Tag Archives: Dan Cornell

Luke Eibler to Leave Northeastern

April 24, 2012

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The hits just keep on coming for Northeastern with the news that rising Junior Luke Eibler will not be returning to the team next season.  The news, which was first reported by Kristin Kim on Twitter, was confirmed to Husky Hockey Blog by a team source earlier today.   Eibler is 8th Husky to leave the program this summer.

Eibler, a Michigan native, came to Northeastern after a year in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms.  In his first year at NU, Eibler found himself paired with another freshman, Anthony Bitetto.   The two of them combined to put together a pretty impressive campaign.  Bitetto was the one who got the Hockey East accolades, but Eibler was a solid defenseman in his own right.  He managed 3 goals and 10 assists, but more importantly, he finished 2nd on the team with a +12 rating.

Eibler returned to NU for his sophomore season despite interest from the NHL, namely Washington.    During this past season, circumstances forced the coaching staff to break up the Bitetto/Eibler pairing.   The change did not slow down Eibler.    He had just 1 goal and 7 assists, but his +10 rating was again second best on the team. Down the stretch, it became clear that Eibler was the best defensive option on the team.  Losing Bitetto earlier this summer was unfortunate.  Losing Eibler is a catastrophe.   Northeastern has been hit with many losses this summer, but with the exception of Steve Quailer, none of those losses were extremely detrimental to the team.   This one is.   Eibler has been underrated in his time here and over the past 2 years has really developed into a solid defenseman.  The defense is now a gigantic question mark at best.

The Huskies have just 5 defenseman on their roster now, plus 4 recruits coming in.   Senior Drew Ellement is really the only sure thing.   Sophomore Josh Manson really came on in the second half of last season.  He should also be in the lineup every night.  After that the Huskies have  Junior Jake Hoeffler (4 career GPs), Sophomore Ben Oskroba (9 career GPs) and Sophomore Dan Cornell, who walked on to the team and played very well in the first half, but struggled towards the end of the season.  As far as recruits go, Mike Gunn should step right into the lineup.  After that, its anyone’s guess.   Former Lowell commit Colton Saucerman has missed most of this season with a torn ACL.  Then there are two kids coming from Canadian leagues that don’t typical put many kids in Hockey East.  Jarrett Fennell comes from the OJHL and Dustin Darou, who was once committed to Michigan, comes from the CCHL.   One thing all 4 of these recruits have in common is age. Darou and Fennell are both ’91s.  Gunn and Saucerman are ’92s.  All 4 will come with every chance of working their way into what has become a wide-open lineup.  Freshman defenseman generally struggle in Hockey East, but Madigan is hoping that he can buck that trend by bringing in some older guys.

One thing is for sure.  Its been a rough summer for Northeastern and we are only in April.  Next season can’t come soon enough.

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Madigan Throwing Darts at Canada, Adds Another Defenseman for 2012

March 8, 2012

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Jim Madigan and his staff are at it again.  For the 3rd time in 4 weeks, Northeastern has picked up a commitment from Canada.  First it was forward Mike McMurtry, a ’92, from the CCHL.  Last week, it was defenseman Dustin Darou, a ’91, also from the CCHL.  The latest pick up is another defenseman, Jarrett Fennell, a ’91, from the OJHL.

The big news from this is that the Huskies now have 4 defenseman slated to come in next season, joining the 6 defenseman that are returning (as of now).   While it hasn’t been officially announced, it is all but certain that Anthony Bitetto is leaving.  His not so cryptic tweet basically confirmed that.   Luke Eibler could leave, but there has been absolutely no talk of that so far.  The others should be back, unless they decided to transfer.

So it looks like NU will have 10 defenseman heading into next season:

  1. Luke Eibler, Jr.
  2. Drew Ellement, Sr.
  3. Drew Daniels, Sr.
  4. Josh Manson, So.
  5. Dan Cornell, So.
  6. Ben Oskroba, So.
  7. Mike Gunn, Fr.
  8. Colton Saucerman, Fr.
  9. Dustin Darou, Fr.
  10. Jarrett Fennell, Fr.

So what is Madigan doing?  It seems to me like he is just throwing darts and hoping one or two guys work out, kind of like Dan Cornell this year.  Or there is the scary possibility that Luke Eibler is leaving with Bitetto and NU is in need of bodies.   That would be very bad.  But there may be more to this.

Saucerman suffered an ACL injury around Christmas.  The fact that Madigan has picked up two defenseman since then makes it seem like Saucerman will not be ready for this season.

There is also the possibility that one of these guys moves to forward to even out the numbers.  The two candidates for that are Josh Manson and Drew Daniels.  Daniels, like his brother, originally came to Northeastern as a forward.   He played one game there this year when injuries left the Huskies with a shorthanded lineup.

Here’s the deal with Daniels: there is a reason he was moved to defense.  He put up 8 points as a forward freshman year.  He put up 9 in his sophomore season splitting time between forward and defense.  He had 7 this season playing only defense.  Basically, he is useless as a forward.  And he isn’t really the guy you are looking for as a 4th liner.   And the biggest thing with Daniels is that he has done really well since moving to defense.  Moving him back would weaken the D and not really improve the forwards.

Manson played forward a bit in Juniors, but like Daniels, he really took off when he moved to defense.  He got off to a rocky start in his freshman season, but besides the Beanpot game, he played much better in the second half of the season.  I think if he stays on defense, he will be much better next season.   But, he did show flashes of offensive talent once he got more confident towards the end of the year.

So this situation is definitely one to watch.  There is still the possibility that somebody else leaves.  But as it stands, there is going to be a logjam to get into the lineup.   As a whole, this defense doesn’t look that great.  Eibler is great.   Him and Bitetto formed a great partnership in there freshman season.   When they split up this season, things went in different directions for the two.  Bitetto was a mess and Eibler was the best defenseman on the team.   The Huskies need him next season.  Ellement and Daniels are solid defenseman.   Then its a huge question mark.   You have 3 sophomores, none very proven.   Oskroba got almost no time this season.  Cornell did, but seemed to fall off towards the end.  Manson is probably the only one you can pencil in the lineup for next season.   Then you have 4 freshman.   Freshman defenseman usually have a rough go of it in Hockey East.  If 1 or 2 can step up, that’d be great, but thats not something you want to be relying on.   Its a long way off, but defense may be a problem area for Northeastern next season.   But ideally, this would be the defensive pairings:

Eibler-Gunn

Ellement-Manson

Daniels-Cornell

Oskroba, Darou, Fennell

 

If Eibler leaves, disregard all of this and begin panicking.

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Preview: Huskies vs UMass Amherst

February 3, 2012

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Beanpot is looming for the Huskies, but they have a huge Hockey East game on their plate before they can worry about that.  The Huskies play host to UMass Amherst who they are tied with for 7th in Hockey East.

This game will have big implications on the Huskies playoff hopes.  Despite being tied in the standings, UMass has played 2 less games than the Huskies.   And if UMass can get a win or tie tonight, then they will win the season series and own the crucial tiebreaker.   So a loss tonight would give UMass a 3 point lead in essence and they would have 2 additional games to be played.

UMass is 0-8-2 in road games this season.   One of those ties came at Matthews in the season opener.  Danny Hobbs, TJ Syner, Bredan Gracel and Conor Sheary are the ones to watch.  The only question for the Minuteman is who will be in net.  Kevin Boyle was in net for both of the first two games, but he hasn’t seen much action of late.  Its been mostly a rotation between Steve Mastalerz and Jeff Teglia.  Neither of whom NU has faced before.

Northeastern is 23-33-3 in the games directly before the Beanpot.  They are 4-2-0 against UMass in those games.

The stats have become less embarrassing for the Huskies after last week.   The Power Play is finally in double digits (11%) and they are averaging 3.0 goals per game after last week’s outburst.

The Huskies could be without Steve Quailer, which would cause some lineup reshuffling.   In that case, the best bet would probably be to move Manno up to Quailer’s spot.   Then put Stone back in the lineup in his 4th line spot.   It will be interesting to see how Madigan handles it, if Quailer is indeed out.

Some Interesting Statistical Notes on NU:

  • The Huskies are 8-2-0 when leading after the 2nd period, 0-5-2 when trailing, and 2-4-1 when tied.
  • The Huskies are 3-11-3 when scoring less than 4 goals.
  • The Huskies are 6-2-1 in games following a win
  • The Huskies are 8-0-2 when Cody Ferriero scores a point, 4-0 when Adam Reid and Dan Cornell score a point, and 3-0 when Josh Manson, Zak Stone, and Robbie Vrolyk score a point.
  • In games when Quailer-Pimm-Ferriero line isn’t together, the Huskies are 2-7-2
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3 Stars of the Week: 1/30

January 30, 2012

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1st Star

Cody Ferriero, F, 2 GP, 4-1-5, +3

Hard to argue with this one.  Hat trick on Friday night and an empty netter to seal it on Saturday.   The hat trick is the first for a Husky since Ryan Ginand pull on off against PC in 2009.  The goals were his first since December 2nd at Notre Dame and he now has 9 goals on the season which is tied for the team lead.  The Massachusetts native has much huge strides on the ice in his second collegiate season.  In 34 games last season, Ferriero had 7 points.  This season, he has 15 points in 17 games.   But he has now missed 7 games (30% of the season) because he cannot get his act together off the ice.    He is a very talented player and weekends like this show how much he means to this team.   Hopefully he can stay on the ice and keep this performance up.   It will be interesting to see how he fares without his linemate if Quailer does miss any time.

2nd Star

Mike McLaughlin, F, 2 GP, 1-3-4, +2

The Captain had a huge weekend.   On Friday night, he scored a rare Power Play goal for the Huskies.  On Saturday, he chipped in with assists on 3 out of the 4 goals.   Some people have questioned his leadership as he doesn’t appear to be a very vocal and in-your-face kind of guy.   But that’s ok, because he leads by example on the ice.   No one can question his commitment.   He is a great penalty killer, reliable on faceoffs (58% on the weekend) and he doesn’t take shifts off.   He is not a guy who lights up the stat sheet, but he is someone you want on your team because he does the dirty work.  This was probably his best weekend of the season.

3rd Star

Ludwig Karlsson, F, 2 GP, 1-2-3, +3

Karlsson continues to state his case for Best Freshman in the conference.  He just continues to put up points week in and week out.   Going into the season, I don’t think there was anybody who expected that a freshman would be tied for the team lead in goals and in points this late in the season.    The decommits hurt this recruiting class, that is obvious.  But Karlsson is turning out to be a real gem and he has made everyone forget about John Gaudreau.   Karlsson is just a great hockey player.   Karlsson already has 22 points and he may be able to match Jason Guerriero’s mark of 35 in his freshman year of 2001 if he keeps up his pace.   Playing on a line with Vinny Saponari has certainly helped him, but he also has shown the capability of making things happen all by himself.

Standings
1. L. Karlsson 9

2. C. Rawlings 8

2. B. Pimm 8

4. G. Vermeersch 7

4. C. Ferriero 7

6. S. Quailer 6

7. M. McLaughlin 5

8. V. Saponari 4

9. J. Manno 3

9. A. Bitetto 3

9. J. Daniels 3

12. D. Cornell 2

13. D. Ellement 1

13. A. Reid 1

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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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3 Stars of the Week: 1/23

January 23, 2012

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1st Star

Garrett Vermeersch’s Unreal Flow

It wasn’t the best of weekends on the ice for the Huskies, they didn’t get much offense, and the play in the defensive zone wasn’t anything to be proud of either.  So since no one really earned the first star, we will give it to what was truly the high point of the weekend:  Garrett Vermeersch’s flow.  You can see here that Vermy takes care of his flow.  But this weekend, it was just unreal.  After the second period, Garrett was being interviewed by GoNU sideline reporter Dani Rylan.  And honoring a request from the Doghouse, she asked him to describe his unreal flow.  His answer: its unreal.  Vermeersch isn’t the captain, so you might wonder why he leads the team out of the locker room.  The only logical explanation is so that everyone can get a good view of the lettuce.  In a weekend where the results didn’t go Northeastern’s way, Garrett’s flow gave Husky fans hope.

2nd Star

Garrett Vermeersch, F, 2 GP, 1-0-1

In addition to having the best hair on the team, Vermeersch also chipped in with a big performance Saturday.   Friday wasn’t his best effort, but that applies to literally everyone who was in the lineup for the Huskies that night.  Saturday night, however, was a great game for him.  In addition to scoring his fifth goal of the season (matching his career high), Vermeersch moved the puck really well and would have had a few assists if it weren’t for Doug Carr coming up huge in net for Lowell.  He won over 50% of his faceoffs on the weekend and also added 9 shots which was second on the team.  Vermeersch has made a big step forward this year and it seems that he is doing the little things better.  He has improved his passing and his play in the defensive zone, which has earned him more ice time.   He already has 14 points this season as he looks to surpass his career high of 23, which he achieved in his freshman year.

3rd Star

Braden Pimm, F, 2 GP, 1-0-1

It wasn’t the best weekend for Pimm as his entire line really struggled for the first time all year.  But Pimm earned the spot with his play on the penalty kill.    Right off the bat on Saturday, you could tell that Northeastern had changed their mentality on the PK and decided to pressure the puck.  The first kill went well, but the second went even better.   Pimm made a good play to take the puck from the Lowell defenseman on the point, then he rushed up ice on a breakaway.   He didn’t get a great shot off but the puck went in after Pimm was pushed into Carr by the defenseman chasing him.  That play really showed what Pimm can do.  In addition to being good in the defensive zone, Pimm has the speed and ability to carry the puck and create space, and he isn’t afraid to drive to the net.  He now has 9 goals, which leads the team.  His goals aren’t because he has a tremendous shot.  He gets goals because he goes to the net and he knows where to be.    He is having a breakout year.

Standings
1. C. Rawlings 8

1. L. Karlsson 8

1. B. Pimm 8

4. G. Vermeersch 7

5. S. Quailer 6

6. C. Ferriero 4

6. V. Saponari 4

8. M. McLaughlin 3

8. J. Manno 3

8. A. Bitetto 3

8. J. Daniels 3

12. D. Cornell 2

13. D. Ellement 1

13. A. Reid 1

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3 Stars of the Week: 1/17

January 17, 2012

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1st Star

Ludwig Karlsson, F, 2 GP, 2-1-3

With two of the other “best players” on the team sitting in the stands, Karlsson yet again proved why he is best player on this team.  Besides the obvious fact that he didnt get himself suspended, he chipped in with 2 great efforts on a weekend where the team as a whole struggled.  He had 2 great goals on Friday and helped set up the lone goal on Saturday.  The Swede, who is tied for the team lead in goals, will definitely be in the running for Hockey East freshman of the year.  If Brodie Reid can get a max deal, you have to think NHL teams will be lining up the second NU’s season is over to get their hands on the freshman.

2nd Star

Garrett Vermeersh, F, 2 GP, 1-2-3

Dont look now, but Garrett Vermeersch is putting together a pretty good season.  With 13 points, he has a pretty good at beating his career high mark of 25 that he put up in his freshman year.  Moving him to a line with Ludwig Karlsson has really helped him turn into a play maker.   The selfishness that had plagued him has not been an issue recently.   He had 2 good assists on Friday and he worked hard to pick up a goal on Saturday.   Its really good to see the junior putting up a good year after he struggled so bad last season.  He showed potential in his first year, but he is finally starting to live up to it on a consistent basis this season.

3rd Star

Vinny Saponari, F, 2 GP, 0-2-2

It was an emotional weekend for the former Terrier but he handled it well.  Friday night was frustrating for everyone, but I am sure Vinny felt the worst about it.   He did pick up an assist, but he will be left thinking about what could have been when Adam Reid choose to shoot instead of pass to him on a 2 on 1.   Saturday night was another big game for the team and Saponari once again produced an assist.  Saponari’s had a good year.  He is tied for the team lead in assists and 3rd in points, but the goals just haven’t been there.  Many players would have lost their composure by now and tried to do it all on their own, but Vinny hasn’t done that.   He has been a great team player throughout his time here and he has done well as an on ice leader.  With a talent like Karlsson on his line, the assists will keep coming and you have to think the goals will too eventually.

Standings
1. C. Rawlings 8

1. L. Karlsson 8

3. B. Pimm 7

4. S. Quailer 6

5. G. Vermeersch 5

6. C. Ferriero 4

6. V. Saponari 4

8. M. McLaughlin 3

8. J. Manno 3

8. A. Bitetto 3

8. J. Daniels 3

12. D. Cornell 2

13. D. Ellement 1

13. A. Reid 1

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