Midseason Awards

December 28, 2011

Opinion

The Northeastern Huskies have really turned on the jets in recent weeks, and head into a much deserved break a few points off home ice. Following a sluggish start, this sudden streak has brought the club back to .500, and if one thing is for certain, the effort has been at a high level down the entire lineup. Each line and pairing seems to be contributing night in and night out, with coach Jim Madigan (and co.) creating. a culture of accountability and leadership amongst his players. In this group of players, there have been some standouts. Here’s your 2011-2012 mideseason awards.

Best Freshman:

Ludwig Karlsson: The Swedish forward has had a mercurial improvement as of late. With six goals and eight assists, Karlsson has become a deadly point per game threat, making a living protecting the puck and making slick plays in the offensive zone, and is recently adding sniper to his résumé. On top of this Karlsson has been a reliable defensive forward, winning his fair share of one-on-one battles and stopping puck movement dead in its tracks. -Cory

Dan Cornell: He doesn’t show up on the stat sheet very much, but no freshman has meant more to the Huskies this season.  Cornell, who played at Malden Catholic, came to campus as a full walk-on this fall and wasn’t supposed to see much ice time.   After a rough start for the defense, Cornell got his chance and he has not left the lineup since.   Freshman defenseman usually struggle in their first year, but Cornell has been helped by his partner Anthony Bitetto.  Without Cornell’s surprising contributions, this team would not be where they are today. -Drew

Worst Game:

10/29/11: UNH 5, NU 2(@UNH): This game defined a low point for the Huskies. In the previous week, they lost decisively at Merrimack and coughed up a lead before losing in OT to BC in the most heartbreaking fashion. But this was a game against a less formidable opponent in UNH, in a contest which saw the Huskies get outshot 38-17 (Only 3 SOG in the first period) and go 0-4 on the power play. -Cory

11/12/11: UMA 4, NU 2 (@UMA): Northeastern was coming off a tough loss to BC with 2.1 seconds  the night before and they traveled west trying to end a 4 game losing streak.  Northeastern held a 2-1 lead late in the second, but they allowed UMass Amherst to tie it up with a power play goal.  Another power play goal for the Minuteman gave them the lead late in the 3rd and they would seal it with an empty netter in the closing minute.  The loss dropped the Huskies to 1-7-2, which proved to be the low point for them.-Drew

Best Game:

12/2/11:  NU 9, Notre Dame 2 (@Notre Dame): The road beatdown of then #2 Notre Dame is the obvious choice here. The Huskies were outshot and also went 0-4 on the power play in this game, but this outcome was dictated by creating odd-man rushes and high quality scoring chances all-around. Add in an entire lineup that had hypnotizing chemistry while taking risks with confidence, and you have a blowout.-Cory

11/18/11: NU 5, PC 2 (@PC): PC was flying high coming into this game and the Huskies were just 1-7-2.  But Steve Quailer scored in the first minute of the game and the Huskies dominated from there.  It was just their second win of the season, but it was the turning point.  The win restored the team’s confidence and showed what the Huskies were capable of. When the team skated off the ice that night there were a ton of smiles and it seemed like all of the pressue had been lifted. And they have played like that since -Drew

Most Improved Player:

Braden Pimm: The sophomore forward has expanded his smaller role last year into that of a top six center with a refined all-around game. Pimm had 9 points in 36 games last season; this year the 21 year old has 11 through 16. He centers a potent line with other improved talents Steve Quailer and Cody Ferriero on his wings. In Pimm, the Huskies now have the rare player who will not only contribute to a majority of prettier goals, but the gritty ones as well.-Cory

Cody Ferriero: Ferriero came here last season as a true freshman with high expectations. After scoring a goal in his first game, he completely disappeared. He didn’t show a great work ethic and found himself in the stands at times. His off ice troubles carried over into the season as he was forced to sit out the first month. But on the ice, he has been a changed man. He’s been smart with and without the puck. Instead of trying to go through everyone, he is making the right pass. He has been crashing the net hard and getting in the right spaces and as a result, he is picking up goals. He looks like a whole new player this year, one the Huskies can count on for a big second half. -Drew

7th Man Award

Joseph Manno: The seventh man award is sort of a tribute to the guy who works behind the scenes and contributes in various ways to a team’s success. Manno, a freshman forward, brings an intensity and effort level that makes the game more manageable for his teammates. And better yet, his tenacious board play makes the game much more difficult for his opponents. -Cory

Mike McLaughlin: The Captain is the go to guy on faceoffs and penalty kills. Without him in the lineup, they have struggled in those areas. He is the only senior on the team and he has played like one with smart decision making and a full effort every shift. Hopefully he can return from his injury after the break. -Drew

Best Defenseman

Anthony Bitetto: The Sophomore and assistant captain is known for solid play in his own zone and pinpoint breakout passes, but why Bitetto gets recognized here is the leadership he has displayed. One game, Cody Ferriero got too fancy on a breakaway, and immediately made his way to the bench. Bitetto moved over to the forward and let him have it. Madigan didn’t even have to budge. I like that a lot. -Cory

Anthony Bitetto: My favorite Bitetto moment was during the BC game at Matthews. After every whistle, he would get right in John Gaurdreau’s face until the refs separated them. (Honorable mention to the time he promised to try to kill Bigos) Bitetto is by far the best defenseman on the team and he seems like he might be the most vocal leader. He has shown an improvement in moving the puck and working the point this year on top of continuing his solid play defensively. I think we may see him in the NHL at some point. -Drew

First Half MVP

 Chris Rawlings: In one school of thought, goalies aren’t considered the most valuable player on a team. I disagree with that sometimes. When you have a player who can hand deliver victory when the offense isn’t firing on all cylinders, his value is far too high to ignore. The Junior goaltender had many fans questioning his versatility both last year and at the beginning of the season. Rawlings has proven them wrong (I was one of them). A .933 save percentage and 2.25 GAA (against some of the top offenses in the country mind you) has Rawlings in the same company as the NCAA’s best goaltenders. The guy has been a brick wall. -Cory

Chris Rawlings: The stats show how good Rawlings has been. His numbers during the win streak are just gaudy. But to really understand what he means to the team, you need to look at the comments from his teammates and the coaching staff. After the last game Cody Ferriero talked about how the team isn’t afraid to take chances offensively because they trust him back there. Madigan has reiterated that on multiple occassions. Rawlings strong play has not only prevented goals, but he has allowed the team has a whole to play with a high level of confidence and aggression. And that has led to the win streak. -Drew

Advertisements
, , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: