Coral Gables.
Ford drove to the elbow before releasing a perfect jumper over Miami guard Davon Reed that found the nylon just as the buzzer sounded, stunning the formerly undefeated Hurricanes. The redshirt senior led the Huskies from start to finish, tallying 24 points, six rebounds and four steals on five of 10 shooting from beyond the arc.
“Early in the game I had two quick offensive fouls, pushoffs, so when [Reed] stopped my momentum, I sort of stopped, and I shot it,” Ford told reporters after the game. “I was blessed that it went in.”
Thanks to some efficient three-point shooting, the Huskies led by as many as 13 points in the opening frame, and held a four-point advantage halfway through the second. But the Canes, who had defeated No. 16 Utah and No. 22 Butler in back-to-back games to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament, didn’t go down easy. The up-tempo Miami attack ran the floor well in the second-half, hitting several baseline threes to take advantage of the holes in NU’s 3-2 defense. The duo of Reed (19 pts, seven rebs) and guard Sheldon McClellan (18 pts) helped the Canes fight back and build a 70-63 lead with four minutes remaining.
“You’re not gonna keep a good team down for long,” Coen told reporters. “We weren’t gonna play a perfect game, but it’s really how we choose to react to the adversity.”
Husky freshman forward Jeremy Miller (nine pts, five rebs), who has already shown his mettle in his first quartet of college games, was certainly not fazed by the adversity. After a free throw cut the lead to six, Miller came up with a huge four-point play, canning a baseline three with the harm, and converting the ensuing freebie with less than three minutes to play.
Senior guard David Walker (21 pts) converted a layup and a pair of free throws to help Northeastern build a 76-72 lead with 35 seconds to play. Reed responded with a baseline three, and NU turned the ball over on the inbounds play. McClellan put the Canes ahead, 77-76, with a jumper at the 18-second mark, leaving NU with the final possession.
After freshman guard Devon Begley had a shot blocked out of bounds, the Huskies ran an inbounds play, and Ford worked his magic. It was a special moment for the St. Petersburg, Florida native, who said he had close to 30 family members in attendance.
“It was just a great feeling coming back to Florida,” Ford added.
Ford hit two threes in the game’s first two minutes as NU jumped out to an 8-0 lead. The Huskies led for the entire first half, and went into halftime with a 35-30 advantage. Northeastern built its lead in classic mid-major fashion, knocking down 7 of 12 three point attempts and limiting Miami to just two offensive rebounds in the first half. Coen said that while Ford and Walker were the keys to the offense, he was pleased with to contributions of Begley, Miller and senior guard Caleb Donnelly, who combined for five threes.
“When you’re getting those type of productions from complementary guys, that’s really what you need to beat a quality team and a quality program such as Miami,” Coen said.
Miami’s talent eventually caught up, but the Huskies did just enough to come away with a massive upset road win. Now, Coen said, the Huskies must maintain that level of play moving forward, especially with crosstown rival Harvard coming to Matthews Arena Wednesday night.
“It’s just another stepping stone for us,” Coen said. “The next challenge is to match this effort back to back to back and really establish ourselves as a quality team this year.”
By: Josh Brown
BOSTON- Just 1:40 into the first period Mark Jankowski, from the high slot, beat Ryan Ruck to give Providence a 1-0 lead. That proved to be the game.
Needing just that one goal, #1 Providence tacked on one more midway through the first, and an empty-netter with 1:52 remaining, completing a weekend sweep of Northeastern by a 3-0 final score.
Nick Ellis, for the second consecutive night, got the win in net for Providence stopping all 21 shots he faced, while Ryan Ruck saved 27 of the 29 sent his way.
While the win keeps Providence undefeated (8-0-3, 2-0-2), the struggles for Northeastern continue, who have not been victorious in their last 12 games (1-10-2, 0-6-2), and will head over to Belfast, Northern Ireland to try and notch their first conference win against Umass-Lowell on November 27.
“It was a pretty good college hockey game,” said Providence coach Nate Leaman. “I thought (Northeastern) had a pretty good push in the first period and we were struggling getting in on the forecheck. I thought they were playing a little bit faster than us. We were fortunate to get out front and score on a couple opportunities. Then I thought from the second half of the game I really liked how we played.”
“I thought Mark Jankowski was outstanding, as was Nick Saracino this weekend,” Leaman continued. “I thought Mark was winning battles, he was winning faceoffs…and obviously had a goal and an assist and I thought Nick Ellis made some big saves.”
Providence wasted no time getting to work, courtesy of Jankowski, who scored his third goal of the weekend.
Taking a pass from Jake Walman, Jankowski hit Garret Gamez with a pass in the middle of the ice, who then entered the offensive zone and found Jankowski in the slot who ripped one by Ruck for the early lead.
At the 10:09 mark in the period Nick Saracino netted his fourth of the season, putting the Friars up 2-0.
Receiving a pass from John Gilmour, Saracino quickly shuffled around the back of the net, beating Ruck on the wraparound.
“I liked our effort a lot better tonight then last night at Providence,” said Huskies coach Jim Madigan. “We went in to the weekend trying to keep it simple…last night it got away from us and then tonight it got away from us a little bit in the first period where we fell behind again 2-0. I liked the effort, I liked the mentality in how we went about the game and just trying to keep it tight and their two goals where bad reeds by us in two odd-man rush situations.”
From that point forward the Friars stifled Northeastern defensively, holding the Huskies to under 10 shots in each of the three periods.
“We couldn’t solve the riddle with their goalie,” said Madigan. “We had some looks, you’re not going to get a lot of looks, get a lot of golden opportunities against this team because the way they play but we had some good ones in the second period…we were around the net and their goalie made the saves and we just couldn’t get that one to get us going.”
The best chance for the Huskies came in the third period, receiving two power play opportunities less than four minutes apart in the middle of the frame.
Unfortunately for Northeastern, that did not phase the defending national champions, who limited the Huskies to minimal shots on both man-advantages
“The two kills in the third period were big also,” said Leaman “They had some good opportunities. I thought (Ellis) made some terrific saves.”
With the game all but over, Brandon Tanev netted an empty-netter with 1:52 left to send the Friars home satisfied for Thanksgiving.
“We tried to get the puck to the weak side,” said Madigan, ”and we couldn’t as much as we wanted to and we’re running a shorter bench as it is, so you have to be fresh when you’re going against them.”
“We had some sustained short periods of offense but not enough, and then we needed to get something on the power play and we couldn’t.”
Hear what Huskies head coach Jim Madigan had to say after the team’s 5-2 setback against Providence Friday night.
By: James Duffy
Now that every team has played at least two games against conference opponents, the Hockey East standings are starting to take form. Yet again it’s UMass Lowell sitting at the top, going 4-0-2 in six conference games after sweeping Maine this weekend. Kevin Boyle was incredible in net again for the River Hawks, and is approaching Thatcher Demko-esque numbers, lowering his goals allowed average to 1.26 with a save percentage of .957.
Speaking of Demko, he struggled for the first time all season when Boston College took on Michigan State in a tough non-conference game. The Spartans managed to get four past Demko, a guy who had given up six goals all season before that. BC still pulled out a 6-4 win carried by two goals from junior forward Ryan Fitzgerald. The Eagles are now a tremendous 9-1-0 on the year, the best overall record in Hockey East.
Providence College, the #1 ranked team in the nation, remained undefeated on the year when they opened up their conference play by tying two games with Boston University. Friars goalie Nick Ellis made 73 stops in the two games, including saving 40 of 41 on Saturday night and won himself the honor of being named Warrior Player of the Week. Merrimack too continued their strong season, beating Massachusetts 4-2 before playing New Hampshire to a 3-3 draw. The tough season for UNH still has bright spots in Tyler Kelleher and Andrew Poturalski, who combined for five points in the tie.
Beyond that, other notable games saw Notre Dame take three points in a pair of games at home against Northeastern, and Vermont beat Connecticut before tying Massachusetts at home.
Thursday, November 12
Northeastern 2-3 Notre Dame
Friday, November 13
Boston University 1-1 Providence
Merrimack 4-2 Massachusetts
Connecticut 1-2 Vermont
Maine 1-2 UMass Lowell
Northeastern 2-2 Notre Dame
Michigan State 4-6 Boston College
Saturday, November 14
Providence 3-3 Boston College
New Hampshire 3-3 Merrimack
Sunday, November 15
Massachusetts 3-3 Vermont
UMass Lowell 6-0 Maine
Tuesday, November 17
Quinnipiac 6-2 Connecticut
The Week Ahead
This weekend features some good games in conference, starting off with #1 ranked Providence taking on Northeastern for a home-and-home. The Friars are still undefeated, something that many expect to stay true through the weekend as the Huskies have struggled to really get much going this season. It is worth noting that after starting slow last season it was right around this time of year that Northeastern started an incredible run, and they really need to start winning games right about now. Expect Nick Ellis to be the star in net.
Hockey East leader UMass Lowell will host Notre Dame for two games, and the high scoring Irish offense will look to ding up the 2nd best goalie in the conference right now in Kevin Boyle. The best goalie in the conference will look to get back on track as his BC Eagles travel up to New Hampshire and Connecticut for a pair of tough road games. Meanwhile Boston University will gets a tough test after holding serve with Providence, welcoming #12 Michigan to town for two games.
Providence – #1 (1)
Boston College – #2 (2)
UMass Lowell – #5 (5)
Boston University – #10 (11)
Notre Dame – #16 (18)
Others receiving votes:
Massachusetts – 24
Hear from Jimmy Marshall, Devon Begley and head coach Bill Coen after the Huskies 91-62 romping of Wentworth Tuesday night.
Marshall & Begley:
By: Josh Brown
SOUTH BEND, Ind.- It was not the two points Northeastern was hoping for, but it will have to do.
After dropping a 3-2 decision Thursday night, the Huskies got a goal with just 4:07 left in regulation, courtesy of Matt Benning, and ended up tying Notre Dame 2-2 Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
On the power play due to a Luke Ripley hooking call, Benning fired a shot from just within the blue line, which beat Irish netminder Cal Petersen (32 saves), and knotted the score up at two.
“I thought our guys really played hard and showed a lot of resilience,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “Once again, we fell behind 2-0 but we had to kill off the 5-minute major there early in the game and they scored, they got a power play and scored. I thought we just stuck to it.”
“I thought our energy, our effort, our second effort, our attitude, the bench was alive. It’s only a point, and I understand that we’re measured by wins and getting two points, but this is a game that we can build on and will build on.”
Ryan Ruck got his fourth start in a row for Northeastern (1-8-2, 0-4-2), making 23 saves on 25 shots.
The tie was Notre Dame’s first decision that did not end up as a win in league play, falling to 3-0-1 (5-2-3 overall).
As has been par for the course for Northeastern, the Irish were able to net the first goal of the game, giving themselves the early 1-0 lead.
At the nine-minute mark of the first period Jake Evans received a cross-ice pass at the left faceoff dot from Thomas DiPauli, and was able to get it on net, beating Ruck in the process.
The goal, which came on the power play, started as of a result of a Tanner Pond five-minute major for contact to the head, a penalty he was ejected from the game for.
Notre Dame wasted no time jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period, despite being outshot 14-3 throughout the 20 minutes. A Justin Wade shot, which was blocked down in front via a Northeastern defender, found the stick of Connor Hurley, whose shot hit both the post and Ruck before sliding over the goal line.
After playing a high tempo period from that point forward, the Huskies were finally rewarded with 6:27 left in the frame.
Sam Kurker, who collected a Kevin Roy rebound, found Garret Cockerill floating along the blue line and set him up for a one-timer that beat a slew of traffic and ultimately Petersen to bring Northeastern within one.
The third period continued to be a barn-burner, with both teams playing a high-tempo offense, creating multiple opportunities on both sides of the ice, before Benning was able to score the game-tying goal with 4:07 left in the game.
“We played the way that we’re capable of playing,” said Madigan. “This is the way that we want to play, and if we play like this, we’ll win more games than not. We’ve got to still clean up some things in our own zone.”
“You saw, we had some opportunities in that offensive zone. We had five clear-cut, not breakaways, but alone on the goalie from in tight from the hashmarks in and couldn’t score. Rosenthal went in, Stevens went in, Aston-Reese went in. Kurker went in. We had a few good chances, and we just have to bear down there. But I just liked the way our mindset and mentality was tonight. We responded.”
In overtime the Irish controlled the puck for a majority of the period, but Ruck stood tall, stopping everything in his sight, allowing Northeastern to come away with a point on the weekend.
“I told the kids afterwards, because there’s a lot of hurting bodies there, that this is how it should feel every night,” said Madigan. “We blocked a lot of shots. We got banged up. It was a physical game and they’re a big, strong, physical team and I thought we continued to play physical and we had a good second and third period after falling behind.”
“It’s a big point, and points are hard to come by in this league. We’ll take the point on the road and we’ll build on it for next weekend.”
The Huskies will return to action Friday night when they travel to defending champion Providence at 7:00. Full coverage can be found on WRBB.
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-It was much of the same for Northeastern hockey, as the Huskies continued their early-season struggle in South Bend, dropping a 3-2 decision to Notre Dame. The Huskies continue to start slow, spotting the Fighting Irish with a 3-0 lead that they simply could not climb back from. Head coach Jim Madigan’s squad now finds itself at 1-8-1, the same record that it had through 10 games in last season’s historically bad start.
Northeastern was once again unable to get out to a good start, as Fighting Irish defender Jordan Gross wristed a soft shot from the blue line past netminder Ryan Ruck just 5:54 into the contest. Notre Dame doubled their lead just over seven minutes later, when miscommunication by Ruck and Jarrett Fennell left the puck free in the crease. Gross poked it home for his second tally of the day.
Just three minutes into the second period, the Fighting Irish extended their lead to 3-0, as Andrew Oglevie sent a puck past Ruck from just outside the crease.
“Similar story where we fell behind,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan, “it’s been two or three goals where we’ve been falling behind and then we bounced back in the second period and played hard but we’re always chasing the game and that’s what happened here tonight. We can’t continue giving up two and three goals to good teams and expect to win games.”
The Huskies struggled to get their offense going all day, but responded with two goals in 28 seconds to cut the deficit to one. Zach Aston-Reese netted his first score of the season, sending home a loose puck past Irish goalie Cal Petersen, who was out of position. Seconds later, Brendan Collier tipped home a shot attempt by Ryan Rosenthal to bring the score to 3-2.
“Do I like the resiliency? Yeah, but we’ve been at the same spot now for the last five, six games,” said Madigan, “where we’re behind, mostly behind by two goals and I’d rather see us show a little bit more determination in getting up a goal or two then having to always fight. It takes a lot out of you when you’re trying to battle fight back from a two or three goal deficit and you’ve got very little room for error. The resiliency (is) good but I’d rather have the opposition chasing us.”
Northeastern had a golden opportunity to tie up the game late in the second period after Notre Dame’s Andy Ryan was assessed a five-minute major and ejected for contact to the head. In their five minutes with a man advantage, the Huskies tried to set up an offense, but shot themselves in the foot numerous times with poor passes and sloppy puck control along the blue line to waste valuable time. The penalty expired without a single shot on goal for Northeastern.
The game emphasized Northeastern’s continued struggle on the power play, as they finished 0-5 on the night with a man advantage despite having 21 minutes of ice time with an extra skater. Throughout the night, the team was unable to consistently test Petersen in net.
After logging just seven total shots through the second period and opening 15 minutes of the third period combined, Madigan’s squad picked up the intensity while searching for the game-tying goal in the closing minutes. They fired numerous opportunities on net, but Petersen played very well between the pipes to preserve the win.
In what ended up making matters even worse, Huskies forward Dalen Hedges went down with an injury in the third period, needing assistance to make it off the ice.
“Unfortunately Hedges got hurt there at the end of the game and I think he’ll miss some time here, he’ll be reevaluated back in Boston on Sunday/Monday.”
Notre Dame improves to 5-2-2, and is 3-0-0 in Hockey East, while Northeastern drops to 0-4-1 in the conference. The two teams will square off again on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. at Compton Family Ice Arena. Complete game coverage can be heard on WRBB.
By: James Duffy
Thatcher Demko and Boston College are the main attraction once again in Hockey East, as the junior goalie shutout Maine in back-to-back games over the weekend, stopping 60 shots over the course of the weekend. The pair of shutouts earned Demko Warrior Player of the Week honors, and he hasn’t allowed a goal in six of his last seven starts. Demko is now 7-1-0 on the season, with his team just a win better at 8-1-0. He’s allowed 6 goals all season, three to Denver, and has an absurd .974 save percentage. Never bet against Boston College when Demko is in net.
While BC is currently atop Hockey East with a 3-0 record in conference, UMass Lowell and Boston University each have six points as well. Lowell swept a series with Vermont over the weekend, also carried by their goaltender. Kevin Boyle turned aside 59 of the 62 shots that came his way, earning his team two road wins, and getting a shutout for himself in the latter of the two games. Boston University took two wins in conference as well to take themselves to 3-2 in Hockey East, winning both legs of a home-and-home with Northeastern. Led by captain Matt Grzelyck, who made his season debut on Friday and would tally a goal in both games, the Terriers fought back to win 5-4 at home before easily beating the Huskies 4-1 at Matthews Arena.
Massachusetts had another strong weekend, beating Connecticut twice to get their first two conference wins and improve to 6-2-1 on the season. Forwards Austin Plevy and Dominic Trento combined for five goals in the two games to help the Minutemen get back on track after faltering last week. Outside of that, New Hampshire struggled against Michigan State, losing 5-0 and 7-4 in their matchups, and Notre Dame split a pair at home against Minnesota.
Friday, November 6
Maine 0-3 Boston College
Massachusetts 4-2 Connecticut
UMass Lowell 5-3 Vermont
Northeastern 4-5 Boston University
New Hampshire 0-5 Michigan State
Minnesota 3-4 Notre Dame
Saturday, November 7
Boston University 4-1 Northeastern
Connecticut 3-5 Massachusetts
UMass Lowell 1-0 Vermont
Merrimack 3-2 Canisius
Minnesota 4-1 Notre Dame
New Hampshire 4-7 Michigan State
Sunday, November 8
Maine 0-2 Boston College
Tuesday, November 10
Army 2-0 Connecticut
The Week Ahead
Two of the top teams in the conference will headline this weekend’s games, as Providence and Boston University face off for a home-and-home series. Providence, the #1 team in the nation, had last weekend off and should come out full of energy against a Terriers team coming off a big sweep of Northeastern, and have seemingly settled on a starting goalie in Connor LaCouvee. The Friars are still undefeated on the season, sitting at 6-0-1, but have yet to play any games in Hockey East.
Other conference games feature UMass Lowell and Maine head-to-head for two, Northeastern taking on Notre Dame in South Bend and Massachusetts at home against Merrimack before hitting the road to square off with Vermont. The only two out of conference games next weekend have Hockey East teams taking on ranked opponents, as Connecticut will face in-state rival #3 Quinnipiac, and Boston College, ranked #2, will take on #12 Michigan State.
Providence – #1 (2)
Boston College – #2 (3)
UMass Lowell – #5 (5)
Boston University – #11 (10)
Merrimack – #13 (NR)
Others receiving votes:
Notre Dame – 18
Massachusetts – 7
By: David Kroopnick
Coach: Bill Coen (9th season with Northeastern)
Last year: 23-12 Overall (12-6 CAA) T-1st in the CAA, CAA Tournament Champions, Lost to Notre Dame in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament
What Happened: Northeastern had its ups and downs during the 2014-2015 campaign, but finished in a three-way tie for first place in the CAA. The Huskies put together a great run to win the CAA Tournament, beating a tough Delaware team 67-64, second seeded UNCW 78-71, and first seeded William and Mary 72-61. The Huskies then grabbed the nation’s attention in one of the first games of the NCAA Tournament, losing a heart breaker to ACC Champion Notre Dame 69-65. Notre Dame eventually lost in the Elite Eight against first-ranked Kentucky.
Scott Eatherton (F): Northeastern will be without arguably their most important player of the last two seasons. Scott Eatherton was a cornerstone for the Huskies offensively. Eatherton’s elite offensive post-game forced opposing defenses to give up open looks on the perimeter, which resulted in the Huskies finishing second in the CAA in 3FG%. Eatherton was a force on the defensive end as well, leading the team in rebounding (6.4RPG), and blocked shots (43).
Reggie Spencer (F): Northeastern also lost Reggie Spencer to graduation – a player Coach Coen has referred to as the heart and soul of the team. Spencer started for the Huskies in his first three seasons in uniform, but in his senior season, he accepted a role off the bench. Spencer added a lot of production as a role player for the Huskies, averaging 5.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG in just under 19 minutes of action per game.
Quincy Ford (G/F): The Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 CAA Tournament returns for his last season in a Northeastern uniform. Quincy Ford is a tremendous offensive talent who can play at the rim and on the perimeter. Ford set a career high for season 3FG%, shooting .374 from beyond the arc. Ford will probably have to score in greater volume this season, something he has done successfully in the past. Ford also provides a great defensive presence with his length – he finished second on the team in blocked shots with 37.
David Walker (G): David Walker is the Northeastern Huskies’ leading returning scorer, having averaged 13.4 PPG as a junior. Walker led the team in 3FG% (.392), FT% (.866), and assists/game (3.1), and steals (41). Walker is clearly an offensive threat, but he is also a defensive stopper on the perimeter. Walker finished the 2014-2015 with 41 steals, a figure that placed him in the top-ten for the CAA.
Zach Stahl (F): Zach Stahl is the epitome of a glue guy that every coach would want on his team. Stahl defends well in the post despite being listed at 6’5’’. He is extremely adept at reading opponents offenses and being in the right place at the right time. On the offensive end, Stahl is a great passer, especially out of the high post. The combination of him and Eatherton at the forward spot allowed the team to stretch the floor, and get the guards working of pick-and-roll actions. Stahl averaged 8.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and finished second on the team in FG% at .569.
Freshman Forwards: Northeastern added three freshman forwards in the offseason: Sajon Ford (6’11’’), Anthony Green (6’10’’), and Jeremy Miller (6’10’’). While this type of size is typical at a top-25 program, it is exceptionally rare at the mid-major level. One of these forwards will likely work their way into the starting lineup by the end of the season, and the rest will provide frontcourt depth for a team that has not had a lot of it in recent years.
Despite losing two great players in Scott Eatherton, and Reggie Spencer, Northeastern is in a position to repeat as CAA Champions. The Huskies are returning four of their top-five scorers, and have a recruiting class that provides a ton of size in the frontcourt. Expect the Huskies to experiment with lots of different lineup combinations early in the season, and trim their rotation as they get towards CAA play. The Huskies have the perimeter talent to match Hofstra — picked to finish first in the CAA Preseason Poll — and more frontcourt depth than any team in the league. After waiting 24 years between their last two NCAA bids, Northeastern should be considered a favorite to claim the CAA Crown, and dance late into March.