— It was do or die time for Northeastern as they took a five-game losing streak
into their regular season finale against Boston University. And to no one’s
surprise, things were tense (and a little weird) from the very beginning.
The Huskies began the game on the penalty kill after backup goalie Curtis Frye was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Frye lifted a cross-ice shot during warmups that struck a BU player, which caused the referees to review the “play” just before puck drop. Because of the penalty call, senior forward Grant Jozefek spent the first two minutes on the sin bin while BU started the game on the power play. Despite a less than ideal start, the Huskies responded well in the first period and easily killed off the penalty.
responded in a big way just six minutes after the penalty kill, as a
well-constructed power play goal gave them the early lead. The Huskies combined
excellent puck movement with great positioning as Aidan McDonough finished off
a pass from Grant Jozefek. Northeastern controlled play for the rest of the
period and headed into the first intermission with a one-goal advantage.
some nice Northeastern chances throughout the second period, BU controlled the
majority of play. The best chance for Northeastern came about 15 minutes into
the period, as Matt Filipe nearly found fellow forward Neil Shea on a
breakaway, though the pass trickled just wide of Shea’s stick.
Huskies held their lead after two periods despite a late-period scare. With
just 20 seconds left in the frame, BU forward Trevor Zegras sent a long-range
shot on Pantano, who had difficulty holding onto the puck. With both teams
fighting for the puck to the immediate right of Pantano, BU defenseman Cam
Crotty eventually redirected the puck into the net. However, it was determined
after a lengthy review that Crotty interfered with Pantano, causing the goal to
be waved off and allowing NU to escape the second frame with the 1–0 lead.
an admittedly sluggish second period, the Huskies found their grove once again
just 43 seconds into the third frame, as Matt Filipe finished a rebound off a
long-range drive from defenseman Ryan Shea.
Huskies’ momentum was short-lived, however. BU responded with their own goal just
three minutes later when senior forward Patrick Harper sent in a bullet from
the near face-off dot. Despite the goal light going off, play continued for the
next two minutes with the referees saying the shot had not gone in. A review of
the play determined what everyone already knew — the Husky lead was down to one.
their season on the line, Northeastern did what they do best: block shots and
clog shooting lanes. Despite some nice chances for BU, the Huskies maintained
their lead for the rest of regulation. Northeastern combined impressive defense
with timely offense, as the Huskies enjoyed several stretches of offensive zone
time to further drain the clock.
BU would not go quietly, however, as with just 1:44 left Northeastern was called for a tripping penalty, giving BU a man advantage for the rest of regulation. The Terriers turned it into a two-man advantage, playing the entire power play with goalie Sam Tucker on the bench. Despite the six-on-four Terrier advantage, Northeastern held its own defensively, as BU would have virtually no chances on the power play. Matt Filipe cleared the puck for the final time as the Husky bench celebrated the breaking of a five-game losing skid with an intense 2–1 victory over their crosstown rivals.
thought our kids played a gutty, tough, and determined game,” coach Jim Madigan
said. “We wanted to make sure that we earned our way into the playoffs and just
not backed into it and tonight’s win was that.”
Ryan Shea echoed his coach’s thoughts, saying, “We didn’t want to leave it up
to chance. We didn’t want to risk our season and watch them [UNH] at 7 o’clock
. . . We just wanted to get the job done ourselves.”
is a building we haven’t had much success in over the years,” Madigan said of
Agganis Arena. The Huskies avenged their 6–3 defeat at Agganis earlier this
year while playing in front of one of the Terriers’ largest crowds this season.
On Pantano’s performance, Madigan explained, “I thought he was really dialed in today. He was tracking pucks well and getting the puck out of the crease. I also thought our guys defended well, getting in front of shots and limiting BU’s opportunities.” Madigan said the team understood how dominant Boston University can be offensively, noting “With these guys [Patrick Harper, Trevor Zegras, Patrick Curry] you can just try to contain them and hope that they don’t get the opportunities where they can get going.”
win places Northeastern (18–13–3, 11–12–1 HEA) in seventh place in Hockey East
to finish the regular season and gives them a spot in the Hockey East
Tournament. Northeastern will have a quarterfinals series away at UMASS Amherst
next weekend, with the game times still to be announced. The Huskies are 1–2
against the Minutemen this season, with both losses coming on the road.
Northeastern will have its work cut out for them if they are going to truly
turn their season around, though this win gives them the confidence boost they
will need to have any chance.
It was a game Northeastern could hardly afford to lose, and
they just might pay dearly for it.
The Huskies took the ice Friday night fully aware of the
stakes that awaited them. They sat tied for seventh place in the tightest
playoff race Hockey East has ever seen, with just four games left to ensure a
top-eight finish and the resulting playoff berth. They looked to rebound from
their worst beatdown since 1992, a 10–1 shellacking from Boston College in their
They didn’t. If anything, Friday’s loss might have been more
disappointing. Against the Vermont Catamounts, the only winless team in a
Hockey East season of record parity, the Huskies faltered, dropping the contest
The Catamounts didn’t even wait two minutes before recording
the game’s first tally, with Alex Esposito beating Husky goalie Craig Pantano
top shelf off a feed from Matt Alvaro.
The rest of the first period belonged to Stefanos Lekkas,
Vermont’s senior goaltender. Alex Mella and Matt Thomson try to stuff shots
home? Nope. Matt Filipe smoothly swerves from the neutral zone to the doorstep
for a point-blank look? Nope. Zach Solow on a breakaway 10 seconds later?
Jordan Harris wrister? Point-blank push from John Picking?
Numerous passes tossed into the slot and a pair of two-on-ones? No, no, no, and
Some chances were worse than others, but there were chances,
and Lekkas erased them. After one momentum-killing save with 2:39 to go, he laid
flat on his back on the goal line, hands by his head, as if to catch his
breath. He saved 12 shots in the period to Pantano’s nine, and despite
Northeastern leading by two in shots, they trailed 1–0 after the first period.
Lekkas entered the evening with 3,816 career saves, the most
in Hockey East history. During Friday’s game he moved into eighth place on the
NCAA’s all-time list. But he wasn’t invincible, and Huskies cracked him almost
immediately after the first intermission.
A little more than a minute in, a scramble for the puck behind
Lekkas drew five skaters below the goal line and de-congested the offensive
zone. When Aidan McDonough won the scrum and forced the puck through to Matt
DeMelis in the high slot, Lekkas went to his knees anticipating a DeMelis
one-timer. But DeMelis had other ideas, sliding a pass to a wide open Biagio
Lerario at the bottom of the right dot for the one-timer that evened the score.
Vermont, not content with a tie, upped its aggressiveness
and pushed into the Huskies’ zone. After a Pantano save had the puck sitting
loose in the crease for what seemed like an eternity, Vermont’s Andrew Lucas
tried to stuff it home and thought he had, but the puck just barely stayed off
the goal line.
No matter; a faceoff in the Catamounts’ offensive zone led
to Esposito’s second goal of the night — and fifth of the season — just ten
Two minutes later came another. Frequent turnovers by both
teams in the neutral zone led to a Vermont rush before Northeastern could set
its defense. William Lemay fielded the puck at the center of the left dot and
rifled it to captain Derek Lodermeier, who launched a missile past Pantano to
make it 3–1.
Vermont’s passing was crisp, their movement smooth, their
aggression apparent. When the Huskies turned up their aggression in the back
half of the period, it backfired. A point-blank shot by Northeastern’s Tyler
Spott was met by a full-body save from Lekkas, at which point most Husky skaters
were deep toward the goal. The Catamounts sprung into transition; Ace Cowans
moved largely unimpeded through the neutral zone to the left dot before slapping
the puck into the top corner for Vermont’s fourth score.
About a minute later, what had been a strikingly calm, clean,
penalty-free game took a sharp turn when a puck in close resulted in most of
the players on the ice rushing the goal as Pantano threw his body on the puck. The
pileup yielded a bit of extracurricular shoving, and McDonough and Vermont’s
Max Kaufman headed to the penalty box with coincidental penalties for hitting
after the whistle. Matt Alvaro also drew a roughing penalty, giving the Huskies
the evening’s first power play with two minutes to go in the period.
Northeastern subbed in its top line for the man advantage but
attempted just two shots, neither of which had much of a chance. The Huskies
moved deliberately and struggled to open up passing angles. The Catamounts
outshot the Huskies by just one in the second period, but the gigantic
disparity in shot quality yielded a 3–1 scoring margin and a 4–1 lead.
The third period began on a strong foot for the Huskies, as
McDonough chased down a loose puck in the corner and fed a cutting DeMelis for
a nifty score.
The Huskies were aggressive in stretches during the third period
but tried just eight shots and didn’t put any past Lekkas’ pads. Besides a couple
of narrowly avoided Vermont empty-net goals, the third period passed without
“Disappointing game for us. We didn’t
have the consistent 60-minute game,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan observed.
Madigan also spoke of the Huskies’ failure to execute their “identity plays.”
“Chipping pucks in below their goal
line. We turned two pucks over at the blue line because we didn’t want to put
it down low,” he said. “We blew a faceoff play assignment that we just went
over at meal today. When you have those mental mistakes, and there was three of
them . . . you’re going to come out on the short end.”
Pantano allowed four goals for the second straight game, and
the 34–33 shot margin would seem to implicate him heavily in the loss. But he
can hardly be blamed for letting in some of the uncontested rockets Vermont
launched his way.
Northeastern’s third consecutive loss dropped them to 17–11–3
(10–10–1 HEA) and kept them tied for seventh place in Hockey East, albeit with
one less game in hand. Vermont’s first conference win was their first of 2020
and their fourth of the season. The teams rematch Saturday at 7 PM EST, with
the stakes still sky-high.
“We’re running out of runway here,”
Madigan remarked. “We’ve got three games left and we’re in a playoff battle and
I don’t know if the guys have understood the sense of urgency we’re at. They’ve
heard it enough, but they’re not reacting and responding enough to the urgency
of the situation we’re in.
“If I’m a player and I see where we are
in the standings and I’m a senior and my career is winding down, there’s a
sense of urgency. So they’ve got to take some stock in themselves and as a
group we’ve got to come together tomorrow night.”
30 years, to three in a row, Northeastern is a Beanpot dynasty.”
That was our final call on air Monday night as the Northeastern Huskies raised the Beanpot trophy for the third time in as many years. It was a moment that Husky players, coaches, fans, and yes, even radio guys, will never forget, and it just might be the greatest moment in Northeastern hockey history.
is not the first team to win three Beanpots in a row; that honor goes to the
1963–65 Boston College squads. Nor is the Huskies’ streak the longest; for that
we look to Boston University’s six consecutive titles from 1995 to 2000. Northeastern’s
three-peat is the ninth in Beanpot history and the first by a team not named BC
or BU. But make no mistake, this hat trick is as historic as they come, and its
countless moments remind us why we love sports and why we love calling games
for this team.
broke its 30-year Beanpot drought in 2018, pulling out victories against
perennial powerhouses BC and BU. The Huskies were led by the best top line in
the country, and possibly team history — Nolan Stevens, Dylan Sikura, and
eventual Hobey Baker winner Adam Gaudette. The trio showed up in the biggest
game of their lives, and a hat trick from Gaudette propelled the Huskies to a 5–2
win over their cross-town rivals and sent TD Garden into a frenzy.
whole night was unforgettable, but perhaps the most popular image was of a fan
in the crowd holding a sign — it turned out to be an XXXXL t-shirt — that simply
read, “I can graduate in peace.” Flashes of Gaudette parading the Beanpot
trophy around TD Garden danced through the minds of Husky fans for weeks to
come after that first Beanpot win. None of them could fathom the run that was
year later, Northeastern flexed its muscles and asserted itself as one of the
premier programs in college hockey. It began in the semifinal against BU, when,
less than a minute into overtime, Tyler Madden arrived in dramatic fashion.
In the post-game press conference, I grabbed a mic and sheepishly asked the freshman forward, “How were you able to stay so calm with everything on the line?” At the podium, Madden simply nodded, leaned forward, and announced, “Well, there were bright lights out there tonight, and I shine in those.” Thus was born the legend of Mr. Bright Lights.
week later, Northeastern retained their trophy with a win over BC. Despite leaping
out to a 3–0 lead, Northeastern, ever content to give its fans a show, let
Boston College storm back in the third period to make the score 3–2 late in
regulation. But the Huskies had been here before. Struggling to maintain their
narrow lead, the Huskies found another gear, and with a late push and an even
later goal, hung on to become back-to-back Beanpot champions.
goalie and future NHL player Cayden Primeau shone during the 2019 tournament, allowing
just three goals in two games between the pipes and winning the Eberly Award
and Tournament MVP. The team went on to secure the Hockey East title and break
the Northeastern single-season win record.
the Huskies weren’t done, as just a year later, they found themselves in the
Beanpot Championship again after a 3–1 semifinal victory over Harvard. The
final promised to be a heated affair, as Northeastern faced a BU team fresh off
a thrilling 5–4 overtime upset victory over BC in the semifinal.
It was a nightmare start for the Huskies, as BU forwards Jake Wise and Trevor Zegras each scored in the first eight minutes to stun the Huskies right out of the gate. The score held for the next 12 minutes, and the Huskies headed to the locker room searching for answers.
came out buzzing in the second period, as sophomore forward Tyler Madden
brought NU within one with a perfectly placed wrister from the slot. Talented freshman
Aidan McDonough evened the game just three minutes later, but the Huskies
weren’t done there.
eight minutes gone, consecutive BU penalties gave Northeastern a five-on-three.
After a remarkable passing display, junior forward Zach Solow scored to give
Northeastern a 3–2 lead, all on the first power play, meaning NU would kept a
man advantage after the goal.
they took full advantage. One minute after Solow’s goal, senior forward Grant
Jozefek notched Northeastern’s fourth straight goal after an incredible
individual effort. 4–2 Northeastern.
taking full control of the game, Northeastern didn’t let up in the second
period and brought a whole new meaning to “close but no cigar.” One of the
craziest plays of the game came just minutes after the Huskies’ fourth goal, as
Zach Solow found himself with the puck and an open net just in front of him.
While facing away from the net, Solow attempted a backhanded shot that
ricocheted off the near post, somehow crossed the goal-line to hit the second
post, and ricocheted out of the crease. Husky fans’ mouths dropped as the TD
Garden replay showed the puck soaring perfectly over the goal-line while
remaining nanometers away from counting as a goal.
second near-miss came a few minutes later, as Northeastern again found
themselves on a breakaway. A close-range shot from Madden was popped into the
air, deflected twice, and seemed destined to float over BU goalie Sam Tucker
for Northeastern’s fifth score of the period. But freshman forward Robert
Mastrosimone came to the Terriers’ rescue and batted the midair puck out of the
the hectic second period ended, and both teams headed to their locker rooms to
prepare for a third period that no one could have anticipated.
two minutes into the third, BU began its comeback with David Farrance’s
brilliantly placed shot from the left dot. With the lead shrunk to one, both teams
desperately tried to grab the palpable momentum that pervaded the game, and in
one of the most insane regulation finishes in Beanpot history, the hockey gods
had one more trick up their sleeves.
just a minute remaining in the third period, BU pulled its goalie to give them
a man advantage. The Terriers used it well, peppering Northeastern netminder Craig
Pantano with shot after shot. Despite the rapid opportunities, the NU defense
remained strong, turning away chance after chance. That is, until Trevor Zegras
just 1.2 seconds remaining, Zegras found the puck just to the right of Pantano
and threw everything he had into a backhanded shot that wound up in the back of
the net. With bated breath, Husky fans quickly turned their gaze from BU
celebrating to the clock overhead that showed a few tenths left, and although many
didn’t want to admit it, everyone in the stadium knew that the Beanpot final
would be headed to overtime.
the game, Northeastern players were asked about their thoughts when BU tied the
game. Head coach Jim Madigan interjected, “Well, the coaches were saying WTF .
teams returned to the ice for an initial five-minute overtime period. The
Terriers kept the momentum from Zegras’ goal, earning chance after chance, but
Northeastern’s defense stayed strong enough to keep the game even and give both
teams a much-needed break before the 20-minute second overtime.
looked around the locker room and saw no panicked faces,” senior defenseman and
team captain Ryan Shea said. “Everyone was just focused on their game and was
ready to go.”
overtime was a defensive struggle, with both teams trading chances. That is,
until Shea pulled off a remarkable hustle play to draw a holding penalty with
just about six minutes remaining in the overtime frame to give the Huskies a two-minute
power play. And that was all they needed.
With 5:27 to go and under 30 seconds remaining on the power play, sophomore defenseman Jordan Harris collected the puck near the blue line in the offensive zone. With his eyes fixed on the goal and the trophy, Harris coolly skated into the slot and let a shot fly. With Zach Solow planted in front of BU goalie Sam Tucker, the puck soared through the air, through the crowd, and into the back of the net.
Harris and his teammates flung their gloves and sticks into the air and sprinted down to the other end to mob Pantano. TD Garden erupted, and I mean erupted. Twelve full sections of Northeastern students and countless more in the arena screamed and cheered as the improbability of the Huskies’ accomplishment sank in.
said that if we get the puck near the blue line to push it to the middle and
get a shot on net,” Harris said. “Hopefully a lane opens up, which it did, and
I took my opportunity, and luckily it paid off.”
The Eberly Award for best goaltender of the tournament went to Pantano, who recorded 40 saves in the championship game. Pantano grew up watching the Beanpot as a local Massachusetts kid, and continued to watch during his time just north of us at Merrimack College. This was his only opportunity to make his own mark on this historic tournament, and when it mattered most, he didn’t blink.
Solow was crowned MVP for his two-goal performance. Though his stats speak for
themselves, it’s Solow’s on-ice tenacity and off-ice leadership that have
impressed Husky fans and coaches.
perhaps his greatest trait is this: he doesn’t know what it means to lose a
Beanpot game. None of Northeastern’s juniors do either. After three decades of
heartbreaking losses, gutsy performances to no avail, and seeing another team lift
that pot of beans, Northeastern has achieved all-time greatness in Boston’s
most personal and meaningful sports tournament.
heart-attack Huskies had the added benefit of pulling out their improbable win
in front of 17,850 fans, the largest crowd in Beanpot history. BU fans made
their mark, but it was the Northeastern faithful who truly took over TD Garden
(as they have for years) and made it Northeastern’s home away from home. In the
past three seasons, Northeastern is 8–1 there. The bright lights were out on
Monday night, and the Huskies shine in those.
was a great Beanpot game; I’ve seen a lot of them over the years,” Madigan
said. “Congratulations to our players . . . they’ve set the bar incredibly high
for this program and they’ve represented the school well.”
“The winning culture that we’ve built — along with the guys before us — has been everything,” Shea noted. “I came to Northeastern to win a Beanpot, and now we’ve got three of them.”
was a distinct theme throughout the postgame press conference: “Never forgot their
roots.” Northeastern has 14 Massachusetts natives on its roster, all of whom
grew up watching the Beanpot and dreamt of winning it someday. Milton,
Massachusetts resident Jim Madigan praised two Huskies who also grew up there —
Ryan Shea and Aidan McDonough, who had an impressive four-point performance in
the Championship game.
“I had [McDonough] at my house during the Stanley Cup when he was nine,” said Madigan. “I’ve known him a long time and he’s grown into a great young man, and an even better hockey player . . . we’re a Mass team now.
young men have separated themselves from every other team in the 90-year
history of this program,” Madigan said. When asked about a potential four-peat,
Madigan smiled, shook his head, and said, “I think we’re just going to enjoy
a personal note, thank you to everyone involved with Northeastern hockey. This
has been a truly incredible ride that thousands of people — alumni old and new,
current freshmen, family — have loved being a part of.
And to my WRBB Sports family, thank you for everything. There are so many people who deserve to be a part of this run, and I like to believe that everyone at WRBB, past and present, was a crucial part of this broadcast. Like Jim Madigan said, I think I’m just going to enjoy this for a little while.
BOSTON — The heart-attack Huskies just couldn’t help themselves.
Beanpot final for the ages, one that lasted late into Monday night, it took two
overtime periods to crown a 2020 champion, and the game of the decade did not
University — which qualified for the game after another double-overtime thriller
against Boston College in the semifinal — grabbed the lead off a Jake Wise
backhander just three minutes into the contest. After a Craig Pantano spill in
front of the Northeastern net, Wise was perfectly positioned to finish off the
first goal of the game.
BU followed up with a second goal just five minutes later, as Trevor Zegras put a simple wrister past Pantano on the power play.
Northeastern kicked it into high gear.
period intermission was kind to the Huskies, as they bounced back with a four-goal
second period to seize control of the game. Tyler Madden and Aidan McDonough
got the scoring going, tying it up after great individual efforts just six
minutes into the period. The scoring continued for Northeastern as Zach Solow
put the puck in the back of the net on a five-on-three.
taking the 3–2 lead, Northeastern continued to pressure BU, with Grant Jozefek burying
one from distance on the power play to cap the Husky blitz.
foiling a Northeastern power play to begin the third period, the Terriers began
their climb by converting on a power play of their own with a great mid-range
shot from defenseman David Farrance.
battled throughout the third, with Northeastern barely clinging to their 4–3
lead. With just seconds remaining in regulation, BU mustered all their might
toward a final offensive onslaught, and with just 1.2 seconds remaining,
freshman forward Trevor Zegras scored the biggest goal of his career — a
backhander past Pantano to send the Beanpot final into overtime.
The teams played to an even first five minutes of overtime, with Northeastern escaping to the locker room after BU forced them onto their heels. Because a normal, non-Beanpot game would have ended after one overtime, Monday’s contest goes down in the books as a 4–4 tie. Officially, the game was decided. But for the players on the ice and the fans in the stands, there was still a score to settle.
entered the second overtime with as much energy as they could muster. After
trading blows, the Huskies finally gained a momentum advantage when a BU tripping
penalty gave the Huskies a power play they couldn’t afford to waste.
left to go, Jordan Harris collected the puck near the blue line. With eyes on
goal, Harris wound up and fired his shot toward the BU net. With Zach Solow
planted in front of BU goaltender Sam Tucker, the puck sailed through the air
and miraculously found the back of the net. In a split second, the crowd of
17,850 — the largest showing in the 68-year history of the Beanpot — erupted
into a deafening roar. After going 30 years without a Beanpot trophy, the
Huskies had their first-ever three-peat.
An ecstatic Jim Madigan praised his team after the game saying, “They pushed, we pushed, they pushed back. It was a great Beanpot game. Congratulations to our players on three in a row. These young men have separated themselves from every other team in the 90-year history of this program.”
Solow was crowned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring a goal apiece against Harvard and BU. Craig Pantano went home with the Eberly Award, given to the player with the highest save percentage across both games. Pantano saved 40 shots in the championship game.
This season has presented its fair share of challenges for the Huskies, and they haven’t always shone under the spotlight. But under the biggest college hockey spotlight in a sports-crazed city, as the cheers of the Doghouse rained down on the ice at TD Garden, there was no mistaking the sight — the Huskies were champions again.
The Northeastern women’s hockey team will face BU in their Beanpot final Tuesday night. Dale Desantis and Alex Bensley will be on the call; follows @wrbbsports on Twitter for updates on start time. WRBB will also upload a more in-depth story on the three-peat later in the week.
BOSTON — An extra week off of the ice usually results in one of two things.
Either the team returns rested and with fewer injuries, or they look sluggish
came off their 12-day break with nothing but benefits. They were rested, and the
return of Julian Kislin after a four-week absence gave the Husky defense added
against Providence was critical in determining Northeastern’s destiny in Hockey
East and NCAA as a whole. The Friars are always a fierce opponent, and they entered
Matthews Arena with only one road loss. That the loss came by four goals
against Northeastern guaranteed nothing for Friday night’s game.
sat tied for second in the Hockey East; the Huskies, while only three points
behind, sat tied for sixth. If the last few weeks of Hockey East action have
taught us anything, it’s that nothing, nothing, is certain. With bottom
feeders like UConn and UNH surging, and previous leaders like Northeastern and
BU faltering against easier opponents, Hockey East is as wide open as ever.
started off slowly for both teams, with no fantastic chances for either side.
After about 10 minutes, the Huskies found their footing in the dynamic of the
game, and their forward check came into full swing. Northeastern, with the help
of Matt Filipe and Zach Solow, put considerable pressure on Providence and its
goaltender Mike Lackey. The puck rarely made its way to Northeastern’s side of
the ice, and Providence began to tire. That fatigue became most apparent when
Tyler Madden forced a turnover in the neutral zone and carried the puck all the
way to the goal, putting the Huskies up 1–0.
Huskies continued to dominate the physical and mental tempo of the game. Only
four minutes after Madden’s breakaway goal, Matt Filipe and Matt DeMelis found
themselves in a two-on-one rush, and netted another goal for the Huskies.
The period ended with both teams receiving penalties, resulting in a four-on-four that only saw more Northeastern dominance over the puck. The period ended with the Huskies holding onto their 2–0 lead.
as the start of the first period was, the second period was insane. Providence
came out with some good looks on net, but Craig Pantano had absolutely none of
it, making some difficult saves look trivial.
When two quick Northeastern penalties gave Providence a five-on-three, Mike Kesselring displayed his spectacular stick skills on the penalty kill and willingly put his body on the line. He took a scorching shot high off the arm and was clearly in considerable pain, but fought through until the best opportunity for him to make a change.
did not return to the ice for the duration of the kill, and that is perhaps
what led to Providence breaking through and putting themselves on the score
sheet. Tensions ran high between the two teams, with forwards Greg Printz and
Zach Solow exchanging pushes and what could only have been the most pleasant of
physicality of the game skyrocketed, with both teams exchanging savage stick
slaps and brutal body blows. This culminated with Biagio Lerario’s massive
check against Printz right in front of the Providence bench, which drew a five-minute
major penalty against and Lerario’s ejection.
Northeastern penalty kill took the ice and took no prisoners. It didn’t even
feel like a penalty kill, as they held Providence to a grand total of zero
shots for the first 4:40. The whole PK unit skated their butts off, beating
every Friar they could to the puck and making Pantano’s job between the pipes
easier. This momentum carried into five-on-five play after the penalty, as
Aidan McDonough netted his ninth goal of the season less than a minute later.
goal only made the Friars upset, as they played most of the rest of the period
on Northeastern’s side of the ice. Patrick Moynihan forced a turnover right in
front of the goal on the forward check, spun, and slipped the puck past
Pantano. The tumultuous second period concluded with the Huskies leading 3–2.
Providence dominated the beginning of the third period. The only thing keeping the Friars from tying the game was an admirable performance by Pantano, who went so far as to lay across the ice to keep the puck out of the net. But Jack Dugan made the most of a Providence faceoff win on their offensive side, pounding the puck past Pantano to tie the game.
soon went to the power play, but unlike those earlier in the game, the top line
of McDonough, Madden, and Jozefek was unable to get things done, and almost
allowed a shorthanded goal. The unceremonious power play resulted in the return
of Providence dominance, and more amazing saves from Pantano.
a quarter of the period remaining, Providence’s Parker Ford was sent to the
penalty box for hooking. This Northeastern power play began much like their
last, but about halfway through it, they worked the puck into the offensive
zone. This kicked off a beautiful sequence of about 20 passes where the power play
unit methodically broke down the Friars’ defense, slowly applying pressure and
working the puck closer and closer to the net.
the breakthrough came. Zach Solow found himself, and more importantly, the
puck, right in front of the net, after a precise pass by McDonough right to his
stick. Solow’s job was made easy and he executed perfectly, placing the puck
into the bottom left of the cage, giving the Huskies the lead with only five
game, Providence head coach Nate Leaman expressed his displeasure with his
team’s physicality, saying that it “hardly felt like [they] checked anybody all
night.” On the flip side of the hockey coin, Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan
expressed his pleasure with his team’s approach to the game.
can’t sit back and wait for goals to happen,” he said. “You have to go out and
earn them against a team like this.”
head to TD Garden this Monday to face Harvard in the first game of the Beanpot.
Christian Skroce, Matt Neiser, and Dale Desantis will call that one, with
coverage beginning at 4:45 PM EST.
BOSTON — Benjamin Freeman’s power-play rebound goal three minutes
into overtime gave UConn (9–10–4, 6–7–2) a 3–2 win over Northeastern (13–7–2, 7–6–1
HEA) Saturday night at Matthews Arena. The outcome was a crucial one, coming
amid a tight Hockey East playoff race in which the top seven teams — including
Northeastern and UConn — are separated by just five points.
It was Northeastern’s second straight overtime loss. They will wait a few weeks for a chance to bounce back, with their next game coming January 31 at home against Providence. Christian Skroce and Matt Neiser will call that one, with coverage beginning at 6:45 PM EST.
Freeman’s goal came as a result of a Jeremie Bucheler holding penalty with 2:22 to go in OT. UConn’s Vladislav Firstov, who had already scored twice, broke in on net after a Ryan Shea turnover in the neutral zone. Bucheler attempted to halt a Firstov breakaway before being whistled for the penalty.
afterward, the officials ruled that the puck flew into the Northeastern bench, giving
UConn an attacking-zone face-off. UConn won it, then Freeman tallied the
game-winner after Northeastern goalie Craig Pantano came up big on a Jake Flynn
went on the power play and, to be frank with you, I thought Jeremie Bucheler
did a great job defending their forward going to the net,” said head coach Jim
Madigan. “That is how we teach it. He went to the box and they scored on the
powerplay. We cleared the puck and the referee thought it went in our bench
which never hit our bench. In-zone faceoff and they scored. We didn’t get the
To start the game, it took UConn all of 89 seconds to get on the board after a Firstov breakaway split the NU defense. It worsened after a Jayden Struble penalty gave UConn a power play, which Northeastern killed off. Shortly after, Northeastern’s own penalty generated a flurry of chances that failed to get past UConn goalie Tomas Vomacka, who saved 35 shots on the evening. The first period ended with a 1–0 UConn lead.
the end of the first period, five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct
penalties were assessed to Northeastern’s Riley Hughes (grasping the facemask)
and UConn’s Jáchym Kondelík (boarding).
the second period, Northeastern killed off a penalty before crawling back into
the game. Grant Jozefek was hit hard around 5:30 into the period and stayed on
the ice for a few seconds. A few minutes later, Aidan McDonough found Jozefek
for a game-tying one-timer. Around seven minutes after that, Jozefek drove home
a feed from Mike Kesselring for his sixth goal of the season and a 2–1
answered with just over three minutes left in the second period as Firstov, on
a pass from Wyatt Newhouse, ripped his second of the night in front of Pantano
with little NU defensive pressure.
third period, both Pantano (41 saves) and Vomacka stood on their heads with
plenty of chances both ways.
in overtime, the team went back and forth until Bucheler’s holding penalty.
feel bad for Jeremie Bucheler because he defended the play the right way and he
got called for a penalty,” said Madigan. “We will have to re-group. We have two
weeks off now to get ready for Providence and this is a tough loss, but we will
re-group. This is a resilient group in there and we just keep battling and move
Tyler Madden began Monday
with 14 goals and 12 assists, tied for third in the nation in goals and tied
for fourth in points. The Vancouver Canucks prospect has been on fire as of
late; in only his second college season, Madden has placed himself firmly in
the Hobey Baker Award conversation.
The hot streak continued
into Monday night, as he racked up another goal and a pair of assists en route
to a 4–2 Northeastern victory over the visiting Bentley Falcons. In a game
closer than the score suggests, Madden’s goal scoring and playmaking once again
helped the Huskies tally a win.
“I don’t think it’s slowed
down, I think I just understand it a little bit better,” Madden said when asked
about the change in year two. “I think having a first year under your best
helped me out a lot. [I’m] starting to get those areas where I score more and
just play some good hockey.”
On the back of a 5–2
victory on the road against fellow Hockey East opponent UConn, sub-.500 Bentley
(8–11–1) looked like a walk in the park for No. 11/13 Northeastern (13–5–2,
7–4–1 HEA). As it turns out, it was anything but for the Huskies.
Neither team gained any
traction in the first period, with the two sides jostling back-and-forth for
much of the frame. Bentley held the shot lead for the entire period, ending the
first 20 minutes with an 8–7 advantage. Despite the discrepancy, it was
Northeastern that got on the board first. As the clock ticked under two
minutes, the Huskies went on the power play following a slashing call on the
Falcons. As he does so often, Madden dictated play before sliding a perfect
pass across the zone, finding freshman Aidan McDonough for a one-timer to take
McDonough has come on
strong for the Huskies this season, proving to be the missing link on a power
play unit that struggled to start the season. After sputtering early, the
Huskies have brought their conversion percentage above 20 percent, placing them
in the top-20 in the nation. Monday’s goal was McDonough’s eighth of the
season, all on the man advantage. Those eight PP goals tie him for the lead
nationally, no small feat for a freshman on the same unit as Madden and Zach
After just one penalty in
the first frame, the second period turned into a whistle-fest. Starting at the
6:48 mark, three penalties were assessed in the next 10 minutes — two to
Northeastern and one to Bentley. Neither team found paydirt on those
opportunities, and Bentley even came close to converting on a breakaway as they
killed off the Huskies’ first. A Falcon stretch pass found a streaking Matt
Gosiewski, but grad transfer goaltender Craig Pantano saved the day with one of
many outstanding saves on the night.
If it feels like you’ve
read that sentence before, you probably have — Pantano has bailed out
Northeastern with spectacular saves in many a game this season. Madden had high
praise for his teammate, saying “He’s unbelievable. He’s definitely held us in
a lot of games, especially here tonight. It easily could have been 4–4 at the
end of that game, and he just came up big.”
The second period ended
scoreless, but the final 20 minutes more than made up for that. Just under two
minutes into the third, Bentley’s Jonathan Desbiens tucked home a rebound off a
Pantano save to even the game at a goal apiece. Madden took matters into his
own hands and responded less than three minutes later, sliding home a one-timer
from the slot off a feed from sophomore Jordan Harris.
Bentley again brought the
game to a dead heat 8:40 into the third with Jakov Novak’s team-leading 12th
goal of the season, setting up a thrilling finish.
As the clock went under two
minutes left in regulation, overtime looked like a foregone conclusion.
Northeastern continued to press hard for the game-winner, and they eventually found
it when freshman Matt DeMelis fed a pass into the slot for senior Matt Filipe,
who beat the goaltender up high to give the Huskies the lead for good.
Adding insult to injury,
Solow got on the end of a turnover and scored an insurance goal just 26 seconds
later, bringing the final score to 4–2.
Senior captain Ryan Shea
tallied three assists on the night, bringing his season total to a team-high
19. The helpers extended Shea’s point streak to 11 games, dating back to a game
against Merrimack on November 9. Solow’s goal boosted his point streak to nine
games. Pantano saved 26 of 28 Bentley shots, earning his 13th win of
Husky head coach Jim
Madigan praised his team’s ability to step up when it mattered most. “I thought
Bentley played well, and they outplayed us and they outshot us for three
periods . . . we’ve got a mature group in there, and those are the ones that
stepped up and we found a way to win.”
Northeastern is back in
action on Saturday, traveling north to Durham to take on the New Hampshire
Wildcats. Matt Neiser and Dale DeSantis will be on the call, with coverage
beginning at 6:45 PM EST.
In a battle between Hockey
East’s two Husky teams at the Hartford XL Center on Friday night, Northeastern’s
early-game dominance on both sides of the puck carried them to a 5–2 victory
Within the team’s first 30
seconds of play in 2020, Northeastern’s Matt Filipe fired a shot into the back
of the net on an assist from Ryan Shea.
After Filipe’s goal, play swung
back and forth until 10:40 into the period, when Zach Solow’s unassisted goal
gave Northeastern a 2–0 lead. Minutes
later, Tyler Madden scored another goal, assisted by Aidan McDonough and Grant
UConn struggled through the
entire first period and most of the second, turning over the puck frequently
and giving Northeastern many scoring opportunities.
Nearly twelve minutes into
the second period, Solow put in another goal, assisted by McDonough and Madden.
Northeastern’s score streak continued minutes later,
their fifth goal courtesy of freshman Matt DeMelis, who put home a rebound from
teammate Neil Shea.
UConn finally got on the
board with a minute left in the second period, when Vladislav Firstov put home
a rebound. Firstov’s goal trimmed the Northeastern lead to 5–1 entering the
Though the final period
featured UConn’s second goal (by Jonny Evans seven minutes in), it also brought
increased aggression. With just under five minutes to play, McDonough was
called for goalie interference. Simultaneously, freshman defender Mike
Kesselring was hit with a five-minute major penalty (and a ten-minute game
misconduct) for a violent cross-check, putting Northeastern at a disadvantage
for the remainder of the game.
With nearly three minutes
to go in the game, UConn pulled goalie Tomas Vomacka, leaving Northeastern in a
three-on-five situation. Once McDonough’s penalty was over, Northeastern
defended the more manageable four-on-five penalty kill.
“We didn’t play as cleanly as I would
have liked in the third period,” Madigan said, though he remarked that the “PK
did a great job all night long.”
Craig Pantano also played a solid game, making 24 saves for a .923 save
Northeastern will take on
Bentley this Monday in Matthews Arena. Christian Skroce and Dale Desantis
will call the game for WRBB, with coverage beginning at 6:45.
BOSTON — Saturday
afternoon’s game was, in many ways, similar to last Saturday’s contest against
Boston University. Both games had chaotic second periods. In both, Northeastern
netted three goals.
The difference today was the result; Northeastern walked off
the ice with a 6–4 win over Dartmouth in their last game of the 2010s. The game
was also reminiscent of the teams’ last meeting six years before, in which a
furious offensive onslaught yielded an 8–8 tie.
For the first five minutes of tonight’s game, the puck
darted around the ice like a wet bar of soap; neither team could hold it for
more than a few seconds. But John Picking, who energized the Husky attack every
time his skates hit the ice, eventually broke the seal, sneaking around the net
and tapping home a gorgeous one-timer off a precise feed from Jordan Harris.
Harris kept the momentum going two minutes later, firing a
long pass to Neil Shea out front. Shea shoveled it to Filipe; Filipe flipped it
With four minutes remaining in the period, a hooking penalty
sent star Dartmouth forward Drew O’Connor to the penalty box. Freshman Husky forward
Aidan McDonough, who has as good a nose for power play goals as a squirrel does
for nuts, found himself alone at the base of the right dot. Tyler Madden slid
him a pass through traffic and McDonough didn’t need to be told twice.
Though the Huskies 11–8 first-period shot advantage seems
fairly insignificant, the quality of the shots shows the Husky dominance that
pervaded the period. The Big Green forced a few attempts in the area of
Northeastern netminder Craig Pantano, but few seriously threatened the fifth-year
The second period was a different story. The momentum swung less
than a minute in, with Dartmouth’s Jeff Losurdo swooping in off the rebound to notch
his third goal in as many games.
Eight minutes later, the Big Green dropped a sledgehammer,
scoring two goals in 13 seconds to even the score. First Daniel Warpecha
stuffed the puck in through traffic. Then Sam Hesler flung one home off the
rebound after an ill-advised do-or-die reach by Neil Shea gave Dartmouth a
three-on-two against Pantano.
“It was more in the neutral
zone where we were turning pucks over, getting three or four guys caught on one
side of the ice, and they counter,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said of
the Dartmouth burst. “That top line of O’Connor, [Quin] Foreman, and [Will] Graber
are really good and they transition pucks quickly. We just got to make sure in
the neutral zone we manage pucks a lot better and we gave them a little bit too
much in that regard today.”
A three-goal lead built over an entire period had been torn
to pieces in nine minutes. Within eight minutes, it was fully restored.
McDonough — apparently not content with just one power play
goal on the afternoon — slammed home another off Zach Solow and Ryan Shea’s
assist. Shea — apparently tired of his goal–assist ratio leaning so far in the
assist direction — scored a power play goal of his own a few minutes later when
a scrambling Dartmouth defense let him get a running start to the front of the
When Tyler Madden stuffed home a rebound two minutes later
for his 13th goal of the season, it completed the Huskies’ second
three-goal second period in as many games.
The only third period scoring was a
goal halfway through from Dartmouth’s Ryan Blankmeier. The Big Green tried to
turn up their intensity and make a last-minute comeback, but that intensity only
caused them problems.
With 80 seconds left, Dartmouth defender
Jack Cameron went down on a puck chase and slammed into the wall underneath the
boards. He remained writhing on the ice for a bit, then went immediately to the
locker room with what Dartmouth head coach Bob Gaudet described as an upper-body
injury that will sideline him for a while.
The ensuing scuffle yielded penalties,
leaving the Big Green down two goals and two skaters. Northeastern calmly exhausted
Though hustle certainly factored plenty
in a game chock full of puck chases and scrambles, the game was ultimately won
and lost with advantages. Northeastern turned six power plays into three goals
while negating all three of Dartmouth’s power plays.
“You can see the angling and the aggressiveness,”
Gaudet said after the game. “That’s their trigger points where they decide to
be aggressive. Sometimes it’s up-ice, a lot of the times it’s on a bobbled
“They’re really quick. Their angling
was really good and they got into lanes and took things away from us; I was
really impressed with that . . . maybe we can steal a few things from Madigan.”
Three Huskies extended point streaks. Filipe’s
goal brought his streak to five games, Solow’s three assists extended his to
seven, and Ryan Shea’s goal and assists gave him a nine-game stretch. The win
boosted Northeastern to 11–5–2 (6–4–1 HEA) and dropped Dartmouth to 4–4–2 (4–2–1
Northeastern will have a 19-day break
before traveling to Connecticut for a January 3 matchup against the UConn
Huskies. WRBB will not broadcast the game, but will upload coverage to the
WRBB will also publish various online
content throughout Northeastern’s winter break. Our next broadcast is the
January 2 basketball game against Elon. Milton Posner and Matt Neiser will call
that one, with coverage beginning at 6:45 PM EST.
BOSTON — Fresh
off a victory in the Belfast-based Friendship Four and riding a five-game
winning streak, the No. 8/12 Northeastern men’s ice hockey team headed across
town to rival Boston University for the teams’ first meeting this season.
entering Saturday’s game with a losing record, the Terriers are chock full of
talent. They showed that in this game, scoring four goals in the second period
and six overall as they took down the Huskies, 6–3.
Northeastern (10–5–2, 6–4–1 HEA) got off to an encouraging start, generating 17 first-period shots on net to BU’s seven. But the Terriers (6–6–5, 4–3–4 HEA) emerged with the advantage after senior Patrick Harper capitalized on a defensive lapse by the Huskies to score the lone goal of the first 20 minutes.
relatively tame opening frame, all hell broke loose in the second. Goals from
junior Zach Solow and senior John Picking — 12 seconds apart and both within
the first minute of play — put the Huskies on top, but BU sophomore Jack DeBoer
fired right back 40 seconds later, evening the game at two goals apiece.
Northeastern retook the lead on an Aidan McDonough goal 90 seconds after that, but the Terriers rattled off three unanswered goals from Harper, Robert Mastrosimone, and Domenick Fensore to take control heading into the final frame.
holding possession for much of the third period and benefitting from four power
plays, the Huskies couldn’t match the ridiculous production of the previous
period. The Terriers held them scoreless and tacked on a shorthanded empty-net insurance
goal to extend their lead to 6–3, securing victory over their Hockey East
added an assist to his goal and finished as Northeastern’s only multi-point
scorer. Jayden Struble, T.J. Walsh, Ryan Shea, and Matt Filipe all added assists.
Goaltender Craig Pantano made 21 saves but allowed five goals.
Terrier goaltender Sam Tucker was fantastic in net, totaling 37 saves, including many tough stops, in the victory.
head coach Jim Madigan didn’t mince words after the game, stating, “I don’t
know how much there is to say. We played shitty hockey, and really bad
defensively, and they took advantage of opportunities.” He repeated that choice
two-word phrase multiple times throughout the post-game press conference.
“We were just turning pucks over. We knew what we needed to do, it wasn’t like they were hemming us in their own zone, we were just really sloppy with the puck,” Madigan added. The Husky head coach was spot-on with his analysis, as always. This was not a good game for the Northeastern skaters, whose sloppy play led to many of the Terriers’ opportunities and goals.
loss halts the Huskies’ win streak at five, their longest of the season. They are
tied with Massachusetts and UMass Lowell for second place in Hockey East; BU
sits in fifth place, though they are just one point behind the Huskies.
Huskies have a week to recoup, with their final matchup of 2019 coming on
Saturday against Dartmouth College. Milton Posner and Alex Bensley will be on
the call, with coverage starting at 3:45 PM EST.