Tag Archives: Steve Quailer

Preview: Huskies vs. Maine

February 24, 2012

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Well guys, this is it. For real. The season started in doubt, and now it looks like it will end in doubt.  Northeastern went 1-7-2 to start the year, 7-0-1 the next 8 games, and finally 3-8-2 in 2012. This team can dominate western and central college squads all they want, but when it comes down to brass tax, winning in-conference and making other teams think twice about taking a penalty is more important.  So this particular weekend, the Huskies have a chance to set precedence for the future, and improve on their mentioned weaknesses going forward. #11 Maine (18-10-2 overall, 13-9-2 HE) sits at fourth in Hockey East, and will play just as hungrily as Northeastern, since it is not only looking to solidify home ice (keep in mind Maine has a huge advantage being 4 hours away from everyone else) and maybe take a top 3 seed.

Maine is 15-4-1 in its last 20 games, and boasts one of the best offensive attacks in college hockey, with a potent senior top line and power play. They’re a handful to say the least.  Maine may prove to be too much to handle, but they give Northeastern a final chance to prove themselves.  The Huskies power play is abysmal, but has shown signs of life recently. On the other side, Maine has been known to take a good deal of penalties and not kill them effectively. If Northeastern can shut down Abbott, Diamond, and Flynn, stay out of the box (Maine’s power play makes Northeastern’s look like dodgeball), and establish an effective special teams offensive, they may be able to pull off the double @ home weekend sweep. But one can only dream of such things. You’d have to ignore the Huskies’ glaring weaknesses in preventing bad goals and scoring impressive ones in order to for this to come true, and that would be downright ignorant.

Nonetheless, the only way into the playoffs has been set: Win more than UMass Amherst. The Huskies are deadlocked with the Minutemen but a tie-breaker gives Massachusetts the advantage (they play UNH and Merrimack to close the season). It would certainly help to get Steve Quailer back after a four week hiatus due to a leg injury, and Robbie Vrolyk is questionable after sustaining an injury last weekend against Providence.

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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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Huskies By the Numbers

February 16, 2012

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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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Beanpot Preview: Huskies vs Boston College

February 6, 2012

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Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

Tonight Northeastern enters a tournament that they haven’t won in 23 years against a team who they have beaten just once in their last nine meetings.  And they do it without 2 first line players.  Its easy to dismiss the Huskies Beanpot chances every year.  And for much of the season, thats what every NU fan does.  But for some reason, as the tournament gets closer, people begin to talk themselves into believing theres a chance.  And every time Lucy pulls the football away at the last minute.  This year is no different.  The Huskies find themselves in the familiar role of underdogs, but how can you not be excited for tonight?

In the 59 previous Beanpots, NU has finished last in almost half of them.    Their 29 fourth places finishes are the most by far.  There are 4 championships and 10 second place finishes are the least by far.  And they don’t have a winning record in the Beanpot against any of the other 3 teams.

So for all the magic and great moments the Beanpot has brought, NU’s involvement has been limited to disappointment on most occasions.  Its been 23 years since the Huskies last won the ‘Pot and there is no reason to believe that streak is ending this year.   NU coaches are 0-7 in their first Beanpot game.  Only 3 skaters that will dress tonight for NU have ever scored in the Beanpot (Rob Dongara, Luke Eibler, and Mike McLaughlin).    And they are playing a team that has already beat them 3 times this season.

If it seems like the odds are stacked against the Huskies, i’ts because they are.   With each passing year, the pressure only grows.  And since 1988, even the best Husky teams have found a way to come undone on a Monday night in February.

This will be the 9th meeting between BC and NU in the past two season, and every single one of those games has been decided by 1 goal, except for a 2-0 BC win where the 2nd goal was an empty netter.   In last year’s Beanpot, BC broke Northeastern’s heart in overtime with a thrilling 7-6 win.  A week later the two teams met again.  This time NU managed a 7-7 tie at Conte Forum, and then finally beat the Eagles the next night with a 2-1 win at Matthews.  The teams would meet at the Garden again in the Hockey East Semifinals.   Again BC came out on top with a 5-4 win.  The teams have met 3 times this season (in 3 different locations) and the Eagles have come out with a win all 3 times.   They won in OT at Matthews, scored a goal with 2.7 seconds left to win at Conte, then beat the Huskies again by 1 at Frozen Fenway.

When it comes to playing BC, Northeastern just can’t seem to get over the hump.  But on a positive note, the last time BC and NU met in the first round of the Beanpot, the Huskies cruised to a 6-1 win.

The Huskies will be without Cody Ferriero and Steve Quailer.  Quailer leads all active NU players with 4 Beanpot points (3 of which were vs BC).  The Huskies don’t have much Beanpot experience and they graduated a lot of Beanpot points this summer.  Garrett Vermeersch has 4 assists in 4 games.  Mike McLaughlin has 3 goals in 6 games. Rob Dongara has a goal and an assist in 2 games.  Those 3 are the only Huskies with more than 1 Beanpot point to their name.  This of course ignores Vinny Saponari, who played on the 2009 BU team that won the Beanpot over Brad Thiessen and Northeastern.  His experience will be key for the Huskies.

The Huskies need a hero.  Its time to bring the Beanpot back to Huntington Ave.  Beanpot history is full of improbable heroes and epic moments.   Northeastern will need some of that tonight.   On paper, the Huskies have no chance to win this thing.   And thats exactly why, as a Husky fan, you’ve got to have faith.  The Beanpot is always won by the best team.   Its won by the team who can just win on back to back Mondays.   Tonight’s game should be great, win or lose, but I think its about time that Northeastern wins this thing.

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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 8, Vermont 3

January 28, 2012

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Northeastern snapped their 4 game losing streak with a huge 8-3 win at Vermont last night.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • Cody Ferriero picked up a natural hat trick for the Huskies.   The other goals came from Garrett Vermeersch, Mike McLaughlin, Adam Reid, Ludwig Karlsson and Steve Quailer all had goals for Northeastern.
  • Drew Ellement, Josh Manson, Anthony Bitetto, Steve Quailer (2), Justin Daniels, Braden Pimm (3), Ludwig Karlsson (2), Vinny Saponari (2), and Cody Ferriero all picked up assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 31 out of 34 shots.
  • Vermont outshot NU 34-30.
  • NU was 3-6 on the PP, but gave up a shorthanded goal.   Vermont was 1-6
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies traveled on Thursday morning and they reaped the benefits.
  • In a must win game, he team came out fresh and jumped out to an early 2 goal lead and controlled the game from there.
  • 3 power play goals for the this time is huge.   Giving up shorthanded goals  is becoming an issue for this team.  Luckily it didn’t hurt them last night.  Also, the shorthanded goal was scored by Kyle Mountain, who is the younger brother of NU’s backup goalie Bryan Mountain.
  • 12 out of 18 Huskies had points.  5 had multipoint games (Quailer 3, Pimm 3, Karlsson 3, Saponari 2, Ferriero 4)
  • It was a good night for NU as they got they win they needed and they were able to break out their offensive slump.     But if they can’t compete like this for the rest of the season, then it won’t matter much.
Lines:
Karlsson-Vermeersch-Saponari
Ferriero-Pimm-Quailer
Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Tuckerman
Reid-Daniels-Manno
D:
Bitetto-Cornell
Eibler-Manson
Ellement-Daniels

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