Tonight Northeastern gets back to league play against the UMaine Black Bears. Maine has the sad distinction of being the only team below us in the standings. Both the Huskies and Black Bears have struggled all season, and have disappointed their fanbases heavily.
The key advantage for the Huskies here is penalties. Maine takes a lot of penalties, led by Joey Diamond, who managed to get a misconduct last weekend while he was already in the penalty box. Coupled with the fact the Huskies’ power play has actually turned out to be not horrible, it could be a good mix if Maine goons it up and takes penalties. For the Huskies, it is absolutely crucial to not retaliate and get bogged down in it all.
It’s a terrible cliche to describe a game as a “must-win”, but let’s face it, this more or less is. A loss puts Maine a point behind NU with 2 games in hand, and threatens to drop the Huskies to 10th place. A win bumps the Huskies back into playoff contention (albeit clawing for 7th and 8th place).
The Huskies need to keep cool, and take advantage of Maine’s penalties. If they can start scoring early and set the tone in their own house, and the Huskies can get back on the winning track.