Tag Archives: Northeastern Huskies

Northeastern 66, James Madison 64: Huskies pull out exciting victory in final seconds to down Dukes, clinch CAA share

Northeastern showed flair for the dramatic on Wednesday night at Matthews Arena as the Hounds earned an important win over James Madison (Matt Stone/BostonHerald.com).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON — The playoff atmosphere was alive and well on Wednesday night at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena as the Huskies welcomed the James Madison Dukes to the old barn for the first and only head-to-head contest between the teams this year.

In front of a season-high 3,463 fans and the highest NU home game total in exactly three years, freshman David Walker took a feed from senior captain Jonathan Lee for a 15-foot jump shot on the baseline with two seconds remaining to lift the Hounds to their 13th win of the season in Colonial Athletic Association play – a 66-64 decision.

“We were very, very fortunate to get a victory over an experienced and talented James Madison team,” said Huskies head coach Bill Coen in the post-game press conference. “We were fortunate to make enough plays down the stretch… [and] able to escape with a big victory for our program at this point in time.”

With the victory, the Huskies clinched at least a share of their first CAA title since joining the league in 2005 and their first in any conference since sharing the America East crown in 1993.

The Huskies came into the game as losers of two consecutive contests for the first time in over two months and got off to quite a start as sophomore Quincy Ford drilled a three-pointer on the very first field-goal attempt of the game.

NU hit its first three shots of the contest for a six-point edge, extending the lead to as many as nine (with 2:15 to play in the half), before entering the halftime break with a 32-26 lead on an impressive 12-for-25 shooting.

That statistic has certainly been a good omen for the Huskies’ recent successes as they have combined for a 22-4 record when leading after 20 minutes over the last two seasons. Lee started the second half off on the same note for the Huskies as he hit a jumper in the paint 32 seconds into the proceedings.

The Purple and Gold held a 38-34 scoring advantage in the second half, with much thanks to a strong stretch to about the 12:00 mark that put them up by a five-point margin.

After Lee’s shot fell, the Dukes ran off for ten consecutive points, capped off by a pair of free throws by redshirt senior A.J. Davis, who handily led the Duke attack with 21 total points.

The sides played to an even minute before the Dukes scored five straight points and then allowed six in a row to the Huskies as they took a 48-47 lead on a turnaround jump from Reggie Spencer. Once again, the visitors changed things right up as they bounced back for a 7-0 stretch that saw a three-pointer from Davis and consecutive foul shots from Davis and rookie Ron Curry with 8:00 remaining.

NU tied the game at 54 in less than two minutes as it made six consecutive foul shots, including two from Ford, who ended the night with half (seven) of his 14 points from the charity stripe to extend his streak of 31 consecutive shots made.

With the game tied, neither team broke to further than a one-possession lead as they traded basket for basket until the waning moments. Davis sent the visiting bench and traveling crowd into a frenzy as he hit an open, straightaway three-pointer with 19 seconds to play, knotting the count at 64.

The Huskies would not say die on this night as they drove down the floor for the final time with the ball in the hands of Lee, who found Walker for the sealer.

“I guess it was another shot,” Walker, a Stow, Ohio native said if he could recall another play of such importance in a game in his career, before handing off praise to his teammates. “Jon [Lee]…made an incredible pass. I was just fortunate to be in the right spot and make the shot.”

Davis looked to re-square the score with a second remaining, but his three-pointer fell short into the hands of freshman Andre Nation for the putback just too late as the Huskies survived for the heroic finish.

“They got a great look at the end of the game — probably too good of a look for my liking — but we [did it],” Coen said.

16 of NU’s 28 contests this year have been decided by five points or less and has achieved a strong record of 12-4 in those “close” contests.

NU will have a week without action of its own before returning to the floor for a contest next Wednesday night against Georgia State in Atlanta.

“This is another step in our journey,” Coen added. “We’re hoping there’s a couple more big steps…We knew something special was going to happen [this season]…We’re pleased, but we’re not satisfied. We want more.”

James Madison returns to Harrisonburg to host the same Panthers on Saturday in the final Duke home game of the season.

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Northeastern vs. James Madison: Dukes invade Matthews, look to halt Husky hopes of clinching share of CAA crown

Senior co-captain Joel Smith leads Northeastern into a key CAA showdown with James Madison on Wednesday night at Matthews Arena. Watch live on Comcast SportsNet New England!

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON — Playoff time is approaching across the local college sports scene and things will be no different on Wednesday night on a busy night of basketball.

While Northeastern’s hockey squad took a big step just to stay in the Hockey East postseason picture with an overtime win at UMass on Tuesday, the Husky hoopsters search to clinch at least a share of their first conference regular-season crown since 1993 when they host the James Madison Dukes (16-12, 10-5) in their only meeting of the season in the Colonial Athletic Association tonight at Matthews Arena.

Previously, this match-up has been dominated by the Huskies as they hold a 10-3 advantage in the all-time set, including a 3-1 mark in games played in Boston. On Jan. 7, 2012, NU earned a 68-56 victory on the road in Harrisonburg, Va.

In last season’s contest, the Huskies held the CAA’s most prolific three-point shooting team to one conversion and was led by 20 points each from current sophomore Quincy Ford and senior captain Jonathan Lee.

The Huskies enter the contest with a 17-10 record and are 12-3 in the CAA – both the highest marks for the program since 2009-10 (20-13, 14-4).

(more…)

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Northeastern alum Vega signs with Patriots

(Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

By DANNY JAILLET

BOSTON — According to a report from CBSBostonSports.com, the Patriots signed a player with local ties today as Brockton, Mass. native Jason Vega inked a deal that was confirmed and made official this morning.

The defensive lineman spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, recording 66 tackles and 12 sacks during that period.

The 25-year-old played college football at Northeastern University for four seasons (2005-09) His best season came in 2009, as he registered 64 tackles (29 solo, 35 assisted) in 11 games. In those four seasons, he appeared in 39 games totaling 139 tackles and 13 sacks. Vega joins Armond Armstead , who was signed in January, as the second lineman the Patriots have signed from the CFL this off-season.

This move will add depth to the Patriots defensive line and as the report notes “With only five draft picks in the April’s draft, Vega could have a good shot at making the team.” Needless to say, Bill Belichick and his staff are always working, even in the offseason, as the team tries to capture that elusive fourth Super Bowl

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New England College Hockey Stick Salutes: Potting All the Beans from Two Mondays at TD Garden

NU freshman Kevin Roy scored five goals over his first two Beanpot games for Northeastern to earn MVP honors in defeat (Charles Krupa/AP).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON – The second Monday of February has just passed and the Boston College Eagles continued their recent dominance in the Beanpot Tournament, beating the Northeastern Huskies, 6-3, for the title in the 61st annual rendition at TD Garden.

With the win, the Eagles clinched the championship for the fourth year in a row and for the 18th time in history. NU’s 26-year title drought will have to wait another year to see an end, despite a 3-2 semifinal win over Boston University – its opponent during its last title in 1988 – last Monday, Feb. 4.

As BC head coach Jerry York stated, the Beanpot “takes two ordinary Monday nights in February and makes them special. With that in mind, here are some interesting storylines and stats, as penned from high above the ice (the ninth floor) on Causeway Street:

1. Kevin Roy

This rookie’s performance was certainly hard to top. The Huskies’ stunning freshman scored his first-career hat trick in the semifinal and two more goals in the championship defeat en route to earning Tournament MVP honors. College hockey’s top scorer among freshmen lit the lamp five consecutive times over the two weeks for NU, including a goal in each period of the semifinal win to account for all of the team’s scoring. According to long-time historian Tom Burke, that mark is believed to be a Beanpot first since BC’s Mike Powers tickled the twice five times in a row in a 9-8 win over Northeastern in 1973. As far as his MVP honor was concerned, it was the first in a defeat for his team since BU’s Sean Fields in 2004. He was also NU’s first MVP since goaltender Bruce Racine in 1988 and the seventh rookie in Beanpot history to take home the award.

2. Gaudreau leads Eagles, seniors to ‘Pot four-peat

With this Monday’s victory over NU, the Eagles earned their fourth consecutive Beanpot title, sending their senior class – Patch Alber, Brooks Dyroff , Milner, Pat Mullane, Patrick Wey, Steven Whitney and manager Tom Maguire – out with a perfect career record in the tournament. Leading the way was sophomore Johnny Gaudreau, who was named Tournament MVP last year, as he added two goals and an assist just one week after being shut off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss to Harvard. With his goal and two assists in the title game, Whitney, a Reading, Mass. native, tallied at least one point in seven of his eight games to finish his career with six goals and 12 points. With the victory, the Eagles improve to 73-49 all-time in the Beanpot, including 33-9 against the Huskies.

3. Luke Greiner and Harvard’s compete in consolation

Harvard’s veteran centerman was very impressive on the ice in both games, capping off the consolation game with a shorthanded empty-netter with eight seconds to play for the tournament’s second hat trick in as many weeks. The Faribault, Minn. native has scored a goal in 18 of his 113 career games and no more than a single tally in any previously. In the 7-4 win to knock BU to fourth place for the second time in three years, the Crimson set a new season-high in goals, all after falling behind 2-0 in the first 12 minutes of the game. In his final Beanpot game, fellow senior Marshall Everson potted two goals for Harvard, one each in the second and third periods (like Greiner). Rookie Peter Traber was vital in the Crimson victory as he made 43 saves in his first-career win. Despite falling 4-1 to BC in the second semifinal, Harvard bounced back for their second win over the Terriers this season.

4. BU’s seniors shutout of title

For the first time since 1965, the Terriers’ senior class was held short of winning at least one Beanpot title in their careers. In fact, this group lost to Harvard in the consolation game in two of their final three seasons. BU has won nearly half (29) of the titles in the tournament’s 61-year history, but has now finished fourth five times, including in two of the last three years. BU tied a season high with 47 shots on goal in this past Monday’s defeat, but dropped its third game in a row, dating back to a 5-1 drubbing at UMass on Feb. 1. Harvard has compiled just a 2-13-2 mark since beating No. 10 Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. on Nov. 16, 2012, but its two wins have both come against BU. In its last seven games this season, the Terriers stand at just 1-5-1 – their worst stretch since ending a skid of equal length on Nov. 21, 2009.

Odds and ends: Entering the tournament, Boylston, Mass. native and NU senior Robbie Vrolyk was the lone current Husky with a goal in his Beanpot career. At its conclusion, Roy had five goals and fellow senior Vinny Saponari added one in the title game. … Jim Madigan became the first NU head coach to lead the Huskies to a first-round Beanpot win in his second year behind the bench. … Harvard’s leading scorer Jimmy Vesey, a rookie from North Reading, was held from the point column in the opening round vs. BC and did not dress in the consolation win. … Half of BU’s four points in the semifinals came from Massachusetts native freshmen as Danny O’Regan (Needham) and Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown) found the scoresheet in their first twirl on TD Garden. … BC’s win over Harvard continued a ten-game Beanpot win streak since the 1999 consolation game, while BU’s 15-game streak over the Huskies, which dates back to NU’s last ‘Pot title in 1988, was snapped.

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Northeastern 59, Drexel 52: Lee posts 1,000th-career point as Huskies complete Dragon sweep

Jonathan Lee hit double-digits for the fourth time in five games (17 points), scoring his 1000th-career point on a late lay-up in the process of beating Drexel.

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

BOSTON – Northeastern and Drexel have matched together in some pretty fierce contests in their history in the Colonial Athletic Association and on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, that physical rivalry continued as the Huskies pulled away late and posted a 59-52 victory.

With the victory, the Huskies improved to 14-8 overall on the season and stand 2.5 games ahead of second-place James Madison at the top of the conference standings with a 9-1 record. NU’s lone loss to a league foe came on Wednesday night – a 78-73 decision against Georgia State.

“It was a pretty typical Drexel-Northeastern game,” said NU head coach Bill Coen, who is in his seventh season at the helm, following a nine-year stint on the Boston College staff. “Nothing is easy on either end of the floor, you have to fight for every inch, fight for every rebound, every loose ball.”

The win also puts NU off to its best start since 2008-09 when it started with ten victories in 11 games. Additionally, it had not topped Drexel in both conference meetings in a season since 2007-08.

A key to the win for the Huskies was keeping Dragon junior Frantz Massenat and sophomore Damion Lee – the team’s two highest-scoring guards – to just 17 combined points on 5-for-22 shooting.

“We are going to struggle if they don’t play,” said Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint, a hometown Philadelphia native and former head coach at UMass-Amherst. “I thought we got some good minutes today out of Derrick [Thomas], so one of those guys has to play well and actually shoot the ball.”

The first five minutes of the first half were highlighted by a pair of big streaks on each side of the floor. Northeastern jumped out red-hot from the field, scoring the first ten points of the contest, capped off by an easy three-pointer from the elbow by stellar sophomore Quincy Ford.

Ford, a St. Petersburg, Fla. native and 2012 CAA All-Rookie selection, is second only to senior captains Joel Smith and Jonathan Lee for the team lead in scoring at 12.8 points per-game entering the contest.

After falling into the early 10-0 hole, the Dragons stormed back for 24 of the final 38 points in the half. Junior post man Dartaye Ruffin was the team’s leading scorer in the stanza, putting up ten points to lead the visitors, who played the Huskies to their first halftime tie of the season.

Northeastern scored 8-for-17 from the field in the half, as well as a perfect mark on all seven free-throw attempts. With that 7-for-7 total, the Huskies made each of their attempts from the line for just the seventh time in any half this year.

The second half was much of the same at both ends, but the Huskies were able to pull away with a 35-28 advantage.

Each side traded early baskets in the stanza, until the Dragons pulled away and took a three-point lead more than six minutes in when Massenat hit a pair of free throws off a foul from rookie Zach Stahl.

From that point forward, the Huskies lost a lead of at least one possession just twice, extending it to its highest mark since the opening ten points of the game with 3:16 remaining on another pair of free throws, this time by David Walker.

After a perfect first 20 minutes, the Huskies’ success at the charity stripe continued as they missed just two shots for the entire game – a mark of 21-for-23 to tie a season-high, which was also met in a Jan. 23 win over William and Mary.

With 4:26 left, Lee became the 32nd player in Husky history to hit the 1,000-point mark for his career as he drove the lane for an easy lay-in in the paint. With the two-pointer, he joins Smith as the second current NU player in the club, headlined by all-time benchmarkers Reggie Lewis (1983-87) and current NBA star Jose Juan Barea (2002-06).

“It’s not every day you get to sit up here flanked by two 1,000-point scorers and really quality young men,” Coen said. “I could not be more proud of these two young men. They came to our program, took a chance on us many years ago. They’ve grown together, they’ve competed together.”

The Huskies now hit the road for three straight CAA games, beginning on Wednesday night at archrival Hofstra and continuing in one week at Old Dominion. NU returns to the friendly confines of St. Botolph Street on Feb. 13, 2013 against Delaware.

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January 18 in Hockey East: Holy upset! Top-10 foes BU, BC go down at home

Steve Mastalerz backstopped the Minutemen to a road win at BC on Friday (John Quackenbos).

by JOSHUA KUMMINS

Massachusetts 5, Boston College 2
After the No. 2 Eagles tied the score at 2-2 less than five minutes into the third period, the visiting Minutemen closed the game with three unanswered goals on Friday night for their first victory at Kelley Rink since Nov. 2007, a span of 13 wins for BC. Despite successive goals from rookie Travis Jeke and senior Steven Whitney, the Eagles fell for the first time in 18 home games, dating back to Dec. 2011. UMass used special teams to take a 2-0 lead in the first period on scores from sophomore Steven Guzzo at 6:35 and junior Branden Gracel with 55 seconds to play, but the Eagles answered twice, including Jeke’s first-career goal and point at 18:44 of the middle period to tie the score. Backstopped by 21 saves from sophomore Steve Mastalerz in his first win of the season, the Mass Attack scored at 13:03, 14:11 and 16:26 of the final stanza to take the lead and seal the win to break a two-game skid and stretch of five losses in seven games. Junior Michael Pereira broke the deadlock with the first of the trio, before rookie K.J. Tiefenwerth and Gracel’s tenth of the year to finish it off, beating BC senior Parker Milner (21 saves) in just his fifth loss of the season. The Minutemen sit a point clear of the final playoff spot in Hockey East and will return to action next weekend for a pair of games at Vermont. BC quickly shakes off the defeat as it heads across town to Northeastern’s Matthews Arena on Saturday.

Northeastern 6, Boston University 5
Former BU captain Vinny Saponari doomed his former team for the second time in his Northeastern career, beating rookie Sean Maguire with 2:03 remaining at Agganis Arena to lift the Huskies to their third road win in four games. Before becoming BU’s third straight opponent to score six goals in victory, the Huskies had not won consecutive regular-season meetings over BU in 14 years as Saponari also scored the overtime winner last Mar. 3 at Matthews Arena. The host Terriers trailed 5-2 after the second period and rattled off three in a row in the first seven minutes of the third, including two from sophomore Evan Rodrigues, to even the score. Rodrigues posted a career-high four points in the defeat, while Danny O’Regan completed the comeback to a 5-5 tie on the power-play at 6:36. On a nation-best streak of eight straight wins, UMass-Lowell travels into town for a Saturday night showdown. With a late goal in the second, junior Cody Ferriero registered his seventh goal and ninth point in four games to match a career-best point streak, while senior Chris Rawlings made 29 saves in his seventh win. Northeastern’s six goals against Maguire (32 saves) were the most it had scored on BU ice since Feb. 28,  2004 and most ever in the current building.

Merrimack 1, Maine 1 (OT)
In the first of a weekend series at Alfond Arena, the visiting Merrimack Warriors gained their third Hockey East point in the last two games against the Black Bears as they skated to a stalemate. Despite a strong 31-save effort from junior Sam Marotta, the Warriors were not able to create a winning streak following last Saturday’s 6-0 win at Lawler Arena. Sophomore Dan Kolomatis opened the scoring in the second period for the visitors as he found the back of the net of junior Martin Ouellette (25 saves) on the power play at 3:16, but Maine senior Kyle Beattie squared the score for good with 10:01 remaining in regulation.

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Vermont 66, Northeastern 55: Catamounts control former conference rival, hand Huskies first loss of season

Joel Smith led the Huskies offense in a loss to Vermont - their first of the season - with much help from his terrific three-point shot.

by Joshua Kummins

BOSTON — After falling behind in the first two minutes, the Vermont Catamounts surged ahead for good and ultimately into the win column for the second time in the season’s first three games, posting a 66-55 win at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.

POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCES:
John Becker | Bill Coen

The loss sidelined the Huskies from improving to 3-0 for just the third time since 1984 and was their first since second-seeded Virginia Commonwealth sent them out of the CAA Tournament last March in Richmond, Va.

The Hounds scored the first four points of the game on a jump shot from sophomore Reggie Spencer and a transition lay-in by senior Joel Smith, but that was as far ahead as they would get in their second home outing of the season as UVM finished the opening stanza with a 10-for-19 mark from the field, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, taking away a 31-22 lead.

The star of the contest for the Cats was rookie Ethan O’Day, a Mansfield, Conn. native, who scored a career-best 17 points on 11 attempts from the field, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the opening 20 minutes.

The Northfield Mount Hermon product was a big threat in the post for UVM as he made his second start in as many games – also appearing in his home state on Tuesday in the Cats’ 67-49 loss at UConn’s Gampel Pavilion.

Although not a favorable trend, the Huskies had not led at halftime in their first couple games against Boston University and Princeton before coming back to win on buzzer-beating shots.

Things would not be the same this time, however, as the Catamounts held off a strong NU effort in the second half with a 35-33 count. The Huskies got within five points on a three-pointer from sophomore Demetrius Pollard, but UVM scored the game’s final six points to improve to 2-1 on the season.

Smith, whose buzzer-beating shot walked the Huskies off with a victory last season at UVM’s Patrick Gymnasium, was on fire all night long for the Huskies, singlehandedly keeping them in the contest without partner-in-crime Jonathan Lee on the floor due to injury. The Leander, Texas native scored a season-high 25 points, his most since dropping 29 at St. John’s last Nov. 26.

He was especially dominant from three-point range as he hit on five of his nine attempts. With that, he now has made at least one triple in 52 of his last 55 contests.

Also for the Huskies, Spencer fell just shy of the third double-double of his career with ten points and nine rebounds in the paint for Bill Coen’s club.

In addition to O’Day’s early career night, the Green and Gold also saw three other players score in double-digits, including junior Candon Rusin with 15.

After starting the season with two out of three road wins at Siena and NU, the Catamounts return home to Burlington to host Yale on Wednesday night in the team’s home opener.

Northeastern will have an interesting holiday week ahead as it heads to the “other side of the world” for the three-day Great Alaska Shootout tournament in Anchorage. On Wednesday, the Huskies and UC-Riverside Highlanders meet for the first time ever.

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Hockey Notes: From the Draft and Development Camp to Losing a Legend

by Joshua Kummins

BOSTON — It may be June and the Stanley Cup was already won a few weeks back but there is plenty of hockey to talk about as the temperature surpasses 80 degrees outside.

The National Hockey League completed its annual Entry Draft over the weekend at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center with 13 incoming Hockey East players and two incoming Harvard Crimson taken into the professional ranks.

Vermont forward recruit Zemgus Girgensons was the first of three Hockey East-related selections in the first round, going to the Buffalo Sabres at No. 14. The Latvian native was the leading scorer for the United States Hockey League’s Dubuque Fighting Saints this season.

At No. 53, Harvard’s Brian Hart, a Cumberland, Maine native, became the third-ever Crimson player taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Future Boston University forward and St. John’s Prep product Sam Kurker was one of three local collegians taken in the second round as the St. Louis Blues picked the Boston native at No. 56 overall.

Vesey, a North Reading, Mass., native and the son of former NHL player Jim Vesey is Harvard’s second-ever Nashville Predator selection, going at No. 66. Nine picks later, highly-touted Providence College goaltending prospect Jon Gillies was tabbed by the Calgary Flames.

One of the feel-good stories in the draft was Dorchester native and incoming BU defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who was taken by the hometown Boston Bruins in the fourth round.

The full list of Hockey East players selected is below:

With the draft complete, details for the annual Boston Bruins Development Camp, which begins on Thursday at Wilmington’s Ristuccia Arena, were announced.

All six 2012 draft selections will be in attendance, including first-round goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban, who is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K.

Graduated Boston College captain Tommy Cross, who appeared in several games with the Providence Bruins following the Eagles’ national title in April, will headline the camp’s 29-player roster. His teammate and winning goaltender Parker Milner was invited for the first time.

The roster (shown below, in its entirety) features 15 forwards, eight defensemen and six goaltenders. 22 total players have gained experience in the Boston system previously.

Forwards: Darik Angeli, Anthony Camara, Colin Campbell, Daniel Carr, Justin Courtnall, Brian Ferlin, Justin Florek, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Alex Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, Cody Payne, Ben Sexton, Wayne Simpson, Ryan Spooner

Defensemen: Matt Benning, Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, Matthew Grzelcyk, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Robbie O’Gara, Zach Trotman

Goaltenders: Zane Gothberg, Parker Milner, Adam Morrison, Malcolm Subban, Niklas Svedberg, Lars Volden

Ferdinand Charles “Fernie” Flaman, Northeastern University’s longest tenured and winningest men’s hockey coach, passed away last Friday after a long and courageous battle with cancer at age 85.

The Saskatchewan, native coached the Huskies to a school record 255 victories from 1970 to 1989, but also enjoyed a strong professional career with the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We lost a great man,” said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. “I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing him for more than 40 years, first as a player going against his Northeastern teams, and later as a coach and administrator. What a great role model for the hockey community.”

“This is a sad day for Northeastern University and our athletics program,” coach Jim Madigan said. “Fernie will always be remembered as the coach of Northeastern hockey but he was much more than that. He was a coach, friend, mentor, role model, father figure and one of the nicest people one could ever meet. He had a strong moral and ethical compass and he passed these traits onto all of us.”

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In the DogHouse (Part III): The Huskies and the Beanpot

by Danny Jaillet

BOSTON — There is nothing like it. The Beanpot tournament, New England’s premier showcase for college hockey, is one-of-a-kind. For those who are less familiar with the term it, it features the four major schools in the Boston area: Northeastern University, Boston College, Boston University, and Harvard. The Huskies haven’t won the tournament since 1988 but that doesn’t stop the DogHouse from showing up to the Garden when the first two Mondays in February come around. For the founder Harriman, Beanpot has an extra special meaning:

“As a member of the DogHouse, the Beanpot to me is like Christmas morning. I look forward to the Beanpot actually more than I look forward to Christmas. While I’ve never seen us win a Beanpot yet, it’s really the one of my favorite games to go to because of the rivalry with the other school and their student’s sections. Also, now that I’m older it’s always been a reunion of old friends. A lot of people don’t come to homecoming but they come out for the Beanpot.”

For Sean Hathaway though, the ‘Pot is a busy time. You may think that the DogHouse just shows up to the Beanpot, cheers and leaves. Quite honestly, I thought that too. I was mistaken however. The games itself are just half of the excitement that takes place on Monday for the DogHouse. As Hathaway notes, there’s a lot of preparation involved with it:

“Beanpot Monday means wearing your NU jersey to class or co-op. Since I co-op on the fall cycle, I have classes. Afterwards, we hop on the orange line & head to North Station. Ernesto’s is a popular pre game destination as is Sullivan’s Tap. As sad as it sounds, myself and those I’m close with prefer McDonald’s where we consume far too many McNuggets before sitting down for the 5:00 game. If NU isn’t playing, we’re cheering for Harvard so someone will. It’s also a good way to warm up before NU. And when Northeastern takes the ice, it’s time to be loud & obnoxious. That being sad, we pride ourselves on the wit of our chants, unlike other schools that resort to dropping F-bombs because it’s all they can think of.“

Unfortunately, for Husky fans, Northeastern lost to Boston College 7-1 in the opening round game of this year’s tournament and then lost to Harvard in the consolation game the following Monday. The future looks bright however as the Huskies made strides this season under new head coach Jim Madigan.

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In the DogHouse (Part II): What Makes Northeastern Fans Unique Compared to the Rest of College Hockey?

by Danny Jaillet

BOSTON – My next task was to get a hold of one of the DogHouse leaders. I managed to track down Sean Hathaway, a fourth-year journalism student and the co-leader of the current ‘House. Being the leader of such a large fan base comes with responsibility however so often times it is not all fun and games. I started off the interview by asking him what some of his responsibilities were as a member and leader:

“First of all, I’d like to note that I am not the sole leader. Mike Chafetz is equally as important to the group as I am.

As far as I am concerned:
- Running the social media for The DogHouse (creating Facebook events, maintaining the Twitter account)
- Planning the different theme nights (which usually involves coordination with NU athletics)
- Logistics for road games as far as transportation & tickets go
- Research on the team & opposition for information and inspiration for new chants
- Provide an example to newer fans on the “DogHouse way”

From what I can tell, the position of leader is a very important one, and one that you have to take seriously. Judging by my observations, being a leader of “The Doghouse” is like being a king. Members follow by example. The leader spearheads everything involved with the fan base and is like the go to guy in a way. Another aspect that I needed for this report order to fully figure out the essence and uniqueness of the Northeastern fans was to ask how they stood out from the rest of the fan bases in Hockey East. I received multiple answers regarding this question. Harriman, Hathaway, and The Husky Hockey Blog, which is based out of the Northeastern campus:

JH: “What separates the Doghouse from all other Hockey East fan bases? When I was leading the doghouse and the foundation that I tried to instill was that we rooted for our team in a positive way, no matter what. It did not matter to me if we didn’t win one game during the season; I was still going to try to come to every game possible that I could get to root on my team and my school. It’s my feeling that a lot of schools’ student sections are just a way for students to come to the game and hang out and its more of a social gathering, you don’t have any leadership in leading cheers, making it fun to be at the game, getting the crowd into the games. With the Doghouse, you’ve got a core group of students leading the entire student section in cheers, heckling other players, and just being a physical presence. Every team that comes to play at Matthews Arena knows that it is never going to be easy to win because of The Doghouse.”

SH: “There are three teams in Boston (four if you want to call Cambridge part of Boston, but I don’t and Conte is in Boston, by the way, so BC counts). Ranking them is subjective because there are arguments to be made for putting BC or BU first. No one disputes that NU is third, though. Imagine that, being the third-best team within the city? It’s a very unique aspect of college sports and one that has bred a mentality that Northeastern has something to prove. That attitude coupled with the blue collar background of the students shaped The DogHouse.”

HHB: “Unlike other student sections, the DogHouse is up in the balcony so they are really right on top of the action. Also all the people in the front row wear funny hats. Hockey helmet with a goal light, Viking helmet, one kid wore a bread helmet once.”

Any way you look at it, there is no denying that Northeastern Husky students love their hockey. Everybody in Hockey East knows how supportive they are of their team. However college hockey fans all around the country get to see the Doghouse first hand, at an event that is college hockey’s version of nirvana. It is known as the Beanpot and every year, Northeastern students come to the TD Garden to cheer their beloved Huskies on to victory.

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