BU Beats Northeastern 6-1, Huskies Sixth Seed in Hockey East

March 1st, 2015

By: Josh Brown

A night after Northeastern put up three first period goals on Boston University, the Terriers one-upped the Huskies, scoring four in the opening frame en route to a 6-1 victory on the last day of the regular season.

Boston University (21-7-5, 14-5-3) was led by freshman phenom Jack Eichel, who scored both the first and last goals of the game for the Terriers.

Dave Quinn’s team secured the one-seed in the Hockey East tournament before their own game even ended, thanks to a Notre Dame win over rival Boston College.

“I’d like to say how proud I am of this team,” Quinn said. “To finish first in this league is never easy.”

“It’s been a tough few weeks for us,” the second year head coach added. “To respond the way we did tonight after last night (a 6-5 loss to Northeastern) says a lot about our group, our resiliency, our leadership.”

The Huskies(16-4-4, 12-8-2), who came into the night looking for a potential bye in the first round of the tournament after starting the season 0-8-1, had their hopes slip away before the defeat even came final due to other results around the league.

Instead, Northeastern ends the year with the six seed, and will host Merrimack in a best-of-three beginning Friday night at Matthews Arena.

Huskies coach Jim Madigan served his second, and last game of a suspension handed by down Hockey East earlier in the week.

“I obviously had a different view of the game,” Madigan said after the final whistle blew. “When you get that view you get to analyze your team much closer.”

“I thought BU just established a game and really put us in uncomfortable situations, and we weren’t able to establish any of our game early. I was just disappointed with us not being able to establish our game…any forecheck down low…any neutral zone transition.”

Before the game Northeastern honored their four seniors, Adam Reid, Dax Lauwers, Torin Snydeman and goalie Clay Witt.

After an up-and-down opening couple minutes by the two teams, Eichel scored shorthanded to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead.

The North Chelmsford native took the puck in his team’s defensive zone, went coast-to-coast and was able to beat Witt for the early lead.

Just three and a half minutes later Ahti Oksanen, who played as a defenseman for the first time this season, scored his first of two goals on the night to increase the lead to two.

Skating in transition, the junior crashed the net on a J.J. Piccinich shot, found the rebound right on his stick and buried it into the back of the net.

With Trevor Owens off on a hooking penalty, BU wasted no time putting the Huskies in a three goal deficit.

Oksanen, who was playing on the goal line, took a Evan Rodrigues pass and flung it cross ice to Danny O’Regan who was able to stick tap it in.

Just under two minutes later Northeastern found some life, and cut the Terriers lead to two.

Reminiscent to the goal he scored in the Beanpot Championship game, Roy received a pass in transition, deked his way into the slot and beat Boston University net-minder Matt O’Connor over his shoulder.

Unfortunately for the Huskies, any hope to cut into the lead further was quickly squashed.

Just 26 seconds after the Roy goal, Matt Grzelcyk answered, putting a rocket from just inside the blue line through traffic and past Witt.

Quinn was more than pleased the way his team responded after a slow start last night.

“It certainly had nothing to do with the x’s and o’s,” Quinn said. “It had everything to do with each guy elevating their game.”

“Tonight from the get-go we did a much better job taking away time and space, being more physical with them, trusting each other and obviously we were opportunistic too.”

Both Boston University and Northeastern got several opportunities to score throughout the second period, but no one could capitalize until Ahti Oksanen scored his second of the game on the power play with under two minutes to go in the period.

Eichel put a hard shot on net that produced a juicy rebound, Oksanen was able to jam home to make it 5-1 Terriers.

With the game all but over, the two teams played a very conservative third period, electing to skate within the neutral zone and play dump and chase hockey.

With 3:19 left in the game and BU on the power play Quinn pulled starting goalie Matt O’Connor for the second consecutive night, but this time for a different reason.

Quinn elected to plug in graduate student Anthony Moccia, who had played just six total minutes in his career to ride out the Terriers victory.

“He’s a special person I’ll tell you that,” Quinn said. “I wish he had five more years.”

With time quickly expiring, Eichel, who had not scored a goal in the first two meetings between the teams, snagged his second of the night, the third power play goal of the game for BU.

“It’s a great line,” Quinn said of is first line of Eichel, O’Regan and Rodrigues. “They all have a work ethic to them. They’ve got great skills, they’ve got hockey intelligence.”

For Northeastern, Madigan reflected on tonight’s loss but was also confident his team will bounce back come next Friday.

“More than anything in the third period disappointed with our frustration and amount of penalties we took,” the fourth year head coach said.

“It was a little bit of a selfish play letting our frustrations show and taking dumb penalties. It’s suicide taking seven penalties against Boston University.”

“I think it was Bill Parcells who talked about it. Now we’re moving on to the tournament.”

This post can also be seen on uscho…follow Josh Brown on Twitter @josh_brown31

jbrown The Dog Pound

Beanpot Monday

February 23rd, 2015

Tune in to WRBB for our Beanpot Championship coverage, beginning tonight at 7:15PM.

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WRBB Sports The Dog Pound

Huskies Beat Maine 6-4, Unbeaten Streak at Nine Games

February 21st, 2015

After a pair of dominate wins against Connecticut last week, it was hard to imagine Northeastern could offer a repeat performance up at Alfond Arena this weekend.

For a while it looked like the Huskies would do just that, up 5-1 through two periods. The Black Bears would claw their way back scoring three third period goals, but Northeastern would hang on for a 6-4 win.

The win is Northeastern’s (15-11-4, 10-7-2) seventh in a row, and ups their unbeaten streak to nine games.

“I liked our start to the game,” said Huskies coach Jim Madigan. “In this league to get two points is critical at this stage of the season so we’re happy with the two points.”

The Huskies continue to get balanced scoring from all four lines, with freshman Dylan Sikura leading the way with two goals Friday night.

In net it was Clay Witt (24 saves) against Black Bears(12-18-3, 7-10-2) sophomore Matt Morris, who was pulled for Sean Romeo in the first period.

After putting up five first period goals in their series against UConn, Northeastern got right back to work in the opening frame opening up a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.

After not scoring on the Huskies red hot power play last Saturday, Northeastern made sure to do so just 1:50 into the game courtesy of Colton Saucerman.

Matt Benning took a shot from the blue line that created a juicy rebound in front of the net. Saucerman, who was parked out in front was able to get a stick on it and jam it home for the early lead.

Just 52 seconds later the Huskies would get another one, this time from Brendan Collier.

Trevor Owens broke out into the offensive zone and found a streaking Collier who was able to beat Morris over the shoulder.

Northeastern would keep piling on offensively, while the defense in front of Witt stepped up to the task, getting in passing and shooting lanes all period long.

At 10:41 in the first John Stevens threw a pass to Sikura who was able to skate in the slot and bury it home to make it 3-0 Northeastern. Six minutes later Zach Aston-Reese found a puck on his stick all alone in the crease that he was able to connect with to give Northeastern a 4-0 lead heading into the locker room.

Maine would cut the lead to three 7:36 into the second period, thanks to a Blaine Byron pass from behind the net that connected with Connor Leen for a one-timer to make it 4-1.

The Huskies would answer with under two minutes to go in the period when Mike Szmatula barreled into the slot and beat Romeo five-hole to regain a four goal lead for Northeastern.

Maine and Northeastern would trade goals to begin the third period, first by Ben Hutton of the Black Bears, then by Dylan Sikura of the Huskies, making the score 6-2 with 13:01 left to go.

Sikura’s goal, which came just 36 seconds after Hutton’s, was set up once again from his line-mate John Stevens.

“I thought we responded well after they scored,” Madigan said. “I just don’t like the way we were giving up the scoring opportunities and the goals.”

“When he (Sikura) gets the time and space around the net you see what he can do,” Madigan continued. “What he’s done is he’s starting to round out his game defensively.”

Cedric Lacroix would jam a rebound home after being left all alone in the crease to make it 6-3 with still 6:57 to go in the contest.

After a ferocious offensive onslaught continued, Maine would score again with the goalie pulled and just 1:23 remaining.

Lacroix put a hard shot on net that hit the knee of Witt and floated back into the slot. Brian Morgan was there and put it home to pull the Black Bears within two.

Unfortunately for Red Gendron’s squad it was too little too late, and the Huskies were able to come away with a 6-4 win.

“In the third period we let it go a little bit,” Madigan said. “We just didn’t play to our identity and we got sloppy.”

“We’ll have to be better defending at the net tomorrow.”

The two teams will meet again at Alfond Arena Saturday night at 7:00. Ryan Fallon and Josh Brown will be on the call with pre-game beginning at 6:45.

WRBB Sports The Dog Pound

Quickcast – Northeastern knocks off BC 3-2, heads to Beanpot Final

February 5th, 2015

The Huskies get a late, game-winning goal from Dustin Darou to knock off Boston College 3-2. Northeastern will take on the Boston University Terriers Monday night at 7:30 PM for the Beanpot trophy.

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Ryan Fallon The Dog Pound

Huskies Sweep Two-Game Set From Notre Dame

January 25th, 2015

By: Josh Brown

After being outplayed for the first two periods, a mere couple of moments flipped the script for Northeastern en route to a 4-2 win over Notre Dame Saturday night, sweeping the weekend series with the Fighting Irish.

Zach Aston-Reese scored just 2:06 into the third period and then again just 10 seconds later to give Northeastern a lead the Huskies would not relinquish.

“I thought our guys played hard today in the third period,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “I didn’t think we had the energy or sense of urgency in the first two periods.”

“I thought we played well in the first,” added Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. “I thought we played okay in the second and then they took over the game in the third.”

Clay Witt was back in net for Northeastern after Derick Roy got the last three nods between the pipes for the Huskies. Cal Petersen manned the crease for Notre Dame, coming up on the losing end of both games this weekend.

A bright spot for Notre Dame on the weekend was the power play. After coming into the series hovering around eight percent, the Irish scored two in the game, which brought their total to three for the two-game set.

“We finally found some chemistry with two different groups,” said Jackson. “That’s 90 percent of it.”

That is exactly how Notre Dame scored the first goal of the game – on the man-advantage.

With Garret Cockerill in the box for tripping, Thomas DiPauli found a loose puck in the slot and fired it over the shoulder of Witt for the 1-0 lead.

Only seven shots were taken between the two teams in the opening frame, with Northeastern only getting a measly two of them. The latter of the two Northeastern put into the back of the net.

Mike McMurty brought the puck into the offensive zone for the Huskies and found a streaking Dalen Hedges, who roofed it over Petersen for his seventh goal of the year.

In addition to Saturday, Hedges had two goals Friday night in the Huskies’ 3-2 win.

It was a chippy opening frame between the teams, with a combined 10 penalty minutes being served.

Shots started to pick up in the second period with Notre Dame outshooting Northeastern 11-9, but neither team was able to light the lamp.

The best chance of the period came for Northeastern’s Torin Snydeman when he found a puck on his stick right in the crease, but Petersen was able to get over for the save.

“I thought they beat us to some pucks,” Madigan said of the first two periods. “They wanted it more than us for the first two periods.”

In the locker room between the period, things changed for Northeastern, who were determined to seize the chance they had in front of them.

“They realized we have a great opportunity here in front of us,” Madigan said. “There’s a team whose a point ahead of us, so we can jump them in the standings.

“The strategy was simple – let’s throw everything we can at them and see how we go.”

That strategy paid off quickly for Northeastern.

Aston-Reese scored his first of two right off the bat. Cockerill threw a long clear off the boards and Aston-Reese got to it with open ice in front of him. He capitalized and shot it top shelf to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead.

Right on the ensuing faceoff, Mike Szmatula rushed to the net and found Aston-Reese who snuck it around the post.

“We just kept it simple,” Aston-Reese said. “I can’t really remember, I kind of blacked out a little bit.

“We’ve been working on that all week, getting pucks at the net and driving the net hard. [We] just stuck to it.”

Northeastern held on to the two-goal advantage for over 13 minutes until the Irish made it a ballgame again.

With Nolan Stevens off for interference, Notre Dame once again crashed the net and was rewarded when Anders Bjork skied a puck past Witt to make it 3-2.

Unfortunately for the Irish, any hope of a comeback was quickly dashed.

With 2:52 left to go in the game Szmatula brought the puck from behind the net, took an off-angle shot and put it over the shoulder of Petersen for the 4-2 lead.

“In the third period, even though we didn’t have great legs, we found a way to play a little smarter, dig a little deeper, and get that one big shift,” Madigan said.

Next up for Northeastern is the Beanpot, where the Huskies will face Boston College in the semifinals on Feb. 2.

For Jackson’s squad, the weekend sweep drops the Irish to seventh in the Hockey East standings.

“They [Northeastern] do a great job defensively,” Jackson said. “We need to keep the puck moving. The puck stalls and then we get outnumbered and it’s out of the zone.

“We didn’t keep the puck moving in the offensive zone.”

This article can also be found on USCHO…Follow Josh Brown on Twitter @josh_brown31

jbrown The Dog Pound

Hedges Lifts Northeastern Past Notre Dame

January 24th, 2015

By: Josh Brown

Northeastern has sure had a flare for the dramatic in the team’s current 8-2-3 stretch after starting out the year an abysmal 0-8-1.
It was the same and song dance Friday night for the Huskies, who scored with just 1:30 left to pick up much-needed Hockey East points in a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame.

Dalen Hedges’ second goal of the night proved to be the winning one when he collected a one-timer from linemate Mike McMurtry and shot it past Irish goalie Cal Peterson.

“I saw ‘Kev’ [Kevin Roy] make a really nice play to ‘Murch’ [McMurtry],” Hedges said. “I saw we had a two-on-one. I knew Murch could get it to me there so I just got open.”

Derick Roy made his third start in a row for Northeastern (9-11-4, 4-7-2), stopping 21 of the 23 saves he saw on the night. Petersen was much more active in having to face 37 shots in the loss.

The defeat drops Notre Dame (10-12-3, 5-3-3) to 1-1-4 in the team’s last six games.

A scoreless first period was not without plenty of chances with most of the grade-A opportunities coming for Northeastern. The Huskies outshot Notre Dame 16-5 in the opening frame, but Petersen was up to the task, stopping every shot he faced.

“[Petersen] was outstanding,” said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. “He did what he had to do. I challenged him this morning because he’s slowly taking over our No. 1 job.

“That’s what he’s capable of; it’s just a matter of him doing it on a nightly basis.”

Northeastern would once again come out firing in the second period, taking a 1-0 lead with just under three minutes gone in the frame.

Dustin Darou fed Kevin Roy in the slot, who proceeded to rip it over the shoulder of Petersen and into the back of the net for Roy’s 11th goal of his junior campaign.

Midway through the second, Derick Roy made the save of the night robbing Mario Lucia of a goal as he went side to side in a hurry to save a puck Lucia was trying to gently tap into the net.

A couple minutes later on the power play, the Huskies took a 2-0 lead via Hedges.

With bodies scrambling in front of the net, jamming away at a lose puck, Hedges came flying in and with his back turned, put a shot towards the cage that ended up beating Petersen.

“I just wanted to get it on net,” Hedges said. “I think we had about three wacks at it there. I just figured put it on net, maybe another rebound, maybe it’ll go in, and it ended up working out.”

“I thought we played really well for the first two periods,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “I liked the way we pressured the puck [and] I liked the way we were attacking.”

In what was a surprising move early in the third, Notre Dame elected to take a power play over a penalty shot after Matt Benning intentionally covered the puck in the crease for Northeastern.

With their power play only hitting around eight percent on the season, the decision ended up paying off as Lucia buried a one-timer to bring Notre Dame within one.

The Irish continued to chip away, scoring the equalizer with just 6:45 remaining.

Jake Evans brought the puck through the neutral zone, dumping it off for Sam Herr, who proceeded to fire a rocket from just inside the blue line that got through traffic in front of the net, and behind Roy.

With both teams letting the final couple minutes come to them, Northeastern found its chance with 1:30 left on the Hedges game-winner to send the Huskies’ faithful home happy with the win.

“We had a lot of belief on the bench,” Hedges said. “We knew Derick would shut the door for us. We allowed them to get in the game, and that was a big goal.”

jbrown The Dog Pound

Huskies Beat, Tie Vermont

January 18th, 2015

They took care of business when it mattered.

The Northeastern Huskies traveled up to Burlington, Vermont to play the #9 University of Vermont Catamounts over the weekend, winning on Friday night, while tying a non-conference matchup Saturday. The non-conference game was due to the Wildcats traveling down to Matthews Arena earlier in the year, defeating the Huskies 6-2 in that matchup.

Derick Roy got the start in net both nights for Northeastern (8-11-4, 4-7-2 Hockey East), stopping 50 of the 53 shots he faced on the weekend. Mike Santaguida was between the pipes for Vermont (15-6-2, 7-4-1 Hockey East) on Friday with Brody Hoffman getting the nod on Saturday.

Northeastern drew first blood on Friday via Hobey Baker candidate Kevin Roy.

Roy had a breakaway going down ice and was able to beat Santaguida over his glove to net his ninth goal of the year, and give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

Vermont would answer later in the period, on a power play goal from the fourth ranked unit in the nation on the man advantage.

Mike Paliotta one-timed a pass from line-mate Alexx Privatera past Roy for the equalizer.

Torin Snydeman put the Huskies up 2-1 in the second period when he was able to find open ice, and roof the puck over Santaguida for the lead.

Northeastern would tack two more on the third, one from Mike McMurtry which beat Santaguid five-hole, and another from Mike Szmatula who cleaned up a rebound in the slot. Vermont would have no answer, with the Huskies coming away with the 4-1 win.

Vermont would come out firing on Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead just minutes into the game when Brady Shaw scored 5-on-3 for the early goal.

Northeastern would answer with 5:13 left in the period off a Mike McMurtry tip on a Matt Benning slap shot from the blue line to tie the game at one.

The Catamounts took a 2-1 lead in the second period, again on the power play, off of a Colin Markison goal. Markison redirected a shot by Paliotta into the back of the net.

Again, the Huskies would answer tying the game on yet another Kevin Roy goal. Roy had a clean break going down ice, and with no hesitation shot it over the glove of Hoffman and into the back of the net.

Both teams had several chances in both the third and overtime, ending the non-conference tilt in a tie.

Northeastern will host Notre Dame on both Friday and Saturday, with complete coverage on WRBB.

jbrown The Dog Pound

Northeastern Ties, Looses to Boston College in Weekend Set

January 10th, 2015

By: Josh Brown

Boston College and Northeastern were desperate for Hockey East points coming into this weekend’s home-and-home set. The Eagles were able to get three of them.

Following a 1-1 tie at Matthews Arena Friday night, the Eagles capitalized on home ice, beating the Huskies 4-2 in what was an overall success of a weekend for Jerry York’s team.

“I think we’ve gradually improve as a team in all facets,” York said. “Our goaltendings better, just our overall team play is better.”

The Eagles (12-7-2) came into the game 7-2-2 in their last 11 games after a mediocre 5-5 start to begin the year. Northeastern (7-11-3), similarly entered the matchup on a 7-3-2 tear of their own after starting the year 0-8-1.

All eyes were on goalies Thatcher Demko and Clay Witt on Saturday afternoon, after the two put on a goaltending clinic in Friday’s tie, combining to stop 50 of the 52 shots they faced.

“I thought their goaltender was really good,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “He made some terrific saves.”

“And us not being able to execute on the power play, which we’ve been very good [at] this year were the two difference makers in the game.”

Even with two 5-on-3 opportunities the Huskies could not capitalize, despite entering the game with a red hot power play that tallied their fifth goal on the man advantage of the week Friday night.

Northeastern drew first blood on Saturday at the 8:40 mark of the first period courtesy of Torin Snydeman.

Mike Szmatula, who was standing directly to the right of Demko, dished the puck out in front to Snydeman who slipped it into the back of the net.

Northeastern continued to threaten the Eagles, including a rocket from Nolan Stevens that Demko was able to catch with the glove.

Boston College would tie the game at the 18:03 mark of the first period on Mike Matheson’s second goal of the season. The defenseman took a wrist shot off a pass from Teddy Doherty that sailed over the shoulder of Witt.

It only took the Eagles 52 seconds to take the lead on Chris Calnan’s first of two goals on the night. The sophomore found a rebound floating in front of Witt, and amid a platoon of bodies in the crease buried it home.

“I didn’t think we had a lot of energy to start the game,” Madigan said, “I don’t know what it was, we just didn’t have that sense of urgency.”

“I think by scoring the first goal it might of been a false hope of impression there that we were playing well,” Madigan continued. “It’s not like we were playing bad, we were just average.”

Northeastern came out firing in the second period, out-shooting the Eagles 17-9. Thatcher Demko continued to hold the fort, stopping everything and anything in his sight.

Midway through the period, even with Ryan Fitzgerald in the box for an elbowing penalty, Calnan scored his second of the night to make it a two-goal game.

Calnan, who was standing behind Witt, sent a shot off the back of his pads and into the net for the short handed goal. It would stand as the only goal of the period.

Three penalties were taken in the first five minutes of the third period (two by Northeastern), with neither team able to capitalize. At the 13:26 mark of the period the Huskies made it a ball game.

John Stevens gave Trevor Owens a pass at the blue line that he quickly fired on goal. After Demko was able to make the initial stop, Ryan Rosenthal crashed the net and buried the rebound home to pull the Huskies within one.

Immediately following the goal Zach Aston-Reese got called for a tripping penalty, giving Boston College a man advantage. Like the Eagles have done so many times over the years against the Huskies, they capitalized, putting the game away once and for all.

Adam Gilmour took a pass from Zach Sanford and quickly one-timed it on Witt. The puck sailed through a couple defenders and eventually into the back of the net to make it 4-2.

Northeastern would pull Clay Witt with 48 seconds remaining, but nothing materialized, giving Boston College the win.

“I thought similar to last night Thatcher gave us a great base to win the hockey game with,” York said.

“Special teams, the power play goal, the ability to kill those two 5-on-3′s and just a 60-minute play from Thatcher Demko was the catalyzed that hold serve these home-and-homes.”

This article can also be found on uscho…Follow Josh Brown on Twitter @josh_brown31

jbrown The Dog Pound

NOTES: Northeastern Defeats Yale 3-2

January 7th, 2015

By: Josh Brown

Some notes and observations from Northeastern’s 3-2 win over Yale Tuesday night. Big thanks to Northeastern Sports Information for the notes.

NOTES:

  • Kevin Roy’s goal at the 15:40 mark of the second period was his 100th career point.
  • Roy’s the 47th player in team history to reach the feat.
  • Roy is also only the 21st player in team history to do it in three years or less.
  • Mike McMurtry’s game winning goal with 3:14 left was his first of the season.
  • The Northeastern power play has  9 goals in the last three games.
  • Matt Benning has five assists in his last four games.

OBSERVATIONS:

    That stat about the Huskies power play is not at all deceiving. They are on fire. For a team who used to dread the man advantage, these past few weeks have been a pleasant surprise.

    Derick Roy has stepped up huge. His 2-5-1 record is no indication of his play. The past two games is a very encouraging sign for next year, when he will have an even bigger responsibility in net with a young goal tending platoon.

    Northeastern needs to stop playing dump and chase hockey. The Huskies are a very good passing team. When they get in their own offensive zone and move the puck around they are a force to be reckoned with.

    60-minutes. How many times do we need to say it. The Huskies HAVE to play consistent 60-minute games. They are going to get burned in league play the second half of the year playing a period and a half.

    Physicality will be huge against Boston College. When Northeastern is clicking they are a dominating team along the boards and in front of the net.

    Even when they’re not scoring that third line with Stevens x2 and Rosenthal does all the little things. They do not take a shift off.

    NU is going to need an Aston-Reese moment at some point sooner than later. He’s been relatively quiet lately. Look for him to have a breakout performance soon (what better time than BC).

WRBB will have full coverage of Northeastern-BC. Ryan Fallon and Josh Brown will be on the call both Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m.).

jbrown The Dog Pound