The Huskies will start out this year’s Beanpot against last year’s champion, BU.
Northeastern lost the two previous games against BU earlier in the year, a wild game at Agganis and the homecoming game at Historic Matthews Arena. They come into the Beanpot with a 5-1-1 record in January, kicked off with a win over Harvard. Their only non-win results came against BC. The Terrier’s are Hockey East’s best possession team with a 55.4 close CF%. Like last year’s team, they are incredible in the third period. BU has scored just one fewer goal in the third period than in the first and in second combined. Northeastern fans are all too aware of how well they finish out games.
But, the Huskies are looking pretty good themselves. As you may have heard, Northeastern is on the longest unbeaten streak in the country. The team hasn’t lost in almost two months. They’ve been great offensively, and while BU’s Sean Maguire has been better in net recently, he hasn’t had a great season. The Huskies have also won four of their last five first round games. It hasn’t really been this round of the tournament that’s been an issue.
Northeastern will also be featuring Kevin Roy, who tends to be pretty good in Beanpots. Three years ago he won MVP as a freshman. Through his first three years, he’s already Northeastern’s leader in career Beanpot points. If Roy scores one more point, he’ll enter the top 25 Beanpot scorers of all time. Hopefully he’ll have himself another big tournament.
Edit: as pointed out by Mike Downie, that’s actually not true. My bad.
Look, BU is a good team that’s playing well recently. But, so is Northeastern. I ain’t scared. See you Monday.
2/23/15: Northeastern 3, BU 4 (OT)
2/27/15: Northeastern 6, BU 5
2/28/15: Northeastern 1, BU 6
Well this was not a good week for our guys. It started out Monday with another crushing Beanpot loss, and ended last night getting run off the ice on Senior Night.
Northeastern played a great game in the Beanpot final. Ending aside, they played well. After a bad second period where they fell behind by two, the Huskies came back to tie the game against what may be the best third period team in the country. Although the outcome was awful and terrible and horrible and everything bad, Northeastern did play well.
The Huskies also had an incredible half of a game against BU on Friday night. Northeastern outshot BU 20-7 in the first period, and continued that trend for the first half of the second. Northeastern was up 6-2 on BU and completely dominating the game. The Huskies then almost blew the game, giving up three unanswered goals to the Terriers. The team carried that on to Senior Night on Saturday, getting the doors completely blown off. They spent the whole game chasing BU around in their own end and absolutely couldn’t get anything going.
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record here, but the penalties are killing this team. They’d done a good job cutting back somewhat, but they were a big part of each of these games. It was a penalty at the start of overtime in the Beanpot final that lost that game. BU powerplay goals almost cost Northeastern the game on Friday, after being up by four goals. Although they were outplayed in almost every aspect of Saturday’s game, the Huskies did take eight penalties. They weren’t going to win that game anyway, but the point still stands. Northeastern can’t take these stupid penalties, especially given how bad their penalty kill is. It was a huge problem during the early season winless streak, and I’d hate to see it become a huge problem again with the Hockey East playoffs starting.
2/20/15: Northeastern 6, Maine 4
2/21/15: Northeastern 3, Maine 6
Well thanks a lot Maine. You ruined it.
Northeastern’s win streak ended last night at seven and now it looks like a very, very long shot the Huskies make the NCAA tournament. Although they remain at 18 in the PairWise, Northeastern pretty much needed a sweep this weekend to gain some ground on the teams ahead of them. The NCAA tournament looks to likely be out of reach at this point, barring a Hockey East championship.
Other than the four goal first period on Friday, the Huskies did not look very good. They were outplayed in just about every other period, especially in the game on Saturday. I’m not sure if the team took the foot off the gas, assuming that Maine would be an easier opponent than they were, but they certainly were out worked. While Maine was doing a great job in front of the net and getting rebounds, Northeastern defensively was standing around and not doing a whole lot of anything. Except for the first period of the series, this was an ugly weekend of Northeastern hockey.
Now that we have that out of the way, hopefully the Huskies can erase that from their minds and focus on a HUGE week with three against BU, then the Hockey East tournament. I moved on past this weekend and on to the Beanpot pretty much instantly after the final whistle blew. Let’s just pretend this weekend never happened. I’ll see you tomorrow at the Garden.
Northeastern heads to Orono this weekend to take on the Black Bears of Maine in the second to last series of the regular season. For some reason, everyone talking about this series brings up how tough of a place the Alfond is for opposing teams.
I ain’t scared of you, Maine. So what if Northeastern hasn’t won there since 2008? The Huskies beat UConn last week against their bizarre home ice advantage at the XL Center; how much tougher can Alfond be? There is nobody in the country hotter than Northeastern. The Huskies haven’t lost since January 10th, the only loss of 2015. Aside from annihilating UConn last weekend and beating UMass the week before, all of those wins for Northeastern came against good teams. Maine’s 2015 sports losses to UConn and UMass (though I will concede they do have a couple good wins). I don’t think there’s anyone on that defense who can stop this red-hot Northeastern offense from doing whatever they want.
The Huskies will also be coming out guns blazing to try to better their position for postseason play. They’ll need these wins to try to grab a first round bye in Hockey East (or the matchup against UMass; same thing I guess). Obviously, if Northeastern wants any shot at making the NCAA tournament they need all the wins they can get. They especially can’t afford to lose to lesser opponents. So, don’t expect the Huskies to be looking ahead to the Beanpot on Monday. Leave that to those of us babbling incoherently about them on the internet.
2/13/15: Northeastern 9, UConn 0
2/14/15: Northeastern 6, UConn 1
I’m not sure I’ve seen many performances as dominating as that in my life. From the very beginning of the first game, if just seemed like everything was going the right way. Every movement was so precise and in perfect rhythm. I was in awe, and not a single person in the arena could look away from the action So here’s to you, Tambourine Guy. You wowed all of us, and for that we thank you.
Seriously though, Northeastern looked AMAZING this weekend. There wasn’t a single thing I could see that they had any trouble with. They dominated every aspect of both games. It was just one long, sustained possession in the UConn zone after another. When UConn did manage to get it into the Northeastern end, it was quickly removed. The passes were awesome. There were two (Northeastern) Huskies with hat tricks on Friday, and Kevin Roy picked up Warrior Player of the Week honors with seven points. If you want to nit pick you could point to the penalty minutes taken on Friday night, but it was actually same amount as UConn. It was a chippy game; I’m not worried about it. Just about everything from these games was a positive.
Poor Rob Nichols, UConn’s goalie, played every single minute of this beatdown of a weekend. You wouldn’t know it from these two games, but he’s been one of UConn’s best players this season. I don’t know what he did to end up on the ice for the entire time, but it must have been something awful.
I’m legitimately worried for Maine this upcoming weekend. Northeastern is on a tear and appear to have eyes on the NCAA tournament. NU is ranked 20th in the Pairwise and received 29 votes in the USCHO poll. It’s not crazy.
After keeping us a long time waiting, Northeastern hockey is back this weekend for a home and home against their fellow Huskies from the University of Connecticut. With the two teams being tied in the Hockey East standings, this becomes another huge matchup for both teams as they try to remain in the top eight (top four seems likely out of reach for both).
The Ice Bus rolls in with quite a mixed bag of a resume. Over their last six games they are a perfectly even 2-2-2 including a win over Merrimack on Tuesday. They have some very impressive results, though, with wins over BC, Vermont, Union, and Lowell; and a tie at BU. However this same team lost to Sacred Heart, Brown, Colorado College and got annihilated 7-1 by Penn State. It’s worth noting that all of those terrible losses were on non-home ice (I think? It’s hard to tell what UConn considers home) and most of the big wins took place on home-ish ice (again, I think).
UConn sports the conference’s worst scoring offense, putting up under two goals per game, as well as the conference’s worst powerplay. That offense is paired with a mediocre defense (seventh in scoring), and a pretty bad penalty kill. I’m not sure how much stake to put into rest and time off, but UConn just played on Tuesday night, and Northeastern has had a fairly light schedule, planning on playing in the Beanpot. Either way, I think Northeastern takes at least three conference points this weekend against UConn. The Ice Bus has proven itself to be tough at home(?) though, and there are big Hockey East points on the line. Northeastern will have to be on its game the other Huskies this weekend. I love you, #icebus, being my home state and all, but this week I’m pulling against you.