Tag Archives: Doug Carr

Preview: Huskies at UMass Lowell

January 20, 2012


Northeastern rolls into Tsongas Arena tonight to take on the UMass Lowell River Hawks (12-6, 7 HE), hoping to get back on track after dropping consecutive contests by one goal each to #2 BU and #3 BC the weekend before. They played without two top line forwards in Braden Pimm and Cody Ferriero, who seemed to pick the perfect time to break team rules and miss a crucial weekend for a team fighting for both NCAA playoff berth and playoff home ice. But the club didn’t help itself very much either, with players making costly mistakes in their own zone and letting the game control them instead of the other way around. The Northeastern team I saw on that big win streak was one that was aware of their talent and used that knowledge to take some good risks, both calculated and impulsively.

The Huskies playing tonight in Lowell need to have this mentality. Lowell just so happens to be a team playing consistently and confidently, and unlike the Huskies, they’ve done this all year.  They are ranked 14th in the country and more importantly 11th in the pairwise (Northeastern is 22nd). The teams success starts and ends with its goaltender, sophomore Doug Carr, who is enjoying one heck of a season (.928 sv pct, 1.97 GAA). Carr will square off with Chris Rawlings tonight, a match up that sees two of Hockey East’s (And the NCAA’s) top tier goaltenders with near identical save percentages. Carr is a tough customer who relies on his solid mechanics and calculated play. Lets just say if Lowell loses, it won’t be his fault. The River Hawks also boast some good scoring depth, with upperclassmen David Vallorani and Matt Ferreira leading the way with 18 points and Sophomore D Chad Ruhwedel and Freshman winger Scott Wilson providing valuable secondary scoring with 16 points. As effective as this UMass assault has been, it should find trouble again. In Northeastern’s last meeting with UML, the Huskies prevailed by taking better chances and forcing the River Hawks to take low percentage ones, and in turn Lowell was forced to take drastic measures nearing the end of the game.

Tonight NU will look to regain their moxie and play the same style that allowed them to beat the best of the best out of conference not so long ago. This team has the talent to beat top programs, and its seasons comes to a crossroads  this weekend. Don’t be fooled, NU has shown their best is better than Lowell, its only a mater if the best shows up. They can jump as much as five spots in the HE standings if they can perform to their abilities and quell a River Hawks squad they’ve beaten in their last five meetings. Based on this very performance, the previous weekend can either be a sign of things to come, or a slight bump in the road during a successful season. See you at Tsongas.

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Hockey East at the Break

December 16, 2011


With the first half of the season in the books, we can see how the Hockey East picture is developing.  As usual, the top of the conference is well represented on the national scale.  And they are already breaking away from the bottom half.  Some teams look ready for a big second half, while a few others could be in for a long year.  Here is a recap of the first half and an outlook on the second half for the entire conference.  We will have more on Northeastern specifically next week.

Boston College: 9-4-0, 18 Points, 14 games left

BC sits in 1st after a typical BC first half. Losses to Lowell and UMass Amherst raised some eyebrows, but the biggest surprise of the season so far for them was dropping 2 out of 3 to BU.  Defenseman Patrick Wey’s return form injury should help the Eagles, as will freshman Brian Billet’s play in net.  They have some big games left: 3 with Merrimack, Frozen Fenway and the Beanpot, but for the most part there schedule is pretty easy: 3 with Vermont, 2 with PC, UNH, and Maine.

Prediction: The Eagles do what they always do and go on a tear in the second half that takes them deep into the NCAA’s.

Boston University Terriers: 8-4-1, 17 points, 14 games left

The Terriers had to feel good about themselves going into the break.  They had overcome some early season inconsistency to turn things around and be in really good position.  1 day into that break things began to unravel and the drama hasn’t stopped all week.  Corey Trivino, Hockey East’s leading scorer is gone.  Charlie Coyle is gone.  And now their are reports some of the players are unhappy with Parker’s handling of things.  Their USCHO thread is both hilarious and just downright sad.  It is a rough time to be a Fanboy.  The players could rally around this and put together a good second half, but an outright collapse is much more likely.

Prediction: We haven’t seen the last midseason exit on Comm Ave this season.

Merrimack College Warriors: 7-2-1, 15 points, 17 games remaining

Merrimack took advantage of an easy schedule in the 1st half and earned the #1 ranking in the country for the first time in school history.  They have struggled a bit heading into the break, but with 3 games in hand on the teams ahead of them, they have to like their chances at a league title.  The Warriors have allowed the fewest goals in the conference, but they have also scored the second fewest.  Joe Canatta is the only reason they are where they are and he has been amazing this season.  Merrimack has yet to play BC, UNH, Lowell, and UMass Amherst so far.  And they still have 2 games against BU and Maine.

Prediction: The Warriors cool down a bit in the second half and get upset in the 1st round of the Hockey East playoffs.

UMass Lowell River Hawks: 7-4-0, 14 points, 16 games remaining

First year coach Norm Bazin has really turned this team around.  After missing the playoff last year, the River Hawks have already surpassed last season’s point toal thanks to some talented freshman and great play in net from sophomore Doug Carr.  Lowell seems like a good bet for home ice, which no one would have said preseason.  They have wins against BC and BU already, but they still have all 3 games to play against Merrimack.  This team culd very easily be making its first appearance at the Garden since 08/09.

Prediction:  Lowell continues to play well, but ends up on the wrong side of the bubble come tournament time.

Providence Friars: 6-4-0, 12 points, 17 games remaining

Another first year coach who has found success.  The Friars got off to a great start, but looked to be slowing down a bit.   They then proceeded to sweep Merrimack and put themselves firmly in the race for home ice.  They haven’t made the playoffs since 07/08.  They haven’t had a winning record since 05/06.  So whether they get home ice or not, this will probably be a good season for them.

Prediction: PC makes the playoffs for the first time since 07/08, and then gets sewpt just like they did in 07/08.

Maine Black Bears: 5-6-1, 11 points, 15 games remaining

The days of Maine being a national power are long gone.  But this season has them headed for a new low.  They don’t have much on defense or in net and they don’t score enough to make up for that. Its no longer impossible to win away at Alfond.  There has been a demonstration and a petition in an effort to get Tim Whitehead to step down from the head coaching position.  If it werent for a sweep of Vermont, things might look even worse up in Orono.  Either way its going to be a very long second half for them.

Prediction: Maine misses the playoffs, the state of Maine goes beserk and Whitehead is fired.

Northeastern Huskies: 4-7-2, 10 points, 14 games remaining

Jim Madigan’s return to coaching couldn’t have got off to  a worst start.  But since starting 1-7-2, the Huskies have ripped off 6 straight wins.  Unfortunately 3 of those were nonconference, so the Huskies have some work to do in conference.   3 games against BU, and 2 against Maine, Vermont and PC should help with that though.  They have been playing really well lately, but their poor start has given them almost no margin for error going forward.

Prediction: Northeastern wins the Beanpot.  The Huskies manage to grab home ice…barely.

New Hampshire Wildcats: 4-7-1, 9 points, 15 games remaining

The Wildcats have been awful this season.  And they just lost one of their big recruits for next season.  The last time UNH didn’t get home ice was 1996.  That streak is a good as gone.  Their main concern is just making the playoffs at this point.  With 2 games against Maine, Vermont, UMass Amherst, plus 3 with PC, they will get every chance to save themselves.

Prediction: UNH turns it on late and surprise everybody be making it to the Garden.

UMass Amherst Minuteman: 2-6-3, 7 points, 16 games remaining

The Minuteman picked up right where they left off last year: sucking.  But as they head into break, there is a bit more hope for them.  There have been some positive signs as of late and their schedule gives them the chance to pick up some spots in the standings: 2 with Maine, UNH, PC, Vermont.  Goalie and defense have been issues at times, but they do have some talent.  They made it into the playoffs last year and they will be hoping to again this year.

Prediction: Just like last year, UMass Amherst sneaks into the playoffs and then gets booted real quick.

Vermont Catamounts: 1-9-2, 3 points, 15 games remaining

The Catamounts are running away with last place.  They can’t do much of anything and there isn’t any chance of a turnaround up there.

Prediction: UVM finishes in the single digit in terms of points and Kevin Sneddon is fired.

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Final: Huskies 3, Lowell 2

December 11, 2011

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Northeastern pushed their win streak to 6 in the final game of the first half with a 3-2 win over Lowell on Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Adam Reid, Anthony Bitetto, and Steve Quailer were the goalscorers for the Huskies.
  • Zak Stone, Dan Cornell, and Cody Ferriero picked up assists.
  • Chris Rawlings made 38 saves on 40 shots.
  • The Huskies were outshot 40-32.
  • NU was 0-1 on the PP.  Lowell was 1-3.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies weren’t at their best offensively, but they were able to overcome a good Lowell team by playing solid defense.
  • NU took the lead early in the second period on a bit of hard work.   Dan Cornell made a smart pinch to keep the puck in.  Adam Reid was able to win the battle behind the net and throw the puck out front to Chad Ruhwedel who put it by Lowell goalie Doug Carr.  If the name Chad Ruhwedel doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s because he plays for Lowell.
  • Lowell tied it up and the score was 1-1 heading into the third.
  • Northeastern took the lead a few minutes into the third thanks to Anthony Bitetto.  Bitetto knocked a Lowell pass out of the air in the neutral zone.  He took the puck and led the rush into the zone where he found Cody Ferriero on top of the faceoff circle.  Ferriero ripped a slapshot and Bitetto tipped it by Carr.  It was a truly amazing play by Bitetto, who has shown exactly why he is an NHL draft pick in his 1.5 years here.
  • With 4 minutes left, Lowell was on a PP.  Down by 1, they decided to pull their goalie coming out of a timeout.  The faceoff was in the Northeastern zone, but after a scramble, Steve Quailer got possession and threw it all the way down the ice.   A Lowell defenseman got a piece of it, which caused it to go straight into the net.  Lowell’s gamble had failed miserable.
  • Lowell would add a PP goal with 1:30 left to make things interesting and make that decision look even worse, but NU held on for the win.
Another win and it feels even better because it was at home and in the conference.  It certainly wasn’t NU’s best game of the year, but they played well enough to win.  Lowell was definitely a bit tired after playing BC last night and Northeastern was able to use this to their advantage in winning most of the 1 on 1 battles.  Lowell has some very talented forwards, but the defense really stepped up and did not allow them to come down the middle.  Lowell got a ton of shots, but they weren’t from the positions they wanted.  And Chris Rawlings was up to the task as usual.
People always criticize the fact the NU gets outshot so much (us included), but I am starting to think it might not be that bad.  With Rawlings’ size (and now talent) in net, shots from the outside are never going to be an issue.  So on nights like tonight, yes NU got outshot, but how many of Lowell’s shots had a good chance of going in?  Not many.  I think the team has figured this out and they are willing to allow shots as long as they can clog the middle and keep the Grade A chances down, which they have done a great job of doing during the win streak.  Rawlings’ numbers and play have been fantastic during this stretch, but the defense deserve a ton of credit too.
Offensively, things didn’t look as crisp tonight. It was also going to be tough to score with Doug Carr in net for Lowell.   He is the real deal.  Probably the second best goalie in the league behind Joe Cannata from Merrimack.  But I thought the best line for much of the game was the 4th line.  They got the first goal (through a bit of luck) and they were working very hard all night.  Zak Stone didn’t see much time last year, but he has really impressed me so far this year.  I think Madigan will have to find a way to keep him in the lineup when Mike McLaughlin comes back.
Northeastern didn’t play bad, but Lowell is really good and they didn’t allow easy opportunities.  These two teams meet again for a home and home in about a month.  That should be a very exciting weekend.
The Huskies are off for a couple weeks before heading to Minnesota for the Mariucci Classic.

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Preview: Huskies vs Lowell

December 9, 2011

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Huskies play their last home game of the fall semester Saturday at 7:00 when they face #18 UMass Lowell.   If you haven’t heard, a “White Out” has been called by the Doghouse at the request of Huskies Captain Mike McLaughlin.

Lowell (9-4-0) is on a 4 game winning streak.  Last weekend, they swept UNH.  Like Northeastern, Lowell is a young team some interesting results.  They lost to UConn, but also beat BU 7-1.  2 of their 4 losses have been against BC and they both came early in the season. But also like Northeastern, they have begun to figure things out and have gone on a bit of a “heater” as the guys would say.  In addition to being ranked 18th by the same voters who gave Notre Dame a 1st place vote this week, they are also ranked 1oth in the Pairwise and KRACH. So don’t let USCHO fool you, this team is the real deal.

Matt Ferriera and Riley Wetmore lead the River Hawks with 14 points and 7 goals.  Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has 10 assists.  He is averaging a point per game which is good for 4th best in the country among defenseman.  Goaltending has been a huge part of Lowell’s success so far.  Sophomore Doug Carr is allowing just 1.78 goals a game, which puts him 5th nationally.  He stopped 70+ shots last weekend, yet did not win Defensive Player of the Week (much to the dismay of the Lowell bloggers).

As a team Lowell is scoring 3.54 goals a game, good for 2nd in Hockey East.  They give up 2.54, which is the 3rd best in HE.  They also average the second fewest penalties in the league.   That may actually be a good thing for NU, who continues to be much better 5 on 5, than they are 5 on 4.  Lowell has the 3rd best Power Play in Hockey East at 21% so the Huskies will have to stay disciplined.

As for the Huskies, they will look to win their 5th straight game against Lowell. There is no word on whether Mike McLaughlin is ready to return from injury.  The Huskies could use him, as he leads all NU players with a 3-2-5 career line against Lowell.  Garrett Vermeersch also has 4 points (all assists) against the River Hawks.  You can expect to see the same lines for NU.  In 7 games together, the Quailer-Pimm-Ferriero line is a +25.  NU’s record in those games in 5-2.  In 4 games together, the Karlsson-Vermeersch-Saponari line is a +18.  The Huskies are 4-0 with that combo.  Every single one of the Huskies defenseman has a positive plus/minus.  That just goes to show how good this team is in 5 on 5 situations.  The fans would love to see Rob Dongara get back in the lineup, but it is unlikely Coach Madigan would change a lineup that has won 5 straight.

The offensive outburst has got them up to 3.07 goals per game, which still leaves them 9th in HE, but they are only giving up 2.60 (4th in HE).  The Power Play is closing in on double digits, but right now it sits at a conference worst 9.7%.  The PK is still just under 80 at 79.7% (7th in HE).

Ludwig Karlsson is averaging 1.08 PPG which is 3rd in the country (1st in Hockey East) for freshman.

Steve Quailer is riding a 6 game point streak.  Garrett Vermeersch is riding a 4 game streak.  Braden Pimm has a 3 game goal-scoring streak.  All of those streaks are career bests.

So take a break from studying and come support the Huskies as they look to extend their 5 game winning streak.  Lowell may not be a marquee name, but this is definitely a big game for both teams.  Don’ forget to  WEAR WHITE.

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