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
- 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.
Tonight the Huskies will go for the title in the Mariccui Classic as they take on the Golden Gophers on their home ice. Puck drops at 7 PM EST.
Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca
Minnesota comes in at 15-5-2. The Golden Gophers beat Niagara 5-1 last night to reach the title game. They will be without two of their top scorers in Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, who are with the USA WJC team. The Gophers are averaging 4.2 goals per game, so even without these two they will be expecting to light the lamp a few times tonight. Their power play is at 25%, so if NU picks up penalties like they did last night, it is going to be a long game. Minnesota does take a lot of penalties, but with NU’s PP now at 8%, it probably wont matter how many chances they get. Minnesota also averages 36 shots per game, so Rawlings will need to bring his A game for the Huskies to have any chance. Kent Patterson will be the goalie for Minnesota. He has played in every single game for Minnesota this year, positng a 1.99 GAA and .922 Save Percentage.
For the Huskies, they are lucky to be in this game, but it doesnt really matter. They have a chance to get some hardware and a potentially huge RPI and Pairwise boost. The rest of Hockey East is not really helping out in that manner, so NU is going. Even missing 2 top players, Minnesota is one of the best teams in the country, but NU has proven they can play with the best. If they play the style they played during the win streak, this should be a great game. If they play like they played last night, it wont even be close.
PS-Its officially time to Free the Dong.
Northeastern 6 game win streak came to an end last night when they tied Princeton 3-3.
Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca
- Though the game counts a tie, there a shootout to see who advanced to the Championship. It went eight rounds without a goal until Justin Daniels won it for the Huskies.
- Braden Pimm had 2 goals during regulation and Vinny Saponari grabbed the other one.
- Cody Ferriero, Mike McLaughlin, Garrett Vermeersch, and Steve Quailer all had assists.
- Chris Rawlings allowed 3 goals on 26 shots, but saved all 8 during the shootout.
- The Huskies outshot the Tigers 41-26.
- NU was 0-7 on the PP. Princeton was 3-7.
What You Need to Know
- The Huskies weren’t at their best and looked to be a bit rusty after a long layoff.
- In a game where WCHA refs were calling everything, the Huskies special teams killed them. They have been an issue all year, but this was a new low. 7 power plays were unsuccessful. Princeton tied the game 3 times with Power Play goals. The only bright spot was Pimm’s shorthanded goal, but Princeton scored 20 seconds later on the Power Play.
- Mike McLaughlin returned to the lineup in place of Zak Stone and picked up a point to go along with some great work on the PK. He won just 4 out of 16 faceoffs though.
- Throughout the win streak, Northeastern has scored by making smart passes and taking the right shots. There was none of that last night. Too many selfish plays and too many dangles. And when they did try to make the passes, they couldn’t connect.
- Its time to bring Robby Dongara back in the lineup. Robbie Vrolyk is a non factor out there and he hasnt even made an impact on the penalty kill, which is supposed to be his strength.
- Garrett Vermeersch continues to play well. He was the best faceoff man for the Huskies and even while the rest of the team reverted to selfish play, Vermy continued to make the right plays.
- The Huskies looked frustrated and rusty for most of the game.
- The shootout was awful. Rawlings made some great saves, but NU’s shooters were missing the net, losing the puck, or trying to be a bit too fancy.
Not a good game for the Huskies. Princeton is a lower tier ECAC team who was playing their back up goalie. Blowing 3 leads in one game is never good. The shootout win at least gives them a chance to take down Minnesota and get the title (as well as the Pairwise boost). The sloppiness can hopefully be blamed on the layoff. The Huskies will need to look sharper tonight to have any chance.
McLaughlin was huge on the Penalty Kill and the Power Play created some good chances, but thats not good enough. If this team wants to be successful, it absolutely has to figure out the special teams. Having the PP under 10% and the Pk under 80% is just not good enough for a team with this talent level.
For video feed: Minnesota’s Gopher All Access will be showing all tournament games. It costs 9.95/month, but that will give you access to both Northeastern games.
For radio coverage: As always, WRBB will have the call. You can find that here. So if $5/game is too much for you, then make sure to tune into WRBB for free. And even if you do get the video feed, mute it and listen to WRBB anyways.
Northeastern will play Princeton today at 5 PM (EST). Tomorrow, they either play in the consolation game at 4 PM (EST) or the championship game 7 PM (EST), where their opponent will either be Minnesota or Niagara.