Huskies Hit Low Point with 6-3 Loss to Bentley
It happened again. But this one just feels worse for some reason. 2 years ago, Bentley came into Matthews Arena and beat a Northeastern team that didn’t look like they wanted to be there. Last night, they did it again, scoring the final 3 goals of the game against a Huskies team that must have had something else on their mind. When it happened in 2010, the Huskies were a young team, getting off to a slow start in the early stages of the season. That game marked Clay Witt’s collegiate debut and Jamie Oleksiak’s first collegiate point. This year’s team has a fair amount of new guys, but it also has a senior goaltender and an older group of forwards, not to mention it is beginning the second half of its season.
Losing by 3 goals at home to an Atlantic Hockey team is not the way 2013 was supposed to start. The second half would be different from the dismal first half, we were all told. Just like we were all told that this year would be much different than last year’s awful season. But here we are and it just more of the same. Its been a full calendar year since this team has put together an extended stretch of good hockey.
This game truly had it all. First you have Ben Oskroba at forward, for what I assume was the first (and last) time of his career, due to injuries. Dan Cornell, who played forward in high schoo,l must have been busy. That experiment didn’t last long after Oskroba couldn’t get his stick free for an easy tap in early in the first. After that, the 4th line never saw the ice. In another curious decision from Madigan, he choose to stick with Rawlings throughout, despite the senior allowing 5 goals, with some definite softies mixed in. And to complete his mistake hat trick, Madigan pulled the goalie with about 2:44 left and saw Bentley score their 6th goal into vacant net about 30 seconds later. Maybe after this move burns him a few more times, he will stop trying it.
And speaking of Rawlings, while the defense certainly did him no favors, it’d be really beneficial for the team if he could step up and play well for more than one game at a time. His refusal to challenge shooters or really just move in general will be his downfall at the next level, if he even gets that far.
But as usual, the real problem was defensive breakdowns becoming easy chances for Bentley. Any team with a decent forecheck is a terrible matchup for Northeastern because they just cannot get the puck out their own zone. Madigan said after the game that the team had to get better in their own zone and that they had been working on it. It didn’t show.
As far as bright spots go, Cody “Non-Conference” Ferriero continued his torrid pace, picking up 2 more goals (and another penalty of course). Ferriero now has 20 career goals in what basically amounts to 2 seasons. 9 of them have come in non-conference play. Granted, some of those opponents were pretty good, but the Hockey East goals are what this team really needs from him.
Can this team turn it around? It doesn’t look likely. The supposed better relationship between players and coaches that we were promised this year is not evident at all. Players have stopped even trying to hide the fact that they are disobeying the coaching staff. But that’s fine, because some guys are exempt from benchings, no matter how many times they do stuff like this. And with the lack of bodies up front, they can barely afford to bench guys anyways.
So this team, with as much talent as they have issues, will likely play out the season in a manner like we saw Saturday. The Harvard win, much like the UMass one a month ago, was not a sign of things to come. It was a blip in the radar, an accidental glimpse of what this team actually could have (and probably should have) been. But we won’t get that this year. We will probably get another summer of roster overhaul and another “fresh start” next year. Maybe this time it will actually work.