Monday, February 1, 2010

Boston Bash! Northeastern Faces Boston University in the First Round of the 58th Annual Beanpot Tournament

Huskies in the Beanpot
Northeastern plays in its 58th Annual Beanpot Tournament, taking on Boston University in the first round of the second showing on Monday, Feb. 1. The following week on Monday, Feb. 8, the Huskies will meet up with either Boston College or Harvard at the TD Garden. Monday night’s affair marks the second-consecutive time Northeastern is featured in the 8 p.m. tilt, as the Huskies toppled the Eagles in the first round last year, 6-1. Following their first round win, Northeastern was handed a 5-2 loss to No. 1-ranked Boston University in the championship showdown. Last year’s finals appearance marked NU’s first championship showing since 2005. It was been 22 long years since the Huskies last tasted a Beanpot victory. Northeastern has claimed four Beanpot titles – 1980, ’84, ’85 and ’88 – while BU has won 29, BC with 14 and Harvard owning 10. The Huskies are 32-82-0 all-time in the Beanpot, including a 13-44-0 record in the first round of the tournament. The 58th gathering of Boston’s four great hockey traditions marks the Huskies second regular-season tournament. Northeastern looks to mimic its ways after claiming the National Ledyard Bank Classic in Hanover, N.H. with a 7-0 thrashing over host Dartmouth before grinding out a 2-1 win over conference-foe, UMass Lowell on Jan. 2-3. The Huskies will be the visiting team on Monday. Since Greg Cronin took over the program almost five years ago, he has never won the coin toss at the annual Beanpot Luncheon, determining who is the home and road team.

Dog Eat Dog World

The inhabitants of Matthews Arena and Agganis Arena have met only once this season on Saint Botolph St., but the Huskies were the ones who came away with a huge 1-0 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 4,666. Rookie netminder Chris Rawlings became the Huskies’ second-ever netminder to shut out Boston University as Northeastern recorded its first shutout since blanking UMass Lowell on Feb. 27, 2009. Northeastern staked its claim to ending BU’s five-year run of not being shutout on the road. The triumph marked NU’s first win over its Commonwealth Ave. foe since Feb. 28, 2007. Prior to the Nov. 6 contest, the last time Boston University was denied through 60 minutes on the road was on March 15, 2004. Junior forward Wade MacLeod extended the Huskies’ powerplay scoring streak to six games as the Coquitlam, B.C. native netted his fifth-career game-winner at 12:37 of the final stanza. Junior Mike Hewkin tallied his first point of the year on the play while sophomore Alex Tuckerman logged his 25th-career point with the second helper on the play. Rawlings acted as Northeastern’s linchpin in the victory, turning aside all 43 Terrier shots. The Huskies were outshot, 43-20, giving up the most attempts on the season. The Terriers were enabled with numerous opportunities on net thanks to 31 penalty minutes on the Huskies’ behalf. Rawlings earned NU’s second Rookie of the Week honors thanks to his miraculous performance. The last time these two teams tangled in the Beanpot, it marked the 200th all-time meeting between the two institutions. It was also the first time the two teams met when both were ranked in the top three of the national polls. The all-time series started at Matthews Arena (then known as Boston Arena) back on Feb. 6, 1931. It was home ice for both teams and the Terriers took a 4-3 win. The next meeting didn’t come for 12 years, on Feb. 9, 1943, and the Huskies took a 12-1 win. Since then, the two teams have played multiple times every season with the Huskies trailing the all-time series, 51-144-8. The Huskies are 7-30 against the Terriers in the Beanpot.

Marshall Earns Beanpot Hall Call
Northeastern goaltender Tim Marshall (1986) joins Boston College’s Bob Sweeney and Harvard’s Fran Toland as the 2010 Class of Beanpot Hall of Fame inductees. The 2010 trio will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in ceremonies between games of the first round of the 58th Annual Beanpot Tournament on Monday, Feb. 1 at the TD Garden. Marshall, who graduated Northeastern University in 1986, was considered the star of the 1984 Beanpot. As a junior, Marshall turned away 20 shots in a 7-3 victory over Harvard in the first round. He then followed it up with a 34-save performance in a 5-2 triumph against Boston University in the championship contest. Marshall’s astute play earned him both the Eberly Award for the highest save percentage and the Most Valuable Player award. Upon graduation, the Hull, Mass. native was second in the NU archives both in games played in goal (74) and most saves (1,976). Marshall’s induction into the Beanpot Hall of Fame pushes the number of Northeastern constituents to 13. He joins fellow Huskies members, including: Dave Archambault, Jim Averill, Art Chisholm, Fern Flaman, Herb Gallagher, Jay Heinbuck, Rod Isbister, Dan McGillis, David O’Brien, Dave Poile, Bruce Racine and Wayne Turner. Currently, Marshall ranks fourth all-time in the NU annals with three shutouts, ninth in minutes played (3888:00) and 10th in save percentage (87.2 percent). His number of games played and saves now stand seventh and eighth all-time, respectively.

Beanpot Leaders
Senior Chris Donovan is the current Huskies’ leader in Beanpot points. Interestingly enough, Donovan collected all four points with a four-point explosion against Boston College in the first round of last year’s Beanpot Tournament. Donovan netted a goal and three helpers in the 6-1 victory against the Eagles. Classmate David Strathman owns three Beanpot points while Steve Quailer, Tyler McNeely and Wade MacLeod each have registered two. Greg Costa, Jim Driscoll, Kyle Kraemer, Mike Hewkin, Alex Tuckerman, Steve Silva and Mike McLaughin have all logged one point in their Beanpot careers.

What the Win Over UMass Lowell Meant
The Huskies posted their first winning record over the course of a month by dispatching #16/rv UMass Lowell. Northeastern has assembled a 5-3 mark since the New Year and won six of its last 10 outings. The victory also marked NU’s fourth triumph over a ranked club. Northeastern has now won three out of its last four contests, marking the second time that occasion has occurred this year. Following Friday’s game, Northeastern was in sole possession of seventh place, lurking just one point behind tonight’s foe, Boston University.

Popping Up in the Pairwise Rankings
Northeastern’s victory catapulted the Huskies into a tie for the 22md spot of USCHO’s Pairwise rankings, marking NU’s first citing in that poll. The Huskies made their first appearance on Friday night at 24th, but have since bumped up to T-22nd with Minnesota. The PairWise Ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament. The PWR compares the top 25 teams in the RPI Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), judging them by four criteria: record against common opponents, head-to-head competition, record against other top 25 teams if the team has faced at least 10 top 25 opponents, and the RPI. For each comparison won, a team receives one point. The final PWR ranking is based on the number of points (comparisons) won against top 25 teams. Ties are settled by the RPI.

Twin Killing
Twin brothers, rookies Drew and Justin Daniels, were the two perpetrators in Friday’s win over UMass Lowell. Drew opened the scoring at 5:12 of the second period, marking his second-career tally while Justin potted his first-career game-winner at 9:16 of the third (fifth-career). The phenomenon marked the first time the Daniels twins scored a goal in the same game. Oddly enough, the Suffern, N.Y. sensations both recorded their first-career assists on Greg Costa’s goal in a 3-3 at Providence on Nov. 21.

Rookies Wreaking Havoc
The freshmen corps leads all classes in both goals scored and assists through 23 games for the Huskies. NU’s newcomers have tallied 20 goals while the juniors have accrued 17, the seniors 16 and the sophomores with six. The freshmen have also tabulated 33 assists, compared to the seniors with 27, the juniors with 35 and the sophomores with 15.

100 Helpers
Greg Costa and Robbie Vrolyk teamed up to earn credit on Drew Daniels’ goal against UMass Lowell on Jan. 29. Vrolyk’s second assist stands as Northeastern’s 100th assist of the season.

Rawlings Reaches Double Digits
Northeastern’s primary goaltender, freshman Chris Rawlings, earned his 10th victory between the pipes by turning away 23 UMass Lowell attempts on Jan. 29. The North Delta, British Columbia native’s goals against stands at 2.87 while his save percentage rests at .907 heading into his first Beanpot Tournament. Rawlings has made 544 saves in constructing his 10-9-1 record.

Shooting Sample
In a dissection of Northeastern’s shooting, the Huskies own a winning record of 5-3-1 when registering between 30-39 shots. When the Huskies allow between 20-29 attempts, NU is 6-4-0. In all other shooting increments of 10, Northeastern has a losing record in both attempts and allowance.

Cronin Creepings Towards 50
Greg Cronin’s next Hockey East victory will mark his 50th-career HEA victory. His overall record at NU is 67-83-20 while his career record rests at87-96-22.

Huskies Add Some ‘Power” to the Line Up

Mike Power, who last skated with the Green Mountain Glades of the EJHL (Eastern Junior Hockey League) during the 2007-08 season, will complement the Huskies’ defense by adding size at 6’1, 195 lbs. Power started out his prep career at Buckingham Browne & Nichols (Cambridge, Mass.), skating with the club from 2005-07. In his second season, Power captained the Buckingham Browne & Nichols prep bunch under head coach Terrence Butt. The West Roxbury, Mass. native was awarded the 2007 Coach’s Cup in his final season with the team. Power just finished clearing NCAA waivers and has been granted active status on the team.

Newton’s Not Messing Around
Freshman defenseman Jake Newton has scored eight points in as many outings, including four goals and four assists. Newton sent the Huskies to victory with his game-winning powerplay goal against Providence on Jan. 19. The tally marked the rookie’s second-career game-clincher as well as his fourth multi-point performance of the season. The San Jacinto, Calif. native netted his first shorthanded goal when UMass Lowell paid a visit to Matthews Arena on Jan. 9 and was named to the Ledyard National Bank-All Tournament team after potting the tournament-winner against the River Hawks on Jan. 3. The rookie blue liner is tied for 22nd in the country in freshman scoring and tied for second in Hockey East play. Newton is tabbed 31st in the country in regards to defensive scoring and tied for 10th in the league. Newton is tied for second on the team with 15 points (6-9-15).

Ending the Extra-Man Draught
Jake Newton’s game-winning powerplay goal also ended a three-game powerplay scoring draught for Northeastern. NU’s three-game scoreless powerplay stretch matched a season-long from Nov. 27 – Dec. 5. Northeastern is 23-for-135 (.170) on powerplay chances.

Helpless Tallies

Justin Daniels game-winner agianst UMass Lowell marked Northeastern’s third unassisted goal in the last four tallies. Jake Newton’s powerplay goal and Tyler McNeely’s empty netter against Providence on Jan. 19 both came without any help, while the Huskies first unassisted marker of the season came from the twig of Alex Tuckerman against Maine on Nov. 14.

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