Black and Red Carpet Time – First Half Awards

As the Huskies return from winter break to start the second half of the season, let’s give praise to the best of the first three months of the campaign.

Best game: NU 3 – 1 BC, 10/13/12

Huge surprise, right? Thus far the game against BC at Matthews was the most complete effort given by the Huskies this year. The team was consistent in all facets of play, against a quality (understatement) opponent. Oh, and beating a cross town rival who just happened to be the number one ranked team in the country and who was coming off a national title victory doesn’t hurt.

Best moment: The dueling “Milner” chants at the start of the 2nd period from 10/13/12

This represents the high point of pride for Northeastern fans this season to date. The team was looking good and there was a full house on hand to watch. I’m sure quite a few fans still had the bitter taste of last year’s Beanpot debacle in their mouths, so when the Huskies entered the 2nd frame with a lead, the DogHouse and the DongHouse let loose. The chants lasted a considerable amount of time and embodied just how good Northeastern fans are at their peak.

Most improved: Drew Ellement

Drew Ellement was never a bad player by any means. He was a solid role player who quietly did his job in the background, which is perfectly acceptable for a d-man. However, with the loss of three of Northeastern’s top six defensemen, Ellement has found himself in a new role as the lone upperclassman logging big minutes. Now the defense is by no means perfect, but Ellement has certainly been a pleasant surprise of consistency at the blue line.

Biggest surprise: Michael McMurtry

Michael McMurtry wasn’t in the Northeastern lineup for the first three games of the season. But when Stevie Morra went down with an injury, McMurtry was inserted. And since then, he’s been a mainstay in the lineup (though he did miss a non-conference game in November), playing top-six minutes for the majority of the time, as well. At this point, McMurtry has asserted himself as a must-start forward. His five points are good for sixth on the team, despite missing a fifth of the games. He’s also a .45 point per game player, which puts him right alongside Ludwig Karlsson and Braden Pimm in that statistic. Not bad production from a guy who began the season as a healthy scratch.

Best freshman: Kevin Roy

A no brainer. This has been the Kevin Roy show from day one of the season. Easily Northeastern’s biggest offensive threat, Roy leads the team in goals and points. He’s still got some rough edges, but he is a certified game changer.

Best offensive player: Kevin Roy

See above.

Best defensive player: Josh Manson

Manson came into the season with 33 games of experience but you’d never know he was a sophomore by his play. Like Drew Ellement he has stepped his game up considerably and played admirably. He’s made a few mistakes here and there, but there’s no d-man on the team who has dominated opposing offensive players the way he has at times this year.

2012 MVP: Kevin Roy

On a team that struggles to score, he’s like Northeastern’s Steve Carlton, putting up almost a fourth of the goals. He also has two of the team’s game winners this year – both of which came against ranked teams. Simply put, no one on the team has had a more positive impact than Kevin Roy. And he’s only had 15 games to acclimate himself to the college game. It’s only up from here.

Best personality: Derick Roy

The other Roy brother has not played a minute this year. Nevertheless, he’s made an impact through his snazzy threads, persistent cheering and dance moves. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player at Northeastern more visibly excited by hockey games as Derick Roy. His passion, quite frankly, is refreshing on a team where commitment hasn’t always been 100 percent.

Best twitter account: Drew Ellement

Justin Daniels left big shoes to fill when he stopped tweeting on a frequent basis, coinciding with his departure from Northeastern. Like he has on the ice, Ellement has stepped in and done a tremendous job replacing the production. Whether it’s his enthusiasm for his homeland or timely references, Ellement is an entertainer. Where he’s really shined, though, has been live tweeting of wrestling, the occasional sporting event, and of course, the team’s pre-Thanksgiving game of Risk. It takes special talent to keep people interested in updates of a board game, so kudos to Drew on that.

On a side note, Torin Syndeman likewise deserves praise for his work on Twitter. While he’s not really tweeting with regularity, whatever he puts out there is generally high quality, leaving you wanting more. He’s basically the Kramer or Fonzy of the team in that regard.

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Tweets of the Week

Twitter’s become a pretty big deal in sports if you’re not aware. Why not look at what’s going on with the team this week via the Twitter machine?

 

Tweets of the Week

Twitter’s become a pretty big deal in sports if you’re not aware. Why not look at what’s going on with the team this week via the Twitter machine?

NU Typical

I’m getting a little tired of writing about Northeastern losses that follow the same script every weekend. So, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, I will just update this list as applicable.

This Northeastern loss was typical because…

A. bad goaltending

B. defensive breakdowns

C. anemic offense

D. blown lead

NOTE – to be deemed “NU Typical,” the loss must contain multiple facets from the above list

 

NU Typical Losses 2012-2013:

10.20.12 – at BC (0-3): A, B and C

10.26.12 – at UNH (3-4): A, B and D

11.2.12 – vs. Merrimack (2-5): A, B and C

11.3.12 – at Merrimack (2-4): A, B and D

11.16.12 – at Providence (2-6): A, B and C

11.23.12 – vs. St. Lawrence (2-5): A, B, C and D

12.1.12 – vs. UMass (3-6): A, B, C and D

12.8.12 – at Lowell (0-2): B and C

The Month That Was: October

October

Record: 2-2-1

Hockey East Points: 5

Goals Scored: 10 (2 goals per game)

Period 1: 8

Period 2: 0

Period 3: 2

Goals Allowed: 10 (2 goals per game)

Period 1: 4

Period 2: 5

Period 3: 1

Power Play: 1/23 (0.04%)

Penalty Kill: 15/21 (71%)

Shot Total: 144 (28.8 per game)

Opponent Shot Total: 170 (34)

Penalty Minutes: 64 (12.8 per game)

Opponent Penalty Minutes: 69 (13.8 per game)

Husky Scoring leaders:

  1. Joseph Manno (2-1-3)
  2. Kevin Roy (2-1-3)
  3. nine tied with 2 points

Notes:

Good month. Taking five points in three games from Merrimack, BC and UNH is commendable. While the loss at BC is definitely forgivable, blowing a 3-1 lead at UNH isn’t. Nevertheless, strong, strong finish shutting out the Wildcats for a well-deserved point.

It needs to be pointed out that defense was the biggest question mark going into this season. During October, a green d-corps gave up two per, which is way higher than expectations.

What stands out from the scoring by period is how dominant the Huskies were in the first twenty, holding a 2-1 advantage. But, just as noteworthy is how bad they were in the middle frame, getting outscored 5-0. Half of the goals NU allowed in October came in the 2nd period.

Kevin Roy quickly proved he wasn’t hype leading the team in goals, point and most importantly, game winning goals in the month. Sadly, last year’s leading scorer and wearer of an A, Ludwig Karlsson registered zero points in October.

 

Tweets of the Week

Twitter’s become a pretty big deal in sports if you’re not aware. Why not look at what’s going on with the team this week via the Twitter machine?

The Month That Was: November

Hi, this is a recap feature that I will be running that will review the past month’s Northeastern games. I know this is November so I’m  a month late on starting this but I will do October soon enough. The purpose of this is so you and I can compare the team’s performance to previous months to evaluate growth.

November

Record: 3-5

Hockey East Points: 2

Goals Scored: 17 (just over 2 goals scored per game)

  • Period 1: 6 
  • Period 2: 3
  • Period 3: 8

Goals Allowed: 24 (3 goals allowed per game)

  • Period 1: 6
  • Period 2: 8
  • Period 3: 10

Power Play: 6/36 (16.7%)

Penalty Kill: 34/40 (85%)

Shot Total: 238 (29.75 per game)

Opponent Shot Total: 237 (29.62 per game)

Penalty Minutes: 118 (14.75 minutes per game)

Opponent Penalty Minutes: 90 (11.25 minutes per game)

Husky Scoring leaders:

  1. Vinny Saponari (3-6-9)
  2. Kevin Roy (3-5-8)
  3. Ludwig Karlsson (5-2-7)

Notes: 

On the surface, the numbers don’t look so bad. Were it not for the  Alabama-Huntsville weekend, though, they’d be a lot worse. One thing that even a UAH weekend can’t sugarcoat are the goals allowed during the second period. The second frame has Northeastern at -5 and has been the albatross during this month. That added to an even first period and a -2 third, creates a big deficit in scoring. You’re not going to win many games giving up a full goal more than you allow, and when your defense gives up three a game, you’re asking a lot of the offense that can’t carry that load.

With only two points earned out a possible 10, it’s been a disappointing month. And only one of the three wins even mattered. With all due respect to UAH, those were exhibition games. Kudos, to the team for ending the month strong, but by then the team had already posted a month that featured the loss of two of the top freshmen (Saucerman to injury, Darcy to withdrawal from the school) a carousel of goalies and blown leads (at Merrimack, vs. St. Lawrence).

As far as scoring goes, is anyone surprised? Kevin Roy & Vinny Saponari continue to be the most productive forwards and last year’s scoring leader, Ludwig Karlsson has come alive, finally. But beyond that, there’s been no real secondary scoring on this team. The top three forwards are producing, but there’s not much there otherwise.

Previous Months:

October