Hockey East Tournament Round 1 Preview: Maine

Nolan Stevens

I’m going to keep this one nice and short.  Believe it or not, nothing really has changed since my last two posts about the Huskies or Black Bears.  Northeastern is still good.  Maine is still bad.

The Huskies should have absolutely no problem with this round of the playoffs.  The only difference between these two games and the last two games is that I’d expect them both to look like Saturday night’s game and less like Friday’s.  Literally the only thing I’m worried about this weekend is coming out of it with everyone healthy.  The Saturday game meant absolutely nothing for the Black Bears; they were locked into their position in the tournament.  They still acted like goons when things went south.  I can see things getting a whole lot worse when their facing the end of their season.  There’s a few key pieces on this team with very recent concussion issues.  I’m sure the team makes it out of this weekend, let’s hope all the players do, too.

Head on a swivel out there.

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Week 14 Preview: Quinnipiac

Kevin Roy

Some rando EZAC team is coming in to Matthews to take on the Huskies tonight.

So, apparently this Quinnipiac team is supposed to be pretty good.  They’re currently the top ranked team in the Pairwise.  They’re sporting a 57.5 close CF%.  They’re outscoring opponents by 2.3 goals per game.  They went unbeaten for their first 17 games this season, the longest for almost two decades.  Goalie Michael Garteig is one of the best in the country with a .946 save percentage.  Fine, I’ll admit that they on the surface appear to be a solid team.

But, the Bobcats are playing their third game in less than a week, after their midweek series with Princeton.  Meanwhile, the Huskies have played just one game since the first week of December, and are undefeated in that time.  Quinnipiac’s only loss of the season came at home against BU, a 4-1 defeat.  Northeastern also has a 4-1 home loss against BU, as well as a 5-4 road loss, a significantly closer game.  I don’t mean to get real technical with everyone, but I’m pretty sure that statistically actually means the Huskies are the better team in this matchup.  Plus, when they played at Quinnipiac last year Northeastern only lost by one goal in each game.

Yeah, Quinnipiac looks like they’re a great team, but with Matthews sure to be packed on this winter break night, I wouldn’t count out the Huskies.

Week 1 Preview: Colgate

Derick Roy

Has anyone every won a game by triple digits?  No?  Well get ready to set some history on Saturday night as Northeastern takes on Colgate in the season opener.

The Raiders spent their Sunday afternoon giving up nine goals to the Mighty Mercyhurst Lakers in a losing effort (pls don’t look at Saturday).  Yes, those same Mercyhurst Lakers who came in fifth place in Atlantic Hockey.  Things got so bad, they ended up giving the hook to their goalie midway through the second.  Colgate did little to justify their 20th place ranking in the USCHO preseason poll or the 12 votes they got in the USA Today poll.

While that disaster of a game was going on, your Northeastern Huskies were busy setting back Canadian hockey another twenty years with a 10-2 dismantling of Simon Fraser.  I can’t help but feel that the 19th century British fur trader would be horrified at the performance done in his name on Sunday.  The Huskies looked good enough to cause me to wonder if they would ever lose again.

Northeastern returns all but five regular players (Lauwers, Reid, Snydeman, Szmatula, and Witt), including the entire first two lines.  All due respect to the departed, but the 15-16 Huskies shouldn’t have any problem replacing the production from the skaters that have moved on.  What appear to be the two new lines were somehow even more impressive.  BU transfer Sam Kurker and freshman Adam Gaudette join the ZAR to make a line surely capable of carrying on the #badboysforlife torch.  The Brendan Collier line, with Lincoln Griffin and Dwayne Robertson – I mean Jason Cotton, was the best line in the game.  Pat Schule on that fifth line was also disruptive on the forecheck.  Trying to match up with a team rolling four lines like that is making me exhausted just picturing it.

Due to complete dominance, we didn’t get to see much of the new defensemen.  Thanks, Simon Fraser.  Pretty much the only thing we learned about the new D faces was that Eric Williams has a cannon for a shot.  While Witt is obviously a big loss, I’m confident Derick Roy and the improved defense in front of him will be able to pick up the slack.  Everyone’s talking about questions in net for Northeastern, seemingly forgetting that Roy posted a .926 even strength save percentage last season.  He won Hockey East goaltender of the month last January.  Derick Roy is going to be fine in net.

All in all, I think this team should be better throughout the 2015-16 season than they were last year.  Starting off the season with a 127-0 win over Colgate is the way to start.