Northeastern’s Madigan: ‘We’ll Take The The Point And Then Build On It’

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – For the past few seasons, Northeastern University’s men’s ice hockey teams have always had the potential to win big games.

Against Boston College and Boston University, the Huskies elevate their game to another level. Yet, when it comes to some of the so-called, “middle of the road teams,” they stoop to the opposition’s level.

On Friday evening against the University of Maine, Northeastern had numerous chances to pull ahead for good. Their offense should have recorded three or four goals in the opening period, but instead they squandered numerous chances and wound up tying the last place Black Bears, 1-1.

“At home you want to come up with two points every night, but we’ll take the point tonight and then build on it,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “It’s our first point in the league in 2013, and [we’ll] build on it as we get ready and prepare for our two opponent’s next weekend.”

Friday’s game should have been a win for the Huskies. They won 41 face-offs, tallied more shots on the power play and Chris Rawlings deflected the puck 42 times between the pipes. Yet, they didn’t win the shots on net battle and couldn’t continue their first period momentum throughout the final two frames. And when Bill Norman notched his first collegiate goal for Maine in the second, Northeastern appeared lost.

Cody Ferriero, though, had three chances on various rushes down the right side of the ice during the third, which would have provided Northeastern with the go-ahead score, as well as a much-needed spark. However, his three shots from in front of the net, right circle and left of the slot were all denied by Martin Ouellette, which kept the game tied.

“I thought they got very good goaltending. I thought he made a couple of nice combination saves there later in the third period,” Madigan said.

The Huskies fired 11 shots during the final 25 minutes, which included overtime, and still couldn’t find the back of their opponent’s cage. Maine rifled 15 shots and really only had one particular chance on the left side of Rawlings net to score the go-ahead strike, but Steven Swavely didn’t deliver.

“We had our chances to take the lead, but I thought Rawlings was very good, both teams fought hard, [and] it could have gone either way,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead.

If Northeastern is going to make any push toward a spot in the conference’s Final Four at the TD Garden in mid-March, they’ll have to be at their best for their remaining contests and put this match away immediately.

Next weekend, Northeastern will have two tough tasks, as they’ll skate against Boston University on Friday and Boston College on Saturday. Both contests will be on the road, and despite only one conference victory away from Matthews Arena, the Huskies know their chances of postseason success would fade with back-to-back losses.

“It’s all about preparation, week to week, and so we’re not going to change our preparation going into this week. It was a point, we wanted two, [but] as I said, we’ll take the point because they’re hard to come by in this league,” said Madigan.

“When you play BU and then our opponent the next night is a team of Boston, [so] when you play those two teams it is easy to get up for them. It’s been that way since I played here in [1981].”

Mass. College Hockey: Maine 1, Northeastern 1 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, MA – The Northeastern Huskies men’s ice hockey team began 2013 with a crushing three-goal defeat to Bentley University.

Roughly six days after their crushing loss, the Huskies tried to rebound with a win against Maine, a squad that’s currently in the Hockey East basement, but instead squandered numerous goal-scoring chances and finished with a 1-1 tie.

“It was a hard fought game by both teams, and for us, I like the way we responded from our game last weekend,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I thought we were much better in our defensive zone and at protecting the middle of the ice a lot better.

“I know they had a lot of shots, [but] I thought we did a good job keeping some of the shots from the outside, I thought we did a better job protecting the front of the net, protecting in front of Chris [Rawlings], so those are the things I liked.”

Despite staring the New Year with a loss and tie, Northeastern remains a six-win team, three of their victories coming against conference foes.

Northeastern had a handful of chances once the contest commenced, but various attempts in Maine’s zone were either blocked, misdirected or flicked wide. Although, their effort paid off late in the frame when Kevin Roy slipped the puck past Martin Ouellette on the right side of the crease, which provided the host’s with a one goal advantage.

Maine responded early in the second, as Bill Norman netted his first collegiate goal after collecting a pass from behind the net from Adam Shemansky on the left side, which evened the score at 1.

The Black Bears intensity continued, though, as they outshot the Huskies, 18-8 during the frame, as well as denied the Huskies any goal-scoring chances on two power plays.

“We had some good chances, some good looks [during our power plays], and we didn’t capitalize,” said Madigan. “I didn’t think our last two power plays had a lot of good chances.

“Maine kills penalties well, all teams in this league kill penalties at 84-85-86 percent, so I think we’re hitting at 60 percent, and that’s what we try to tell our guys, ‘don’t get frustrated.’ If you go 0-for-4, hey, don’t get frustrated. If you go 0-for-5, don’t get frustrated because you can go 1-for-6 and that one goal could be the difference, it could be the winning goal of the game.”

Cody Ferriero attempted to put Northeastern ahead on numerous goal-scoring chances once the third started, but Ouellette and the Black Bears defense smothered the junior forward, while the Huskies defense denied Maine’s rushes and shots outside the zone.

Neither team managed to pot the go-ahead goal during the final session or overtime, which provided Maine with their third tie, Northeastern with their second.

Northeastern will attempt to earn their first win in 2013 next Friday when they travel to Boston University, while Maine will travel to Merrimack College tomorrow for a 7:00 p.m. face-off.

NOTE: We will have more from this game on the blog later, as well as video postgame video reactions, too.

Northeastern’s Mountain Named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player Of The Week

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Northeastern University’s athletic department — here is today’s press release pertaining toward senior goaltender Bryan Mountain, who was named this week’s Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week.

Against New Hampshire this past weekend, Mountain recorded his first career shutout between the pipes on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

For more information on the Northeastern hockey team — HOP HERE.

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Senior goaltender Bryan Mountain (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) was honored as the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week after a 62-of-63 (.984) collective save performance against No. 12 New Hampshire this past weekend, including his first-career shutout on Saturday (44 saves) at Matthews Arena.

The Bryn Mawr, Pa., native was called into action on Friday night against UNH at the Whittemore Center for 32:42 minutes of relief duty. Mountain’s performance was the first time the fourth-year netminder stood between the pipes since keeping Maine off the board for 13 minutes on Feb. 25, 2012.

Mountain stopped his first 18 shots and earned his first start on Saturday against the Wildcats. It was Mountain’s first start for Northeastern since Jan. 10, 2010 (Massachusetts).

Mountain’s 44-save shutout was the most save by a Northeastern goaltender since senior Chris Rawlings turned aside 47 shots against Providence on Feb. 18, 2012.

With Mountain’s feat, Northeastern has now shutout New Hampshire in back-to-back contests at Matthews Arena. The last blanking occurred on Oct. 14, 2011 (4-0). New Hampshire did not allow a goal either, yielding the first scoreless draw between the two teams in 163 meetings.

So far this season, Mountain’s goals against average stands at a scant 0.61 with a .984 save percentage. For his career, Mountain is 1-3-1 with a 2.33 goals against average and a .916 save percentage in 334:27 minutes of action.

Mountain’s award marks the third decoration from Hockey East this season. On Oct. 15, 2012, freshman forward Kevin Roy was tabbed the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week after exploding onto the college hockey scene in his first week of play. The Huskies also won Hockey East Team of the Week status after its first 2-0 start since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season.

Mountain joins Athletic Republic Co-Player of the Week Parker Milner (Boston College) and Mike Collins (Merrimack), Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week Jon Gillies (Providence) and the other Co-Defensive Player of the Week Casey DeSmith (New Hampshire) as this week’s award winners. Boston College was tapped as the Hockey East Team of the Week.

In other news, Northeastern remained the No. 15 team in the country in USCHO.com’s fifth national poll of the season released on Monday, Oct. 29.

This Friday, Northeastern and Merrimack meet up at Matthews Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop on Nov. 2. The 15th-ranked Huskies will then travel to North Andover, Mass., to close out the two-game series at Lawler Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m.

Hockey East: Northeastern 3, Merrimack 2 (Second Period Reactions)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – Once the second period commenced, Merrimack was whistled twice, but so was Northeastern.

Although, despite the early penalties, the Warriors finally got on the board at 4:20 when Quinn Gould capitalized on a broken play on the right side of Chris Rawling’s cage, which resulted in Merrimack’s first Hockey East strike of the season.

The Warriors continued its rally 11 minutes later when Justin Mansfield notched a short side goal at 15:08, which brought our score to 3-2.

Northeastern appeared to take an enormous step backward in the period, which isn’t a good sign for the final 20 minutes. The Warriors have the momentum, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can tally two more goals to earn an important conference road win.