Tag Archives: Drew Daniels

Madigan Throwing Darts at Canada, Adds Another Defenseman for 2012

March 8, 2012


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:




Oskroba, Darou, Fennell


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

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Final: Huskies 2, Providence 2

February 19, 2012


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.
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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Huskies By the Numbers

February 16, 2012

1 Comment

With the season heading towards the finish, lets take a look at which players have improved (or regressed) statistically.


Braden Pimm, F, (So.), 26 GP, 9-10-19, +11 (2010: 6-3-9)

Pimm has already doubled his point total from freshman year and he has gone from a -3 to a +11.  With the entire first line graduating last year, there was a need for someone to step up and Pimm has answered that call.   Despite coming in with good junior numbers, Pimm was more of a grinder last year.  This year he has been getting top 6 minutes and has been one of the best players on the team.   He hasn’t been on the scoresheet much since his two linemates got hurt, but you can;t blame that on lack of effort.  He has been one of the few that has looked interest of late.

Steve Quailer, F (Jr.): 22 GP, 8-14-22, +11 (2010: 3-10-13, 2008: 10-15-25)

Quailer was on his way to surpassing the lofty highs he sat in his freshman season before an injury sidelined him in recent weeks.   But he is rumored to be returning this weekend and with 6 games left, he has a good chance of setting career highs in goals, assists, and points.   Husky fans were expecting big things from Quailer after the amazing freshman year he had.  But a knee injury ended his ’09 season before it started and it clearly slowed him down in ’10.   But this season has been a return to form for the Montreal prospect.  The question now is how effective can he be when he returns?  Especially without his linemate Cody Ferriero.  Either way, Quailer has already made a huge improvement on last season.

Garrett Vermeersch, F (Jr.): 28 GP 6-12-18, -7 (2010: 5-6-11, 2009: 5-18-23)

Vermeersch has been a revelation this year.  After a great freshman year, he was non-existent in his sophomore campaign.  As a freshman, he had the benefit of playing with Steve Silva and Wade MacLeod, but he suffered without them and found himself on the 4th line by the end of last year.   This year he has benefitted from playing with Ludwig Karlsson and Vinny Saponari, but you could also say those guys have beneffited from playing with him.   Vermeersch has been a playmaker this season and his stats show that.  The only downside is that “Mr. Minus” has lived up to his name, but his -7 would still be a career best.

Cody Ferriero, F (S0.): 17 GP, 9-6-15, +11 (2010: 4-3-7)

After a tumultuous beginning to his NU career, Ferriero had become an offensive force for the Huskies despite being in and out of the lineup due to two separate suspensions.    He doubled last year’s points total in just half the games, but now an ACL injury has ended his season early.  Unfortunately, he will probably miss part of next season as well.  As we saw with Quailer, it might take some time to get back to full speed, which is unfortunate because Ferriero was really beginning to fulfill his potential.

Drew Ellement, D (Jr.) : 28 GP, 2-6-8, +6   (2010: 0-4-4, 2009: 0-7-7)

Ellement has been good this year.  He scored his first career goal and he has already achieved a career high in points.  He also has a positive +/- for the first time in his career.  He is one of just 5 Huskies to appear in every game.

Anthony Bitetto, D (So.): 28 GP, 4-7-11, +5 (2010: 3-17-20)

Like Ellement, Bitetto’s offensive numbers are nothing to write home about.  He probably won’t match his point total from last season.  But Bitetto has limited his penalties minutes (66 last year, 24 this year) and he sits at +5 after being a -2 last season.  And he has done this while playing with a freshman defenseman as a partner.   He has played in every game since arriving on campus.

Luke Eibler, D, (So.):  27 GP, 1-5-6, +10 (2010: 3-10-13)

With the Huskies scoring less, their D-man have seen a drop in their assist totals.  One thing that hasn’t dropped is Eibler’s +10 rating.  After managing an impressive +12 last year, Eibler has continued to perform despite having his partnership with Bitetto split up.  And like Bitetto, Eibler has been charged with bringing along a freshman defenseman.  Now if he could just get those penalty minutes down a bit (52 last year, 46 this year)…

Robbie Vrolyk, F (Jr.): 24 GP, 5-3-8, -2 (2010: 1-1-2, 2009: 6-5-11)

In his previous 1.5 seasons, Vrolyk has been a lower line guy who gets some time on the PK.  He still is that guy, but he has begun to turn his speed into points this season.  He is on a nice hot streak now, but he has yet to do it over an extended stretch.  But if he can keep the streak going, he can set a career high in everything this season.

Mike McLaughlin, F (Sr.): 23 GP, 5-9-14, -1 (2010: 11-4-15, 2009: 1-4-5, 2008: 6-5-11)

McLaughlin, the lone senior on the team, has an interesting career.  He followed up a promising freshman season with a disappointing sophomore one.  Last year, he came out of nowhere to grab 11 goals.   This year he has fallen back to what his true fit probably is: a 3rd line guy who works hard and makes other people look good.   He has been an asset on the PK and on faceoffs, and his line has been playing really strong since Winter Break.  His stats may be down, but his contribution to the team is certainly not.

Justin Daniels, F (Jr.): 27 GP, 6-8-14, 0 (2010: 0-6-6, 2009: 8-7-15)

After not scoring a single goal last season, Daniels looked like a new man early on with 2 goals in the first game.   Its been all downhill from there.  Yes, he has improved statistically, but he has made a steady decline down the line chart and even found himself in the stands one game.   For some reason, he is still on the PP unit which has accounted for 5 of his points.  That will probably enable him to surpass his freshman year totals, but he has not produced like he was expected to.

Drew Daniels, D (Jr.): 28 GP, 0-5-5, -3 (2010: 3-6-9, 2009: 4-4-8)

After putting up scoring lines like a defenseman, the coaches decided to just make him one.  And that hasn’t really affected his scoring in anyway.  Like his twin brother, he has just not produced in any of his 3 seasons here.

Alex Tuckerman, F (Jr.): 27 GP, 3-6-9, +5 (2009: 5-7-12, 2008: 8-14-22)

Tuckerman had a great freshman season playing along side another talented freshman named Steve Quailer.   Tuck looked lost without him in 2009 as he underwent to the classic Sophomore Slump that was all but a given on Greg Cronin’s teams.  After missing all of last season with an injury, Tuckerman hasn’t recovered the form he had freshman year.   He has had his moments this year, but overall it hasn’t been a good season from him.

Rob Dongara, F (So.): 12 GP, 1-1-2, -2 (2010: 6-8-14)

The “DongHouse” remains and  now Dongara has a great view of it from the rafters.  After bringing some excitement last season, Dongara became a fan favorite and even earned himself a spot on Sportscenter’s Top 10 with his Beanpot goal.   This year has been terrible for him.  After a slow start, he found himself out of the lineup.  He has been given a few chances to get himself back in, but he has not taken advantage.  His shenanigans at the Beanpot will probably keep him out of the lineup for the rest of the season, barring like 4 forwards getting hurt.

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Final: Huskies 4, UMass Amherst 3 (OT)

February 4, 2012


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.
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 3, Minnesota 2 (Mariucci Classic)

January 1, 2012


Northeastern kept their hot streak going with a 3-2 win over #2 Minnesota to win the Mariucci Classic last night.

Photo from NU Athletics

The Basics

  • Vinny Saponari, Steve Quailer and Garrett Vermeersch were the goalscorers for the  Huskies.
  • Justin Daniels, Drew Daniels, Ludwig Karlsson, and Braden Pimm all had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saves 31 out of 33 shots.
  • The Huskies were outshot 33-30
  • NU was 2-12 on the PP.  Minnesota was 0-5.
What You Need to Know
  • Minnesota scored a short handed goal to open up the scoring, but Vinny Saponari scored his second goal in as many night to tie it up on a 5 on 3 for the Huskies.
  • Steve Quailer then put the Huskies up 2-1 later in the 2nd.
  • Garrett Vermeersch put the Huskies up 3-1 late in the third with another 5 on 3 goal.
  • Minnesota pulled their goalie despite being shorthanded and got a 2nd with just 17 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough.
  • The Huskies scored 2 power play goals which was huge, but with 12 chances, you would expect as much.
  • Rawlings had another huge game.
  • Rob Dongara made his return to the lineup in place of Joseph Manno.
  • Manno was benched halfway through the third in the game before, so his situation is one to watch.
The Huskies continue to make noise out west.   Minnesota was without two of their best players and Northeastern benefited from an absurd amount of power plays.  But in the end, they leave with a victory and thats all that matters.   Its just another huge upset for a team that he has really put it together.
When the rankings come out on Monday, Northeastern probably won’t be as high as they deserve, but it doesn’t matter.   This is one of the better teams in the country and if they keep this up, it could be a pretty big second half.  This team is very talented and whatever Madigan is saying to them has really caught on.   With the rest of Hockey East faltering big time, the door has been opened for the Huskies despite their awful start.
Michigan was a fluke, Notre Dame had the flu, Lowell’s coach cost them, Minnesota got screwed by the refs.   Make all the excuses you want, the Huskies are unbeaten in their last 8 against some of the top teams in the country.   Its pretty obvious these wins aren’t flukes, they are the product of a talented team that has come together and is finally playing up to its potential.

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Final: Huskies 9, Notre Dame 2

December 3, 2011


Northeastern played by far their best game of the year and came away with a 9-2 win AT #2 Notre Dame.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Garrett Vermeersch and Braden Pimm had 2 goals.  Justin Daniels, Cody Ferriero, Dan Cornell, Adam Reid and Drew Ellement also scored.
  • The goals were the first of Reid and Cornell’s career.  It was the first of the year for Vermeersch
  • Ludwig Karlsson (4), Steve Quailer (3), Anthony Bitetto (2), Vinny Saponari (2), Ferriero (2), Ellement and Drew Daniels all had assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 25 of 27 shots.
  • The Huskies were outshot 27-20.
  • NU was 0-4 on the PP. Notre Dame was 1-7.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies scored 3 goals in the first 4 minutes on their first 3 shots chasing ND’s goalie Mike Johnson from the game before he even made a save.
  • The Huskies would continue this trend by scoring in the opening minute of all 3 periods.
  • 8 Huskies had multiple point nights.
  • There were more players with points than there were without points.
  • The Huskies played a full 60 and absolutely dominated.  They looked amazing.
10/10, A+, perfect.  What else is there to say?  Its now a 4 game win streak.  They have been scoring in bunches and just playing great hockey.  They have found a way to turn all of those close, 1 goal losses into wins.  If they keep playing like this, this team is going to make some noise at the end of the year.   The game was just a joy to watch.  WRBB did great on the broadcast.  Apparently, the ND broadcast forgot to mute themselves while they were trashing the team.  I also heard them say that ND coach Jeff Jackson hates Friday home games because his team has to go to class all day while the other team gets to focus only on hockey.   They will fit in perfectly in Hockey East.
Just a great win for the Huskies and hopefully a sign that there are some big things to come down the road for this team.

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Final: Merrimack 3, Huskies 2

November 7, 2011


The Huskies lost in OT on Saturday 3-2 to the Merrimack Warriors at Matthews.  The loss means NU will finish the season 0-2-1 against Merrimack.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca


The Basics

  • Mike McLaughlin and Robby Dongara picked up goals for the Huskies.
  • McLauglin, Joe Manno, and Drew Daniels each had an assist.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 28 out of 31 shots.
  • The Huskies were 0-7 on the PP, including a 5 minute major at the end of regulation.   They also gave up a game winning, shorthanded goal in OT.  Merrimack was 2-5 on the PP.
  • The Huskies were outshot 31-19.  They managed just 5 shots in the 3 period and OT to Merrimack’s 12.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies jumped out to an early 2 goal lead but were unable to hold it.
  • Both goals were scored by the 3rd line of Rob Dongara, Mike McLaughlin, and Joe Manno.  The Huskies have had trouble finding consistent lines, but they may be getting close.
  • Josh Manson was ejected early for a hit from behind in one of many questionable calls on the night.  Late in the 3rd, a Merrimack player was ejected in similarly questionable situation.
  • Kyle Bigos was gooning it up all night.  Ryan Flanigan, who scored the game winner, was also a disgrace.  He dove and faked injuries every chance he got.   At the end of regulation, he put Mike McLaughlin in a head lock.  McLaughlin threw him off, at which point Flanigan rolled around on the ice and begged for a call.
  • The Huskies played much of the 2nd and 3rd with just 4 defenseman. Manson was kicked out early and Anthony Bitetto got hurt and had to go to the locker room for a while. He returned midway through the 3rd.
  • The Huskies PP was again dreadful.  Despite blowing the 2 goal lead, they were given  a chance to a win with a 5 minute major PP for at the end of regulation.  They were unsuccessful.
  • Merrimack picked up another penalty with1 second left in regulation.   So NU began No Tee OT on the Power Play.
  • Not only did they not score, they also gave up the game winning goal during it.   An OT loss on a shorthanded goal.  Rough.
  • No Tee OT failed yet again, leading some to call for its removal.
Another blown lead. Another game of missed opportunities. Another home loss. This formula is nothing new to you if you have followed the Huskies fro any amount of time, but it hurts all the same.
This loss can and should be blamed on 1 thing: the Power Play. Another 0 for. 7 straight minutes on the Power Play to end regulation and start OT is about the best case scenario you could ever ask for. The Huskies not only failed to convert, but allowed a shorthanded goal for Merrimack. Its just unacceptable. It never worked under Croninn and its looked equally as bad under Madigan. Its time for a new system. Merrimack played really stupid hockey last night. And despite giving NU 7 power plays, including an extended 5 on 3, the Huskies failed to punish them and ultimately lost because it. NU is a good team, they out played Merrimack for much of the weekend. But instead of coming out with 4 points, which they should have, they finish with just 1. And failing to convert countless PP chances is the reason why. It hurts to say this, but NU sucks on the PP.
Now onto the positives. The third line scored both goals. And they were both great goals. This line is quick and they used it to get 2 odd man rushes, which were both finished beautiful. Manno’s pass to McLaughlin was just as nice as the Captain’s finish. The next one was McLaughlin setting up Dong and then Dong pulling one of my favorite moves. With the goalie coming across with the pass, Dong could have stopped and tried to just get one a time flick before Cannata got over. Instead he just kept skating full speed right to the spot Cannata had just left and slid it into the empty net. It was a great goal. The shorthanded defense also deserves a shout out: Luke Eibler, Dan Cornell and Drew x2 all had to step up and play serious minutes. And they handled it very well. None of Merrimacks goals came even strength.
One last thing: the refs were awful. Kicking Josh Manson out was a ridiculous call. And it forced them to make an equally ridiculously call on Merrimack to make up for it. There was also no desire to call anything after the whistle. It was a chippy game and they were plenty of scrums after whistles. There were more than a few occasions where players got away with cross checks or two handed shoves right in front of officials.
So its yet another disappointing weekend for the Huskies despite some moments of quality. And they find themselves still buried deep in the standings with another tough weekened ahead. This team will get the wins, but the question of when still remains.
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