Northeastern Pursuing Postseason Greatness Ahead Of Hockey East Tournament

Northeastern heads into the Hockey East quarterfinals as the two-time defending Beanpot champ, having just won a major trophy on Boston Garden ice in the past month. Historically, Beanpot winners do very well in the postseason. Capturing a major title on the same ice as that which hosts the Hockey East final four gives the Huskies a huge psychological boost heading into the conference tournament. 

Coach Jim Madigan’s Huskies proved a lot of doubters wrong by repeating in the 2019 Beanpot, having lost two NHLers (Adam Gaudette and Dylan Sikura) from last year’s offensive juggernaut. This season the Huskies are winning from the goal on out: sophomore kicker Cayden Primeau and junior defenseman Jeremy Davies are NU’s big stars this season. Primeau lead Team USA to a World Junior silver medal in January and was the Beanpot MVP in February. Many argue he has become the best goalie in the east, and it’s obvious to all observers that he’s playing with a ton of confidence.

2018-19 has been repeatedly called the “Year of the Defenseman” in college hockey, and Northeastern has one of the best in Jeremy Davies. His 12 points in February earned him national player of the month honors. The reigning first team All-American leads the Huskies in scoring. If not for Cale Makar, Davies would be garnering attention, and Hobey Baker votes, as the best defenseman in the east.

Another key to Northeastern’s return to the upper reaches of the Hockey East standings is the team’s willingness to sacrifice. Coach Jim Madigan has convinced all his troops to give up their body to eat enemy rubber. The Huskies were credited with 12 blocked shots in the Beanpot championship game, withstanding a vigorous push by desperate Boston College. Their rewards are tangible: ugly purple welts and an unforgettable trophy hoist. An easy tradeoff for these Hounds.

Offensively, Northeastern is the third highest scoring team in Hockey East, averaging a shade over the three goals per game in league play. Freshman Tyler Madden (10 goals, 26 points) and transfer Liam Pecararo (27 points) have helped fill the production void of departed All-Americans Gaudette and Sikura. Pecararo’s deft touch and unselfish playmaking has helped both Madden and sophomore Zach Solow (SOLO) on the power play, both delivering crucial goals during crunch time.

One intriguing storyline heading into NU’s quarterfinal with Maine is the fact that Pecararo played his only other college hockey season, four years ago, for coach Red Gendron at Maine. Veteran coach and teenage player had a relationship that went from bad to worse, and Pecararo bolted the Maine woods after a forgettable nine-point season. Now he will be one of Gendron’s biggest defensive challenges.

Another offensive weapon who has stepped up for Northeastern is Grant Jozefek. The 5-foot-9 junior is a human waterbug, exploiting his newfound ice time by potting 10 goals among his 24 points, more production than his first two years combined. He is a fun to player to watch unless you are trying to defend him. Speed kills.

NU senior captain Eric Schule, a defensive defenseman, has been part of a major resurgence under Madigan, helping transform Northeastern from league doormats to the Beast of the East: HE tournament champs in 2016, regular season champs in 2018 and Beanpot champions in both ’18 and ’19. The College Hockey News Pairwise Probability Index pegs NU’s odds of going to the 2019 NCAA tournament at 97 percent. That would project to the Huskies’ third trip in four years. They have replaced heavyweights Boston College and Boston University as THE college hockey force in Boston. Now when it comes to postseason college hockey in the Hub, it’s “Beware the Huskies.”

Author Tim Rappleye just released his latest book: Hobey Baker, Upon Further Review (Mission Point Press, 2018). He can be reached on Twitter @TeeRaps.

Boston Builds Suspense For Hockey East Semifinals

A pair of upsets and sweeps highlighted the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament as extra hockey was abundant in round one.

Jerry York Continues Improbable Run As Boston College Face UMass

Seventy-three-year-old Jerry York was reveling on St. Patrick’s Day in Providence. His BC Eagles had staved off elimination for the second straight game, knocking out the nationally ranked Friars in exquisite drama, and the coach was fielding compliments about his energy and his youthful demeanor. “It’s the water,” he said with a smile, toasting the media with his bottle of Dasani. “It’s a great day, St. Paddy’s day.”

Northeastern Is Headed To The Hockey East Semifinals

BOSTON — As expected, the Northeastern University Huskies advanced to the Hockey East semifinals, sealing their trip to TD Garden this upcoming weekend with a 2-1 win over the Maine Black Bears in game two of the best-of-three quarterfinal series.

Overtime Goal Sends Cornell On In NCAA Women's Tournament

BOSTON – On Saturday afternoon, a season that seemed destined for so much more came to an abrupt end in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in front of a record-breaking crowd of 1,401 fans, the most ever in attendance at Matthews Arena for a women’s college hockey game.

UMass Shines In Third Year Of The Greg Carvel Era

The Greg Carvel era is reshaping the hockey landscape in western Massachusetts. His image snaps in the wind outside the sporting fortress known as the Mullins Center. Every conceivable hockey goal has been reached in his three-year tenure, and there is clearly more to come as the Hockey East regular season champions advance to Boston Garden and beyond.

Northeastern's Matthews Arena An Epic Location For Hockey East Playoffs

Ahhh… Boston, you’re my home. A year into my Midwestern beat covering the WCHA for FloHockey, I got an assignment back to my roots in Boston—the Hub of Hockey—for a three-day bender for support coverage of the Hockey East quarterfinals. That, my friends, is puck love. The cherry on the sundae was the venue for opening night as Maine took on Northeastern: Matthews Arena, the oldest hockey rink in… the… world. This is where you turn up the volume on the 1966 hit by the Standells, Boston’s ultimate sports anthem. 

Northeastern's Cayden Primeau Shuts Down Maine's Upset Attempt

BOSTON – From the outside looking in, the Northeastern-Maine series was expected to be one of the less challenging draws for the top seed in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

Max Johnson Leads No. 15 Bowling Green Into WCHA Semifinals

Sophomore Max Johnson turned a slow start from Bowling Green into a fast response, leading the No. 15 Falcons to a sweep over two-time defending champ Michigan Tech in the first round of the WCHA Tournament.

Goalie Hayden Hawkey A Force For Providence As The Friars Face Hockey East

A part of Hayden Hawkey is missing—literally.

Maine A Tough Draw For Northeastern In Hockey East Playoffs

At a quick glance, the Hockey East quarterfinal series between the No. 2 seed Northeastern Huskies and No. 7 Maine Black Bears may seem like something of a mismatch.