No. 10 Northeastern scores four power play goals en route to 5-2 win over No. 15 Boston College

By: Josh Brown

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. –  The No. 10 Northeastern men’s hockey team came into Saturday night’s game against No. 15 Boston College with the best power play (26.1 percent) in Hockey East and the fourth best in the nation. It did not take long for the Huskies to put it on full display.

First period power play goals from Jeremy Davies, Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette put the game away early, and the Huskies (10-5-1, 8-3-0) cruised to a 5-2 win. Northeastern ended the night with four goals on the man advantage.

Cayden Primeau got the start in net for the Huskies, making 26 saves on the evening.

The win is Northeastern’s first at Conte Forum since March 7, 2008.

Davies got the action started for the Huskies, scoring his third goal of the season at the 7:27 mark of the opening period. Just moments after Garrett Cockerill rang a shot off the right post, Davies collected a Sikura pass in the high slot and sent a rocket past the stick-side of Boston College (9-7-2, 9-3-0) goalie Joseph Woll.

Less than seven minutes later the Huskies extended its lead to 2-0. Although Woll made the initial save on a Nolan Stevens shot, Sikura poked away at the puck in front of the net and jammed it home.

Matters only got worse from there for the Eagles. David Cotton was whistled for hooking and Aapeli Rasanen was assigned a game misconduct for hitting from behind at the 14:51 mark, giving the Huskies a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. Adam Gaudette quickly took advantage, beating Woll on a snipe from the high slot to put the Huskies up 3-0.

Northeastern would tack on another goal just over three minutes into the second period. Trevor Owens sent a weak shot on net from just above the left faceoff dot that avoided traffic and sailed into the top right corner. Ryan Edquist took over goaltending duties for Boston College following the goal.

Sikura continued the onslaught at the 7:33 mark, extending the Northeastern lead to 5-0 with his second power play goal of the game. After the Huskies won a draw in their own offensive zone, Sikura skated right into the slot and beat Edquist.

The Eagles would answer with two goals late in the period to cut the Huskies lead to 5-2. Michael Kim netted his fourth goal of the year at 14:23 and Christopher Brown struck on the power play at 16:56.

The two teams combined for just 15 shots in the third period, and Northeastern skated away with its third win in the month of December. It is the first time the Huskies have reached the milestone since 2011-2012.

The Huskies will be back in action next Saturday when they take on Merrimack at Lawler Rink. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame beginning at 6:45 p.m.

 

 

Huskies hang on against Vermont, 71-67

By Milton Posner

The Northeastern Men’s Basketball team hung on to beat Vermont, 71-67, in a riveting game that went down to the wire after staying close throughout the second half.

The Huskies have now won four straight contests, improving to 6-4 on the season and 5-0 at Matthews Arena.

Northeastern got 17 points from Donnell Gresham, 12 points from Vasa Pusica, and 16 points from Shawn Occeus, who nailed a clutch three-pointer with 1:45 to go that cemented the lead.

The Huskies built a double-digit lead in the first half on the back of stellar on-ball and team defense, amassing 11 steals on the night, including three from Gresham and three from Occeus.

“That’s my role on the team,” Occeus remarked after the game. “Bring energy on the defensive end every night. Go out there and give it my all. My teammates push me in practice and help me get better on the defensive end.”

The Huskies were able to overcome some first-half foul trouble, with Anthony Green, Vasa Pusica, and Bolden Brace all going to the bench prematurely with two fouls.

“We’ve got twelve players and I’m confident in each and every one of them,” head coach Bill Coen said. “I think it spoke to our depth at that point in time that we were able to lose Vasa and Anthony and Bo. We were playing a little shorthanded but everybody kinda stepped up and picked up the slack. It was a great team win.”

Vermont received a huge chunk of offense from sophomore forward Anthony Lamb, who logged 32 points and cashed in on all 15 of his free throw attempts.

“He had a hell of a game,” Occeus noted. “We just tried to make it tough on him every possession.”

The Huskies have a break for final exams, but will look to keep their momentum moving forward.

“Guys will take some time to get a little bit healthy, dig into their books on Sunday, attack their exams on Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll get back at it on Wednesday,” Coen commented. “We’ve got a big road trip coming up after exams. It will be another great challenge for us, another great opportunity to go out and compete against great programs.”

The Huskies will hit the road, playing December 18 (Kent State) and December 20 (St. Bonaventure), before starting conference play on December 30 against James Madison.

Huskies upend Bucknell, 82-64, on #PawsForPuertoRico night

By Michael Petillo & Rachel Santo

BOSTON — With former Northeastern standout and current Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea in attendance in an effort to help raise money to help his native Puerto Rico recover after their recent hurricane, Northeastern knocked off visiting Bucknell 82-64 in what was a consistent performance from start to finish on #PawsForPuertoRico night in Matthews Arena.

NU dominated with a plus 11 differential on the glass and scored 18 second chance points as they pulled away from the Bison early in the second half. Coach Bill Coen credited the second half surge to the team’s extensive depth.

“We’re allowed to stay fresh,” Coen said after the game.

“That doesn’t always present itself in the opening half, but in the second half I think our numbers really have an impact on the game.”

 Junior guard Vasa Pusica led the scoring for Northeastern with 17 on a crisp 7-10 shooting. Three other Huskies finished in double figures, including Anthony Green, who turned in a great second half performance of 11 points and 6 boards.

“I thought [Green] had his best game of the year,”  head coach Bill Coen said of his junior center.

“He got in quick foul trouble the first four minutes of the game, but I thought in the second half he gave us a huge lift and a gave us a presence in the paint”

For Bucknell, they were led by a couple of player of the year candidates in the Patriot League in senior forwards Zach Thomas and Nana Foulland.  The pair scored 15 and 13 points respectively, but it wasn’t enough on a night where the Huskies shot 53% from the field and moved the ball extremely well, finishing with 16 assists as a team.

Barea spoke to the crowd at halftime alongside Northeastern women’s basketball player Claudia Ortiz, also a Puerto Rico native. Coen was instrumental in helping Barea organize the fundraising event, which included a silent auction of signed Barea memorabilia and a donation drive that gave donors a “Los Huskies” T-Shirt.

“I think J.J. just jumped in with both feet,” Coen said.

“Being a Northeastern family member, we gravitated to that. We got some great support.”

Northeastern will face another tough mid-major opponent their next time out on December 9th, when the Catamounts of Vermont come into town.  Vermont is coming off a close loss to Bucknell and is currently ranked as the 4th best mid-major program in the country.

Gaudette scores two as No. 12 Northeastern completes weekend sweep over Merrimack

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON – On a night where they only managed to send 17 shots on Merrimack goalie Drew Vogler, the No. 12 Northeastern men’s hockey team proved that quality beats quantity in Hockey East.

Adam Gaudette scored two goals and Nolan Stevens added a third as the Huskies defeated Merrimack, 3-1, in front of 2,053 fans at Lawler Rink in North Andover.

Freshman Cayden Primeau made the start in net for Northeastern (9-5-1, 7-3-0), making 28 saves on the evening.

After a back-and-forth first period provided relatively little offense, Gaudette scored his nation-leading 26th career power play goal to give Northeastern a 1-0 lead at the 17:47 mark.

Although Logan Coomes would knot the score up at one early in the second, Gaudette scored again at the 12:46 mark to put the Huskies up 2-1.

Skating on the power play late in the second period due to a Brett Seney cross-checking penalty, Nolan Stevens potted his ninth goal of the season to give Northeastern a two goal cushion.

Merrimack (2-9-3, 1-6-1) only managed to send five shots on Primeau in the third period, and the Huskies were able to run out the clock and complete the weekend sweep.

Northeastern will be back in action on Saturday night when they take on Boston College at Conte Forum. WRBB will have complete coverage.

Gresham leads NU with 22, Huskies pull away from Cornell at home

By Michael Petillo

After a hotly contested back and forth first half of basketball between Northeastern and Cornell, it was the Huskies who pulled away in the second half to cruise to a 84-66 win.  Redshirt sophomore guard Donnell Gresham led the way with 22 points, 17 of which came after halftime.  Gresham also chipped in 9 rebounds and 4 for NU’s 16 steals.  Northeastern’s defense keyed two big second half runs that helped them put the Big Red away, as they forced 23 Cornell into committing 23 turnovers.  

Point guard Vasa Pusica netted 20 on the day and also contributed 6 assists.  It was the 3rd time in the last 4 games that the Belgrade, Serbia native has reached the 20-point mark.  Bolden Brace and Max Boursiquot also eclipsed double digit scoring, with 12 and 11 points respectively.  For Brace, it was an important game in getting him back on track after a slow start to the season shooting the ball.

“I think everybody that watched us last year recognizes how good of a player Bolden is,” said Coach Bill Coen after the game,

“We’ve been waiting for him to kind of get on track and today I thought he just played with that spirit and that energy he needed to be effective.”

Matt Morgan, the Ivy League’s leading scorer the past two seasons, led all scorers with 24 points on 7-12 shooting, but committed 5 turnovers and got little help from his supporting cast.

Northeastern will be in action next this Tuesday, December 5th when they take on the Bucknell Bison at 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena.

No. 12 Northeastern skates to 3-1 win over Merrimack

By: Josh Brown & Dan McLoone

BOSTON – After scoring just four goals in their last three games, Northeastern coach Jim Madigan wanted to see his team adapt a more aggressive mindset this weekend against Merrimack.

On Friday night, the Huskies did just that. Behind goals from John Picking, Nolan Stevens and Lincoln Griffin, No. 12 Northeastern (8-6-1, 6-3-0) skated away with a 3-1 win over the Warriors in front of 1,686 fans at Matthews Arena.

Cayden Primeau got the start in net for Northeastern, making 28 saves on the evening.

John Picking opened the scoring just under eight minutes into the game, redirecting a Garrett Cecere slapshot into the bottom corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Nolan Stevens doubled the lead three minutes later, tipping home a Dylan Sikura wrister from the blue line.

After being held to four shots in the first period, the Merrimack offense got going right out of the gates in the second. The Warriors doubled their shot tally in the opening two minutes, and kept the Huskies on their heels throughout the period while taking 17 shots. Lincoln Griffin canceled out all momentum that the Warriors seemed to have by poking home a rebound in the crease with 2:38 left in the period to make it 3-0.

Merrimack had its best opportunity at the halfway mark of the third period, after Matt Filipe was assessed a five-minute major for charging the goalie. Although Cole McBride beat Primeau 2:24 into the five-on-four, the Warriors could not score a crucial second goal to cut the deficit to one and the Huskies were able to run out the clock for the rest of the period.

Northeastern will be back in action on Saturday night when they take on the Warriors at Lawler Arena in North Andover. Josh Brown and Kyle Williams will have the call, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

MBB: Huskies upend Harvard, end four game skid

By Matthew MacCormack

BOSTON — After four straight losses on the road, the flashy new parquet of Matthews Arena was a welcome sight for the Huskies on Thursday evening. Northeastern (3-4) never trailed in a 77-61 rout of Harvard, ending their four game skid.

Redshirt junior point guard Vasa Pusica (22 points) led the Huskies in scoring for the third straight game, while also chipping in seven rebounds and four assists.

“Whenever we needed a big play, or a stop, or a bucket, or a free throw he stepped up and was huge for us this evening,” Northeastern head coach Bill Coen said after the game.

“That was the difference in the game.”

Sophomore guard Shawn Occeus notched 11 points along with three blocks and three steals. Senior Devon Begley added 14 points, with a six-of-six mark from the free throw line.

Sophomores Bryce Aiken (26 points) and Chris Lewis (20 points) carried the Crimson. No player scored more than four points.

The Huskies shook off their previous habit of starting slow and bolted out to a 32-11 lead in the game’s first 11 minutes, punctuated by threes from Pusica and Occeus.

After trailing by 20 with 4:46 left in the half, Harvard embarked on a 15-2 run — highlighted by seven points from Aiken — to pull the halftime deficit to single digits, 41-34.

The Crimson (3-5) never drew closer than six in the second half, despite building some momentum before the first half’s end. No one outside of Aiken or Lewis could provide any offense.

The Huskies also did well to limit turnovers after a mistake-heavy weekend in Nashville at the PK80 Challenge. NU turned the ball over just seven times, a season low.

Occeus was the defensive catalyst, skying up for a handful of blocks and forcing numerous turnovers.

“He’s a guy that can be a one-man presser,” Coen said of the sophomore wing.”

He’s got really quick feet and great size and length and strength. He is able to get up and block a shot.

After slow starts in their previous two contests, the Huskies were sparked by a change in the starting lineup. For the first time this year, the five-man lineup of Pusica, Donnell Gresham, Occeus, Max Boursiquot and Anthony Green opened the game for NU.

Next up for the Huskies is another Ivy League opponent in Cornell on Saturday. Tip-off at Matthews is slated for 4 p.m.

Furman coasts to 78-67 win over Northeastern in final game of PK80 Invitational

By: Matt MacCormack

Nashville, TN — The Furman men’s basketball team has four seniors — quadruple the number on Northeastern’s roster. That advantage was on full display Saturday afternoon, as the Huskies fell, 78-67 at Municipal Auditorium in the final leg of the PK 80 Invitational. 

Reigning Southern Conference Player of the Year Devin Sibley scored 22 points and added 10 rebounds as the experienced Paladins (4-2) handed the Husky pups their fourth straight loss. Redshirt junior Vasa Pusica scored 17 points to lead the Huskies (2-4) in scoring for the second straight game. 

“We ran into a team that’s kind of experienced,” said head coach Bill Coen after the game.

“[Furman] knows how to win. That’s what we’re figuring out as a young team.”

Sophomore Shawn Occeus (15 pts, 5 rebounds) drew his first start of the season, replacing classmate Max Boursiquot in the starting five. Junior Jeremy Miller posted a season-high 9 points in 12 minutes off the bench. 

The Paladins entered the second half with a 45-32 lead, and the Huskies never drew closer than eight points. Furman dominated in the interior, pulling down 14 offensive rebounds to the tune of 15 second chance points. 

The Huskies will head home for a matchup with Harvard on Thursday night at 7 p.m. As always, head to http://www.wrbbsports.com/listen-live/ for our call. 

Utah State escapes with narrow 71-67 win over Northeastern

By: Matt MacCormack

Nashville, TN — Northeastern refused to go quietly in Friday afternoon’s 71-67 loss to Utah State in a PK80 Challenge matchup at Municipal Auditorium.

The Huskies — who trailed by 8 points with 38 seconds remaining — brought the game to within one point on Vasa Pusica’s three-pointer with 9 seconds left. After a Utah State free throw, the Huskies again had a chance, down 69-67 with two seconds left. But Bolden Brace’s inbounds pass to Pusica landed out of bounds, and a pair of Aggie free throws iced the game in the final seconds.

Losers of three straight, the Huskies fell to 2-3. Pusica poured in a career-high 27 points on a very efficient nine of 12 from the floor. The redshirt junior also hit six of his eight three point attempts. 

Sophomore Sam Merrill led the way for Utah State (3-3) with 19 points. Junior DeAngelo Isby chipped in 14 off the bench and senior Alex Dargenton added 10 points.

Turnovers were clearly the problem all night long for the Huskies. The Aggies scored 24 points off of 20 Northeastern turnovers. NU also struggled with foul trouble, as the Aggies entered the double bonus with 7:06 remaining in the game.

A back and forth game featured six ties and 15 lead changes. Northeastern took a lead into halftime on a last second three from Pusica, who caught a baseball-style pass from Brace and hit a fadeway jumper as time expired. 

The Aggies took control of the game at the midway point of the second half. A 9-0 Utah State run — punctuated by a three-point play from Dargenton — turned a 50-47 deficit into a 56-50 Aggie lead.

Up next for Northeastern is another PK80 game against Furman, who dispatched UNH, 78-64, in the early game on Friday. Matt MacCormack and Josh Brown will be on the call.