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Huskies hockey at the winter break

December 18th, 2010

Northeastern doesn’t play another next game until January, but the Huskies been receiving plenty of attention (on the men’s and women’s side) as the winter break continues. First, on Wednesday Jim Connelly talked about Northeastern’s one weakness – scoring.

Northeastern’s offense ranks 51st nationally, though ironically is only the 8th of 10 in Hockey East (Massachusetts-Lowell and Vermont are worse). The Huskies have scored just 35 goals in 16 games. Putting that into perspective, Miami’s Carter Camper, the nation’s leading scorer, has factored into 35 goals for the RedHawks himself.

For the Huskies, though, the goals aren’t coming. Wade MacLeod and Tyler McNeely are doing what most expected them to do and that’s lead the team in scoring, but they’ve done so with just six goals apiece. Those two are the only two players on the team with double digits in points.

So when Greg Cronin was asked what he wants his team thinking about throughout the break, his answer was simple.

Scoring goals,” Cronin said. “We don’t score enough. Defensively we’ve been really good. We’ve had nine losses and seven of the nine have been nail-biting down to the end and we haven’t won. That gets old talking about that.”

First half grades are always fun, as we gave our own assessments of teams at the break on Hockey East This Week. Here, the New England Hockey Journal chimes in:

The Huskies haven’t fallen quite as hard as UMass-Lowell, but the timing is sort of the same. Not two years ago, Northeastern was being eyed for its first Beanpot win since 1988 and made a deep postseason run. But the ship got going in the wrong direction, and the Huskies are now looking at a second half in which they have only a tenuous grip on seventh place.

On the women’s side, it’s a young Huskies team that’s once again knocking on the door for a national tournament appearance, bobbing in and out of the 10th spot in the rankings. Credit goes to the leadership in goaltending, and contributions from freshmen:

Any question marks were in front of the goal. But through one semester, Northeastern has done a decent job providing answers.

The 10th-ranked Huskies are 10-4-4 (3-3-3 Hockey East) heading into the holidays. And a lot of credit goes to their youth. Of their top six point producers, only senior defenseman Julia Marty isn’t a freshman or sophomore.

“I’m not surprised where we’re at, record-wise,” said coach Dave Flint (Merrimack, N.H.). “I know we have a pretty good team. We struggled early on, so I like where we are from Day 1.”

Huskies hockey returns to WRBB when the men’s squad visits UMass to wrap up the Holiday Road Trip on January 7th at 7:00 p.m. The next women’s game on WRBB Sports Extra is January 15th when the Huskies host Maine.

WRBB Sports Hockey

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