The Northeastern Huskies open up their 2011-2012 season with an exhibition game Sunday at 2pm, when they host the St. Francis X-Men. Yes, the X-Men. The Huskies will be eager to get back on the ice after an offseason that saw them lose their head coach, top 4 scorers and a couple of recruits.
But Jim Madigan has taken over and stopped the bleeding in terms of the recruits. He takes over a team that has a lot of question marks, but also one that has the talent and potential to hold their own in a tough Hockey East.
Jamie Oleksiak, Randy Guzior, Brodie Reid, Tyler McNeely, Wade MacLeod, Steve Silva, and Mike Hewkin are gone. Vinny Saponari, Adam Reid, Ben Oskroba, Joseph Manno, Josh Manson, Dan Cornell, and Ludwig Karlsson are in.
In the last two seasons, the Huskies have opened with an exhibition game against a Canadian team. Both times they have lost someone to a season ending injury. In 2009, it was Steve Quailer. Last year, it was Alex Tuckerman. They will be hoping to avoid that this season.
Another thing they will be hoping to avoid is the sophomore slump that seemed inevitable under Cronin. The following are players from last years’ team that suffered drops in their second season.
|Player||Points as a FR||Points as a SO||Drop|
Note: Quailer, Vrolyk both suffered drops, but missed time from injuries. Silva and MacLeod had minor increases.
Players like Braden Pimm and Rob Dongara had big seasons for the Huskies last year and if they fall victim to a similar slump, the Huskies will be in big trouble. Hopefully Madigan can get more out of them.
The lineup is probably going to look like this:
The Huskies only have 5 days to prepare for their season opener so this game will be a good indicator of how ready they are. Good luck to the Huskies and Jim Madigan in his debut. And make sure you go and support the team with the DogHouse.