Huskies-Eagles: Northeastern Upsets No. 1 Boston College

TJ FergusonCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

The Northeastern University Huskies (3-0-1, 2-0-0 HE) defeated the Boston College Eagles (2-1-0, 0-1-0 HE) 4-3 on Saturday at Matthews Arena in front of over 5,000 rowdy Northeastern fans. That was Northeastern fans, not NU and BC fans.

Boston College opened up the scoring with an unassisted goal by Joe Whitney at 7:41.  The goal came on the power play and actually bounced in the net off a Northeastern defender after Thiessen saved a wrister by Whitney.

Northeastern however evened up the score just nine seconds later with a goal by Denis McCauley. McCauley did what he does best, using his size and strength to park in front of the BC net and win the positioning battle over the BC defender.

Ryan Ginand fed the puck to him from behind the net and McCauley got his stick on it and finished on the open half of the net. Kyle Kraemer was also credited with an assist on the play.

NU took its first lead of the game while on the power play. At 10:13 Joe Vitale tried to feed a centering pass in front of the BC goal. After a lucky bounce off a BC defender, the Huskies were celebrating their second goal of the game. David Strathman and Wade MacCleod were credited with assists on the play.

Inside the final minute, the Eagles tied it up with a goal by Kyle Kucharski assisted by Ben Smith and Tim Filangieri.

Again, it was a lucky bounce that put the puck in the net. It looked like Kucharski tried a centering pass from behind the net that hit Thiessen's skate and slid across the goal line.

After the start of the second period, it didn't take long for things to start going BC's way. They managed to draw a penalty at 2:16 from NU defender Mike Hewkin who threw a cross check in the corner.

The Huskies were up to the challenge, though. Not only did they kill the penalty, they also scored a shorthanded goal at 3:12.

Chris Donovan got an outlet pass from Greg Costa and was in alone on goal and sniped a wrist shot over BC goaltender Johnny Muse's left shoulder. Dan Nycholat was also credited with an assist.

BC managed to score another game tying goal, this time at 11:07. Barry Almeida stole the puck at the Northeastern blueline and got in behind the defense. His shot managed to sneak through Thiessen's legs.

Neither team was able to score the rest of the period. However, with just under two minutes remaining in the period, BC got another power play opportunity following Costa's tripping penalty.

However, yet another BC power play ended with a Husky shorty. This time Vitale was fore-checking and the wet ice slowed a cross-ice pass down enough for him to catch up to the puck.

Vitale took a few strides before putting the puck past Muse to give the Huskies the 4-3 lead.  That would prove to be the last goal of the game.

Boston College got many chances though as the rest of the third period progressed, but Thiessen made plenty of highlight reel saves and really got the crowd going with his acrobatics.

With about 1.9 seconds remaining on the clock, there was a face off in the Husky zone after Thiessen had to make another big set of saves. At this point, one couldn't help but remember back to the time when NU was down a goal and Mike Morris scored with less than a second to send the game OT.

That would not be the case. Under all the cheers of "OVER-RATED" raining down on the ice, the Huskies managed to push the face off to the side boards and the clock took care of the rest as it expired.

In conclusion, I hope we were wrong in calling the Eagles overrated, because that would mean that the NU Men's Hockey team is underrated.

The newest rankings were released by earlier today. Boston College dropped from No. 1 to No. 3 while Northeastern joined the ranks and climbed all the way to No. 14.

Northeastern represents the only school to crack the top-20 rankings after not being ranked last week. Boston College is one of five teams to earn a first place vote with three.

The other big mover this week was the University of Vermont Catamounts, another Hockey East squad, who climbed six spots from No. 17 to No. 11.

The expectations are high in Huskytown and students, players, and coaches alike are expecting some big results of this team.

If they can continue to play like they did against BC, that just might happen.