The first half of the season hasn’t gone the way that the Northeastern Huskies expected. The team reached the break with a 3-9-4 record and has earned just nine points in Hockey East.

With an experience goaltender and some depth on defense, head coach Greg Cronin expected more of his club.

Thus far, Northeastern has been a pretty solid defensive team and, aside from a stinker last week against Boston University where he was pulled midway through the game, goaltender Chris Rawlings has provided the team the opportunity to win most games.

So that leaves the one Achilles heel of this Northeastern team. The offense.

Northeastern’s offense ranks 51st nationally, though ironically is only the 8th of 10 in Hockey East (Massachusetts-Lowell and Vermont are worse). The Huskies have scored just 35 goals in 16 games. Putting that into perspective, Miami’s Carter Camper, the nation’s leading scorer, has factored into 35 goals for the RedHawks himself.

For the Huskies, though, the goals aren’t coming. Wade MacLeod and Tyler McNeely are doing what most expected them to do and that’s lead the team in scoring, but they’ve done so with just six goals apiece. Those two are the only two players on the team with double digits in points.

So when Greg Cronin was asked what he wants his team thinking about throughout the break, his answer was simple.

“Scoring goals,” Cronin said. “We don’t score enough. Defensively we’ve been really good. We’ve had nine losses and seven of the nine have been nail-biting down to the end and we haven’t won. That gets old talking about that.”

Cronin hopes that in the second half he can get more players finding the net, particularly the underclassmen. Freshmen like Brodie Reid and rookie blueliners Anthony Bietto and Luke Eibler have started to show progress. That needs to continue.

“We’ve got a lot of freshmen and if we can get guys like that to score that will provide some support,” said Cronin.

The sixth-year head coach, though, isn’t giving up. He’s been in a position before, namely a season ago, where his team had to turn things on to get back into the playoff race.

“It’s eerily similar to what happened last year,” said Cronin, whose team last year entered the break 6-8-1 but rallied to finish at .500 overall and missed the Hockey East playoffs by a point in one of the most competitive league races in history. “We did it last year and came back. We faltered at the end but we have to start climbing.

“I liked the way we were playing in the Providence game (a 5-0 win). Vermont’s a tough place to play and we won. Merrimack is a tough place to play and we win. I told the guys want them to think about getting their claws out and prepare to scratch their way up back into the upper echelon of the standings.”

If there’s any silver lining for Northeastern it’s the fact that the remainder of the league is struggling to pull away from the middle-to-bottom clubs. Northeastern enters the break in seventh place but is just five points behind Maine for the final home ice spot.

Thus, if this Huskies team can sharpen their collective claws over the break, expect them to begin climbing up the Hockey East standings.

  • Realist867

    Yale 5-4? Really? I’m a Cornell grad and I think we’re gonna get killed. If Yale scores first and early it could easily turn into rout. See Cornell’s last two games again UNH.

    • LynahSalute

      In hindsight i’d say you must be a pessimist. A true lynah faithful wouldn’t be so “realistic,” and a true lynah faithful would be there to see cornell put up a great fight tonight, suffering an unfortunate 4-2 with an empty netter. Yale may be the better team, but c’mon, give the red some credit.

  • elihockeyfan

    Yale is having a great year, but it doesn’t matter how your team is doing: a trip to Lynah is a major challenge for any visitor (and I am a Yalie). I attended the Yale/ Cornell game at Lynah last year and was amazed at the energy of the fans and the great hockey atmosphere. For Yale this past weekend, it was going to be tough no matter what and luckily they got the win. But my respect for Big Red hockey is always intact, and especially when they are playing at home.

  • Jdorf40

    Sweet looking facility. The arenas in the WCHA are far superior to those elsewhere around college hockey. I think this will only solidify the recruiting capabilities of Sandelin and the Bulldogs. I am of course still partial to the Ralph though. That place is beautiful. What are they going to do with all of those Sioux logos though? SIOUX YEAH YEAH!

  • ballgamer2

    RE: Sioux/Goofers
    Brawl! Brawl???? Horse hockey!!! It was just a dance. Pushing. Shoving. Talking. Foxtrot and twist. Groping. Definitely not a brawl. You obviously weren’t around when Archie and gang got going. Not a brawl. Not even close.

  • sgman

    Time to fire Jamie Russell Michigan Tech’s Coach, He is an embarrassment and this is our worst record ever. I spend about $3,000 a year as a sponsor in advertising and have a pair of season tickets. I will cancel both at the end of this year if he is not fired. We are an MTU Family, my dad, myself, 2 daughters and both of their husbands are Tech Alumni and we will not give another dime to MTU until Division 1 Hockey is the PRIORITY. Fire the Althetic Director, she is useless – she is more concerned about Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and now Soccer than a DIVISION 1 MENS HOCKEY PROGRAM.