Final: Lowell 3, Huskies 2 (OT)
Northeastern losing streak is now at 4 games after they dropped one in overtime last night to Lowell.
Photo Courtesy of Dave Luca
- The Huskies got goals from Braden Pimm and Garrett Vermeersch.
- Vinny Saponari and Ludwig picked up the assists.
- Chris Rawlings saved 22 out of 25 shots.
- The Huskies outshot Lowell 31-25
- NU was 0-2 on the PP. Lowell was also 1-5, but Northeastern manged to score a shorthanded goal.
What You Need to Know
- Things are not looking good for the Huskies. The Huskies played well enough to win but just couldn’t finish it and its becoming an all too frequent occurrence.
- Northeastern was finally aggressive on the PK and it paid immediate dividends. Braden Pimm stole the puck from the point man and raced in on a breakaway. The puck went in after he crashed into Carr but after review the refs ruled he was forced into him and the goal counted. The Huskies had another great chance shorthanded when they broke in on a 2 on 1, but play was halted for matching penalties behind the play.
- Lowell’s first goal came on the Power Play when Scott Wilson was left wide open in the slot. He didn’t hit the shot well, but Rawlings just missed it. The aggressive PK is a new system, its going to take time to get good at it, these things will happen. The soft goals cannot though.
- Garrett Vermeersch continued to be a valuable asset to the Huskies. He made smart passes all night and could have had a few assists if it weren’t for big saves by Doug Carr. But Vermy managed to get himself on the scoresheet when he put home a Vinny Saponari rebound 30 seconds into the 2nd.
- That goal gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead, but Lowell would tie it up just 3 minutes later.
- The Huskies really carried play in the thid, but once agin got nothing to show for it. They had 2 PP’s in the third nad failed on both of them. This is where the special teams kill them. You cna have all the talent in the world, but if you dont finish your chances, it doesnt matter.
- A bad bounce in overtime led to a chance for Derek Arnold and it pulled off the same amazing move he made the night before to beat Rawlings to extend Northeastern’s overtime woes.
And so it continues for the Huskies. Thats now 6 one goal losses for the Huskies, with 3 coming in overtime. Of course part of that is just bad luck, but its also starting to become an alarming trend. Is it poor line management? Not the right attitude? I am not sure, but besides the power play, this team’s biggest issue is finishing games.
There were a few positives from this game though. The change of emphasis on the PK was an obvious success and with a little more practice time, it should lead to a big improvement. Pimm and Vermeersch had good games. I thought Drew Ellement had a nice game on defense. He is quietly putting together a pretty good season.
No need to spend any more time discussing how bad the power play is. Its awful and its starting to really hurt the team, thats obvious.
Justin Daniels being scratched was a bit surprising, but it made sense. He just hasn’t looked up to it lately despite his hot start. But the third line just wasn’t working. McLaughlin and Vrolyk are both good penalty killers, but they don’t belong on a line together. Joseph Manno needs to be playing on the third line every night. He has some discipline problems, but he is clearly one of the most talented players on the team and he will probably be a top 6 forward next year. He needs more ice time
Lowell has some impressive players. Scott Wilson and Derek Arnold really impressed me this weekend. Doug Carr was outstanding in net for them. But, the refs last night did an awful job enforcing the change rules on Lowell. They were called for one time for Too Many Men, but it could have been more. There were several times where they had a guy jump on the ice in front of the play (usually a Northeastern player breaking through the neutral zone) to take the place of a trailing player who was 10 feet away from the bench. But their biggest offense was on icings. Since they weren’t allowed to change, they would just take forever to set up, complain about something, or try to change anyways to cause confusion about who was actually on the ice. And the refs let it happen every time. Refs have it tough and penalties are always going to be debatable, but stuff like changes should be cut and dry. Stuff like this is easy to stop: drop the puck without them or give them a delay of game penalty.
Northeastern has 10 Hockey East games left. They are 3 points out of the playoffs. It is by no means an impossible scenario, but it isnt an easy one. The schedule is going to give NU every chance to do it, but they need to pick it up big time. Taking one night off (like they did in Lowell in Friday) will probably be the difference between making it and not making it. And missing the playoffs two out of three years with a team as talented as they are will be a major disappointment. For the record, we think they will get in, but its an all too real possibility that they won’t after what happened this weekend.