Last season, as most Hockey East teams battled for playoff spots entering the final weekend of the season, the Terriers were right in the thick of it. Despite an 8–8–6 start, BU performed well in the Beanpot losing a close game to Northeastern in the final. The Terriers continued to flutter around the .500 mark until the end of the season, when they scraped by with a playoff spot until COVID terminated the tournament.
One of the major themes of the Terriers’ season was a battle of goaltenders, as senior Sam Tucker and freshman Ashton Abel rotated between the pipes. However, with Tucker graduating, Abel will look to take over the starting spot this season.
He will not do so without competition.
The incoming class includes goaltender Drew Commesso, an 18-year-old US U18 Team star and second-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks. Commesso slotted an 18–7–1 record for the U18 Team with .920 save percentage and a 2.05 goals against average, which stands at second-best in program history. Commesso will be to Abel what Abel was to Tucker: a talented freshman with the capability to take over the starting spot if given the opportunity.
In addition to Commesso, the Terriers’ gained two more freshmen who were selected in the 2020 NHL Draft: forwards Luke Tuch and Dylan Peterson. Tuch also played for the NTDP U18 team and put up 53 points over two seasons before he enrolled at BU and was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round. Peterson, also a member of the US U18 team, was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round and shot for 28 points in the 2019–20 U18 season.
Tuch and Peterson will look to fill the void created by the loss of forward Trevor Zegras, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks in late March. The Terriers’ also lost defenseman Cam Crotty to a three-year entry-level deal with the Arizona Coyotes.
Finally, the Terriers will need to recover from the loss of team captain Patrick Curry, who graduated and signed a two-year deal with the Grand Rapid Griffins of the AHL. Curry led the Terriers with 19 goals scored last year, tied for second in the conference. Senior Logan Cockerill will replace Curry as captain.
Bottom Line: Major losses at the forward and goaltender positions place the Terriers in a tough spot. However, depending on the performance of some promising incoming freshman, they could improve over last year. This team should be interesting to watch throughout the season and will undoubtedly contend for a playoff spot.
— It was do or die time for Northeastern as they took a five-game losing streak
into their regular season finale against Boston University. And to no one’s
surprise, things were tense (and a little weird) from the very beginning.
The Huskies began the game on the penalty kill after backup goalie Curtis Frye was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Frye lifted a cross-ice shot during warmups that struck a BU player, which caused the referees to review the “play” just before puck drop. Because of the penalty call, senior forward Grant Jozefek spent the first two minutes on the sin bin while BU started the game on the power play. Despite a less than ideal start, the Huskies responded well in the first period and easily killed off the penalty.
responded in a big way just six minutes after the penalty kill, as a
well-constructed power play goal gave them the early lead. The Huskies combined
excellent puck movement with great positioning as Aidan McDonough finished off
a pass from Grant Jozefek. Northeastern controlled play for the rest of the
period and headed into the first intermission with a one-goal advantage.
some nice Northeastern chances throughout the second period, BU controlled the
majority of play. The best chance for Northeastern came about 15 minutes into
the period, as Matt Filipe nearly found fellow forward Neil Shea on a
breakaway, though the pass trickled just wide of Shea’s stick.
Huskies held their lead after two periods despite a late-period scare. With
just 20 seconds left in the frame, BU forward Trevor Zegras sent a long-range
shot on Pantano, who had difficulty holding onto the puck. With both teams
fighting for the puck to the immediate right of Pantano, BU defenseman Cam
Crotty eventually redirected the puck into the net. However, it was determined
after a lengthy review that Crotty interfered with Pantano, causing the goal to
be waved off and allowing NU to escape the second frame with the 1–0 lead.
an admittedly sluggish second period, the Huskies found their grove once again
just 43 seconds into the third frame, as Matt Filipe finished a rebound off a
long-range drive from defenseman Ryan Shea.
Huskies’ momentum was short-lived, however. BU responded with their own goal just
three minutes later when senior forward Patrick Harper sent in a bullet from
the near face-off dot. Despite the goal light going off, play continued for the
next two minutes with the referees saying the shot had not gone in. A review of
the play determined what everyone already knew — the Husky lead was down to one.
their season on the line, Northeastern did what they do best: block shots and
clog shooting lanes. Despite some nice chances for BU, the Huskies maintained
their lead for the rest of regulation. Northeastern combined impressive defense
with timely offense, as the Huskies enjoyed several stretches of offensive zone
time to further drain the clock.
BU would not go quietly, however, as with just 1:44 left Northeastern was called for a tripping penalty, giving BU a man advantage for the rest of regulation. The Terriers turned it into a two-man advantage, playing the entire power play with goalie Sam Tucker on the bench. Despite the six-on-four Terrier advantage, Northeastern held its own defensively, as BU would have virtually no chances on the power play. Matt Filipe cleared the puck for the final time as the Husky bench celebrated the breaking of a five-game losing skid with an intense 2–1 victory over their crosstown rivals.
thought our kids played a gutty, tough, and determined game,” coach Jim Madigan
said. “We wanted to make sure that we earned our way into the playoffs and just
not backed into it and tonight’s win was that.”
Ryan Shea echoed his coach’s thoughts, saying, “We didn’t want to leave it up
to chance. We didn’t want to risk our season and watch them [UNH] at 7 o’clock
. . . We just wanted to get the job done ourselves.”
is a building we haven’t had much success in over the years,” Madigan said of
Agganis Arena. The Huskies avenged their 6–3 defeat at Agganis earlier this
year while playing in front of one of the Terriers’ largest crowds this season.
On Pantano’s performance, Madigan explained, “I thought he was really dialed in today. He was tracking pucks well and getting the puck out of the crease. I also thought our guys defended well, getting in front of shots and limiting BU’s opportunities.” Madigan said the team understood how dominant Boston University can be offensively, noting “With these guys [Patrick Harper, Trevor Zegras, Patrick Curry] you can just try to contain them and hope that they don’t get the opportunities where they can get going.”
win places Northeastern (18–13–3, 11–12–1 HEA) in seventh place in Hockey East
to finish the regular season and gives them a spot in the Hockey East
Tournament. Northeastern will have a quarterfinals series away at UMASS Amherst
next weekend, with the game times still to be announced. The Huskies are 1–2
against the Minutemen this season, with both losses coming on the road.
Northeastern will have its work cut out for them if they are going to truly
turn their season around, though this win gives them the confidence boost they
will need to have any chance.
— Northeastern began their Friday night hopeful
that they could beat Boston University on home ice, then go to Agganis Arena
the next day and overtake the Terriers in the Hockey East standings. They ended
the night realizing that wasn’t going to happen.
The Terriers came to
Matthews Arena Friday night and thoroughly beat the Huskies, 3–0. After
surviving an up-tempo first period, Northeastern conceded a goal to BU’s
Patrick Curry with 7:11 elapsed in the second period. Husky goaltender Craig
Pantano stuffed the initial shot by BU center Jake Wise, but Curry slid the
rebound under Pantano’s pads.
The Huskies attempted to rebound
but instead conceded again, this time to a Cam Crotty redirect with 14:26 gone
in the second.
had a decent first period, and then second and third period we didn’t generate
much offense,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan observed. “They got up 2–0; we
didn’t respond well enough.”
The Huskies went into the
second intermission down two goals and in desperate need of a better offensive
effort. That didn’t happen, as Terrier center Wilmer Skoog put one past Pantano
to give BU a 3–0 advantage.
Northeastern simply lacked
the offense to cut into the deficit. While senior forward Grant Jozefek
returned after missing last week’s doubleheader due to injury, the continued absence
of leading goal scorer Tyler Madden (day-to-day with a hand injury) was noticeable. Madigan, however, refused to blame Madden’s absence for the
team’s offensive struggles.
“Other guys need to
step up,” he said before channeling his inner Rick Pitino. “Tyler Madden, he’s
not walking through the doors right now . . . we’ve got enough in that room to
create some offense; it’s up to those guys to create offense.”
On the opposite side of the
puck, David Farrance continued his run of dominance. The star defenseman played
well all night and notched an assist on all three BU goals.
Despite the disappointing loss,
Northeastern still controls its own playoff destiny. If the Huskies beat BU on
Saturday in their last regular-season game, they guarantee themselves a spot in
the Hockey East Tournament. If they don’t, they will make the tournament only
if Boston College beats or ties New Hampshire tomorrow.
Christian Skroce and Adam
Doucette will call the game from Agganis Arena, with coverage beginning around
3:45 PM EST.
30 years, to three in a row, Northeastern is a Beanpot dynasty.”
That was our final call on air Monday night as the Northeastern Huskies raised the Beanpot trophy for the third time in as many years. It was a moment that Husky players, coaches, fans, and yes, even radio guys, will never forget, and it just might be the greatest moment in Northeastern hockey history.
is not the first team to win three Beanpots in a row; that honor goes to the
1963–65 Boston College squads. Nor is the Huskies’ streak the longest; for that
we look to Boston University’s six consecutive titles from 1995 to 2000. Northeastern’s
three-peat is the ninth in Beanpot history and the first by a team not named BC
or BU. But make no mistake, this hat trick is as historic as they come, and its
countless moments remind us why we love sports and why we love calling games
for this team.
broke its 30-year Beanpot drought in 2018, pulling out victories against
perennial powerhouses BC and BU. The Huskies were led by the best top line in
the country, and possibly team history — Nolan Stevens, Dylan Sikura, and
eventual Hobey Baker winner Adam Gaudette. The trio showed up in the biggest
game of their lives, and a hat trick from Gaudette propelled the Huskies to a 5–2
win over their cross-town rivals and sent TD Garden into a frenzy.
whole night was unforgettable, but perhaps the most popular image was of a fan
in the crowd holding a sign — it turned out to be an XXXXL t-shirt — that simply
read, “I can graduate in peace.” Flashes of Gaudette parading the Beanpot
trophy around TD Garden danced through the minds of Husky fans for weeks to
come after that first Beanpot win. None of them could fathom the run that was
year later, Northeastern flexed its muscles and asserted itself as one of the
premier programs in college hockey. It began in the semifinal against BU, when,
less than a minute into overtime, Tyler Madden arrived in dramatic fashion.
In the post-game press conference, I grabbed a mic and sheepishly asked the freshman forward, “How were you able to stay so calm with everything on the line?” At the podium, Madden simply nodded, leaned forward, and announced, “Well, there were bright lights out there tonight, and I shine in those.” Thus was born the legend of Mr. Bright Lights.
week later, Northeastern retained their trophy with a win over BC. Despite leaping
out to a 3–0 lead, Northeastern, ever content to give its fans a show, let
Boston College storm back in the third period to make the score 3–2 late in
regulation. But the Huskies had been here before. Struggling to maintain their
narrow lead, the Huskies found another gear, and with a late push and an even
later goal, hung on to become back-to-back Beanpot champions.
goalie and future NHL player Cayden Primeau shone during the 2019 tournament, allowing
just three goals in two games between the pipes and winning the Eberly Award
and Tournament MVP. The team went on to secure the Hockey East title and break
the Northeastern single-season win record.
the Huskies weren’t done, as just a year later, they found themselves in the
Beanpot Championship again after a 3–1 semifinal victory over Harvard. The
final promised to be a heated affair, as Northeastern faced a BU team fresh off
a thrilling 5–4 overtime upset victory over BC in the semifinal.
It was a nightmare start for the Huskies, as BU forwards Jake Wise and Trevor Zegras each scored in the first eight minutes to stun the Huskies right out of the gate. The score held for the next 12 minutes, and the Huskies headed to the locker room searching for answers.
came out buzzing in the second period, as sophomore forward Tyler Madden
brought NU within one with a perfectly placed wrister from the slot. Talented freshman
Aidan McDonough evened the game just three minutes later, but the Huskies
weren’t done there.
eight minutes gone, consecutive BU penalties gave Northeastern a five-on-three.
After a remarkable passing display, junior forward Zach Solow scored to give
Northeastern a 3–2 lead, all on the first power play, meaning NU would kept a
man advantage after the goal.
they took full advantage. One minute after Solow’s goal, senior forward Grant
Jozefek notched Northeastern’s fourth straight goal after an incredible
individual effort. 4–2 Northeastern.
taking full control of the game, Northeastern didn’t let up in the second
period and brought a whole new meaning to “close but no cigar.” One of the
craziest plays of the game came just minutes after the Huskies’ fourth goal, as
Zach Solow found himself with the puck and an open net just in front of him.
While facing away from the net, Solow attempted a backhanded shot that
ricocheted off the near post, somehow crossed the goal-line to hit the second
post, and ricocheted out of the crease. Husky fans’ mouths dropped as the TD
Garden replay showed the puck soaring perfectly over the goal-line while
remaining nanometers away from counting as a goal.
second near-miss came a few minutes later, as Northeastern again found
themselves on a breakaway. A close-range shot from Madden was popped into the
air, deflected twice, and seemed destined to float over BU goalie Sam Tucker
for Northeastern’s fifth score of the period. But freshman forward Robert
Mastrosimone came to the Terriers’ rescue and batted the midair puck out of the
the hectic second period ended, and both teams headed to their locker rooms to
prepare for a third period that no one could have anticipated.
two minutes into the third, BU began its comeback with David Farrance’s
brilliantly placed shot from the left dot. With the lead shrunk to one, both teams
desperately tried to grab the palpable momentum that pervaded the game, and in
one of the most insane regulation finishes in Beanpot history, the hockey gods
had one more trick up their sleeves.
just a minute remaining in the third period, BU pulled its goalie to give them
a man advantage. The Terriers used it well, peppering Northeastern netminder Craig
Pantano with shot after shot. Despite the rapid opportunities, the NU defense
remained strong, turning away chance after chance. That is, until Trevor Zegras
just 1.2 seconds remaining, Zegras found the puck just to the right of Pantano
and threw everything he had into a backhanded shot that wound up in the back of
the net. With bated breath, Husky fans quickly turned their gaze from BU
celebrating to the clock overhead that showed a few tenths left, and although many
didn’t want to admit it, everyone in the stadium knew that the Beanpot final
would be headed to overtime.
the game, Northeastern players were asked about their thoughts when BU tied the
game. Head coach Jim Madigan interjected, “Well, the coaches were saying WTF .
teams returned to the ice for an initial five-minute overtime period. The
Terriers kept the momentum from Zegras’ goal, earning chance after chance, but
Northeastern’s defense stayed strong enough to keep the game even and give both
teams a much-needed break before the 20-minute second overtime.
looked around the locker room and saw no panicked faces,” senior defenseman and
team captain Ryan Shea said. “Everyone was just focused on their game and was
ready to go.”
overtime was a defensive struggle, with both teams trading chances. That is,
until Shea pulled off a remarkable hustle play to draw a holding penalty with
just about six minutes remaining in the overtime frame to give the Huskies a two-minute
power play. And that was all they needed.
With 5:27 to go and under 30 seconds remaining on the power play, sophomore defenseman Jordan Harris collected the puck near the blue line in the offensive zone. With his eyes fixed on the goal and the trophy, Harris coolly skated into the slot and let a shot fly. With Zach Solow planted in front of BU goalie Sam Tucker, the puck soared through the air, through the crowd, and into the back of the net.
Harris and his teammates flung their gloves and sticks into the air and sprinted down to the other end to mob Pantano. TD Garden erupted, and I mean erupted. Twelve full sections of Northeastern students and countless more in the arena screamed and cheered as the improbability of the Huskies’ accomplishment sank in.
said that if we get the puck near the blue line to push it to the middle and
get a shot on net,” Harris said. “Hopefully a lane opens up, which it did, and
I took my opportunity, and luckily it paid off.”
The Eberly Award for best goaltender of the tournament went to Pantano, who recorded 40 saves in the championship game. Pantano grew up watching the Beanpot as a local Massachusetts kid, and continued to watch during his time just north of us at Merrimack College. This was his only opportunity to make his own mark on this historic tournament, and when it mattered most, he didn’t blink.
Solow was crowned MVP for his two-goal performance. Though his stats speak for
themselves, it’s Solow’s on-ice tenacity and off-ice leadership that have
impressed Husky fans and coaches.
perhaps his greatest trait is this: he doesn’t know what it means to lose a
Beanpot game. None of Northeastern’s juniors do either. After three decades of
heartbreaking losses, gutsy performances to no avail, and seeing another team lift
that pot of beans, Northeastern has achieved all-time greatness in Boston’s
most personal and meaningful sports tournament.
heart-attack Huskies had the added benefit of pulling out their improbable win
in front of 17,850 fans, the largest crowd in Beanpot history. BU fans made
their mark, but it was the Northeastern faithful who truly took over TD Garden
(as they have for years) and made it Northeastern’s home away from home. In the
past three seasons, Northeastern is 8–1 there. The bright lights were out on
Monday night, and the Huskies shine in those.
was a great Beanpot game; I’ve seen a lot of them over the years,” Madigan
said. “Congratulations to our players . . . they’ve set the bar incredibly high
for this program and they’ve represented the school well.”
“The winning culture that we’ve built — along with the guys before us — has been everything,” Shea noted. “I came to Northeastern to win a Beanpot, and now we’ve got three of them.”
was a distinct theme throughout the postgame press conference: “Never forgot their
roots.” Northeastern has 14 Massachusetts natives on its roster, all of whom
grew up watching the Beanpot and dreamt of winning it someday. Milton,
Massachusetts resident Jim Madigan praised two Huskies who also grew up there —
Ryan Shea and Aidan McDonough, who had an impressive four-point performance in
the Championship game.
“I had [McDonough] at my house during the Stanley Cup when he was nine,” said Madigan. “I’ve known him a long time and he’s grown into a great young man, and an even better hockey player . . . we’re a Mass team now.
young men have separated themselves from every other team in the 90-year
history of this program,” Madigan said. When asked about a potential four-peat,
Madigan smiled, shook his head, and said, “I think we’re just going to enjoy
a personal note, thank you to everyone involved with Northeastern hockey. This
has been a truly incredible ride that thousands of people — alumni old and new,
current freshmen, family — have loved being a part of.
And to my WRBB Sports family, thank you for everything. There are so many people who deserve to be a part of this run, and I like to believe that everyone at WRBB, past and present, was a crucial part of this broadcast. Like Jim Madigan said, I think I’m just going to enjoy this for a little while.
BOSTON — It was déjà vu in the
best way for the Huskies.
Twenty-four hours after
Jordan Harris’ game-winner propelled the men’s team to a Beanpot championship,
Lauren MacInnis, refusing to let Harris be the only #2-wearing Husky defender
to sink Boston University with a double-overtime goal, ended the night.
It was the Huskies 17th Beanpot title, their first since 2013, and the first time since 1988 that both Northeastern teams held the title simultaneously.
The Huskies and Terriers
had squared off three times this year, and although Tuesday night’s game had no
Hockey East repercussions, the two foes were physical throughout, knowing the
gravity of what was at stake. A record crowd of 1,790 at Walter Brown Arena
knew it too. After the drama of the men’s game the night before, expectations
BU opened the scoring early.
BU’s Kristina Schuler blew by Brooke Hobson in neutral ice to dip and dunk on
Aerin Frankel with unbelievable pace. The No. 9/9 Terriers were the underdogs against
the No. 2/3 Huskies, so the opening goal was vital against the stout Husky
It was all BU for most of
the opening period as the Huskies looked flat. BU Goalie Corinne Schroeder
looked comfortable in the net and defenders Abby Cook and Alex Allan were
aggressive on everything coming into their zone. Finally, Northeastern caught a
break in the waning minutes of the first as Chloe Aurard ripped one five-hole on
a two-on-one breakaway, bringing the Huskies even.
After the break, it seemed like
Northeastern would take control of the game. They started to settle the puck more,
with Alina Mueller’s tremendous handling creating great opportunities.
Eventually lightning struck twice, as Chloe Aurard, the eventual MVP, put away
her second goal of the game and third of the tournament with 13:26 left.
Then all hell broke loose. Two
minutes after Aurard’s goal, NU’s Skylar Fontaine was assessed a game
misconduct after getting into it with Breanna Scarpaci in front of the net. Scarpaci
was hit with a two-minute cross-checking minor, but Fontaine’s contact-to-the-head
roughing penalty deprived Northeastern of its best all-around skater for the
rest of the game.
After two minutes of
four-on-four play, the Huskies still had three minutes of disadvantage to kill.
They managed just one, as Abby Cook launched an absolute rocket from the blue
line to bring the Terriers back in the game.
It looked as though the
opportunity was starting to slip away from Northeastern, but as they have all
season, they fought back. Late in the
third period, Jess Schryver converted the Huskies’ first power-play goal of the
night. Mueller’s wrister rebounded perfectly to the freshman forward as she
shoved it between Schroeder’s legs to regain the lead with five minutes to
But as we learned on Monday
night, no one raises the trophy until the final whistle blows. BU pulled its goalie
around the two-minute mark, accelerating their offense. They put bodies in
front of Frankel, clogging the doorstep and dumping pucks in from all angles. With
only twenty-two seconds on the clock, a Nadia Mattivi slap shot trickled behind
Frankel, where BU captain Sammy Davis gave it a little tap in to tie the game.
The hockey gods were laughing
at Northeastern. It felt way too much like the night before.
But the Huskies were about to be blessed for the second time in 24 hours. After
five minutes of one overtime and 16 minutes of another, after the game had, for
record and statistical purposes, ceased to count, after the only purpose was
pride and glory, MacInnis stepped into the spotlight.
With Fontaine gone, head coach Dave
Flint sent extra minutes MacInnis’ way. On her first power play of the season,
after playing more minutes than she had all year, MacInnis fired a rebound into
the back of the net and etched her name into Beanpot lore.
Flint explained that
MacInnis has spent many hours in practice on the scout power play facing the
team’s legendary penalty kill, and thus was prepared for the moment.
The team will now look forward to Hockey East playoffs and potentially a Frozen Four appearance at Agganis Arena in a few weeks. But for now, they can bask in the glory of a trophy that eluded several talented classes. For the first time since 2013, they are the Queens of the Beans.
BOSTON — The heart-attack Huskies just couldn’t help themselves.
Beanpot final for the ages, one that lasted late into Monday night, it took two
overtime periods to crown a 2020 champion, and the game of the decade did not
University — which qualified for the game after another double-overtime thriller
against Boston College in the semifinal — grabbed the lead off a Jake Wise
backhander just three minutes into the contest. After a Craig Pantano spill in
front of the Northeastern net, Wise was perfectly positioned to finish off the
first goal of the game.
BU followed up with a second goal just five minutes later, as Trevor Zegras put a simple wrister past Pantano on the power play.
Northeastern kicked it into high gear.
period intermission was kind to the Huskies, as they bounced back with a four-goal
second period to seize control of the game. Tyler Madden and Aidan McDonough
got the scoring going, tying it up after great individual efforts just six
minutes into the period. The scoring continued for Northeastern as Zach Solow
put the puck in the back of the net on a five-on-three.
taking the 3–2 lead, Northeastern continued to pressure BU, with Grant Jozefek burying
one from distance on the power play to cap the Husky blitz.
foiling a Northeastern power play to begin the third period, the Terriers began
their climb by converting on a power play of their own with a great mid-range
shot from defenseman David Farrance.
battled throughout the third, with Northeastern barely clinging to their 4–3
lead. With just seconds remaining in regulation, BU mustered all their might
toward a final offensive onslaught, and with just 1.2 seconds remaining,
freshman forward Trevor Zegras scored the biggest goal of his career — a
backhander past Pantano to send the Beanpot final into overtime.
The teams played to an even first five minutes of overtime, with Northeastern escaping to the locker room after BU forced them onto their heels. Because a normal, non-Beanpot game would have ended after one overtime, Monday’s contest goes down in the books as a 4–4 tie. Officially, the game was decided. But for the players on the ice and the fans in the stands, there was still a score to settle.
entered the second overtime with as much energy as they could muster. After
trading blows, the Huskies finally gained a momentum advantage when a BU tripping
penalty gave the Huskies a power play they couldn’t afford to waste.
left to go, Jordan Harris collected the puck near the blue line. With eyes on
goal, Harris wound up and fired his shot toward the BU net. With Zach Solow
planted in front of BU goaltender Sam Tucker, the puck sailed through the air
and miraculously found the back of the net. In a split second, the crowd of
17,850 — the largest showing in the 68-year history of the Beanpot — erupted
into a deafening roar. After going 30 years without a Beanpot trophy, the
Huskies had their first-ever three-peat.
An ecstatic Jim Madigan praised his team after the game saying, “They pushed, we pushed, they pushed back. It was a great Beanpot game. Congratulations to our players on three in a row. These young men have separated themselves from every other team in the 90-year history of this program.”
Solow was crowned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring a goal apiece against Harvard and BU. Craig Pantano went home with the Eberly Award, given to the player with the highest save percentage across both games. Pantano saved 40 shots in the championship game.
This season has presented its fair share of challenges for the Huskies, and they haven’t always shone under the spotlight. But under the biggest college hockey spotlight in a sports-crazed city, as the cheers of the Doghouse rained down on the ice at TD Garden, there was no mistaking the sight — the Huskies were champions again.
The Northeastern women’s hockey team will face BU in their Beanpot final Tuesday night. Dale Desantis and Alex Bensley will be on the call; follows @wrbbsports on Twitter for updates on start time. WRBB will also upload a more in-depth story on the three-peat later in the week.
BOSTON — Northeastern’s Tuesday game
against rival Boston University was a nail-biter from start to finish. BU
started out strong with a first-period goal from Deziray De Sousa.
is rarely behind at all, much less in the opening frame, and leads the nation
with 42 first-period goals this season. However, the Huskies seemed off their
game in the first, perhaps due to Chloe Aurard — the conference’s second-leading
scorer with 17 goals — hitting the goalpost and hurting her wrist. (Aurard
continued to play.)
the second period the Huskies returned to form. Four minutes in, Northeastern
goalie Aerin Frankel was called for tripping after she stuck her stick out.
Gill Foote served the penalty, and a power play began for BU. However, luck
wasn’t on the Terriers’ side as Alina Mueller broke away after getting the puck
from Mia Brown and tied the game with a shorthanded goal.
Five minutes later, Veronika Pettey was called for hooking, giving BU a chance to pull ahead. Northeastern’s penalty kill was ready, and quickly took control of the puck. Mueller looked like she was going to score her second goal of the night, but was blocked by goaltender Corinne Schroeder. Matti Hartman took the rebound and looked like she might get the puck in, but it was blocked yet again. In an astounding move, defenseman Skylar Fontaine got the rebound and fired it in to give Northeastern the lead.
During the third period the Huskies were aggressive, blocking shots and checking players. Multiple BU players fell to the ice as the two teams battled for the puck, with each team getting just nine shots. With a few minutes remaining, Northeastern’s Katy Knoll earned a five-minute major penalty and, upon review, a ten-minute game misconduct after her body check from behind sent a BU player into the wall. Both players, albeit for different reasons, left the rink. Northeastern spent the rest of the game on the penalty kill and responded beautifully, ending the game at 2–1.
Northeastern’s penalty kill unit is one of the strongest in the nation. Their aggressive strategy of pursuing and controlling the puck quickly has earned them more shorthanded goals (six) than power-play goals (five) this season.
nice we can destroy their power play,” Mueller said.
added, “Once we got that first one, with the PK, we got the momentum going and
kept going and we ended up getting a second.”
will look to extend their seven-game winning on Friday at home against the
University of Connecticut.
BOSTON — Boston College and Northeastern. Cross-town rivals. The top two teams in Women’s Hockey East. Any time these two squads face off, it’s must-watch action.
That said, there’s been a
sizeable gap between the teams this season. Entering Sunday afternoon’s duel at
Matthews Arena, the No. 3 Huskies had outscored the Eagles a combined 9–0 over
two shutout wins on Boston College’s home turf. Northeastern already carried a
five-point lead in the standings over BC — with two games in hand at that.
The Huskies’ dominance of
the rivalry series continued into round three. The Eagles had no answer for the
home team, falling 3–0 to Northeastern as the Huskies capped off a statement
regular season sweep of Boston College.
“The goals didn’t come as
easily as Friday,” head coach Dave Flint said. “It was a tough game. I like how
we ground it out and battled for three periods.”
It took less than two minutes for Northeastern (17–3–1, 14–2–0 WHEA) to jump out in front. Matti Hartman took the puck into the slot on a counterattack and fired a wrister over the shoulder of Boston College (11–9–2, 10–7–1 WHEA) goaltender Kelly Pickreign for her fifth goal and 10th point of the season.
The Eagles had plenty of
chances to respond in the first. The Huskies were called for three penalties,
but stifled Boston College’s ensuing power plays. Shifting bodies in shooting
lanes and constantly clearing pucks, they held the Eagles to three shots on net
on those opportunities.
Northeastern killed off a fourth consecutive penalty halfway through the second frame before the whistles started blowing the other way. Boston College was called for four penalties over the final 11 minutes of the period, but Northeastern failed to convert. A defensive lapse even allowed the Eagles a clean shorthanded breakaway, but goaltender Aerin Frankel stonewalled Delaney Belinskas on the shot to bail out the Huskies.
The final penalty of the second period bled 17 seconds over to the third. Northeastern needed just 10 of those seconds to double their lead. Alina Mueller skated to the left side of the zone after winning the faceoff at center ice and received a pass from Skylar Fontaine. The Swiss sensation then did what she does best, threading the needle through three Boston College defensemen to find an open Katy Knoll on the weak side. The freshman tucked home her sixth goal of the season, extending the Huskies’ lead to 2–0.
After Boston College was called for yet another penalty three minutes later, Northeastern went on the power play again. Just like the one before it, this one ended with a puck in the back of the Eagles’ net. This time the culprit was Fontaine, who slotted home her ninth tally of the season off a feed from Chloe Aurard to put the game out of reach at 3–0. The Huskies held course the rest of the way, killing off one last penalty for good measure as time ran out.
The story of the game was
the Northeastern penalty kill, which was a perfect five-for-five. The Huskies
have allowed just five goals all season on the penalty kill in 64 opponent
opportunities (7.8 percent).
Fontaine, a key part of the
four-on-five, lit up when asked about the PK unit’s performance: “It makes us
really proud. We put a lot of work in in practice for PKs, so it’s great to see
it turn out on the ice.”
“Our PK forecheck is really
good; they execute it to a tee every time,” said Flint. “We apply pressure when
we need to apply pressure, and it’s tough for teams to get anything going
against us. We’ve got kids out there willing to block shots, and your best
penalty killer needs to be your goalie — and [Frankel’s] a pretty good penalty
Frankel added, “I can
confidently say the entire year our penalty kill has been really strong, so
that’s really nice to see and it’s helpful to our game.”
Frankel’s play against the Eagles this season has been historically dominant. No team has ever shut out BC three times in one season, and Frankel has blanked the Eagles more times this season than every other NCAA goalie in the last five years combined. She followed up her 26-save performance on Friday with 25 saves on Sunday, and recorded her sixth shutout of the season.
“I think it’s really big
for the program in general,” Frankel said of the team’s dominance over BC. “Over
the past decade it’s always been a really intense rivalry, but I think over the
past couple years we’ve had the upper hand on them . . . I think it says a lot
about how far this program’s come and I’m really proud of this team.”
Northeastern resumes play
on Friday when Hockey East foe UConn visits Matthews Arena for a 6 PM matchup.
BOSTON — Fresh
off a victory in the Belfast-based Friendship Four and riding a five-game
winning streak, the No. 8/12 Northeastern men’s ice hockey team headed across
town to rival Boston University for the teams’ first meeting this season.
entering Saturday’s game with a losing record, the Terriers are chock full of
talent. They showed that in this game, scoring four goals in the second period
and six overall as they took down the Huskies, 6–3.
Northeastern (10–5–2, 6–4–1 HEA) got off to an encouraging start, generating 17 first-period shots on net to BU’s seven. But the Terriers (6–6–5, 4–3–4 HEA) emerged with the advantage after senior Patrick Harper capitalized on a defensive lapse by the Huskies to score the lone goal of the first 20 minutes.
relatively tame opening frame, all hell broke loose in the second. Goals from
junior Zach Solow and senior John Picking — 12 seconds apart and both within
the first minute of play — put the Huskies on top, but BU sophomore Jack DeBoer
fired right back 40 seconds later, evening the game at two goals apiece.
Northeastern retook the lead on an Aidan McDonough goal 90 seconds after that, but the Terriers rattled off three unanswered goals from Harper, Robert Mastrosimone, and Domenick Fensore to take control heading into the final frame.
holding possession for much of the third period and benefitting from four power
plays, the Huskies couldn’t match the ridiculous production of the previous
period. The Terriers held them scoreless and tacked on a shorthanded empty-net insurance
goal to extend their lead to 6–3, securing victory over their Hockey East
added an assist to his goal and finished as Northeastern’s only multi-point
scorer. Jayden Struble, T.J. Walsh, Ryan Shea, and Matt Filipe all added assists.
Goaltender Craig Pantano made 21 saves but allowed five goals.
Terrier goaltender Sam Tucker was fantastic in net, totaling 37 saves, including many tough stops, in the victory.
head coach Jim Madigan didn’t mince words after the game, stating, “I don’t
know how much there is to say. We played shitty hockey, and really bad
defensively, and they took advantage of opportunities.” He repeated that choice
two-word phrase multiple times throughout the post-game press conference.
“We were just turning pucks over. We knew what we needed to do, it wasn’t like they were hemming us in their own zone, we were just really sloppy with the puck,” Madigan added. The Husky head coach was spot-on with his analysis, as always. This was not a good game for the Northeastern skaters, whose sloppy play led to many of the Terriers’ opportunities and goals.
loss halts the Huskies’ win streak at five, their longest of the season. They are
tied with Massachusetts and UMass Lowell for second place in Hockey East; BU
sits in fifth place, though they are just one point behind the Huskies.
Huskies have a week to recoup, with their final matchup of 2019 coming on
Saturday against Dartmouth College. Milton Posner and Alex Bensley will be on
the call, with coverage starting at 3:45 PM EST.
Coming off a 2–1 victory
the night before, Northeastern’s women’s hockey looked to complete the sweep
against rivals Boston University on Sunday afternoon.
BU controlled the puck
in the first period, with nine shots on goal to Northeastern’s four. But goalie
Aerin Frankel saved all nine, including a particularly impressive block on a
wrister from BU’s Courtney Correia. After Frankel’s save, freshman forward Katy
Knoll, lying face-down on the ice, cleared the puck away from the goal.
With 4:36 left in the
first, Husky forward Tessa Ward notched a deflection goal assisted by Megan
Carter and Skylar Fontaine. The goal was Ward’s first of the season; the assist
was Carter’s first collegiate point.
With just under four
minutes left in the first period, Northeastern’s Brooke Hobson was whistled for
interference when she knocked a BU player down. The Huskies handled the power
play without a problem, and Frankel ended a shutout first period with the puck
in her hand.
Northeastern came in hot
in the second period. Five-and-a-half minutes in, after BU left her unattended
in the slot, junior forward Veronika Pettey fielded a pass from Matti Hartman
and punched home a one-timer for her third goal of the season.
Despite two second-period
BU penalties (Emma Wuthrich’s roughing and Natasza Tarnowski’s high sticking),
Northeastern couldn’t capitalize. The second period ended with a 9–6
Northeastern shot advantage and a 2–0 Northeastern lead.
The third period started
with a power play in effect, but again, Northeastern couldn’t make anything
happen against the shorthanded Terriers. With about eight minutes remaining, Knoll
missed a shot, hit the ground, looked wobbly when she got up, and left her
stick on the ice when she was subbed out.
A BU interference
penalty handed the Huskies another power play, and again they couldn’t
capitalize, taking just one shot. A Knoll attempt just after the end of the
power play was redirected into the wall behind the net by BU goalie Corinne
Schroeder. BU pulled Schroeder with two minutes to go but couldn’t sneak one by
Frankel, who finished with twenty saves.
shutting out BU, the game was a tight race for control of the puck.
Northeastern had only 22 shots on goal, well below their average of 38.
Mueller, recently named Hockey East Player of the Month, didn’t do much, registering
only three shots.
The weekend sweep moved Northeastern
to 7–1–0 (4–1–0 HEAW) and dropped BU to 5–2–1 (2–2–1 HEAW). The Huskies’ next
game is against the winless Holy Cross crusaders on Friday at 1 PM at Matthews