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Final: Huskies 4, Maine 2

February 25, 2012

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With their backs to the wall, Northeastern pulled out a huge victory last night over Maine, 4-2

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Garrett Vermeersch, Justin Daniels, Vinny Saponari and Adam Reid had goals for Northeastern.
  • Anthony Bitetto, Joseph Manno and Justin Daniels had 2 points.  Steve Quailer and Luke Eibler also had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings made 29 saves and didn’t allow any soft goals.
  • The Huskies were outshot 31 to 28.
  • NU 2-5 on the PP.  Maine was 0-2, but got 1 shorthanded goal.
  • Mike McLaughlin and Alex Tuckerman both sustained concussions.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies came to play right from the get go.   And Garrett Vermeersch scored on their first PP of the game to give them an early lead.
  • The second period got off to a bad start.  Maine grabbed a goal 15 seconds in to tie it.
  • Then the Huskies reverted to their old habits when Maine gave them a 5 minute major.  NU couldn’t get the puck of their own zone and Maine scored eventually to take the lead.  NU looked to have tied it, but after a lengthy review, it was ruled McLaughlin kicked the puck in.
  • Justin Daniels, who picked up 3 points, tied it up for a real a minute later on a tough angle shot.   
  • The game looked destined for OT until Joe Manno found himself on a breakaway.  His attempt was saved, but Adam Reid was there to put home the rebound with just 1 minute left.
  • The Huskies then sealed the deal with an empty netter.  Steve Quailer broke in, but then in an unselfish move, passed it to Vinny Saponari.
Lines:
Karlsson-McLaughlin-Saponari
Quailer-Vermeersch-Pimm
Reid-Daniels-Tuckerman
Manno-Stone-Morra
 
D:
Bitetto-Manson
Eibler-Cornell
Ellement-Daniels
 
 
Thoughts
What a game and what a win.  With Steve Quailer back in the lineup, the Huskies actually came to play.   Every line had some chances and the Huskies actually looked like a team that wanted to be there for the first time in a while.
 
Chris Rawlings finally played like a guy who plans on being a pro.  He was moving well and made some big saves.   But most importantly, he didn’t let in any soft goals.  The defense helped him out by limiting chances for the Black Bears.
 
It looked like another game that NU was going to blow after wasting multiple PP chances late in the game, but they pulled it out.
 
Manno may not be able to score, but he just keeps getting breakaways.  And Adam Reid always seems to be in the right place and the right time.  Just a great sequence of events to get the game winner.  Both of these freshman are going to play a huge role next season.  
 
I was ready to write this team off, but this was very encouraging.  In a must win game, they came to play.  And they came back from a deficit for once.  It was an impressive win and it gives the team and the fans some hope that playoffs may be in sight.  
 
 
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Final: Huskies 2, Providence 2

February 19, 2012

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Yet again, Northeastern skated to a tie last night against Providence.  This one finished 2-2.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Alex Tuckerman and Adam Reid had goals for Northeastern.
  • Mike McLaughlin, Drew Daniels, Garrett Vermeersch, and Drew Ellement all had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings made 47 saves, a career high.  But the two goals he let in will be what this game is remembered for.
  • The Huskies were outshoot 49 to 35.
  • NU 1-6 on the PP.  PC was 1-7, both teams had 5 minute majors.
  • Robbie Vrolyk was injured late in the first and did not return.
What You Need to Know
  • Northeastern took an early lead, but couldn’t hold on for long.
  • With the game tied at 1, Ben Oskroba was sent off for a 5 minute major.   NU did a great job killing the penalty, but they allowed a goal when Kevin Hart shot a puck in from the neutral zone and Rawlings deflected it top shelf.   I know I have said this a few times this season, but this was without a doubt the softest goal Rawlings has given up.  Especially when you consider it was probably going wide of the net before he touched it.
  • Adam Reid tied it up on a great move when Vermeersch sprung him on a partial breakaway.
  • Speaking of breakaways, Joe Manno had 3.  The first two he shot way over the net and the third Beaudry was not fooled on.   Manno was really flying last night, but his missed chances proved costly
  • More missed chances: NU had a PP late in the third and early in OT.  They managed just 1 shot between the 2.
  • 1 Shoe OT is still undefeated.
Lines:
Karlsson-Daniels-Saponari
Reid-Vermeersch-Pimm
Manno-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Stone-Morra
D:
Bitetto-Manson
Eibler-Oskroba
Ellement-Daniels
Cornell
Thoughts
Robbie Vrolyk did not return to the lineup on Saturday after leaving Friday, but even that couldn’t get former fan favorite Rob Dongara back in the lineup.   Madigan went with 11 forwards and 7 D and it actually paid off.  Dan Cornell left the game in the first to get stitches, then Ben Oskroba was tossed for contact to the head.   Cornell eventually returned and the Huskies finished with 6 defenseman.
Once again, offense was an issue for the Huskies.   Since Ferriero and Qualier got hurt, the Huskies have scored just 11 goals in 6 games. Pathetic.  If Robbie Vrolyk is out for an extended period of time, the Huskies may not score another goal all season.   Pimm has been working hard since losing his linemates, but it just hasn’t been working for him.  Karlsson has been skating well, but just can’t find the net.   And where is the Vinny Saponari that scored goals for BU as a freshman?  Its not like he isn’t playing with quality guys.   Manno and Reid looked good though.  Unfortunately Manno couldn’t finish the way Reid did or else it might have been a different result.
Going into this weekend, everyone knew they needed 4.   They got 2 and UMass matched them.  So they have made it very difficult on themselves.   They do have 3 out of their last 4 games at home, but picking up points against Maine and BU is going to a very big ask.
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Final: Huskies 1, Providence 1

February 18, 2012

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Northeastern skated to a 1-1 tie last night against Providence in what might have been the most boring game of all time.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

 

The Basics

  • Garrett Vermeersch scored the lone goal for the Huskies
  • Josh Manson and Adam Reid picked up assists on that goal.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 22 out of 23 shots, after allowing a terrible goal on the first shot of the game.
  • NU had 21 shots to PC’s 23.
  • Both teams were 0-4 on the PP.
  • Robbie Vrolyk was injured late in the first and did not return.
What You Need to Know
  • PC scored on a shot from the corner 30 seconds in and it looked liked the same old story for Northeastern.
  • But for once the Huskies didn’t fold up after a soft goal and Vermeersch tied it up 5 minutes later.
  • Then everyone fell asleep and when we woke up the game was over, still tied at 1.
  • 1 Shot OT is still undefeated.
Lines:
Karlsson-Daniels-Saponari
Reid-Vermeersch-Pimm
Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Manno-Stone-Morra
D:
Bitetto-Manson
Eibler-Oskroba
Ellement-Daniels
Thoughts
The Huskies were the better team for most of regulation, but that isn’t saying much because PC was pretty bad.  Their gameplan was a smart one: shoot pucks from weird angles and try to get some cheap goals off Rawlings.   Northeastern figured it out pretty quickly and after that PC had almost no chances.
On the other hand, Northeastern was doing an ok job of getting the puck in the zone but as usual no one wanted to shoot.  So instead of challenging Beaudry to make a save, they just pass it back to the point.  The defenseman make the forwards look trigger happy.  They just wait and wait and wait until an opponent comes to them.  When that finally happens, they fire a shot right into their legs.  Absolutely brutal.   If the Huskies had just taken a few more shots, they probably would have won last night.  But I suppose that has been true for more than a few of their losses.
But then came overtime where the wheels just fell off.  The Huskies didn’t manage a shot on net in the 5 minutes, but they almost gave the game away plenty of times.   Rawlings came up with a couple big saves, but also had some shaky moments, including one with about 30 seconds left where the puck trickled through his legs and went just outside the post.   It seemed like Northeastern was just daring PC to score on them with countless neutral zone turnovers and when that didn’t work, Alex Tuckerman decided to up the ante and do it in his own zone.  Somehow they survived with the point.
Power Play was beyond brutal.  Again.   Just unacceptable, but its not going to change.    Justin Daniels actually played pretty well on the first line.   And Josh Manson saw more ice time than he has seen all season and he handled it pretty well.   He is still getting a bit risky when he tries to rush the puck, but he was impressive last night.  Ludwig Karlsson also looked good after being a bit quiet lately.
With other results going NU’s way, the point was big, but they will need 2 more tonight to make it a good weekend and keep themselves in the playoff hunt.
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Final: UNH 3, Huskies 2

February 12, 2012

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Northeastern suffered a big defeat on Friday at the hands of UNH 3-2.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Robbie Vrolyk and Mike McLaughlin both scored.
  • McLaughlin, Luke Eibler, and Drew Daniels had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 28 out of 31 shots, but the first two goals were awful.  You can see them here.  Yes, the second one was scored from behind the net.  Yes, that happened last year in Durham too.
  • NU had 26 shots to UNH’s 31.
  • NU was 0-1 on the PP. UNH was 0-2.
What You Need to Know
  • Robbie Vrolyk put the Huskies up 1-0 just 30 seconds into the game.
  • For the next 5-7 minutes the Huskies dominated, the puck barely left the offensive zone, but they couldn’t score
  • Then Rawlings let in the softest goal ever, until a few minutes later when he let in the softest goal ever.
  • And that was about it, for the rest of the game the Huskies skated around and didn’t do anything really.  They didn’t play bad defensively, but they barely even set up in the UNH zone.   Between the play on the ice and the lack of any sort of noise from the student section, it became a battle to stay awake and pay attention.
  • Then the Huskies realized there was only 2 minutes left and they trailed by 2, so they started playing again.   They got one with an extra attacker, but couldn’t find the second.
  • Steve Morra played in place of Dongara.   He was on the 4th line.  They got literally 3 shifts all night.
Lines:
Karlsson-Pimm-Saponari
Reid-Vermeersch-Manno
Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Daniels-Stone-Morra
D:
Bitetto-Cornell
Eibler-Manson
Ellement-Daniels
Thoughts
Another loss at the Whittemore Center for NU.  Not much to say on this one.  Bad goaltending killed their great start and then it was basically just going through the motions.  The loss gives UNH a nice cushion and the tiebreaker.  Northeastern still has a good shot to make the playoffs, but not if they play like that.   At this point, who cares if they make the playoffs?  With efforts like this, I am not exactly thrilled at the prospect of 2 more away games.
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Beanpot Recap: “I Had Too Many Nachos”

February 8, 2012

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Rawlings sucked.  He should have been pulled after the second goal.   The Power Play is an absolute atrocity.  Luke Eibler had one of the worst games I have ever seen a defenseman have.  Dong is just not good enough and I would have no problem with Steve Morra replacing him in the lineup after his performance and late game antics.   Justin Daniels and Dong could not be an effective second line even if Wayne Gretzky was their center.   And basically everyone on the team gave up midway through the second.   So it was a typical Beanpot.

 

Now onto the good stuff:

  • The general consensus was that the Doghouse was the best student section.  As usual.  Next year Madigan may be better off just picking kids out of the stands, at least they would play with some heart.  The “We Want Blood” chant drew rave reviews as did the “We Want Harvard” in response to BC’s chant of “We Want BU”
  • It was great only having to pay attention for 2 periods.  The game was so far gone by the 3rd, that we were actually able to enjoy ourselves at a Beanpot.
  • The NU Shuffle was taken to the next level with about 5 rows at a time doing it.  But the best of all was Preston running all over the rink every time we did it.
  • Then in the biggest upset of the night, the Green Line came first and it was an E train.  You can’t make this stuff up.
  • On the train home, some girl kept yelling that she had too many nachos.  She also called herself a “bonerjammer”.  Unfortunately she couldn’t explain what that meant.
  • Who’s train is this?  Dog Train
  • Everyone wants Madigan fired now.  Apparently doing the occasional scouting work and being the Dean of the Business school for 18 years is not a good background for a coach?
  • The season’s not over yet.  There is still plenty of games for the team to knock themselves out of the playoff race.  And most of them are at home.

 

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Final: Huskies 4, UMass Amherst 3 (OT)

February 4, 2012

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Northeastern extended thier win streak to 3 games last with a 4-3 OT victory over UMass Amherst.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Robbie Vrolyk had 2 goals, Adam Reid scored his first career powerplay goal, and then Vinny Saponari won it with  a goal in OT.
  • Alex Tuckerman and Mike McLaughlin both had 2 assists.  Drew Daniels, Ludwig Karlsson, Garrett Vermeersch, and Zak Stone also had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 28 out of 31 shots, but he was pretty shaky for most of the first two periods.
  • Both teams had 31 shots.
  • NU was 1-5 on the PP.  UMass was 1-4.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies jumped out to a quick 2 goal lead thanks to some hard work down low.  But they quickly gave UMass 2 goals of their own, thanks to some sloppy play in the defensive zone.
  • Chris Rawlings did not have a good night.   He was flopping a lot and he was on his back and out of position for all 3 goals.
  • Robbie Vrolyk scored twice.  The junior has 10 career goals.   5 of them have come against UMass Amherst.
  • The third line of Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman continued their hot streak.    All 3 had a slow start to the year, but since McLaughlin has come back and they have been playing together consistently, they have given the team quality minutes every weekend.
  • The new “second” line however did not work.   Braden Pimm was good, as usual, but Justin Daniels and Rob Dongara continue to disappoint.  Its a tough situation.   The 1st line and 3rd line are playing well and you would hate to break them up.   But you could argue that anyone on the 4th line could do just as much as Daniels and Dongara have with top 6 minutes.   There were several times when Adam Reid took shifts instead of Dong.  Hopefully, they will continue to do that until they find something that works.
  • On defense, both Luke Eibler and Anthony Bitetto had strong games.   UMass would have probably had a few good shorthanded chances that Bitetto broke up.   Eibler was a physical presence all night and moved the puck pretty well on top of it.
  • The two biggest things to takeaway from this game are that the Huskies were unable to come back despite blowing a lead, and that they were able to finally win in Overtime.   And that is despite not playing very well for a good portion of the game.
Lines:
Karlsson-Vermeersch-Saponari
Daniels-Pimm-Dongara
Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Reid-Stone-Manno
D:
Bitetto-Cornell
Eibler-Manson
Ellement-Daniels
Thoughts
The injuries are obviously going to be a huge obstacle for them to overcome, but the Huskies proved tonight that they can survive.    All 4 goals were just the result of hard work and finishing rebounds.   Unfortunately, the Huskies won’t have the benefit of playing rebound machine Kevin Boyle every night, but hopefully this game can serve as a gameplan.  2 of the best scorers on the team are gone    and that means that other people going to need to step up.   A couple players were guilty of trying to do too much last night, but as a whole the team did a good job in working hard to comeback after giving up 3 unanswered goals.
It was good to see another power play goal.   Mike McLaughlin has been a revelation on the PP unit.  He isn’t a big scorer, but he can move the puck and he makes good decisions.   Adam Reid was a nice addition.  He works well in front of the net, and he showed that on his PPG.   The Power Play isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, but it has gotten better in the past couple weeks.
It wasn’t a great game for Northeastern, but for once they just found a way to win a close game instead of finding a way to lose it.  Now they enter the Beanpot on a 3 game win streak.  But more importantly they opened up  a 2 point lead on UMass and they have worked themselves back into the 8th spot.    There is a long way to go, but picking up points in this game was essential and they took care of business.
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Final: Huskies 4, Vermont 2

January 29, 2012

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Northeastern completed the weekend and series sweep of Vermont with a 4-2 win last night.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Robbie Vrolyk, Alex Tuckerman, Dan Cornell, and Cody Ferriero scored for the Huskies.
  • Mike McLaughlin had 3 assists. Vrolyk, Tuckerman, Braden Pimm, Garrett Vermeersch, and Anthony Bitetto also had one a piece.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 23 out of 25 shots.
  • NU outshot the Catamounts 28 to 25.
  • NU was 0-1 on the PP.  Vermont was 1-4.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies never trailed and besides the end of the first period, they were the better team and they controlled the game for long stretches of play.  But Vermont made it 3-2 with 2 minutes left and set up a nervy finish.
  • The third line had a big night to cap off a big weekend.  Vrolyk picked up his first goal in forever.   McLaughlin had a huge weekend and picked up 3 assists.
  • The sweep is huge for Northeastern because it puts them right back in the playoff picture.   Thanks to helpful results elsewhere in the league, the Huskies now sit tied for 7th with UMass Amherst, who Northeastern plays next Friday.
  • This was a big weekend for the Huskies.  On paper, it should have been an easy 4 points.   But its never that easy with Northeastern.   This weekend, they took care of business and righted the ship.  Now they are in a position to make the playoffs if they can keep this up.
Lines:
Karlsson-Vermeersch-Saponari
Ferriero-Pimm-Quailer
Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Reid-Daniels-Manno
D:
Bitetto-Cornell
Eibler-Manson
Ellement-Daniels

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