Huskies Take Care of Business, Advance with a 74-50 Victory over Delaware

(Image Credit: GoNU)(Image Credit: GoNU)

by Justin Littman

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Northeastern Huskies entered North Charleston with lofty goals of a CAA Championship. They took the first step in accomplishing that goal tonight. The Huskies led almost the entire game, and burst onto the scene in the second half to coast to a 74-50 win over 7th seeded Delaware. The Blue Hens, who defeated Elon in the first round 86-79, struggled to shoot throughout the game, shooting just 36% from the field. The Huskies continued to show off their world class perimeter defense, and only allowed Delaware to make one three pointer on the night.

The Huskies started the game with a bang. An alley-oop from Green to Pusica, and a Boursiquot rim-rattler on the next possession put the Huskies up 4-2. Though Delaware didn’t go away easily, the Huskies never looked back. Boursiquot’s high energy rallied Northeastern early, and he scored 13 points in the first half to tie a season high. He finished the game with 17.

“[Max] came out and set the tone early, Anthony Green gave us a great effort and Vasa does what he does — he drives the bus”, remarked Coach Bill Coen after the game. For Coen, it was the 200th victory of his career.

He was also tasked with guarding Delaware’s leading scorer Ryan Daly. Daly was a tough cover throughout the night, and finished the game with 23 points. Northeastern accepted that Daly would get his points, and instead focused on shutting down the rest of Delaware’s offense. Eric Carter was the only other Delaware player to reach double figures. Second-leading scorer Ryan Allen was held in check, and finished with only five points. It was the first game without a three pointer in Allen’s career.

Though Northeastern was in control, their lead was only five at the half. The bench, which didn’t score in the first half, provided the Huskies with a 24 point punch in the second. Bolden Brace led the charge, scoring all 13 of his points in the second half. He came off the bench and scored five straight to put the Huskies up 17, with under 14 minutes remaining.

“He’s 6th Man of the year for a reason…At halftime I told him to just keep shooting, and that’s what he does. He made some shots”, remarked teammate Vasa Pusica after the game.

Pusica continued to set the tone for this team. He ended a four minute scoring drought in the first half, and seemingly provided Northeastern with exactly what they needed throughout the game. In his first CAA Tournament appearance, he nearly recorded a triple-double, finishing with 15 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds.

Up next for the Huskies will be a semifinal matchup at 8:30pm against either #3 Hofstra or #6 UNCW. The Huskies split the season series with Hofstra, and won both games in overtime against UNCW.

Northeastern women’s hockey wins first Hockey East title in program history with 2-1 win over UConn

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 5.30.53 PM
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By: Joe Barbito

BOSTON – For the first time in program history, the Northeastern women’s ice hockey team has won the Hockey East Championship with a 2-1 win over seventh-seeded Connecticut.

The game opened with Denisa Krizova creating a two-on-one up ice as she forced the puck off Emily Ried’s stick, sliding a pass across the slot to McKenna Brand, who then lifted a back hander over the shoulder of Annie Belanger. With her assist on that goal, Krizova earned her 24th career Hockey East playoff point, tying Marie-Philip Poulin of Boston University for most in conference history.

Not even a minute later, Natalie Snodgrass went to work in the Northeastern (19-16-3) end of the ice. She battled off Maddie Hartman below the goal line and ripped a pass to Morgan Wabick, who then rifled it past Aerin Frankel at the 1:20 mark of the first period. That would end up being the only goal Frankel allowed as she tallied 30 total saves in the game.

With two minutes left to go in the first period, Tori Sullivan won an offensive zone draw for Northeastern and slipped the puck back into open ice. McKenna Brand skated up to it and sniped a shot past Belanger for her second of the game. It would prove to be the game-winning goal as neither team would score in the following two periods.

Northeastern became the second four-seed ever to win the Hockey East Tournament, and will advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history, and the first since 2016.

In addition to taking home the Bertagna Trophy, four Huskies were named to the All-Tournament Team: goaltender Aerin Frankel, defenseman Lauren Kelly, and forwards McKenna Brand and Denisa Krizova. Defenseman Kayla Mee and forward Natalie Snodgrass were UConn’s representatives on the All-Tournament Team.

Aerin Frankel won Tournament MVP honors. Against Maine, she mad 24 total saves including 15 in the third period alone. The freshman had 30 against the Huskies today. Frankel is the first freshman to win MVP honors since 2006.

Northeastern will learn where they are headed for the NCAA tournament at 9 p.m. tonight.

 

Huskies seek ticket to Big Dance at CAA Tournament

The Northeastern Huskies, who finished the season as co-CAA champs, are set to do battle in the CAA Tournament in North Charleston, South Carolina this week.
(Image Credit: GoNU)

Two-seeded Northeastern will battle No. 7 Delaware in the quarterfinal of the CAA Tournament championship at 6:00 p.m on Sunday in the North Charleston Coliseum. Listen to WRBB’s coverage here.

by Matthew MacCormack

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. –

“I think it says we’re a championship team.”

There was no hesitation – not even a hedging quiver – in Vasa Pusica’s voice. Northeastern’s All-CAA First Team point guard was calm, moments after sinking a buzzer-beating layup to lift the Huskies to a 69-67 victory over conference foe William & Mary in mid-February.

“We’ve won way too many close games like this,” Pusica continued.

“I think that’s a good characteristic of a championship team.”

Championship.

The word seemed to hang in the air of the Matthews Arena media room.

Well, “media room” is a generous term; a black curtain is pulled over a backdrop of bench presses and dumbells – a tiny fitness center tucked away somewhere in the maze-like hallways of 100-year-old Matthews Arena.

It isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done. And in a way, that’s how you could describe this version of the Northeastern Huskies.

The Huskies finished the season 21-9 overall, notching the highest winning percentage in the 12-year tenure of head coach Bill Coen. NU’s 14-4 record in the Colonial Athletic Association earned the Huskies a share of their third CAA regular season title in the past six years. The Huskies claimed a No. 2 seed, and are set to battle No. 7 Delaware– which defeated No. 10 Elon in a play-in game on Saturday – in Sunday’s quarterfinal of the CAA Championship tournament.

All this for a team picked to finish 6th in the conference in the preseason media poll.

The preliminary CAA bracket. (Image Credit: CAA)
The preliminary CAA bracket. (Image Credit: CAA)

It’s no wonder Coen was crowned with his first ever Coach of the Year designation on Friday afternoon. He took a roster of question marks and turned it into a team that played relentless defense and unselfish offense. Coen deserves plenty of credit for the team’s success, but it wouldn’t be crazy to say that there’s been a little magic at play for the 2017-18 Husky hoopers.

No one can blame the preseason pollsters for their pessimism. Reigning CAA Player of the Year T.J. Williams graduated alongside second-leading scorer Alex Murphy. Towson clobbered NU, 82-54, in the quartefinals of last March’s CAA Tournament to end a sub-.500 campaign. An unproven roster featuring just one senior – guard Devon Begley – and eight underclassmen was left to pick up the pieces.

And pick up the pieces they did.

The magic starts and ends with Pusica – a redshirt junior transfer from University of San Diego by way of Serbia. He’s a heady, clutch floor general whose per-game averages of 17.6 points and 5.0 assists with a 51/42/81 slash line hardly tell the story of his impact. The Huskies needed a playmaker with Williams’ graduation, and they got Vasa: a catalyst that makes his teammates better every time he touches the floor.

Next comes defense, led by sophomore wing Shawn Occeus, the CAA Defensive Player of the Year. Occues is the team’s second-leading scorer with 10.4 points per game, but his impact is most felt on the other side of the floor.

The Boyton Beach, Florida native spearheads a feisty perimeter defense that limited opponents to 30.1% from three – seventh best in the nation. At 6’4, he led the CAA in steals per game (2.0) and notched six conference games with four thefts or more. Occeus locks up the primary option in a switch-heavy defensive scheme.

The Huskies’ depth is unmatched in the CAA. Redshirt sophomore guard Donnell Gresham (9.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg) started most of his freshman year before missing almost all of his second season with a hand injury. His shooting – 45.3% from three – spaces the floor.

Sophomore forward Max Boursiquot is an undersized four at 6’5, but he’s a versatile defender who plays the role of garbage collector – and that’s meant in a positive way. He’s joined in the big man rotation with 6’10, 250 pound junior center Anthony Green and All-CAA Rookie Team selection Tomas Murphy (the brother of Alex).

The bigs have diverse skillsets. Boursiquot can defend wings or bigs, allowing the Huskies to play smaller lineups. Green’s numbers (6.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg) aren’t gaudy, but he’s a presence down low. The 6’8 Murphy battles freshman inconsistency, but his 38 combined points in two overtime victories over UNCW show his offensive firepower.

Murphy is one segment of a three-headed bench mob that features Begley and sophomore forward Bo Brace, who took home the conference’s first-ever Sixth Man of the Year Award on Friday.

Coen lauds both players – who entered the year as starters – for their commitment to their bench roles. After a 2-4 start that featured four consecutive losses in the PK80 Invitational in November, Coen plugged Occeus and Gresham into the starting lineup.

Some players would have pouted, but Brace and Begley performed. Begley (6.8 ppg) – a CAA All-Defensive selection in 2017 – provides leadership and a defensive spark.

Brace (8 ppg) was most known for his scoring after dropping 40 points in last year’s win at Elon. This year, he’s transformed into a 6’6 utility knife, pacing the team with 4.9 rebounds for contest while shooting 40% from three and sliding up to guard power forwards and centers in smaller lineups.

Nearly every Husky has sacrificed this year. Three freshmen – Derrick Cook, Myles Franklin and Jason Strong – have barely seen the floor. Junior forward Jeremy Miller – who started for most of his freshman and sophomore seasons – is the Huskies’ most enthusiastic bench hype-man despite falling out of the rotation mid-season.

Miller’s bench energy will be needed this week, as the Huskies look to win three games in three days in the CAA tournament.

The conference is rich on parity but low on clarity. Top-seeded Charleston sports three players – guards Joe Chealey and Grant Riller and forward Jarrell Brantley – on either the All-CAA First or Second teams. No. 3 Hofstra has the conference Player of the Year in Justin Wright-Foreman. Fourth-seeded William & Mary sports one of the nation’s top offenses, and last year’s assassin Towson still lurks in the bracket.

But while the other CAA squads have talent, the Huskies have the best TEAM.

Players win games in November, but teams win championships in March. If the Huskies cut down the nets in the North Charleston Coliseum on Tuesday night, claiming an automatic bid to their second NCAA tournament appearance in four years, it’ll be a testament to their starters, to their bench and their coach.

Championship.

It takes a team, and the Huskies are just three games away.

Northeastern women’s hockey punches ticket to Hockey East title game with 2-1 win over No. 10 Maine

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By: Joe Barbito

BOSTON – The Northeastern women’s ice hockey team punched its ticket to the Hockey East Finals with a 2-1 victory over the No. 10 Maine Black Bears on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

Scoring opened just over three minutes into the game, when Tereza Vanisova dangled past Sky Fontaine – whose stick broke in the process – and created a two-on-one with linemate Daria Tereshkina. Vanisova dished a pass through the slot to Tereshkina who was able to tap it home past Aerin Frankel (24 saves).

The rest of the first period was pretty stagnant, with both teams trading penalties in the second half of the first frame.

After a late penalty kill for the Huskies (18-16-5), Veronika Pettey was sprung from the box and found the puck in the neutral zone. She sped past a Maine defender and was able to get a quick shot on goal, beating Carly Jackson for her tenth of the season.

The second period featured four power plays, including three for the Black Bears, but neither team was able to capitalize through the middle 20 minutes. A few chances were traded, including a few pucks off posts and crossbars, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.

It took five minutes into the third period for Northeastern to score the game winning goal. Denisa Krizova and McKenna Brand skated hard into the Maine zone, and Brand was able to put a shot off of Jackson’s pads. Hartman swooped in and found the loose puck to the left of Jackson and buried it home.

Maine played a ferocious third period, generating a total of 15 shots on goal, and nearly tied the game several times. Hartman ended up spending the final minute and 39 seconds in the penalty box for slashing, but Aerin Frankel was up to the task.

After today’s 2-1 victory, the Huskies have earned the right to play UConn tomorrow in the Hockey East Championship game. WRBB will have complete coverage, with puck drop set for 1:30 p.m.

Coen, Occeus and Brace win CAA Awards; Pusica named First Team All-Conference

 

CAA Champs

by Justin Littman and Michael Petillo

Oh, what a difference five months makes!

When the Colonial Athletic Association released it’s preseason primer in mid-October, hardly any media voters showed love to the Huskies, who were coming off an underwhelming 15-16 record and facing the reality off a life after T.J. Williams — the NU point guard who took home CAA Player of the Year honors in 2017. The Huskies were voted as the 6th best team in the conference, and no Husky made the preseason all-conference squads. Senior guard Devon Begley and junior forward Jeremy Miller received Honorable Mentions, the CAA equivalent of a good ‘ol pat on the back.

Fast forward to March, and the Huskies (21-9, 14-4 CAA) nearly swept the pre-conference tournament awards party all together. When the conference announced its awards via Twitter on Friday afternoon, Northeastern was well-represented.

Head Coach Bill Coen took home his first Coach of the Year award after leading the Huskies to a share of CAA title with College of Charleston. Although he was (possibly) snubbed of a CAA Player of the Year award — that honor went to Hofstra’s Justin-Wright Forman — star redshirt junior point guard Vasa Pusica was named to the All-CAA First Team in his first year on Huntington Ave.

Sophomore wing Shawn Occeus was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in steals. Sophomore forward Bo Brace was the conference’s inaugural Sixth Man of the Year, in a testament to the Huskies’ staunch eight-man rotation. And finally, freshman forward Tomas Murphy was named to the All-CAA Rookie Team.

Clearly, Northeastern is a team that will be a handful once the elimination games begin. The Huskies’ first game of the CAA tournament will be this Sunday evening at 6 p.m. as they await then winner of the Delaware-Elon game on Saturday.

Bill Coen, Coach of the Year

Coen was a no-brainer for Coach of the Year. The Hamilton grad led NU to its third regular season title in the last six years, and the team’s 14-4 record in conference play ties the 2009-10 and 2012-13 Huskies for the best CAA record in school history. The Huskies enter conference tournament with an overall record of 21-9, and the best single-season winning percentage in Coen’s tenure.

After losing Williams to graduation last season, a return to league excellence was anything but guaranteed. Coen mixed and matched lineups early in the season as the Huskies struggled, but eventually settled on a group that worked. The offense thrived under newcomer Pusica, and Northeastern had one of the best three-point defenses in the nation.

Coen is just the fourth Northeastern coach to receive Coach of the Year honors, and the first since Ron Everhart in the 2004-05 season. Coen now has 199 career wins, and has the opportunity on Sunday to become just the third Northeastern coach to reach 200 wins. He would join some impressive company, as Jim Calhoun and Dick Dukeshire are the only other coaches to reach this mark in their time at Northeastern.

Vasa Pusica, All-CAA First Team

Pusica had a strong case for Player of the Year, so the First-Team nod comes as no surprise. The Serbian-born floor general ranked 9th in the conference in scoring (17.6 ppg) and 3rd in assists (5.0 apg).

The redshirt junior began the season as a bit of wild card after sitting out a season as a transfer from the University of San Diego, but quickly established himself as the vocal leader of a young Husky squad and their go-to scorer in crunch time.  His emergence was the biggest key in Northeastern’s surprising rise to the top of the CAA.

On top of his superb per-game numbers, the Huskies star point guard scored at an incredibly efficient rate at all levels, posting a 49/42/79 slash line in CAA play.  

Shawn Occues, Defensive Player of the Year

The 6’4” sophomore from Boynton Beach, Florida led the CAA in steals, averaging 2.03 steals per game.

Occeus, who came off the bench to start the season, moved into a starting role after the Huskies got off to a slow start to the season. Tasked with defending the best perimeter scorer on a nightly basis, Occeus embraced the role and played a significant part in helping the Huskies boast a top 10 three-point defense in the nation. The Huskies are 19-6 since Occeus was inserted into the starting lineup.

This season, Occeus played six conference games where he recorded at least four steals, and he tied his career high with six steals in Saturday’s season finale at Elon. That performance moved Occeus into a tie for seventh place in the Northeastern single-season record books, and he needs just two more steals to move up to sixth. Occeus becomes the third Northeastern player ever to win this award, and the most recent since Scott Eatherton won it in 2013-14.

Bo Brace, Sixth Man of the Year

Brace, a sophomore, wins the CAA’s first ever Sixth Man award in a season which saw him begin in the starting lineup before relinquishing that role to fellow sophomore Shawn Occeus before the start of conference play due to a slow start by both himself and his team.  The change was one that Brace took in stride and proved to be vital in helping get Northeastern’s season back on track.

Upon moving to the bench, the offense that so many were expecting from Brace entering the season began to emerge and his three-point shot started falling.  He knocked down 42.9% of his triples in conference play, a ten percent increase from a year ago and good for top ten overall in the conference.

Brace’s impact on NU, however stretched far beyond his scoring.  He paced the team with 4.9 rebounds and was second with 2.3 assists per game.

Defensively, head coach Bill Coen was able to utilize a variety of different lineups as Brace’s 6’6” 230 pound frame allowed him the defend both bigs and perimeter players.  

Tomas Murphy, All-CAA Rookie Team

Murphy was the only one of Coen’s four freshman to earn much burn this season, but he certainly took advantage of the opportunity.

Murphy — the brother of former Husky Alex Murphy and former NBA baller Erik Murphy — came off the bench to average 6.7 points and 2.4 rebounds on 57% shooting. He teamed with junior big man Anthony Green to form a versatile 1-2 punch in the post.

Murphy combined a soft shooting touch with an ability to run the floor, and his chemistry with Pusica was apparent, especially in the Huskies’ two overtime wins over UNCW (38 points combined).

Men’s baseball splits four-game series with Mizzou

By: Alexander Tsipis

On Friday, the Huskies began a four-game series against the University of Missouri Tigers at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers.  Led by 2017 freshman All-American Kameron Misner, the Tigers boast one of the most powerful lineups in the country (9.3 runs per game). The Huskies sent senior right hander Brian Christian to the mound in game one. The Tigers jumped on him early after a two-out double plated two in the first. But, Christian kept the Huskies in the game, allowing three runs on four hits in four innings of work while also tallying three strikeouts. Andrew Misiaszek threw three scoreless innings in relief for Northeastern before Mizzou was able to collect three, two-out hits in the bottom of the 8th, adding two late insurance runs. Across the diamond, Mizzou started Bryce Montes De Oca, a 6-foot-7 redshirt junior right hander who tops out at 99 mph. He kept the Huskies at bay, going 6 1/3 innings allowing four hits and a run while striking out eight as the Tigers beat the Huskies, 5-2.

Saturday featured a doubleheader between the Huskies and Tigers. Northeastern jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of first inning doubles by senior shortstop Max Burt and junior infielder Ryan Solomon. The Tigers answered with a run in each of the next two innings. Huskies starting pitcher Tyler Brown was brilliant on the mound, allowing just those runs (one earned) before settling in and throwing six masterful innings. Huskies head coach Mike Glavine decided to go to the bullpen after a 6th inning home run by junior Jake Farrell gave the Huskies a 4-2 lead. Mizzou stormed back by putting a five-spot on the board in the bottom of the 7th, but the Huskies answered right back with three of their own in the top of the 8th. The Tigers scored one more in their half of the inning when an aggressive takeout slide broke up what would have been an inning ending double play.  Two quick outs in the top of the 9th left the Huskies trailing 8-6 and down to their final strike when sophomore Kyle Peterson walked, sparking a Huskies rally.  Junior Mason Koppens slapped a two-strike single through the left side and junior Charlie McConnell doubled down the left field line, securing a 10-8 comeback Huskies win. This was the program’s first victory over an SEC school.

Continue reading “Men’s baseball splits four-game series with Mizzou”

Northeastern women’s hockey sweeps New Hampshire to advance to Hockey East semifinals

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By: Christian Skroce

BOSTON – Despite a rough end to the regular season, the Northeastern women’s hockey team came up big when it mattered most to reach the Hockey East semifinals for the eighth year in a row.

Coming into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, Northeastern (17-16-3) played host to the fifth-seeded New Hampshire (14-15-7) in a best-of-3 series in the quarterfinal round.

Game 1 of the series didn’t exactly start the way the Huskies had hoped. Although it was Northeastern with most of the chances early on, UNH was able to get on the board first 8:23 into the game on Carlee Toew’s fourth goal of the season. However, the Huskies responded in a big way with three straight goals to close out the first period. Denisa Krizova scored the first of the three just 53 seconds after New Hampshire’s goal. Lauren Kelly and Skylar Fontaine then added a goal each to give Northeastern a 3-1 lead at the first intermission.

UNH cut into the deficit in the second period after a strike from Taylor Wenczkowski. But it was the Northeastern defense that came up big in the end as the team held the Wildcats to just five shots in the third period to give the Huskies the 1-0 series lead.

In the second game of the series, it was redshirt junior Tori Sullivan who got the scoring started for the Huskies with a goal midway through the opening frame. UNH responded quickly, though, as Nicole Dunbar knotted the game at one less than a minute later. The score remained tied until 71 seconds into the second period, when Sullivan put Northeastern back on top after firing home a rebound off a shot from McKenna Brand.

Sullivan’s second goal of the day proved to be the difference, as the Northeastern defense took over to limit UNH to just 12 shots in the final 40 minutes of the game, allowing the Huskies to come away with a 2-1 lead and a series sweep.

Northeastern returns to Matthews Arena on Saturday for the Hockey East semifinals, where they will battle 3rd seeded Maine. The winner will move on to play the either UConn or Boston College in the Hockey East championship at Matthews Arena on Sunday at 1:30 PM.

CHAMPS: Huskies clinch share of CAA regular season crown with 81-59 win at Elon

by Matthew MacCormack

ELON, N.C — Defying expectations is becoming a theme of the Northeastern men’s basketball team’s 2017-18 campaign.

The media projected the Huskies to finish 6th in the Colonial Athletic Association poll in the preseason. But with Saturday’s 81-59 win over Elon in Alumni Gym, the Huskies (21-9, 14-4 CAA) clinched a share of the conference’s regular season title for the first time since 2014-15.

It was Northeastern’s seventh straight win.

“It feels great,” said redshirt junior Vasa Pusica, who shook off an 0-6 start to tie his season-high with 31 points.

“We probably had a few losses earlier in the year that we should have had, but it is what it is. We finished first, it’s a great feeling.

Things looked grim in late November after the Huskies suffered four straight losses, including two ugly slip-ups to Utah State and Furman in Nashville as part of the PK80 Invitational. But the Huskies rallied in the conference slate, posting their highest conference win total since the last time they won the CAA tournament three years ago.

“Every team goes through adversity,” said Northeastern coach Bill Coen as he stood outside the locker room after the victory.

“They grew week-by-week, month-by-month. It wasn’t always perfect but they stuck together.”

It was fitting that the Huskies were led by redshirt junior point guard Pusica — the team’s leading scorer and best player. He set the tone on Saturday night, and for the whole season.

“He’s a good player,” Coen said with a laugh.

“I thought he was a little anxious to start…He settled down nicely.” 

Northeastern led for all but 44 seconds in the season finale. Elon cut the Husky lead to 50-47 with 12:06 remaining on a three from Tyler Seibring (12 points), but the Huskies ended the game on a 31-12 run.

Sophomore guard Shawn Occeus (13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 steals) was a menace on the defensive end all evening long. Sophomore forward Bo Brace and redshirt sophomore Donnell Gresham each chipped in 11 points.

Senior forward Brian Dawkins led the way for the Phoenix with 13 points and seven rebounds, and senior guard Dmitri Thompson added 11 points and eight boards.

The No. 2 seed Huskies were subdued in their celebration after the game. They’ll have a first-round matchup with an opponent to be determined on Sunday, March 4 at 6 p.m. at the CAA Tournament in North Charleston.

“Of course we have bigger eyes and we want more,” Coen said.

“But for today, we’re going to celebrate being champions.”

No. 11 Northeastern routs New Hampshire on senior night, 8-0

Photo courtesy of NHL.com
Photo courtesy of NHL.com

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON – The No. 11 Northeastern men’s hockey team sent the winningest class in program history out in style on Friday evening.

The Huskies potted eight goals and netminders Cayden Primeau (29 saves) and Jake Theut combined to pitch a shutout as Northeastern downed New Hampshire, 8-0, in front of 2,521 fans at Matthews Arena on senior night.

Dylan Sikura and Patrick Schule led the offensive attack, each potting two goals in the victory. Brandon Schultz, Adam Gaudette, Lincoln Griffin and Biagio Lerario added a goal each and senior captain Nolan Stevens dished out two assists.

The victory improves Northeastern’s record to 20-8-5 overall and 14-6-3 in Hockey East. It is just the seventh time in program history that the Huskies have reached the 20-win milestone.

New Hampshire turned to all three of its goalies in the massacre. Danny Tirone was pulled midway through the game after allowing three goals on 18 shots. Backup Mike Robinson did not fare much better, allowing five goals in just 20 minutes. Sophomore Joe Lazzaro pitched a shutout in the last eight minutes for UNH.

Northeastern scored its first two goals just over five minutes apart midway through the first period. Schultz scored his second goal of the season on a feed from Biagio Lerario at the left dot and Schule got his night started on a redirection in front of the net on an Austin Goldstein bid.

The Huskies widened the gap to four with a pair of second period goals. Schule netted his second of the game at the 11:04 mark after turning a UNH turnover into a breakaway opportunity that he sent five-hole and Gaudette scored his NCAA-leading 28th goal of the season with 1:08 left in the period on a rocket from the high slot.

After Dylan Sikura scored two power play goals just 1:09 apart in the third period, Lincoln Griffin and Biagio Lerario put the cherry on top with goals at the 9:41 mark and 11:51 mark of the third period respectively.

Northeastern will be playing for the No. 2 seed in the Hockey East Tournament when they take on the Wildcats at the Whittemore Center on Saturday night. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame beginning at 6:45 p.m.