Sophomore forward Rob Dongara announced via Twitter this afternoon that he will not be returning to Northeastern next season. He will likely transfer to either an Atlantic Hockey or a Divison 3 school.
“Dong” has certainly had an interesting 2 years at Northeastern. He arrived without very much hype and was not really expected to see much ice time. But after the first weekend, he got his shot at playing time. After that, he never left the lineup. His speed was exciting and he quickly became a fan favorite. That speed helped him score an amazing shorthanded goal in the Beanpot championship that made him one of the most recognizable members of the team. Even kids that didn’t follow the hockey team had heard of Dong. He finished his freshman season with 6 goals, 8 assists and an entire section named after him (The DongHouse).
After bulking up over the summer, expectations were high heading into his second season. But obviously Madigan didn’t value Dongara the way Cronin did. After a rough start, Dongara soon found himself in the stands. The team went on a long win streak and the lineup shuffling stopped with Dongara on the outside looking in. After that Dongara only got in when people were hurt, suspended or both. Even that was no guarantee. Late in the year, Madigan chose to dress just 11 forwards instead of putting him in the lineup. At that point, it became clear: this relationship was just not going to work. Dong finished the year with just 15 games played and 1-1-2 line.
When you bring in a new coach, some old guys aren’t going to fit. Thats what happened here. Dongara will move on and play somewhere else. Madigan will bring in one of “his guys”.
No matter where he lands, the Scituate, MA native, will always have his amazing Beanpot goal and subsequent SportsCenter Top Play. Good Luck in the future Rob and thanks for your time as a Husky.