By Bailey Putnam, deputy sports editor
The Northeastern men’s hockey team may have had a disappointing end to its season this year, but the Huskies have much to look forward to in the upcoming season.
Two announcements made in the last week may ease the pain for players and Husky faithful alike: star junior forward Kevin Roy will be returning to play next year for his senior season, and NU was selected as one of four teams to play in Belfast, Northern Ireland next year as a part of “The Friendship Four.”
Roy, who was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2012, led the Huskies in scoring this year with 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 total points. His performance this season earned him a spot on the Canada Cycle & Motor Co. Ltd Second Team All-American list.
The 5-foot 10-inch forward from Lac-Beauport, Quebec reached his 100th career point halfway through the season and then surged past that mark, notching 124 by the end.
His brother, redshirt sophomore goaltender Derick Roy, will have a larger role to play on the team this year, as senior goalie Clay Witt is graduating. The opportunity to play with his brother again was another contributing factor to his decision to stay, according to Kevin.
“That’s a big part too,” Kevin Roy said. “I think he’s ready for the whole thing. Him having a bigger role was an extra of coming back and helping him have success. It’s all about the team and helping get over that hump. We’ve been close, and we just have to get over that little hump that’s going to get us the success we need, and I think next year we have a good chance of accomplishing that.”
In addition to having the opportunity to improve in the US next year, the hockey team will play overseas.
The announcement, made during the the first round of the Frozen Four at the TD Garden by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Councillor Arder Carson, Lord Mayor of Belfast, was that NU, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Brown University and Colgate University will compete for the Belpot Trophy November 27-28, 2015.
“During my time in Ireland, I saw firsthand how sports, and hockey in particular, play an incredible role in bridging communities,” Walsh, who signed a sister-city agreement with Belfast last September, said at the press conference. “I am thrilled to announce the first tournament for the Belpot Trophy this fall.”
The game held at Belfast Giants/Odyssey Arena will mark the first time an NU hockey team has played overseas.
“We could not be more excited to be a part of this first-of-its-kind event,” Peter Roby, director of athletics and recreation, said in a Northeastern Athletics press release on April 10. “On behalf of the Northeastern community, I’d like to thank Councillor Carson, Mayor Walsh, Steve Thornton, Shane Johnson and everyone involved in making this a reality. At Northeastern, we want to create memorable experiences for our student athletes, and this event is consistent with that desire … I can’t wait to see our team make the most of this experience, both on and off the ice.”
Since Kevin Roy will remain at NU, he will have the opportunity to play abroad in a Husky uniform.
“Education has always been important for my family and myself,” Roy said. “I just thought at this point, where I am right now, it’d be hard to pass on the degree. I just thought the degree was the most important thing to get. I think we have a really good team and we can accomplish a lot, and I’m just happy that I can be back to help the team succeed.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics