Saturday, March 21, 2009

This team is, as they say, out of excuses.

Much like Northeastern's basketball team, late-season losses could have been avenged with postseason wins, but an awful loss to UMass Lowell in overtime ended the Huskies' chances at a Hockey East title and (likely) forces them to head out West fort he NCAA tournament.

The game wasn't particularly entertaining. The first period was probably the best hockey played the whole evening, but even the first was sloppy for Northeastern, who allowed 16 shots on a brilliant Brad Thiessen. The second brought two quick goals for the Huskies, who promptly left the building. They would allow the Riverhawks to score near the end of the second to bring the score to 2-1.

Then the third period happened. The Huskies managed to take a colossally stupid too many men on the ice penalty with just over a minute remaining. UML pulled Hutton, and while the upper bowl reverberated with chants of "Let's go Huskies," Northeastern couldn't ice the puck and allowed the tying goal with 19 seconds left. They would lose 3 minutes into the overtime frame.

This season was, by no means, a disappointment. It's the second best season the team has ever had, and they met or exceeded all of my goals for this season. It's just frustrating because they had so many opportunities to actually, well, win something, and never won the one big game they needed.

The selection show is at 11:30 Eastern on ESPN2...I suspect the Huskies, as a 2 seed, will be in Grand Rapids.

I've been sorta avoiding the whole topic of Thiessen leaving for the pros before his senior year, and for good reason. Losing Thiessen would be a major, major blow. Binnington is not a top caliber goalie. Mula is a freshman and an unknown quantity, and didn't put up the same kind of numbers Thiessen did, and in a less offensively-oriented league. There's speculation that a strong BCHL goalie in Chris Rawlings could be headed to NU, but he's been bouncing on and off the recruit list, so who knows.

I don't think Thiessen's going to leave largely because he came to NU in the first place. Nobody that good comes to a rebuilding school unless there's something non-hockey related you're interested Brad's case, the journalism program. That said, it's going to be hard to turn down the serious $$$ he will be offered by NHL teams in the offseason.

We'll see/

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