Fall Sports Roundup: Volleyball continues winning streak

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by Matt Neiser

The Northeastern women’s volleyball team continued their winning ways on Sunday, defeating Elon in a back and forth five-setter behind strong performances from sophomore Amy Underdown and junior Gabrielle Eyl.

Underdown led the Huskies in both kills (18) and aces (2), while also contributing defensively with 12 digs. Eyl also played a big part in the victory, tallying a team-leading 21 digs, moving her into fourth all-time in Northeastern history at 1,499. This performance helped propel Eyl to being awarded CAA Defensive Player of the Week. Brigitte Burcescu (15 kills) and Athena Ardila (13 kills) had significant contributions on offense as well.

On the back of a nine game winning streak, the Huskies move to 14-6 overall and 7-0 in the CAA, where they hold sole possession of first place. Looking ahead, the team will travel to Hempstead, NY, to face middle of the pack Hofstra on Sunday, October 15th.

Men’s Hockey: Riding high after two convincing victories over Sacred Heart last weekend, the men’s hockey came back down to Earth on Saturday, coming back from 0-3 down to draw 3-3 with RIT in overtime. Dylan Sikura, Garret Cockerill, and Lincoln Griffin provided the goals. The Huskies (2-0-1) will look to bounce back next week with a weekend series against powerhouse Quinnipiac.

Women’s Hockey: Women’s hockey fell to Colgate on Saturday, being held scoreless for the first time this season in the 3-0 loss. Junior goaltender Brittany Bugalski registered 26 saves, none better than her reflexive kick to save a penalty shot in the second period. The two teams play again Sunday as Northeastern (2-2-1) looks to even up the series.

Men’s Soccer: It was a rough week for men’s soccer, failing to score while allowing 10 goals over two games this week. The Huskies fell 6-0 to nationally ranked SMU on Tuesday before traveling to Elon on Saturday, where they lost 4-0. The 2-10-2 Huskies will look to turn things around against Boston University on Tuesday.

Women’s Soccer: The women’s soccer team played to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Elon on Sunday, rallying from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to secure a point, with senior Kayla Cappuzzo providing the goal to cap off the comeback. The team then faced top of the CAA Hofstra on Thursday, losing a tightly contested affair 1-0. The Huskies (9-5-2) next face William & Mary in their Senior Game at home on Sunday.

Field Hockey: Tough opposition faced the field hockey team this week, as they faced two nationally ranked opponents in Boston University and Boston College. They fell to the #25 Terriers 6-1 on Monday before playing to a much closer 2-1 loss against the #10 Eagles on Friday. Redshirt Senior Jamie Bartucca added her 13th goal of the season against BU, bringing her goals per game average to T-5th in Division 1 at 1.00. It doesn’t get any easier looking forward, as the 7-7 Huskies next face #14 Princeton on Sunday.

Late rally propels Northeastern to tie at RIT

By: Josh Brown

Down 3-0 to RIT with just under six minutes remaining in the second period, Northeastern (2-0-1) received goals from Lincoln Griffin, Garret Cockerill and Dylan Sikura in the game’s final 24 minutes to salvage a tie against the Atlantic Hockey foe.

In net, Northeastern goalie Cayden Primeau made 24 saves in keeping the comeback chance alive. The Huskies started 0-for-6 on the power play, but Sikura converted with just 2:40 remaining to send the game to overtime. Both teams successfully killed off a penalty in overtime to preserve the draw.

The Huskies will be back in action next weekend when they take on ECAC foe Quinnipiac at Matthews Arena. Both Friday and Saturday are scheduled for 7 p.m. WRBB will have complete coverage beginning at 6:45.

Fall Sports Roundup: Men’s Hockey sweeps Sacred Heart

by Patrick Milne

The Northeastern men’s hockey team got off to an uncharacteristically hot start, winning both games against Sacred Heart over the weekend. Northeastern scored 7 goals in each game and only gave up 3 to the Pioneers. Northeastern’s offense was generated by both young guys like freshman Zach Solow (3G, 3A) and sophomores Grant Jozefek (3G, 1A) and Matt Filipe (3G, 2A), as well as by veterans Adam Gaudett (1G, 4A), Dylan Sikura (2G, 3A), and Garret Cockerill (0G, 3A). Freshman goaltender Cayden Primeau also had a perfect start to his collegiate career, stopping all 18 shots he faced. Next week, the Huskies will travel up to Rochester, New York to play RIT on Saturday, October 14.

Women’s Hockey: The Women’s hockey team had a very successful weekend beating BU twice. Northeastern won the first game Friday night 3 to 2 in overtime, thanks to a game winning goal from sophomore Matti Hartman. The huskies went on to beat the Terriers 6-3 in the Saturday matinée. Northeastern’s top line of Brand McKenna (sophomore), Tori Sullivan (senior), and Denisa Krizova (senior) all got their first goals and assists of the year after being held pointless for the first 3 games of the year. Looking forward to next weekend, the lady huskies will play two games against Colgate in Hamilton, New York.

Men’s Soccer: The men’s soccer team had a rough week dropping two games at home. The team lost to Hartford on Tuesday 2-1 and then gave up four goals in the first half against William & Marry on Saturday, with the Huskies scoring their only goal in the 89th minute. The huskies are now 2-8-2 with and are ranked second to last in the CAA with a conference record of 1-3-1.

This week Northeastern travels to Texas to play the 25th nationally ranked Southern Methodist University on Tuesday, October 10 and then to North Carolina to play Elon, who is the only team behind Northeastern in the CAA standings.

Women’s Soccer: The women’s soccer team had one game away against Elon last Sunday. Despite scoring 3 goals, the huskies were only able to walk away with a tie. The huskies got goals from freshmen Julianne Ross and Kayla Cappuzzo and one from senior Carly Wilhelm. Northeastern now has a 9-4-2 (3-0-2) record, good for a third place ranking in the CAA. Coming up, the huskies will face the CAA’s best team Hofstra on Thursday, who have not lost a conference game yet. Then on Sunday, October 15 they will face off against William & Marry at 1 PM at Parson’s Field.

Women’s Volleyball: The Northeastern Volleyball team had a very good week, winning all three of their games. They beat last place William & Marry 3-0 on Thursday, fourth place James Madison 3-2 on Saturday, and sixth place Elon 3-2 on Sunday. The first ranked CAA Huskies have not dropped any of their seven conference games and have a 14-6 record. This coming week, the women will travel to Hampstead, New York try to keep their undefeated streak alive against third ranked Hofstra.

Women’s Field Hockey: The Northeastern Field Hockey team had a weekend of ups and downs. They were able to blow out Hofstra 8-1 on Friday, but then got blown out themselves by BU 6-1. Despite having a lack luster 7-6 record, Northeastern is ranked 3rd in the CAA with a 2-1 record. Coming up this week, Northeastern plays two more out of conference games away at BC and then away at Princeton. The huskies have only 3 conference games remaining against Delaware (2), Drexel (4), and James Madison (6).

Cross Country: Sophomore Chance Lamberth finished in fourth place at the New England Championships on Saturday. The women’s and men’s cross country teams finished in 7th place and 8th place, respectively, in the third race of the year. The Huskies next race is October 20 against Central Connecticut State.

Crew: The Northeastern men’s and women’s rowing teams started season on Saturday at annual Head of the Housatonic. The men’s eight finished second overall while the women’s eight took sixth. The Huskies will race again in two weeks in the infamous Head of the Charles Regatta here in Boston.

Women’s Diving: The Huskies won their first meet 209-134 against Wagner College. The team’s next match is against James Madison on October 21.

Five goal scorers lead Northeastern to 7-0 rout of Sacred Heart

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – The offense continues to click for the Northeastern hockey team, as the Huskies finished off a weekend sweep of Sacred Heart with a 7-0 win at Matthews Arena on Saturday night.

Dylan Sikura got the scoring started for the Huskies (2-0-0), scoring on a power play just 3:47 into the game before adding a second tally six minutes later. Matt Filipe and Grant Jozefek extended the lead to 4-0 later in the period, both netting their third goals of the young season. The four goals ended goalie Nathan Perry’s night early for the Pioneers (0-2-0), making just seven saves on 11 shots before being pulled in favor of Brett Magnus.

The change in net didn’t stop the Huskies, who made it 5-0 halfway through the second period on a Zach Solow tally before Adam Gaudette fired home a pass from Sikura to make it 6-0. Solow added his second goal of the game 1:20 into the third on a diving redirect to put the game on ice.

Netminder Cayden Primeau was strong in net, making 18 saves in picking up the shutout victory in his collegiate debut. Although he wasn’t tested often, the freshman held his own whenever Sacred Heart created any offensive chances, sending aside a few tough shots while covering up any second chance rebounds.

It was a chippy game altogether, as the two teams combined for 20 penalties, including four game misconducts and 10 penalties in the third period. Bobby Hampton was ejected just six minutes into the game for contact to the head, while a flurry of penalties in the third saw Vito Bavaro and Austin McIlmury sent packing for Sacred Heart and Gaudette ejected for the Huskies.

Northeastern will look to continue it’s early-season success when it travels to Rochester to take on RIT next Saturday. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m., with full coverage provided by WRBB beginning at 6:45.

Secondary scorers power Huskies to opening night win over Sacred Heart

By Josh Brown

BOSTON – It may have been opening night, but Northeastern displayed a year’s worth of chemistry in game number one. Led by two goals apiece from Grant Jozefek and Matt Filipe, and a four-point night from freshman Zach Solow (1 goal, 3 assists), the Huskies routed Sacred Heart, 7-3, in front of a hefty crowd at Matthews Arena.

Northeastern started the scoring at 10:14 in the first period when Grant Jozefek slipped a puck past Sacred Heart goalie Brett Magnus (17 saves). Defenseman Eric Williams potted his first goal of the season just seven minutes later on a laser of a shot from the right faceoff dot that beat Magnus bar down.

The Huskies (1-0-0) would find the back of the net four more times in the second period. After Lincoln Griffin and Matt Filipe extended the Huskies lead to 4-0 at the 10:47 mark, the Pioneers (0-1-0) got one back just 13 seconds later courtesy of sophomore forward Vito Bavaro.

Any momentum that Sacred Heart built up was quickly lost, as Jozefek netted his second of the game just 1:08 later to extend the Huskies’ lead to four. Filipe scored his second of the game with just 13 seconds remaining in the period to send the Huskies into the locker room with a five-goal cushion.

Sacred Heart would put up a valiant effort in the third, scoring two quick power play goals on Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck (19 saves). Austin McIlmurray capitalized on a Biagio Liario tripping call at 3:32, and Stephen Hladin on a Nolan Stevens tripping call at 4:17.

Despite the momentum, Sacred Heart would fail to find the back of the net again for the rest of the night. Zach Solow put the cherry on top late in the third, scoring his first collegiate goal from just within the blue line at 15:56.

The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday night when they take on Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. Josh Brown, Dan McLoone and Patrick Milne will be on the call with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Hockey East Preview – Northeastern University

By: Josh Brown

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Head Coach: Jim Madigan (7th season)

Last Season: 18-15-5 (9-10-3 in HE, 8th); Lost to Boston University in Hockey East Quarterfinals

Losses: D Nick Fiorentino, D Jon Barry, F Sam Kurker, D Jake Schechter, F Zach Aston-Reese, F Brendan Collier, F John Stevens, F Tanner Pond, F Mike Jamieson, F Ryan Rosenthal

Newcomers: F Brandon Hawkins, F Drew Blackmun, F Austin Goldstein, F Eetu Selanne, D Ryan Solomon, D Billy Carrabino, F Brandon Schultz, F Bobby Hamtpton, F Zach Solow, G Cayden Primeau

A year after winning a much-coveted Hockey East title, Northeastern finished eighth in the regular season and was dominated by Boston University in the conference quarterfinals. While nobody expected the Huskies to continue their reign atop college hockey’s most competitive conference, last season served as a dose of reality that punched Northeastern fans right in the jaw. In addition, Hobey Baker hat trick finalist Zach Aston-Reese and captain John Stevens walked across the stage at the TD Garden in May, receiving their degrees and signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders respectively.

So why exactly are expectations so high for the Huskies this season both on and beyond Huntington Avenue?  The Hockey East coaches poll ranked Northeastern fifth. In addition, the Huskies begin the regular season ranked No. 14 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and No. 20 in the USCHO.com poll. This optimism starts with the fact that Northeastern returns 70 percent of its offensive output from a team that averaged 3.68 goals per game last season. Assistant captain Dylan Sikura enters his senior season with 92 career points and 56 career assists, which is good for fourth (tied) and seventh in the nation respectively among active players. In addition, Adam Gaudette has amassed 38 career goals in just two seasons, 21 of which have been scored on the power play (most in the nation). And while both Sikura and Gaudette are locks to be in the Hobey Baker discussion this year, don’t forget about Nolan Stevens. The senior captain enters 2017-2018 with 33 career goals and 43 assists despite only playing in 17 games last season due to injury. The three will anchor a power play unit that operated at a league best 27.9 percent last season.

But it’s not only the Huskies “Big Three” that will help carry the scoring load. Matt Filipe returns for his sophomore season after potting nine goals and 12 assists last season. Zach Solow, who earned first line minutes in the team’s 9-1 exhibition win over Prince Edward Island, led the USHL in scoring last season (18 goals, 51 assists). The Naples, Florida native was named the 2017 USA Hockey Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year and USHL Forward of the Year. If Grant Jozefek can bounce back after an injury-ridden freshman season and newcomers Brandon Schultz and Eetu Selanne (son of NHL great Teemu Selanne) can help provide solid third/fourth line minutes, the Huskies could very well have one of the most potent offensive attacks in the nation.

Defensively, the Huskies will look to improve upon a unit that allowed 2.97 goals per game last season (9th in Hockey East) and operated at a mediocre 82.7 percent on the penalty kill. With senior assistant captain Garret Cockerill, junior Eric Williams and sophomores Ryan Shea and Jeremy Davies all projected to be in the top-four again this season, expect to see the Northeastern defense make noticeable gains in 2017-2018. On the flip side, the aforementioned quartet brings a ton of firepower along the blue line. Cockerill finished sixth in the nation in points per game among defensemen (0.87) last season, and was one of only 16 defensemen in the country with at least 30 points. His 33 total points (7 goals, 26 assists) were the most for a NU defenseman since Jim Fahey in 2001-2002. In just four seasons combined between the three of them, Shea, Davies and Williams bring an additional 69 career points to the NU blue line.

But with all of that being said, the Northeastern goaltending situation is far-and-away the most intriguing storyline heading into the new season. Will Ryan Ruck retain his starting position? Will freshman sensation Cayden Primeau steal his job? Or will Jim Madigan platoon the two goalies much like Vermont and UConn has done in recent years? Let’s begin with Ruck, who has had one of the most interesting careers in Northeastern hockey history. Not only did the junior help deliver the Huskies’ first Hockey East title since 1988, but he currently ranks fifth on the program’s all-time wins list (38), holds the third best goals against average in program history (2.64) and the fifth highest save percentage (.903). With that being said, Ruck was statistically one of the worst goalies in all of Hockey East last season. Ruck ranked 11th in goals against average (2.94) and dead last in save percentage (.897) among goalies with a minimum of 40 percent of team minutes played. Primeau, on the other hand, has garnered the attention of the Northeastern faithful for almost two years now. The 6-foot-4 left-handed netminder is ranked No. 7 by NHL Central Scouting among North American goaltenders. In addition to playing with Lincoln in the USHL last season, Primeau was a member of the U.S. Junior Select Team that played at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge. Primeau played in three games, finishing with a 3-0 record and a .966 save percentage. He was selected by the Montreal Canadians with the 199th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. If Primeau can quickly adjust to NCAA play, expect him to see significant ice time this season.

Bottom Line: Northeastern may have one of the highest ceilings and lowest floors of any team in the nation. Seriously. If everything clicks, this team could be a legitimate Frozen Four contender. That would likely entail a Hobey Baker-esque campaign from both Gaudette and Sikura, as well as Primeau quickly adjusting to the NCAA game. But it’s not that far-fetched. On the other hand, the Huskies have a history of underperforming for large portions of the season. And that’s putting it lightly. While Jim Madigan will need his team to perform consistently for the whole season, don’t be shocked if the Huskies end up with a couple pieces of hardware this season.

Fall Sports Roundup: Men’s hockey coasts to exhibition win

Northeastern men's hockey cruised to a 9-1 win in their opening exhibition at Matthews Arena (Image Credit: GoNU).
Northeastern men’s hockey cruised to a 9-1 win in their opening exhibition at Matthews Arena (Image Credit: GoNU).

by Pete McKay

BOSTON — The Northeastern men’s hockey team routed Prince Edward Island in the first game of the season, an exhibition at Matthews Arena. The final score was 9-1, with four first-period goals coming from Grant Jozefek, Bobby Hampton, and Adam Gaudette twice, three second-period goals coming from Nolan Stevens and Dylan Sikura twice, and two third-period goals coming from Matt Filipe and John Picking.

The lone Prince Edward Island goal came late in the third period while on a power play after a high-sticking penalty by Northeastern forward Austin Goldstein. Goalies Ryan Ruck, Cayden Primeau, and Jake Theut combined for 31 saves in the three periods, with Ruck and Primeau combining for two shutout periods. This overwhelming victory promises good things for the team this season, including their regular season opener against Sacred Heart next Friday at Matthews Arena.

Women’s Hockey: Women’s hockey fought to a 1-1 tie Friday night against defending national champions Clarkson with a second-period goal by forward Shelby Harrington. They then lost to Clarkson 1-5 on Saturday, making them 0-1-1 for the season. They will play Boston University Friday and Saturday this upcoming weekend.

Men’s Soccer: Men’s soccer traveled to Hofstra Wednesday and played to a 1-1 tie. They then traveled to Drexel on Saturday where they lost 1-2 after an overtime goal in the 96th minute. They are now 2-6-2 for the season and will play Hartford on October 3rd.

Women’s Soccer: Women’s soccer defeated the College of Charleston 3-0 on Sunday, including a goal by senior Kayla Cappuzzo that placed her at 50 career points. They followed this with a 1-0 victory over Delaware. They are now 9-4-1 for the season and 3-0-1 within their conference.

Women’s Volleyball: Women’s volleyball defeated the College of Charleston 3-1 on Sunday, the 24th, and defeated Delaware 3-0 on Friday, the 29th. They remain undefeated within the conference and will take on Towson and William & Mary during the upcoming week.

Field Hockey: Field hockey defeated Vermont 6-2 Sunday, scoring 6 unanswered goals after falling behind 2-0. They then traveled to Towson, winning 2-1 with goals by Megan Barrett and Kellie Stigas. They play William & Mary and Hofstra in the upcoming week.

Swimming: The women’s swim team had their annual red vs black intrasquad exhibition to prepare for the season on Saturday, September 30th. The black team was victorious. They will start the regular season against Wagner on October 6th.

Gaudette, Sikura lead Northeastern to 9-1 exhibition win

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – The goals came early and often for Northeastern in its preseason exhibition match, as the Huskies nearly reached double digits in a 9-1 drubbing of Prince Edward Island at Matthews Arena on Saturday night.

The usual suspects secured their points for the Huskies, as Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette both finished the evening with two goals and two assists and captain Nolan Stevens added a goal of his own. Younger skaters also impressed for Northeastern, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead through one period before taking a 7-0 lead into the locker room through two.

Grant Jozefek got the scoring going for Northeastern just over six minutes into the game, batting down a puck in the air past Prince Edward Island goalie Matthew Mancina to mark the first goal of the season. Freshman Bobby Hampton got on the scoreboard a bit later before Adam Gaudette netted two straight goals to make it 4-0.

Sikura netted his first of the night just eight seconds into the second period and Stevens scored just 45 seconds later to make it 6-0. Sikura added his second with seven minutes left in the period to make it 7-0. Matti Filipe and John Picking tallies in the third period sandwiched the lone goal of the night for Prince Edward Island courtesy of Beau McCue.

Ryan Ruck (6 saves) and freshman Cayden Primeau (10 saves) combined for two shutout periods for the Huskies, while Jake Theut made 15 saves on 16 shots in the third period. Primeau, a highly-touted recruit, looked calm and poised in net while making several nice saves.

The rest of Northeastern’s young core looked strong, too. Freshman forward Zach Solow finished the evening with two assists and created numerous chances while paired with Stevens and Filipe on the top line, while several other underclassmen looked good during mop-up duty in the third period.

The Huskies will begin their season next week when they host Sacred Heart for two games at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Full coverage of both games will be available on WRBB.

 

Hockey East Preview – Boston College Eagles

By: Joseph Barbito

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Head Coach: Jerry York (23rd season)

Last Season: 25-15-4 (13-6-3 in Conference, tied 1st) Lost to UMass Lowell in Hockey East Championship

Losses: D Scott Savage, F Austin Cangelosi, F Chris Calnan, F Ryan Fitzgerald, F Matthew Gaudreau, F Colin White

Additions: D Michael Karow, F Logan Hutsko, F Casey Carreau, F Jacob Tortora, F Christopher Grando, F Aapeli Rasanen, D Kevin Lohan

You cannot stop Jerry York, you can only hope to contain him.

The odds looked grim on Chestnut Hill heading into 2016-17: the Eagles lost tons of key contributors including their stud goaltender, numerous goal scorers and role players. York, however, took his young team and filled all those gaps in and finished tied atop the Hockey East standings yet again. Led by seniors Austin Cangelosi (21-14-35), Ryan Fitzerald (12-19-31) and Matthew Gaudreau (8-27-35), the Eagles finished third in the conference in scoring. Backstopped by freshman phenom Joseph Woll (2.64 GAA and .913 sv%), it seemed York’s Eagles had not missed a beat from the Thatcher Demko era.

Taking a closer look at BC’s schedule shows a lack of consistency that ultimately burned them when it came to making the NCAA tournament, something that had become the norm for the Eagles. After starting the season with a loss to Air Force, BC rattled off a 10-1-1 streak to wrap up their first out-of-conference stretch and the early stages of their Hockey East slate. They then went 4-6-1 through December and the first half of January before rattling off four wins in a row. The Beanpot would prove to be their downfall as they lost their first-round game against BU and barely dropping the consolation game to NU on a controversial goal. In fact, after their win streak, BC finished the regular season 0-5-2.

Ultimately Boston College would make it to the Hockey East Finals before losing to the UML Riverhawks 4-3, ending their chances at an NCAA Tournament bid. Colin White (16-17-33) joined Ottawa of the NHL after two seasons on Chestnut Hill, and many mainstays of the Boston College team that had been terrorizing Hockey East moved on due to graduation. The most notable departures were among the senior class, including Cangelosi (118 career points), Fitzgerald (132 career points), and defenseman Scott Savage (71 career points) who anchored their top defensive pair as well as being named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team as well as the Hockey East Third Team All-Stars.

After a mass exodus to the pros in the summer of 2016, Boston College found itself lacking a junior class. It appears they will begin the 2017-18 season now with a gaping hole in their senior class as they were unable to fill that void. The oldest members of this Boston College team will be the junior class, headlined by their co-captains Casey Fitzgerald, Michael Kim, and Christopher Brown, and graduate transfer Kevin Lohan who had previously played at Michigan. Fitzgerald, a defenseman, and Brown, a center, are both draft picks of Buffalo in the NHL.

The Eagles currently have eight defensemen on their roster, which could turn out to be a strength for them if they stay healthy. Kim, Fitzgerald, Jesper Mattila, and Luke McInnis all have a shot at top four spots on opening night. Freshman defender Michael Karow will likely challenge early for top minutes, however, given his impressive track record with Youngstown in the USHL. He tallied 21 points in 58 games and was named to the All-Rookie Second team last year. Karow is 6’2” and 200lbs, and he seems to possess the physical skillset needed to perform at the NCAA level. Lohan is also a massive skater, at 6’5” and 217 lbs. He played three seasons with the Wolverines and was named an assistant captain in his final year in Michigan. He can provide solid depth at the blue line.

The forward group this year is entirely freshmen and sophomores, save for Brown and JD Dudek. Returners include David Cotton, Julius Mattila and Graham McPhee. The freshman class is also lackluster by Jerry York standards. Of all forwards brought in this season, only the Finnish forward Aapeli Rasanen was drafted in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Jacob Tortora, all 5’8”, 162 lbs of him, was ranked 165 by NHL Central Scouting amongst NA skaters, but remained undrafted. Tortora spent the last year on the US National U18 team and has a chance to make an impact if his speed and skill can overcome his size.

Other notable forwards joining the Eagles are Logan Hutsko and Casey Carreau. Hutsko was dealing with a neck injury last season and missed most of the year. Hutsko might need a year to adjust to the NCAA game given his lost year, but he does have a fair amount of skill and could improve under the tutelage of Coach York. Carreau is a product of the Thayer Academy as well as the Cape Cod Whalers. He averaged nearly 2 points a game while at Thayer. The Achusnet native will likely have a shot at some bottom six minutes given his scoring pedigree.

Bottom Line: All in all, this team does not look very impressive on paper. They have a very young roster with little defensive depth, their scoring has been evaporating with players leaving for the NHL and AHL, and there is no guarantee Woll can repeat his stellar season last year. That being said, this is Jerry York. This is BC. They just. Don’t. Lose. York was able to pilot a young team to the Hockey East Final last season, literally with one eye. I have no doubt in the capabilities of BC to get back to TD Garden this spring and challenge again for a Hockey East title.

Hockey East Preview – University of Massachusetts Lowell

By: Patrick Milne

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Coach: Norm Bazin (7th Season)

Last Season: 27-11-3 (14-7-1 Hockey East, 1st), Hockey East Champions, Lost to Notre Dame in Quarterfinals of NCAA Tournament

Additions: D Croix Evingson, F Chris Schutz (Red Shirt Junior), F Charlie Levesque, F Eriks Zohovs, D Anthony Baxter, F Cole Paskus, F Connor Sodergren

Losses: D Michael Kapla, F Joe Gambardella, F Evan Campbell, F C.J. Smith, D Dylan Zink

Coming off a very successful season, the defending Hockey East regular season and tournament champion UMass Lowell River Hawks look to replicate their success and make an even deeper run in the NCAA Tournament. However, while the team did not lose many players, they did lose a lot of their talent, headlined by the loss of captain Michael Kapla. Lowell looks to replace the talent they lost with six incoming freshmen, including the 211th pick in the NHL draft, Croix Evingson (Winnipeg Jets), and red-shirt junior Chris Schutz.

Last season was full of success for Lowell, winning the Hockey East regular season title with a conference record of 14-7-1. Overall, they had a record of 27-11-3, they were tied for first with Northeastern in goals per game (3.68), they were second in goals allowed per game (2.32), they had the second-best power play (27%), and they had second-best penalty kill (85.8%). The Riverhawks were also able to win the Hockey East Championship for the third time in five years, defeating the University of New Hampshire, Notre Dame, and Boston College in the process.

At the NCAA tournament, Lowell was able to easily advance past the first round with a 5-0 win over Cornell. However, in the second round, the Fighting Irish were able to get revenge on the team that defeated them 5-1 in the Hockey East Semifinals. In the intense quarterfinal game, Notre Dame defeated the Riverhawks 3-2 in overtime, thanks to three assists from Anders Bjork, two goals from Cam Morrison, and a game winning goal Andrew Oglevie.

The team success also translated to individual successes with Joe Gambardella, Michael Kapla and Dylan Zink being named Second-Team Hockey East All-Stars. Additionally, forward C.J. Smith was named Hockey East Tournament MVP, and senior defenseman Dylan Zink was named a Second-Team All-American at the Frozen Four. Joe Gambadella was honored with the 65th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Finally, the leader of the team, coach Norm Bazin, won the Hockey East Coach of the Year Award. All in all, it was a very impressive year for the UMass Lowell Riverhawks.

While Bazin would like to see his team make it to the Hockey East Finals for the sixth year in a row, he will have to deal with the challenge of replacing the seniors from last year, who made up a large portion of the River Hawks offense. Of their top five point getters from last year, four of them have graduated, including Joe Gambardella (18g, 34a, 52p), C.J. Smith (23g, 28a, 51p), Dylan Zink (10g, 26a, 36p), and Michael Kapla (3g, 27a, 30p). These four players were absolutely instrumental to Lowell’s success.

As a result, the River Hawks will look to senior forwards John Edwardh (19g, 20a, 39p) and Jake Kamrass (13g, 9a, 22p) to lead the offensive charge. They will also need production from sophomores Ryan Lohin (12g, 17a, 29p) and Kenny Hausinger (9g, 9a, 18p), both of whom had great rookie campaigns. Finally, Croix Evingson, who had 52 points in 59 games as a defenseman last year for the Shreveport Mudbugs in the North American Hockey League, will have to live up to high expectations in order for Lowell to be as effective offensively as they were last year.

On the defensive side, seniors Tyler Mueller and Chris Forney will be the main leaders. Sophomore Matias Goransson (5g, 18a, 23p) will also step into a top four defenseman role after having an impressive freshman year.

Finally, UMass Lowell will be relying heavily on their phenomenal sophomore goaltender, Tyler Wall. Wall, who started 34 games for the River Hawks last year, led Hockey East in goals against average (2.06), led in winning percentage (.716), and was 4th in save percentage (.918). Going into 2017-18 season, he is expected to be one of the top goaltenders next year.

Bottom Line: Going into the 2017-18 season, there are a lot of questions on whether or not this team will be able to replicate their success from last year. Having lost much of their offensive power and leadership, they will need their rising seniors to pick up where the graduated class left off. The River Hawks will also look to their sophomores, who had productive freshman years, especially goalie Tyler Wall, defenseman Matias Goransson, and forward Ryan Lohin, to further develop and be impact players all year. Furthermore, Norm Bazin has only been successful throughout his six-year tenure as head coach and has consistently found ways to be a top team in this very competitive Hockey East conference. In the end, while Lowell will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them to repeat, they will still be a formidable opponent.