The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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The Huskies’ season ends in heartbreak after a 4-2 loss to the Terriers

Sofia Sawchuk
Dylan Hryckowian plays hard on the ice against BU. The Huskies skated to a 17-16-3 record on the 2023-24 season.

On Saturday, the Northeastern men’s hockey season (17-16-3, 9-14-1 HE) ended with a heartbreaking 4-2 loss to the No. 2 Boston University Terriers (24-8-2, 18-14-2 HE).

The first period began with both teams hungry for the puck. The Terriers hoped to claim revenge on Northeastern after their overtime loss in the Beanpot finals, while the Huskies looked to advance to the Hockey East semifinals in hope of earning a bid to the NCAA tournament. 

Northeastern had a chance to get on the board just nine minutes into the game. Sophomore forward Jack Williams stole the puck from graduate student defenseman Case McCarthy in the Huskies’ attack zone. Williams sped behind the net and tried to sneak the puck in on the wrap-around, but junior goaltender Mathieu Caron was able to get his knee down inches before the puck crossed the goal line. 

A minute later, sophomore defenseman Hunter McDonald was called for cross-checking near the Huskies’ net. With power plays being the Terriers’ specialty, their .279 power play second in the nation, the pressure was on freshman goalie Cameron Whitehead in his second career playoff game. But Whitehead did not falter, and he and the Huskies’ defense kept the Terriers from converting. 

Although BU failed to score on the power play, it controlled the offensive game. With 11 shots on goal in the first period compared to Northeastern’s four, the Huskies had  to figure out not only how to  get the puck in their attack zone, but also how to get around the Terriers’ defense. 

When the second period opened, the Huskies settled into an offensive rhythm. Midway through the period, they had double the amount of shots on goal of their entire first period. 

But then, disaster struck. The puck flew to Northeastern’s zone. Whitehead left the net to retrieve it, but the Terriers were flying into the Huskies’ attack zone. Whitehead scrambled back to the net just before freshman forward Jack Harvey’s swing. Although Whitehead blocked the shot, the near-miss seemed to frazzle him, and the playoff pressure was starting to settle in. 

Alex Campbell fights for possession of the puck. He assisted in both Northeastern’s goals in the game. (Sofia Sawchuk)

Thirty seconds later, BU was on the board. The Huskies’ defense could not keep up with the Terrier’s’ one-touch passing. After breaking into Northeastern’s zone, junior forward Jack Hughes passed to sophomore forward Ryan Greene on the right side of Whitehead at the goal line. Greene quickly sent the puck  back to sophomore forward Quinn Hutson right in front of the net. Hutson flicked it over Whitehead to score BU’s first playoff goal, putting the Terriers up 1-0. 

Seconds after the goal, Northeastern had an opportunity to even it up. BU senior forward Nick Zabaneh was called for tripping, giving the Huskies their first power play of the game. However, Northeastern couldn’t get a single shot through to Caron, and things only went downhill from there. 

As their power play ended, the Huskies’ bench was penalized for too many players on the ice, and head coach Jerry Keefe sent freshman forward Eli Sebastian to serve the two minutes. 

Whitehead held firm for the majority of the penalty kill, but in the last 20 seconds, the Terriers extended their lead. Sophomore forward Jeremy Wilmer took a shot from the right faceoff circle. Senior forward Luke Tuch was in the crease for the deflection, the puck flew past Whitehead and BU gained a  2-0 lead midway through the second period. 

The Terriers kept their momentum going, and with two minutes left in the period, they scored again. As the puck entered BU’s attack zone, Northeastern’s defense hurried to get set, but the Terriers were too fast. Tuch passed the puck back to McCarthy, setting him up for a one-timer on the far side. 

BU had put up three straight goals and Northeastern needed to answer. 

With just over a minute left in the second period, and a minute after McCarthy’s goal, captain and junior forward Justin Hryckowian finally got the Huskies on the board. Senior forward Alex Campbell set Justin Hryckowian up for a shot but it missed wide. Dylan Hryckowian picked up the puck, swiping it back to his brother, and Justin Hryckowian’s shot beat Caron to the net to score his 100th career point. 

Going into the third period down by two, the Huskies needed to figure out their defense, and Whitehead needed to regroup. 

In the seventh minute, Quinn Hutson was sent to the box for high-sticking, allowing Northeastern a much-needed opportunity, but they failed to trim the Terrier’s lead. 

Caron was holding steady for BU, but with only five minutes left in the game, Justin Hryckowian gave the Huskies life. Justin Hryckowian came from behind the Terrier’s net and flicked the puck sideways and up, and somehow, it snuck behind Caron and into the net. It was a one-goal game with minutes left. 

However, the Huskies’ hopes of tying it up were short-lived. Less than 30 seconds after Justin Hryckowian’s goal, Harvey slid into the Terriers’ attack zone, and as freshman forward Macklin Celebrini skated toward the center, Harvey set him up with a perfect shot. As Celebrini dodged around Northeastern’s defenders, Whitehead could not make the save, and the Terriers extended their lead to 4-2. 

Keefe pulled Whitehead with a minute left, hoping for a miracle, but the Huskies failed to make the comeback. BU’s 4-2 win advances them to the Hockey East semifinals in hopes of becoming back-to-back tournament champions. 

While the Beanpot win was gratifying for the Huskies, their main goal was to make the NCAA tournament, but early injuries and consecutive losses that riddled their season earlyon put distance between them and the national contest. 

“Getting to the NCAA Tournament is our goal coming in every single year and it’s not going to change next year,” Keefe said. “So from that standpoint, it’s disappointing. You know that that was the ultimate goal.” 

While Whitehead’s last game of the season was not the result he wanted, he made his mark on the conference as just a freshman, making the most saves out of any goalie in the Hockey East. 

“It’s huge having Whitehead in there,” Keefe said. “He’s going to be one of the top goalies in college hockey.” 

While the outcome was not what the Huskies had hoped for as they exited Agganis Arena, the team has the talent and leadership it needs to be successful in the coming years. It’s just about understanding their strengths in play earlier on. 

About the Contributor
Esha Minhas, Deputy Sports Editor
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