Last post of the season, here it is, the All Hockey East Hair Team:
F: Kevin Roy, Northeastern
F: Nikolas Olsson, BU
F: Gage Hough, Lowell
D: Mike Lee, Vermont
D: Conor Riley, Maine
G: Connor LaCouvee, BU
F: Nick Master, Lowell
F: Ryan Badger, UMass
F: Ludvig Larsson, Merrimack
D: Mark Hamilton, Maine
D: Eric Williams, Northeastern
G: Derick Roy, Northeastern
This year’s version was actually much harder than the last. There were a lot of good heads I had to leave off, especially from Northeastern (Jamieson, Griffin, etc.). Our Huskies and the Terriers from BU continue their strong showing from last season. Both Lowell and Maine significantly improved in the hair game, while Providence seemingly fell off a cliff. Overall, the Catholic schools had absolutely terrible flow. BC and Notre Dame had some of the worst collective hair I’ve ever seen. This is yet another area where Hockey East will not miss the Irish departure. Overall I was impressed though. Let’s keep it up for next year.
PS – If you still haven’t seen it yet, here’s this year’s version of the video that inspired the All Hockey East Hair Team:
PPS – Shoutout to this kid for having incredible 80s movie villain hair
3/25/16: Northeastern 2, North Dakota 6
It’s past midnight on Easter Sunday (or Monday I guess). I’ve been putting off writing this post forever, but it has to be done.
The game Friday obviously didn’t go as we wanted it to. I thought the Huskies actually played pretty well. North Dakota was just on a completely other level. They were amazing. Hats off to them, if not their fans.
The one downside to making the tournament is that for all but one team, a great season will end in a loss. Every team in the tournament had a successful season; otherwise they wouldn’t be there. But for fifteen of them it ends on a sour note. It comes with the territory.
That’s not how we should remember this season. This was the best season of Northeastern hockey I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, and I’m sure it was for the majority of fans. There’s a hockey trophy in Matthews Arena for the first time in almost thirty years. There’s a banner hanging in TD Garden naming Northeastern as Hockey East champions. We saw the most dramatic turnaround of a team I think I’ve ever witnessed. We saw the goalie of the future come into his own and shut down opponents in the second half. Five Huskies finished with thirty points. The freshmen have completely raised the bar in the celebration game.
So while it’s a bummer that it ended this way, and it’s a bummer that we won’t see the seniors (and potentially others) play in Husky sweaters again, this was an amazing year. 2016 has been by far the best time I’ve had with Northeastern hockey since I started following six years ago. Chins up.
We made it to the dance. Pretty much everybody until last weekend doubted we’d be here, but we’re here as the hottest team in the country with some new hardware.
Alright, so I admittedly don’t know anything about North Dakota. I know that they’re apparently good. I know that they managed to win thirty games this year. I know they’ve been to the last two Frozen Fours. I know they also have a line named after the world’s most boring television network.
Let’s take a look at our old friend the stat sheet. They have a 58.6 close CF%, which is third in the country. The members of the previously referenced CBS line are three of the top fifteen scorers in the country. Goalie Cam Johnson is tied for the third best save percentage in the country at .935. They have the eighth best offense and third best defense, good for the fifth best scoring margin.
So, that was a little depressing. Let’s cheer up with this:
Yeah, remember how awesome Northeastern is? One single loss in 2016. First Hockey East championship since 1988. The Huskies are good.
North Dakota also plays in a worse conference, beating up on worse teams than those we’ve seen in Hockey East all year. They blew a lead in their conference championship on the way to getting dusted by fellow tournament fourth seed Duluth. Their own goalie dropped that they got too comfortable playing bad teams, saying “We thought, ‘Oh, all we have to do is just show up to the rink, and we’re going to win the game.'” The players their goalie is tied with in save percentage? Thatcher Demko and Kevin Boyle, the two most recent victims of Husky offense. They ain’t so bad.
Jim Dahl at College Hockey Ranked ran the KRACH predictions using just 2016 and found Northeastern to be an 86-14 favorite over North Dakota. With those parameters, the Huskies have a 46% to win the championship. I like those odds.
3/19/16: Northeastern 3, Lowell 2
I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. YOUR NORTHEASTERN HUSKIES ARE HOCKEY EAST CHAMPIONS.
FROM THE VERY FIRST MINUTE THE HUSKIES WERE KILLING IT. 7-8-9 COMBINED FOR A BEAUTIFUL GOAL. THE TOP POWERPLAY SCORED THE OTHER TWO. THE D WAS SOLID, AND EXCEPT THE TWO WEIRD GOALS LOWELL SCORED RUCK KILLED IT. HE WAS AWESOME AT THE END WHEN LOWELL HAD THE NET EMPTY THE FOURTH LINE HAS CONTINUED TO OUTPLAY EXPECTATIONS. AND OF COURSE YOU KNEW KEVIN ROY AND HIS LINE WERE GOING TO SHOW UP. BOTH TIMES NORTHEASTERN TOOK A LEAD EARLY LOWELL SCORED BUT LOWELL’S GOALS WERE STUPID WHILE OURS WERE GLORIOUS. KEVIN BOYLE WON TOURNAMENT MVP BUT THE HUSKIES WERE TOO GOOD. YEAH WE ALL KNOW THAT THEY STARTED 1-11-2 BUT NORTHEASTERN’S 20-1-2 IN 2016. WE SEE THOSE STATISTICS EVERY SINGLE WEEK NOW BUT THEY’RE STILL INSANE.
GOOD ON JIM MADIGAN. GOOD ON THE BOYS. I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO GO THAT LONG WITHOUT A WIN AND STILL BELIEVE IN THE TALENT IN THE ROOM. SHOUTOUT TO THEM FOR NOT PACKING IT IN. IT’S ALL PAID OFF. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE SEASON WE’VE HAD SO FAR. AND IT’S NOT OVER YET.
Win and you’re in.
The Huskies are in the championship game of the Hockey East tournament for the first time since some time in the eighties. This team has never looked better. Score aside, they smashed BC last night. Northeastern is rolling.
Lowell has to be gassed. They essentially played two games in a row last night. I know they have Kevin Boyle. He’s awesome. He’s their team. Northeastern played a team last night in a similar situation. They put up five on Demko, and a much better defense than the River Hawks’. A goalie alone can’t stop this offense. They’re too hot. I feel so good about this it.
I know this isn’t the preview this game deserves but I’m too excited to sit here and write it all out. There’s plenty of real life writers talking about the Huskies now. Let’s get after it tonight.
3/18/16: Northeastern 5, BC 4
THEY MADE IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP. THEY BEAT BC. THE HUSKIES DOMINATED ALL NIGHT. THEY WERE INCREDIBLE. THE EAGLES STUNK. THE ONLY GOOD PLAYER IN WHITE TONIGHT WAS DEMKO. THEIR TEAM BARELY SHOWED UP, JUST LIKE THEIR FANS. IT WAS BASICALLY A HOME GAME FOR NORTHEASTERN. WE SMOKED THEM. I CAN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW.
We’re here. Nobody thought we’d be here, but we are.
So BC is good. They won like a billion awards. They’ve got Thatcher Demko, God’s gift to hockey apparently. They’ve got by far the best offense in Hockey East. They’ve got the conference’s third best defense. They commit a trillion penalties a game but kill them all off.
BC is not invincible. Not even close. In the two game series the teams played, the Eagles outscored the Huskies by a single goal. Their previous series against Vermont not only took three games, but went to overtime. Vermont is a decidedly bad team, with the second worst offense, below average defense, and by far the lowest net special teams in the conference. They’re 3-6 in the last month. Struggling against the Catamounts is not a good look for BC.
Northeastern and BC also played the exact same opponents in TD Garden this year (crazy right?). They also have the exact same aggregate score between those two games, except the Huskies didn’t need extra time to get to +2. Take away the empty netter and Northeastern’s actually better.
This is another case of the Huskies, who are on a tear, matching up against a team who has taken a step back. We’ve seen Northeastern rip teams in that situation to shreds. Now I’m not saying we’ll get a Notre Dame-esque blowout. I think the Eagles have a good chance of keeping it close. But Northeastern is the team of 2016.