Tag Archives: Joseph Manno

The New Era of Northeastern Hockey

April 2, 2012

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When Greg Cronin left last summer, he left behind a program that was trending upwards.  The team was coming off a strong second half that included a huge playoff victory at BU.  The overtime loss in the Beanpot and the 1 goal loss in the Hockey East Semifinals, both to BC, were tough to swallow, but it was hard not to be proud of the team for really turning it around after a rough start.

Fueling the optimism was the fact that the recruiting class coming in was considered to be Cronin’s best yet.  Despite losing the top scorers to graduation and early departures, people were definitely excited about this team and the future of Northeastern hockey.

When Cronin left, that optimism took a hit.  No matter who they brought in, the new coach was going to have to steady the ship and keep all of the recruits on board before anything else. Unless they hired from within (Sebastien LaPlante), that was always going to be a tough task.  Even with LaPlante, they likely would have lost one or two.  But overall, it seemed like the next coach that came in would have a solid base and they would pick up where Cronin had left off.

When Jim Madigan was hired, he decided not to take that course. He chose to blow up the foundation Cronin built and start down his own path.   Most of the time when a new coach comes in, they do clear out memories of the old regime and craft the team into their own model.  Madigan’s supporters this year have been quick to point out that Cronin did the same thing when he came in.  To be fair though, the situation Cronin walked into was a far cry from the one Madigan did.  Unlike when Cronin came in, Madigan had plenty of talent to work with.  Still, he decided that he was better off doing things his way and getting his guys in.

Was this the right move by Madigan? We can’t say.  Not now at least.  If Madigan brings in his guys and can get a Beanpot or an NCAA tournament win, I don’t think anybody is going to still be upset about missing the playoffs this year.  But if Madigan’s plan can’t take the program to new heights, then it will probably feel like he did waste what Cronin left here.

Either way, its too early to tell if this the right course of action or not.  But its the course Northeastern is on.  For the second year in a row, its been a difficult summer for Northeastern and when the team takes the ice next season, it will be one major step closer to a Madigan-designed team.  “Cronin’s guys” have been heading for the exits: some by their own will (Bitetto), some because they had no reason to stay (Dongara).  There will be more departures before this summer is over.  Besides Chris Rawlings, Luke Eibler will probably be the biggest reminder of Cronin next year.  Look at the likely Top 6 forwards

1. Ludwig Karlsson (never played for Cronin)

2. Vinny Saponari (never played for Cronin)

3. Braden Pimm (3rd/4th liner under Cronin)

4. Garrett Vermeersch (Member of Cronin’s Doghouse.  4th liner in Cronin’s last season)

5. Cody Ferriero (President of Cronin’s Doghouse.  Suspended once, benched multiple times in just 1 year under Cronin)

6. Adam Reid or Joe Manno (never played for Cronin, Manno committed to Madigan)

Defense isn’t much better.  Just Drew Ellement and Luke Eibler will have played under Cronin.  And of course, Madigan has gotten commitments from his own recruits and let some of Cronin’s go (McKee, Renz).

Its a bit shocking when you look at it.  Obviously Madigan was going to mold the program in a way that suited him, but it is surprising just how quickly he has cleared out Cronin’s guys.  And for fans who watched Cronin turn this program around, that can be a little hard to swallow.  All will be forgiven if Madigan can win, but right now it feels like Northeastern hockey is back to square 1 and it might take a few years for this plan to get going.

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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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2012 Recruiting Class: Projecting Next Year’s Roster

February 23, 2012

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Incoming: 6

Jon Gillies, Goalie, Indiana Ice (USHL), 18 years old

Mike Gunn, Defenseman, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL), 20 years old

Colton Saucerman, Defenseman, Lincoln Stars (USHL), 20 years old

Cam Darcy, Forward, US National Team Development Program, 18 years old

Ryan Belonger, Forward, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) , 20 years old

Michael McMurtry, Forward, Gloucester Rangers (CCHL), 20 years old

This class is not without its question marks.   Jon Gillies will be picked in the NHL Entry Draft this summer and Patrick Roy’s QMJHL team (Quebec Ramparts) owns Gillies rights.  The team that drafts him could try to push him down that road.  But really it all depends on Chris Rawlings.  If he leaves, Gillies will be here next year to take over.  If he stays, Gillies will probably go the MJ route and Northeastern will miss out on one of the best goaltenders in this group.  Colton Saucerman suffered a serious knee injury in December and he is out for the rest of the season.   I have no idea if he will be ready for the start of next season, but I would guess no.   Since he is already 20 years old, Saucerman will be here next season, but he may be redshirted.   Cam Darcy is also eligible for the NHL draft, but he is a local kid and since he will probably be a later rounder pick, there won’t be much pressure from an NHL team to go MJ.   Ryan Belonger will definitely be here along with Michael McMurtry, who was recently announced.  Belonger will be a lower line guy most likely, but he will be in the lineup.  McMurtry is by all indications a recruited walk-on.

Definitely Outgoing: 1

Mike McLaughlin, Graduation

The Captain is the lone senior on the team.   He will graduate in May and plans on attending Grad School.  McLaughlin has been named to the Hockey East All-Academic in all 3 of the previous seasons.

Possibly Outgoing:

Steve Quailer, Graduation

Alex Tuckerman, Graduation

Vinny Saponari, Jets

Anthony Bitetto, Predators

Ludwig Karlsson, Pros

Chris Rawlings, Pros

Luke Eibler, Pros

Braden Pimm, Pros

Joe Manno, Pros/MJ

All of these guys are not leaving, but its pretty likely that some of them will.  Thats just the way it goes in college hockey.  You could put almost the whole team on this list, but I would say these are the guys that are the most likely to either receive offers/consider offers.

Quailer and Tuckerman are an exception however.  Both have only used 3 years of eligibility due to missing a full season with an injury.  Both should be graduating this May, which leaves them with a decision.   They could stay and enroll in Grad School in order to play one more season or they could just get on with their careers.   Quailer is a Canadiens draft pick. And if the Canadiens do not sign him this summer, then they will lose his rights.   Quailer has been much better this season and the Canadiens are probably going to want him.  So while he is not officially gone, it seems like a near certainty.   Tuckerman, on the other hand, is not drafted by any NHL team.  If he leaves he will likely find himself playing in the ECHL, so there is a chance he stays and enrolls in Grad School.

Bitetto would be a Junior next year, but he could probably play in the AHL next year if he wants to. The soon to be 22 year old has had an up and down, but the Predators like him and he did attend their Rookie Development camp this past summer.  If he does go, lets hope he takes his buddy from Comm Ave, Garrett Noonan (also a Predators draft pick), with him.    Saponari is the other guy on the list that has already been drafted.   The Georgia native was drafted by his hometown Trashers, but they now moved to Winnipeg.  This is his first year at Northeastern after playing two at BU, but he is already 22, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to begin his pro career after this season.  That said, he may have unfinished business in the NCAA and he worked hard to return to Hockey East after getting kicked out of BU, so he may stay and finish his degree/eligibility.

The next group is a little different.  None of them were drafted but all could sign with any NHL team as a free agent if they want.  Rawlings, 23, seems most likely to leave.   There was been speculation after each of his first two season that he would leave and sign a pro deal, but each time he has returned.  The rumor mill suggests that he stayed this year since his girlfriend was still in school.  She is graduating this year and it seems like this is the year Rawlings finally makes the jump after attending multiple NHL summer training camps the past couple of season.  Next is Karlsson, who just turned 21.  The Swede has had a tremendous freshman season that will have likely earned some offers.  The situation will remind fans of Brodie Reid and Jake Newton, who both left after good freshman campaigns.   Karlsson has been much better than Reid was, and Reid’s stats were boosted by his great play on the PP unit.  Karlsson will get these offers, and since he is unlikely to stay 4 years and graduate at 25, he will be seriously considering those offers.  Eibler would be a 22 year old Junior next season.  The Capitals were interested in him last summer, but he decided to stay.   He has been a solid presence for Northeastern and I wouldn’t be shocked if he decides to leave.   I wouldn’t consider it very likely though.   Pimm would also be a Junior next season, and he is already 22.  He has been great so far this season and I am sure a few teams will be interested.  Pimm is a bit of a wild card on and off the ice, so there is no use in speculating what he may do.  But he will be given the chance to leave, if he is interested.

The last guy on the list is Joseph Manno.   Manno is draft eligible this summer.  He has had a quiet season, but he projects to be a late round pick this summer.  Depending on who drafts him and how he has enjoyed his first year of college, Manno could choose to return home to his native Canada to play Major Juniors.   After decommitting from UMass last summer, he went that route and he has many friends that play there.   NU fans will be hoping he stays though, as he has shown some potential this season and could be in line for Top 6 time next season.

2012 Projections

Theses are purely speculative.  Everything I know and have heard is written above.  These are just my guesses/gut feelings.

Goalies: Gillies, Witt, Mountain

Defenseman: Eibler-Manson, Ellement-Daniels, Gunn-Cornell  (Oskroba, Hoeffler)

Forwards: Saponari-Daniels-Manno, Vermeersch-Pimm-Ferriero (when healthy), Vrolyk-Darcy-Reid, Dongara-Stone-Belonger (Morra, McMurtry)

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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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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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Weekly Stats Leaders:1/26

January 26, 2012

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Here are your Weekly Stats Leaders for the Huskies

With Justin Daniels being scratched this weekend, only 5 Huskies have played in all 22 games this season: Garrett Vermeersch, Vinny Saponari, Anthony Bitteto, Drew Daniels and Drew Ellement.

  Goals
Braden Pimm 9
Ludwig Karlsson 8
Steve Quailer 7

 

  Assists
Vinny Saponari 13
Steve Quailer 12
Ludwig Karlsson 11

 


  Points
Steve Quailer 19
Ludwig Karlsson 19
Vinny Saponari 16

 

  +/-
Braden Pimm +14
Josh Manson +10
Drew Ellement +9

 

  PIM
Josh Manson 44
Luke Eibler 37
Joseph Manno 33

  Shots
Steve Quailer 65
Braden Pimm 52
Garrett Vermeersch 51

 

  GW Goals
Cody Ferriero 2
Steve Quailer 2
Braden Pimm 1

 

  PP Goals
Steve Quailer 3
Ludwig Karlsson 2
Anthony Bitetto 1

 

  SH Goals
Braden Pimm 2
Vinny Saponari 1
Steve Quailer 1

 

  PP Points
Garrett Vermeersch 5
Ludwig Karlsson 4
Justin Daniels 4
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