Sunday, February 11, 2018

Beanpot Championship -- Northeastern

By now you know the story. Tomorrow night, BU and Northeastern go head to head in the Beanpot championship game in their third meeting of the season.

Back in November, the Huskies routed BU in a two-game home and home series. First, NU dumped BU 4-1 at Agganis, before torching the Terriers 6-1 at Matthews area the following night.

Patrick Curry celebrates after scoring against NU in
November of 2016.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
“I think we have grown up a lot,” said Quinn on how the two teams have changed since their last meeting. “I think our freshman have played a lot more hockey and we are in a different mindset. I think our goalie is playing his best hockey of the season, our special teams are better. There’s a lot of things we are doing differently and thank God because if we weren’t, we would be in a lot of trouble.”  

All in all, NU is 16-8-5 on the year, but the Huskies are 2-3-2 in their last seven. That does include their 3-0 win against Boston College to advance to the Beanpot final for the first time since 2015 when they lost to BU 4-3 in overtime.

At one point this year, NU was statistically the best team in Hockey East. They allowed the least amount of goals as a team and scored the most. That’s not to say they have fallen apart. The offense that was once working at an absurd four-something goals per game clip is now at 2.95 (in conference). BU is actually the best scoring team offense now at 3.10 goals per game.

NU’s defense has been strong all year and since Cayden Primeau has taken over the net, the Huskies have really solidified their netminding situation. NU is only allowing 2.25 goals per game in Hockey East play.

Both teams failed to get a win in the always dangerous weekend game between the semis and championship game of the Beanpot. BU was up 3-1 on UMass in the third period but saw UMass score twice in the final frame to salvage a tie. NU, on the other hand, fell 4-2 at home against UConn.

A major focus for BU will be staying out of the box. NU has the sixth best power play in the country at a 25% conversion rate. The BU penalty kill ranks 44th nationally, working at 78.99%.

“Obviously they have one of the top power plays in the country,” said Quinn. "We are always trying to stay out of the box.”

Scouting the Huskies:
The potent Husky offense is lead by the top scorer in the nation in Adam Gaudette. In 29 games played, Gaudette has amassed 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points. His linemate Dylan Sikura isn’t far behind. Sikura, who at one point seemed like a lock to make the Canadian Olympic roster, is still with the Huskies, despite notching 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points. Nolan Stevens rounds out the ever explosive top line for NU, posting 19 goals and 12 assists. Other players to watch include Matt Filipe, Jeremy Davis, and Ryan Shea.

“They are special players,” said Quinn. “They have a little bit of everything on that line. They all do a little bit something different, but they are all special. Sikura has the great vision, Gaudette has the great speed and skill, Stevens has great skill and size. They all have skill, but they all bring a different element to the table. That’s what makes them so special.”

Between the pipes, Cayden Primeau has taken over the Northeastern net, recording excellent numbers thus far. He 12-6-5 on the year and holds a .925 save percentage and a 1.97 goals against average.

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