Hockey East Preview – University of Connecticut Huskies

By: Dan McLoone144414a

Head Coach: Mike Cavanaugh; 5th season

Last Season: 12-16-8 (8-10-4 in HE, 9th); Lost to Northeastern in HE first round

Losses: F Brian Morgan, G Rob Nichols, F Evan Richardson, F Tage Thompson,

Newcomers: D Adam Karashik, F Brian Rigali, F Zac Robbins, G Bradley Stone, F Evan Wisocky

The other Huskies of Hockey East have slowly improved in each year of Mike Cavanaugh’s regime, upping their conference record by two wins despite missing out on hosting a home playoff series last year. With the graduation of Evan Richardson and Rob Nichols, the last two players from UConn’s days in the Atlantic Hockey Association are gone and the transition to Hockey East is complete.

Richardson and Nichols are two of just four total departures for the Huskies, but they are all big ones. Nichols served as the squad’s starting goaltender and a strong locker room presence for two and a half years before incumbent Adam Huska burst onto the scene last year, but his 2.66 career GAA is second best all-time in program history. In Richardson (six goals, 16 assists) and Brian Morgan (seven goals, seven assists), the Huskies lose two experienced scorers. But the biggest blow is the loss of Tage Thompson, who chose to forfeit his final two years of eligibility to sign with the St. Louis Blues after a stellar sophomore campaign that saw him score a team-high 19 goals to go with 13 assists and a nod on the All-Hockey East Third Team.

Despite the loss, the Huskies retained the rest of their talented attacking core. Leading the way in his junior season will be Maxim Letunov, an Arizona Coyotes prospect who led the team with 20 assists to go with his seven goals. He will be joined by seniors Spencer Naas (15 goals, seven assists) and Kasperi Ojantakanen (six goals, 10 assists) and juniors Max Kalter (four goals, 16 assists) and Karl El-Mir (nine goals, five assists) to create two dangerous lines in Storrs. The incoming freshman trio of Brian Rigali, Zac Robbins and Evan Wisocky will look to make an impact right away, and expect sophomore Benjamin Freeman to vastly improve on his freshman showing of 12 points with more ice time this year.

UConn returns their entire crew on the blue line from last year, led by second-year team captain Derek Pratt. He is joined by some physical and towering bodies, as senior David Drake (6-6), juniors Miles Gendron (6-3) and Joseph Masonius (6-2), and sophomores Wyatt Newpower (6-4) and Philip Nyberg (6-4) make the Huskies one of the most imposing defensive teams in the conference. Masonius and junior Johnny Austin have both shown their ability to generate opportunities on the attack, logging 11 and eight assists respectively last year.

New York Rangers draft pick Adam Huska returns in net for the Huskies, who will look for another step forward from their youngster. A member of an impressive freshman goalie class in Hockey East last year, Huska took over from Rob Nichols as the starter and posted a .916 save percentage and a 2.87 GAA. At 6-4 and 205 pounds, Huska has the size of a prototypical goalie, and any improvement from last year’s effort will make UConn a formidable defensive team.

Bottom Line: Despite losing Tage Thompson, the offense is still capable of producing goals. The talent is there, but Cavanaugh’s squad will have to find out who will step up as the go-to scorer. The defense will be the strong suit here, though. The Huskies won’t be able to consistently pot four goals a night, so the team will go as far as the returning defense and goalie take them. Look for Huska to take a big step forward in his second year. The size of the defense will make it tough for any team to bully the Huskies physically, but fast teams might be able to net some quick goals. Expect UConn to improve on their eight conference wins from last year and host a first round playoff series.

Hockey East Preview – University of New Hampshire Wildcats

By: Patrick Milne

Coach: Dickunh-logo Umile (28th Season)


Last Season:
15-20-5 (7-11-4 Hockey East, 10th); Lost to UMass Lowell in Hockey East Quarterfinals.

Additions: D James Miller, D Max Gildon, F Kohei Sato, F Eric MacAdams, F Charlie Kelleher, D Benton Maass, G Mike Robinson

Losses: D Matias Cleland, F Jamie Hill, D Dylan Maller, F Tyler Kelleher


As the Wildcats look to the 2017-18 season, they hope to improve on their lackluster 15-20-5 record and a 10th place finish in Hockey East last year. Losing only four seniors from last year’s team, UNH will undoubtedly be a more experienced team than they were last year. However, they did lose two critical players in defenseman Matias Cleland (3g, 32a, 35p) and Hobby Baker Finalist Tyler Kelleher (24g, 39a, 63p), who was tied with Northeastern’s Zach Aston-Reese for most points in all of college hockey. Yet, the Kelleher name is not completely gone from New Hampshire, as Tyler’s younger brother Charlie will step into the spotlight this season. While nobody expects the young Kelleher to put up the numbers his brother did last year, expectations are still high for the freshman to be an impact player.

After their tenth-place finish in Hockey East last year, the UNH Wildcats have significant work to do if they want to be a competitive team. The team will need to improve both offensively and defensively, as they only scored 3.1 goals per game (7th in Hockey East) and allowed 3.4 goals per game (10th in Hockey East). Additionally, New Hampshire’s penalty kill was ranked third to last. The only bright spots for the team was their disciplined play, which led to them taking the fewest penalties, and their power play, which was third best with a success rate of 21.2%.

While the Wildcats have holes to fill and improvements to make, it is not all bleak for this team. With the loss of their best offensive asset in Kelleher, the new leaders for the 2017-18 season will be seniors Michael McNicholas and Jason Salvaggio, who both had impressive junior seasons with 42 and 36 points respectively, as well as Ottawa Senator’s draft pick Shane Eiserman, who had 13 points in the 27 games he played. In addition to those seniors, sophomores Patrick Grasso (20g, 13a, 33p), Liam Blackburn (9g, 9a, 18p) and Brendan van Riemsdyk (5g, 10a, 15p) will be expected to build on their rookie campaigns to spark this Wildcat offense. UNH was also able to recruit some potentially impactful freshman in Charlie Kelleher and Kohei Sato. Kelleher had a great year last season in the USHL, first playing for the Tri-City Storm, netting 33 points in 40 games. Kelleher was then traded to the Sioux City Musketeers, where he had 18 points in 21 games, and helped the Musketeers get to the championship series with 10 points in 12 playoff games. The other especially noteworthy freshman, Kohei Sato, who was born in Japan, had 36 points in 48 games for the Northeast Generals of the North American Hockey League. The Wildcats hope these two players will be able to make the transition to this level of play and start proving themselves as soon as possible.

Though UNH looks to have decent offensive fire power, the real questions lie in their defense and goaltending. Senior Cameron Marks will be relied upon heavily in the upcoming season, as he is the only defenseman who had a positive plus/minus. Other than Marks, senior Dylan Chanter, junior Matt Dawson, and sophomore Anthony Wyse will be looked upon to help lead the defensive core. With that being said, coach Dick Umile was able to bring in two recruits who could significantly help this defensive core. Most notable is Max Gildon, who was drafted 66th overall by the Florida Panthers. The 6’3”, 192-pound Texan played for the United States in the IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring 6 points in 7 games. He will surely be expected to contribute right away.

In between the pipes, UNH does not appear to have many great options. Last year they relied heavily on Daniel Tirone, who finished second to last in GAA (2.99) and 11th out of 14 in save percentage (.910). While not all of the blame can be put on Tirone, there still remains questions on whether or not he can perform at a high enough level to keep this team in tight games. Despite Tirone not having the best performance last year, there may not be a better option. The other net minders on the team are untested sophomore Joe Lazzaro, who only appeared in one game, freshman Mike Robinson, and senior Adam Clarke, who has only won 7 games in 25 starts throughout his three years. UNH will need one of these goalies to step up and be able to perform consistently if they want to be in the upper half of Hockey East.

Bottom Line: In Dick Umile’s last season as head coach before retiring, he has his work cut out for him to get his team back in the top half of the league, let alone getting to a Hockey East Championship. While losing a Hobby Baker finalist will always leave a big hole, and the loss of Tyler Kelleher is no exception to this, UNH does have some talented seniors, sophomores, and freshman who may be able to fill in that hole. The Wildcats main problems lie in their defense and goalies, who will need to improve significantly in order for them to win games, especially against high-powered offenses. While I don’t see UNH being a top five team, I do think they will improve from their 10th place finish last year and could see them placing 6th if things go well for them in the upcoming 2017-18 season.

 

 

 

Hockey East Preview – University of Maine Black Bears

By: James Duffy

6108_maine_black_bears-secondary-1999Coach: Red Gendron; 5th season

Last Season: 11-21-4 (5-15-2 Hockey East, 11th); Lost to Vermont in HE First Round

Losses: F Cam Brown, F Blaine Byron, D Eric Schurhamer, G Matt Morris

Newcomers: F Adam Dawe, F AJ Drobot, F Brent Hill, F Kevin Hock, F Adrian Holesinsky, F Jack Quinlivan, F Eduards Tralmaks, F Emil Westerlund, F Tim Doherty, F Canon Pieper, D Alexis Binner, D Simon Butala, D Brady Keeper, D Cam Spicer

It was another disappointing year last season the once prolific Maine Black Bears. Legendary coach Red Gendron is entering a pivotal year in Orono after a third consecutive losing season, and he has a difficult task on his hands. Despite not being a senior-heavy team last season, fourth years carried almost all of the offensive load for Maine. Blaine Byron and Cam Brown racked up 41 and 39 points respectively as one of the most prolific duos in the nation, but no other Black Bear reached 25 points. Ultimately Maine sputtered down the stretch after a promising start, going 1-8-1 in their final 10 contests including a sweep at the hands of Vermont in the conference tournament.

Looking ahead, Maine has holes to fill. The offense will rely on Nolan Vesey and Chase Pearson to build on strong campaigns from last year and hopefully help soften the losses of Byron and Brown. After a lackluster sophomore season, Vesey matched a career high with 23 points last year, but will need to improve upon that if he wants to be the focal point in the Black Bears’ offense. Pearson, a 5th round pick by Detroit in 2015, needs to avoid the kind of sophomore slump Vesey suffered from and continue to build upon his impressive rookie season. Mitchell Fossier and Patrick Shea, Pearson’s classmates, will too be expected to take a step forward after recording 16 points each as freshmen.

For the offense to succeed, however, some of the newcomers need to contribute. Maine will add 10 forwards this season, eight freshman recruits and two transfers. Tim Doherty came over from Brown and Canon Pieper transferred from Quinnipiac, and the Black Bears expect both to make immediate contributions.

Swedish newcomer Emil Westerlund is the most intriguing incoming freshman, a 6-foot-1 winger who potted 28 goals in the Swedish Elite U-20 league, before scoring three times in four games for the Swedish junior national team.

The blue line suffered just one loss, assistant captain Eric Schurhamer, and could be improved from last season. Rob Michel had a breakout sophomore season, leading all defensmen in scoring after not recording a goal in his freshman year. Patrick Holway impressed in his rookie season with 13 points, and veterans Mark Hamilton, Sam Becker and Stephen Cochrane are just some of the established Maine defenders set to return.

The Maine defense will have some scoring prowess, and incoming freshman Brady Keeper could help chip in immediately. Keeper tallied 48 points in 48 games, while earning MVP honors in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

In goal, Rob McGovern will be back as the starter for his junior season. The loss of Matt Morris hurts, but his senior season was by far the worst of his NCAA career. In 11 games, he posted a goals allowed average of 4.27. McGovern, on the other hand, had a .912 save percentage and a 2.99 GAA, taking strides from his freshman season with the team. McGovern is the most important cog on the Maine team which has average offense and defense. They need him to improve, especially in big games. McGovern was rocky against Hockey East opponents, dropping his last five in-conference starts while allowing 24 goals in that span. Sophmore Stephen Mundinger will back him up after a forgettable freshman season, but it’d be surprising to see him start much more than a dozen games between the pipes.

Bottom Line: Maine’s offense will need to be deeper than it was last season, but with a good incoming crop of freshmen, strong transfers and a few capable veterans, their scoring should be less top heavy and overall on par with last season. Keeper could earn a starting spot on defense sooner rather than later, boosting an already mobile and offensive unit, but most of the pressure will fall on McGovern’s shoulders. He’s the X-factor that could help Maine climb out of the cellar and into the thick of things in Hockey East, but the Black Bears will struggle to do much better than 8th in the conference regardless.

Hockey East Preview – University of Massachusetts Minutemen

By: Dan McCloone

urlHead Coach: Greg Carvel; 2nd Season

Last Season: 5-29-2 (2-19-1 in HE, 12th); Lost to Providence in HE First Round

Losses: D Brennan Baxandall, D Mark Hetnik, F Steven Iacobellis, D William Lagesson, F Ray Pigozzi, G Alex Wakaluk

Newcomers: F Austin Albrecht, G Brad Arvanitis, F Marco Bozzo, F Mitchell Chaffee, F Oliver Chau, D Mario Ferraro, F Jake Gaudet, F Philip Lagunov, F John Leonard, D Cale Makar, F George Mika, G Matthew Murray, F Niko Rufo, D Eetu Torpstrom

It was a rough season for Greg Carvel in his first year at the helm, as the former St. Lawrence bench boss watched his Minutemen struggle to keep pace in Hockey East and ultimately spend most of the year in the cellar. Now in his second season in charge, Carvel can begin to really make the program his own. He’s done just that, with a very strong recruiting class ranked second in the nation.

The Minutemen’s 66 goals on the season (42 in conference play) were far and away dead last in Hockey East, 30 less than next-lowest UConn. Adding to their scoring woes is the loss of the club’s two top scorers in captain Steven Iacobellis (eight goals, 13 assists) and Ray Pigozzi (eight goals, eight assists). Leading the way in the offensive transition will be incoming freshman Jake Gaudet, who amassed 109 points over three seasons in the CCHL and spent the summer at training camp with the Ottawa Senators. The 6-2, 203-pound center will bring the size to an incoming freshman forward class that is more predicated on speed, with Austin Albrecht (10 goals and 37 assists in the USHL last season) and Marco Bozzo (23 goals in the OJHL last year) the most likely to contribute right off the bat. They will join a young returning core, led by the Minutemen’s top returning scorer in junior Austin Plevy (five goals, 10 assists) alongside junior Kurt Keats (five goals, eight assists) and sophomore Griff Jeszka (seven goals, five assists). Graduate transfer student Niko Rufo will also chip in after logging 10 points over four seasons of limited playing time at Providence College.

Defensively, UMass lost two big bodies and a lot of minutes in 6-2 Brennan Baxandall (graduation) and 6-3 William Lagesson (signed with the Edmonton Oilers), but Carvel is bringing in some phenomenal recruits in Cale Makar and Mario Ferraro. Makar became the highest draft pick in program history this summer when he was selected fourth overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2017 NHL draft. The 5-11, 187-pound defenseman tallied 172 points (44 goals, 128 assists) over 157 career games with the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL, leading the squad to two championships and being named AJHL MVP last season. Ferraro became the second-highest draft pick in UMass history a day later, going 49th overall to the San Jose Sharks. He was named to the USHL First All-Star team and All-Rookie team after finishing the year tied for first among USHL defensemen in goals (eights) and ranking second in points (41) and assists (33). Seniors Dominic Trento and Jake Horton will bring some steady leadership to the blue line, while junior Buffalo Sabres draft pick Ivan Chukarov and sophomore Shane Bear will pitch in.

Carvel will hope that his strong incoming freshman class can shore up the inefficiencies his team has in between the pipes. Backup goalie Alex Wakaluk graduated, but incumbent starter Ryan Wischow did not post gaudy numbers in his freshman campaign, finishing as one of the worst statistical goalies in Hockey East with a 3.28 GAA and .897 save percentage. He will need to improve on his numbers, as neither backup Nic Renyard or incoming freshman Brad Arvanitis seem quite ready to push for regular minutes.

Bottom Line: Carvel is quickly putting his stamp on this UMass team. The first few years of a new head coach’s regime are frequently filled with turnover, and the Minutemen can once again expect to be near the bottom of Hockey East this year. But if this year’s recruiting class is any indication, Carvel is well on his way to turning the program around and bringing UMass back to respectability.

 

WRBB Summer Podcast 2017

It may be getting hot outside, but the WRBB crew still has winter on our minds. Whether it be T.J. Williams pursuing his NBA dream or the hockey team releasing its 2017-2018 schedule, we break down all the news you need to know on this year’s edition of the WRBB summer podcast. Enjoy!

Part 1: Basketball

Part 2: Hockey

Hobey or not, Aston-Reese is a Northeastern legend

Image Credit: Matthew MacCormack

By Dan McLoone

CHICAGO – As was the case for much of the season for Zach Aston-Reese and Northeastern, a promising start did not translate into a desirable finish. Sitting up on stage in the Aon Grand Ballroom, Aston-Reese watched as defenseman Will Butcher of the University of Denver was awarded the 37th Hobey Baker Award, a recognition that he was one of the three finalists for.

Butcher is certainly a deserving winner, helping Denver to the NCAA title game on Saturday night, but many at Northeastern thought that this was the moment Aston-Reese would receive the award recognizing the nation’s top player. The Huskies may not have lived up to the hype that saw them ranked second in the Hockey East preseason poll, but the senior forward and Pittsburgh Penguins signee shattered all expectations that anyone had for him coming into the year, posting one of the strongest statistical seasons in program history and establishing himself as an individual force.

While the disappointment may be palpable, Husky fans shouldn’t diminish the magical season their assistant captain posted. Instead, they should take a step back and applaud him for what it was: the culmination of a phenomenal four years on Huntington Avenue that transformed Aston-Reese as a player and the identity of the entire Northeastern program as a whole.

There was plenty of hype surrounding Jim Madigan’s eleven freshman recruits in 2013, and most of them gave Northeastern fans plenty to be excited about for the future. But if someone told you that one member of that freshman class would go on to become just the second Hobey Hat Trick finalist in program history, smart money probably wouldn’t have been on Aston-Reese.

Matt Benning, Dalen Hedges, and John Stevens all impressed during their debut seasons, while Mike Szmatula looked like a budding future star after posting 15 goals and 24 assists. But hidden behind these other players that looked to be part of a bright future in Boston was a six-foot winger from Staten Island.

Aston-Reese tallied just eight goals and 11 assists during his debut campaign, but as many of his classmates transferred or left the program over the next few years, Aston-Reese doubled down on his commitment. Benning went pro after helping the Huskies win the Hockey East Championship. Szmatula transferred to Minnesota. Hedges succumbed to injuries and left the program.

In an up-and-down season for the Huskies, Aston-Reese did everything he could to carry the team to the finish line.

But amidst all the change, Aston-Reese continued to improve. He upped his scoring during his sophomore season, finishing with 23 points despite playing in four fewer games. It was during his junior year, however, when he finally blossomed.

When early-season struggles led Madigan to tinker with his lines, he unlocked a top three that would terrorize opposing defenses for two years. Paired with John and Nolan Stevens, Aston-Reese posted 29 assists, nearly tripling his total of 10 from the previous campaign, as he developed as a distributor. He added 14 goals and learned to cut down on silly stick penalties that kept him on the bench in key moments during his first two seasons, becoming a crucial member of both the Northeastern penalty kill and power play units.

When the dust had settled after the Huskies made their improbable run to the Hockey East crown in 2016, Aston-Reese, like many of his teammates, had to make an important decision on his future at Northeastern. The core of the defending Hockey East champions could have been absolutely decimated, with Kevin Roy graduating and the potential early losses of Benning, Aston-Reese, and the Stevens brothers. But coming back was an easy choice if it meant another season of that top forward line that had already clicked.

Unfortunately, 2017 did not play out as Aston-Reese or the Stevens brothers envisioned in that regard. Injuries kept the brothers off the ice for significant chunks of the season, forcing Madigan to once again mix and match his offensive lines.

But he never had to worry about Aston-Reese’s offensive production. In fact, Madigan frequently moved guys who were struggling to find the back of the net up to skate with ZAR. Lincoln Griffin could use a spark? Let’s throw him up with Reeser. Sam Kurker needs to get it going? Put him on ZAR’s line. Matt Filipe needs to be more consistent? 12 can help him out.

In an up-and-down season for the Huskies, Aston-Reese did everything he could to carry the team to the finish line. Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette both submitted phenomenal seasons and were a big part of the offensive success that Northeastern enjoyed, but when the team needed the big goals, it was Aston-Reese who would deliver. His 31 goals were tops in the nation, while his 63 total points were tied for first. He fittingly climbed to 12th place on the school’s career records for both goals and points while scoring at such a fast pace that most of the nation was chasing him the entire year.

Winning the Hobey Baker Award would have immortalized Aston-Reese in Northeastern lore forever. But, much like the story of the season for Northeastern, giving everything he had just wasn’t quite good enough to separate him from the pack. Even though he didn’t leave Chicago with any hardware, Aston-Reese can return to his new professional career in Wilkes-Barre content with his accolades: assistant captain, NCAA scoring leader, Hockey East Player of the Year, Hobey Baker finalist, Hockey East Champion. Damn good hockey player.

Hobey Baker eludes Huskies’ Zach Aston-Reese

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 7.11.31 PM
Image Credit: Matt MacCormack

By: Josh Brown

CHICAGO- Despite a historic season that saw him win Hockey East Player of the Year honors, Northeastern assistant captain Zach Aston-Reese left the Aon Grand Ballroom in Chicago without the nation’s most prestigious hardware on Friday evening.

University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher beat out Aston-Reese and Union College forward Mike Vecchione for the Hobey Baker Award. But even so, the moment served as a time to celebrate one of the most influential players in program history.

“It meant a great deal for me,” said Aston Reese, a Pittsburgh Penguin signee who is just the second player in Northeastern history (Brad Thiessen in 2009) to be named a Hobey Hat Trick finalist. “It meant a lot for my family and Northeastern as a whole.”

“I was a little bit immature when I came in,” said Aston-Reese, “and it was just a process for me to be able to control my emotions and change my attitude. Coach (Madigan) has been working with the Penguins and the Islanders so he knows what it’s like to be a professional, and I’m definitely seeing that now as a pro hockey player – that you have to leave your attitude at the door because you’ll be gone in a second if they sniff that out.”

Aston-Reese finished the 2016-2017 campaign either atop or tied the nation’s leads in goals (31), goals per game (0.82), shorthanded goals (four) and hat tricks (three). His 1.66 points per game is tied for best in the nation, and his 63 total points make him just one of twelve Division 1 players to reach the 60-point plateau in the last five seasons.

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 7.16.09 PM
Image Credit: Matt MacCormack

Earlier in the afternoon, Aston-Reese was named a CCM/AHCA First-Team All-American. The Staten Island native is the 19th player in Northeastern program history to receive the honor.

“I always had a pretty good work ethic, and I think just getting stronger each summer,” said Aston-Reese. “I think a lot that changed was my mindset and my approach to the game. I just got more mature and consistency is such a big thing. So I was trying to look forward to make a career out of it and what exactly  [sic] I needed to do and consistency is a big thing.”

Following the conclusion of his senior season, Aston-Reese signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has already netted three goals and four assists with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the club’s AHL affiliate.

“There’s different aspects to it,” said Aston-Reese of the adjustment to professional hockey. “I had really good coaches here and they taught me the game and it’s been translating well to the AHL level.”

Aston-Reese named Hobey Hat Trick finalist

ZAR-100
Senior Zach Aston-Reese is one of three finalists remaining for the nation’s most prestigious award (Image Credit: Northeastern Athletics).

By: Josh Brown

In a historic moment for Northeastern hockey, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award named senior assistant captain Zach Aston-Reese to the Hobey Hat Trick on Thursday afternoon. Aston-Reese is joined by Union forward Mike Vecchione and Denver defenseman Will Butcher as the three players remaining in contention for the nation’s top award, which will be handed out on April 7 at the Frozen Four in Chicago.

“We are so proud of Zach for all of his accomplishments this season,” said head coach Jim Madigan. “He asserted himself as one of the top players in the nation from start to finish, and is very deserving of this honor. He represented our team and our university with class and professionalism throughout his time at Northeastern, and his leadership skills over the last two years cannot be understated. The foundation that he and his fellow seniors have set will have a positive impact on our program for years to come.”

The Hockey East Player of the Year joins Brad Thiessen (2009) as the second player in Northeastern history to be named to the Hobey Hat Trick.

A native of Staten Island, New York, Aston-Reese finished the 2016-2017 season either atop or tied the nation’s lead in goals (31), goals per game (0.82), shorthanded goals (four) and hat tricks (three). His 63 points this season make him just one of ten Division 1 players to reach the 60-point plateau in the last five seasons. In addition, Aston-Reese joined Boston University’s Jack Eichel (2014-2015) and Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau (2013-2014) as one of three Hockey East players to reach the mark in a maximum of 35 games over the past five years. The latter two won the Hobey Baker award in their respective seasons.

In addition to scoring the sixth most points of any Northeastern player in a single season, Aston-Reese ends his career on Huntington Avenue ranked 12th in both career points (148) and career goals (66).

His breakout performance this season earned him a two-year, entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins two weeks ago. Aston-Reese has already netted two goals and four assists in four games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the club’s AHL affiliate.

Northeastern’s season ends with 3-2 setback to No. 8/6 Boston University

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – It may have been a new day, but it was the same story for the Northeastern hockey team.

The Huskies (18-15-5) were swept out of the Hockey East Quarterfinals by BU on Saturday night thanks to blowing their second consecutive 2-0 lead. The Terriers (23-10-3) didn’t need overtime tonight, completing the comeback in the final period in the 3-2 win.

With their backs against the wall, the Huskies came out firing once again in the first period. Biagio Lerario scored his first career goal just 2:23 into the game and Nolan Stevens doubled the lead nine minutes later with his tenth tally of the year.

The Terriers were well verses in coming back from a 2-0 deficit, having beaten Northeastern 3-2 in overtime on Friday, and got right back to work on offense when Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson cut the lead in half with 5:22 left in the second period.

Leading 2-1, the Huskies played with much more offensive pace throughout the final two periods than they did the night before but just couldn’t solve BU netminder Jake Oettinger (24 saves) for a third time. Ryan Ruck (25 saves) stood on his head at times for Northeastern to preserve the lead, but the relentless Terriers offense finally broke through.

Nick Roberto tied the game up just three minutes into the third period. For the second consecutive night, the referees reviewed the goal for a potential offsides call on BU, but the tally was upheld after a long review. Head coach Jim Madigan only talked for 47 seconds after the game, as he did not want to get suspended for commenting on the two offsides calls or how they influenced the series.

The Terriers mounted offensive pressure on Ruck down the stretch and were rewarded with a power play opportunity with just 1:34 left in the game after Garrett Cockerill was called for hooking. Ruck made a handful of spectacular saves during the kill effort, but Chad Krys broke through with 24.9 seconds left in the game hand the Huskies their second straight heartbreaking defeat.

The Huskies finish the season with no chance for an NCAA at-large bid. The loss also ends the Northeastern playing careers of seniors Zach Aston-Reese, John Stevens, Brendan Collier, Sam Kurker, Tanner Pond, Mike Jamieson, Ryan Rosenthal, Garrett Cockerill and Jake Schechter. The Terriers advance to the Hockey East Semifinals, where they will take on either Boston College or Notre Dame.

Huskies squander 2-0 lead, drop game one to BU

By Josh Brown

BOSTON – Coming off a convincing sweep of Connecticut in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs, it looked like Northeastern was going to have its way with a BU team that had last week off after clinching a share of the league’s regular season crown. But after falling behind 2-0, BU showed why it is unbeaten against Jim Madigan’s Huskies in the last seven meetings.

Goals by Dante Fabbro and Chase Phelps knotted the score at two, and Jordan Greenway notched the game-winner just 3:11 into overtime to send the Terriers to a 3-2 victory in game one of the Hockey East Quarterfinals.

Fighting for a rebound in front of the net on the power play, the big 6-foot-5 Greenway capitalized on the chaos and fired the puck into the back of the net.

Not to be lost in defeat is Ryan Ruck’s performance in net, as the sophomore sent aside 32 shots from a BU offense which entered the zone at will in the latter two periods.

Northeastern got the early 2-0 lead just 9:52 into the game via their two Hobey Baker hopefuls in Zach Aston-Reese and Dylan Sikura. Aston-Reese beat BU goalie Jake Oettinger (33 saves) on an off-angle shot that sailed over the right shoulder of the netminder, and Sikura tapped in a freebie to give the Huskies the early lead.

The Terriers made it a one-goal game at 7:33 in the second period when Fabbro sent a weak shot on net from above the right face-off dot that beat Ruck. Phelps scored the long overdue game-tying goal midway through the third, beating Ruck five-hole to force overtime.

Following a Jeremy Davies hooking call, Greenway sent the Terriers faithful home happy with his ninth goal of the season.

The two teams will get right back at it Saturday night for game two. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.