(Photo: Rhonda McClure)
As the Northeastern Huskies faced the New Hampshire Wildcats at Matthews Arena in the second of the home and home a couple of weeks ago, the Huskies were experiencing a lot of loss on the ice. Perhaps the Wildcats thought they had the Huskies’ number after defeating them the night before, but when the final horn sounded, the Huskies had their first win of the year. And since then they have continued to put together a couple of wins, rebounding quickly after a loss.
The funny thing about that win was that while the players were happy to have one in the win column, their attitude at practice and when playing had not suffered as the season progressed. They were always motivated each day. And the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel may have been seen the prior weekend, when taking on the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks in back to back tilts that Northeastern managed a tie in the first of the two games before losing to them in the second.
After the game against the Wildcats, The Pink Puck had a chance to ask forward Adam Reid, a senior, about the attitude in the room before the game, but in general having been on the losing end so much this season.
“To keep ourselves going hasn’t been difficult to be honest. We have a really motivated group,” he responded. “And the message before the game was ‘Do whatever it takes.’ Saw a lot of guys blocking shots out there, sacrificing their body. That was our mantra from the beginning and it worked out in the end.”
And perhaps it not only worked out in the end for the Huskies in that game but since that game. Looking at the four games they have played, including that first win, the Huskies are 3-1, including an impressive and hard fought win over Big Ten’s number three University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
While the game against the Gophers does not count in regard to their positioning in Hockey East, it has to validate their play and hard work and simply increase their confidence. Even the goals that the Huskies did allow during the game with the Gophers were when Northeastern had at least one man in the box. However, all of the goals the Huskies scored in their game against the Gophers were made during five-on-five play, showing that the Huskies do have what it takes to get goals. They may need to work some now on staying out of the box.
Earlier in the season, The Pink Puck took at look at the Huskies struggles in the faceoff dot. Since that game when it was most evident, the Huskies have continued to improve in this facet of their game. And it is likely that while it wasn’t causing them to lose games, the turn around on the faceoff may now be giving them options they didn’t have before.
As Reid said after that first win, it is just one game and there are a lot of games ahead of them. However, that win seems to have allowed the Huskies to break through some barrier they were fighting earlier in the season.