Tag Archives: This Place Sucks

Final: Lowell 4, Huskies 0

January 21, 2012


Northeastern lost to Lowell 4-0 last night, which makes it 3 straight losses for the Huskies.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The Basics

  • For the first time all season, the Huskies were shutout.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 28 out of 32 shots.
  • The Huskies were outshot 32-28
  • NU was 0-5 on the PP. Lowell was also 0-5, but they picked up a shorthanded goal and a goal seconds after one of their PP’s had ended.
What You Need to Know
  • This one was ugly.
  • Northeastern started slow and it cost them when Lowell picked up an early goal.
  • After that NU managed a few chances, but couldn’t find the net.
  • The second period might have been one of the worst periods of the season.  Lowell completely dominated a Northeastern team that looked like they were asleep.  Lowell picked up 3 goals, including a shorthanded one.
  • The Huskies came out a bit tougher in third, but never really pushed Lowell.
  • Rawlings looked off all night.  He was moving and react very slow and just didn’t seem to be the same goalie we’ve seen recently.
Where to being with this brutal game?  Lets start with the special teams.
Technically the PK killed all 5 penalties last night, but Lowell scored their first goal just 5 seconds after a penalty had expired.   The Passive Box isn’t getting it done.  Its time to get aggressive and force teams into mistake rather than sitting around hoping they make one.
The real issue is of course the power play. 9/95 is disgusting.  9.5% is by far the lowest in Hockey East.  And with the Huskies giving up shorthanded goals in two consecutive games, they have now given up the 2nd most in the conference with 5.  The Power Play is so bad that it gets worse the bigger the advantage is.  Last night, the Huskies had a 5 on 3, and just like the one against BU last weekend, they passed and passed and passed and passed.  When they finally succeed in passing the puck into the net, I am sure it will look great.  But they failed yet again last night and when they eventually whiffed on a shot, Lowell ended up with a breakaway that would have been a goal had Ludwig Karlsson not dragged the guy down and took a penalty.  Its got to the point where I actually dread seeing a penalty on the other team because it just leads to embarrassment for NU.
Now onto the lineup:  Dongara, McLaughlin, and Vrolyk all bring something to the table.  But all 3 of them cannot be in the lineup at the same time.   That has been proven again and again this year.  Manno and Stone need to be in the lineup every night, if that means Dongara and Vrolyk have to take a seat, so be it.
With results around the conference going against Northeastern, their playoff chances are growing smaller every weekend.   Time is running out for the Huskies and performances like this one aren’t going to relieve any fears.
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Lawler Sucks

November 5, 2011


Merrimack’s Lawler Arena is the worst rink in the league.   Here is why it sucks:

  • The glass behind the net is too short.  The game is stopping every two seconds because the puck is going out of play.
  • The place is in the middle of nowhere.
  • The ice is awful (there is a huge build up of snow 5 minutes into every period and there is a huge drop in the corner where the Zamboni enters, where the puck gets stuck.
  • Sight lines are awful
  • Its even harder to see when a constant stream of people are walking by during play because they just got there.  This happened for the majority of the first period.
  • Last nights game was the first sell out I have been to where only 1/4 the rink was filled 10 minutes before the game.
  • You can’t get cell phone reception inside.
  • Its freezing in there.  Do they have heat?
  • Merrimack plays there
Thank god we don’t have to go back there for another year.
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Final: Huskies 1, Merrimack 1

November 5, 2011


The Huskies tied the Merrimack Warriors, 1-1  at a “sold out” Lawler Arena last night.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca


The Basics

  • Justin Daniels kept up his hot start and scored his 5th goal of the season
  • Vinny Saponari (6) and Steve Quailer (3) picked up the assists.
  • Chris Rawlings saved 34 out of 35 shots.
  • The Huskies were 0-4 on the PP, but they held Merrimack’s PP scoreless for the first time all season, killing off all 7 chances, including a 5 minute minor major.
  • The Huskies were outshot 35-31, but it didn’t seem like Merrimack had a ton of quality shots.
What You Need to Know
  • The Huskies looked great last night.
  • They were full of energy from the start.
  • Garrett Vermeersch had the first chance when he made a nice move to get a 1 0n 1 with Cannata , but he was denied by the post.
  • Adam Reid was a ejected for a blow to the head…on a guy 6 inches taller than him.  Madigan was not pleased with the call.
  • The Huskies killed off the 5 minute major, but couldn’t capitalize on the momentum.
  • Merrimack scored late in the 2nd on one of the few defensive mistakes the Huskies made all night.
  • Justin Daniels tied it up right at the start of the third.
  • No Tee OT was unsuccessful again.
It was a great performance to watch for the Huskies and it was a big point.  The Huskies were the better team last night and if it werent for Cannata, they would have easily won.  Chris Rawlings played well on the other end though and that was able to keep the Huskies playing with confidence.
Defensively, they did a much better job cclogging the slot and clearing out rebounds.   The chances Merrimack got last night, were a much lower quality than the ones they were getting two weeks ago and that made the difference.   I thought the Drews (Daniels and Ellement) had a great game.  They have both struggled this season, but they looked a lot better last night,  Hopefully they can back to last year’s form.   And the other defenseman who continues to impress is Dan Cornell.  He wasn’t expected to be a factor for this team, but he was given a chance and he has taken it.  Playing with Anthony Bitetto is a huge help I’m sure, but Cornell has been great.  He doesn’t try to do too much and he gets better every game.
Offensively, it was a good performance.  They only got 1 goal, but they had some great chances and forced Cannata into some timely saves.   The first line as always was awesome.  And as always Ludwig Karlsson was just a beast.  When he gets the puck, everyone knows he is going to make something happen.  He is a very smooth skater and he makes great plays look effortless.  One other forward that impressed me was Garrett Vermeersch.  He has come under a lot of fire on the message boards for being selfish and not defensively responsible.  He played well last night.  In addition to his post we already discussed, he made a great pass to set up a wide open Alex Tuckerman who inexplicably deflected the puck wide from inside the crease.  So while he wont show up on the stat sheet, it was a solid effort from Vermy and hopefully he can build on it.
The PK was awesome.   Killing the 5 minute major was huge.   Mike McLaughlin had a huge blocked shot.  Typical hard work from the Captain.   Holding Merrimack to 0-7 is  a HUGE accomplishment.   The Power Play was lacking, as usual.  But at least they were getting in the zone and getting set up.
It was a good point for the Huskies.  They would have liked, and probably deserved 2, but 1 will work.  They return home tonight to face the same Warrior team in a game that has the potential to get very chippy.   Kyle Bigos is a goon and someone needs to give him a good shot or 10.
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Preview: Huskies at Merrimack

November 3, 2011


Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca

The good news is that this will be last trip to North Andover for the season. Nothing against Merrimack, but I can’t say I’m too excited to go back to a shitty town with no streetlights or a high school rink with no cellphone reception. Its just not an enjoyable trip, I’m sorry. But after tonight, the Huskies won’t return there until next season when they will only have 1 game there. That about covers it for the good news.

Now for the bad news. Merrimack is 6-0, they don’t lose very often at home, and they shut Northeastern down completely just two weeks ago. And Northeastern needs points this week.
A typical Northeastern series would look like this: lifeless road loss on Friday, completely different team at home Saturday that is full of energy, but is punished for a mistake and comes up short in a game that was there for the taking. They need to do better than that. Losing away at Merrimack is forgivable. Looking like shit while doing it is not.
Here is all I am asking of the Huskies on Friday:
1. Be physical: Its a small rink, there isn’t tons of room to operate. Everyone (forwards included) has to pick up the hitting. Make your presence known and get some energy going on the bench.

2. Make the Power Play count: at the very least, create some chances on the PP and make Cannata come up big. 2 things that kill me about the power play: they can barely get through the neutral zone and when they do shot, its usually from the point right into the defender standing right in front of them

3. Do something about the shots: I don’t care if its blocking 500 shots again or its just not allowing Merrimack to have all the chances they want from the slot. Doesn’t matter. Just find a way to not give up 30+ shots…in the first 2 periods
4. Do something about the shots: Shoot the puck. Even in their lone win, they scored 4 goals on 21 shots. If you are going to give up a ton of shots, you can at least take some on the other end. No one cares about your shooting percentage. Its about goals.

5. Do something: I am sick of going to away games and watching this team sleep through periods at a time. Come out with some energy and maybe things with go their way.

Doing these things won’t automatically lead to a win, but they can’t hurt. And it would make the experience a lot more tolerable.


Rawlings should get the start in net.

A shake up of the defense wouldn’t be crazy, but I don’t think its likely.  Dan Cornell has played well enough to lock down that last spot for now, so Ben Oskroba stays in the stands.

The fun part for Madigan, as usual, is the forwards.  With Cody Ferriero back that means 2 guys are going to be scratched every night.  There are 5 choices: Rob Dongara, Robbie Vrolyk, Alex Tuckerman, Zak Stone, Garrett Vermeersch.

Vrolyk and Vermeersch have roles on the special teams which seems to be whats keeping them in the lineup.  Stone and Tuckerman were the casualties last game.  Its hard to justify playing both Dong and Vrolyk.  They are bring pretty much the same thing: speed.   Vrolyk was non-existent last time out at Merrimack.  I’d let Dong play as he brings a little more of a physical edge to his game, especially after just working his way back into the lineup.   Vermeersch hasn’t lived up to expectations, but I can’t justify sitting him yet.  Its not far away though.  I would play Stone over Tuckerman at this point.  Stone just looks hungrier out there.  And thats the attitude this team needs on the road.  Here is what I would go with:





Note: we have a few spots in our car for anyone who wants to make the trip but doesn’t have a ride.

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Final: Merrimack 4, Huskies 1

October 22, 2011

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The Huskies lost 4-1 to the Merrimack Warriors at a sod out Lawler Arena last night.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca


The Basics

  • Ludwig Karlsson scored his first collegiate goal (in front of his parents no less), but it was too little, too late for the Huskies.  It was assisted by Justin Daniels and Drew Ellement
  • Chris Rawlings made 36 saves, but gave up 3 goals before being pulled after the third.
  • Clay Witt looked good in relief (as usual) making 7 saves.
  • The 4th Merrimack goal was an empty netter.
  • Northeastern 0-4 on the PP, Merrimack 1-3.
  • The Huskies were outshot 47-28.
What You Need to Know
  • The game was 1-0 going into the 3rd period.
  • NU looked like they had other things (BC) on their mind.  Merrimack had the possession and the chances.
  • Rawlings was pulled despite not playing very bad.  He didnt look happy on the bench, but it looked like Madigan was just looking for a spark that the Huskies desperately needed.
  • Luke Eilber was given a major and a misconduct for an elbow to the head, but the Huskies killed it off.
  • Coah Madigan was very upset with the call on Eibler and let the refs know.
  • In the build up to the second goal, Drew Daniels was caught with a high stick and went down, the ref allowed play to continue and Merrimack proceeded to score.
  • For the second straight game, NU was robbed of a power play due an embellishment call.   This time it was Zak Stone and again it made no sense.   Heres my issue:  If you want to call a dive, call a dive and no penalty.   If the player is diving, it probably wasnt a penalty.
  • The players who were full of confidence heading into the game, looked very frustrated after the game.   They will get their chance at Merrimack in a couple weeks.  And they have a chance tonight to make up for the loss.
Witt should have started.  I said it on the way that it would never happen, but it should.   It wasnt that Rawlings played awful.   Its that now, all the confidence from the shutout is gone and he is left thinking about how he was pulled.  Now Rawlings usually sticks to the 1 good, 1 bad performance, so maybe he is due for a good one tonight?  But Witt deserves a chance, so why not give him Merrimack and give Rawlings all week to think about and prepare for the BC game?
Giving up 47 shots is a pretty sure way to lose.  Merrimack controlled the game.  They were keeping the puck in the zone and getting chances.   Northeastern barely had any chances.   I don’t think Merrimack is a far superior team to them.  It just seemed like Northeastern was off.
Ludwig Karlsson is a beast.   He is the best freshman and its not even a question.  He is going to be one to watch.  He is a great passer and putting him on a line with Vinny Saponari and Justin Daniels is just a joy to watch.   On the other hand, the Vrolyk-McLaughlin-Manno line isnt working and it will probably be broken up soon, maybe tonight.   Dan Cornell looked good defensively and looks to be staking a claim to that 6th D spot.
And lastly, Merrimack sucks.   We got off the highway onto to Rt. 125 and there was no streetlights.   There was no streetlights anywhere.   We couldnt find the Taco Bell, so we went to Captain Pizza.  It was meh.   Got to the rink.  Couldn’t get cellphone reception.   I get reception underground at Downtown Crossing, I should be able to get it in a hockey rink.  The ice is small.   Very narrow.   The low ceiling interrupted play a couple times and the low boards led to countless shots going out of play.   We got yelled at by the natives to sit down.  The Merrimack student section was impressive in number.   But that was about it.  They tried to do the simple, “Rawlings, Rawlings, Rawlings, you suck” chant.    3 times in a row they messed it up because they couldnt agree on how many times to say Rawlings.   After that all the had for us was “Huskies suck”, “BU rejects” and “NU Football”.   I’ll respectfully disagree with the first two.   And I don’t think anyone at NU cares about the third.
BC tonight, we will have the preview up soon.
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