Week 16 Reaction: Another One

John Stevens

1/15/16: Northeastern 4, New Hampshire 2

1/16/16: Northeastern 6, New Hampshire 2

The Huskies pick up their first two conference wins of the season as they continue to roll through the second half.  Northeastern completely outclassed UNH in just about every aspect of both games on their way to another sweep.

Northeastern absolutely dominated Friday night’s game at Historic Matthews Arena.  UNH barely even saw the offensive zone.  They couldn’t do anything to take the puck from the Huskies and make it out of their own end.  The Wildcats ended up getting outshot 36-25 in the game.  The only time New Hampshire looked even remotely threatening was for a few minutes late in the second period, resulting in their first goal of the weekend.  After that, it was all Northeastern.

Saturday night’s game had an entire weekend’s worth of action in half of a period.  After a first period where absolutely nothing happened, the Huskies took a lead early in the second.  They went on, like the previous night, to have some second period struggles for the rest of the first half of the period, giving up good chances and being bailed out by Ruck.  UNH eventually put one home to tie it up.  Then it got nuts.

In four and a half minutes the Huskies scored four times and gave up a powerplay goal.  Excluding that penalty they took, Northeastern had their way with UNH.  They were making perfect passes all over the New Hampshire zone.  It was reminiscent of the preseason game against Simon Fraser.  Absolutely unbelievable.

While it’s easy to point out that New Hampshire is just a bad team (and they are really bad), it shouldn’t count against how well Northeastern has been playing.  The offense is firing on all cylinders.  After scoring just 24 goals in their first 13 games (up to the Thanksgiving tournament), the Huskies have scored 37 in their last 10.  They’ll only get better on the offensive side when Roy and Hedges eventually come back from injury.  Ruck has significantly improved from his early season struggles.  Northeastern has also done a much better job staying out of the box since that point in the season.  From the Belfast tournament on, the Huskies have cut down on taken penalties by almost two a game.  As they still have by far the worst penalty kill in Hockey East.  Northeastern has markedly improved on two of their biggest early season weaknesses, while minimizing exposure to a third.


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