NCAA Hockey: Michigan defeats Northeastern, sets up Sunday meeting with BU


Kriby Paulson and Kirby Paulson

After being defeated by the Providence Friars last weekend in the Hockey East Semifinals, the Northeastern Huskies saw their season come to an end Saturday night at the DCU Center as they fell to the University of Michigan Wolverines by a score of 3-2.

The game featured two talented first lines in Northeastern’s Gaudette line and Michigan’s Marody line. The Marody line, consisting of Dexter Dancs, Cooper Marody and Tony Calderone, had been asking Wolverines head coach Mel Pearson to let them play up against the deadly Gaudette line of Nolan Stevens and Hobey Baker candidates Adam Gaudette and Dylan Sikura.

“I’m really proud of our team” Pearson said. “One of the things that, Marody, [Calderone] and Danks, all week they asked us if they could play against Northeastern’s top line and I thought they did an outstanding job.”

Marody, Calderone and Danks not only were able to combine for five individual points in the effort, they also kept Northeastern’s line at bay which ended up being a successful matchup.

“I thought that was a matchup that we liked, at times we thought [Josh] Norris, [Brandon] Warren and [Jake] Slaker with their speed could play against them but again, Cooper and those guys were bugging me all week,” Pearson said. “But that’s good, you want your players to step up and want that challenge and they did a great job tonight.”

At the end of the second period, the score was tied at one apiece thanks to goals from Marody and Sikura respectively.

However, the third period was where the rubber really met the road.

After an initial Dancs goal, the Huskies were able to net an equalizer when Eric Williams shot one from the point that found its way to the back of the net with 7:59 left in the frame.

Just over three minutes later though, Marody was able to pick up his second of the night giving Michigan the 3-2 lead that would end up being the game winning tally.

“[Michigan] played hard and deserved to win,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “They were better than us tonight, plain and simple.”

For a Northeastern team that sat well in terms of the national rankings, won a Beanpot and made a good run in the Hockey East playoffs this season, an early and abrupt ending in the National Tournament was not an ideal situation. However, this senior class was able to not only celebrate that Beanpot, but a Hockey East championship last season as well.

Madigan held back tears as he reflected on the year and spoke of the pride he has for his players, his school and the future.

“From my end as a coach, of this group of young men, I couldn’t be more proud and pleased for how they represented Northeastern. You know most of you know my background and I drank the Kool-Aid long ago in 1981 about Northeastern, it’s all about the institution and these gentlemen represented our institution really well for the last four years,” Madigan said choked up. “For me it’s just proud and pleased that they’re going to be moving on to the next step of their careers and proud of the fact that they’re going to be graduates of Northeastern University.”

Having defeated the Huskies, Michigan will now turn its attention towards a streaking Boston University team that has had to earn its way into both the Hockey East Championship weekend and now the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines know they’ll be going up against a deep and hungry hockey team in the Terriers.

“BU’s got a really good team,” Pearson said. “They have more depth, they have more weapons, we’re going to have to understand that, but we do too. I like the depth of this team; the second half, we’ve seen that. We’ve seen some guys step forward, some of our freshman and sophomores take a big stride and that’s one reason that we had a great second half like we did. So I like our depth, we’ve always talked about that, we have good depth and that’s what makes them dangerous so it’s going to be a heck of a hockey game tomorrow.”

The Terriers and Wolverines are set to face-off at 4 p.m. tomorrow with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line.