Transcripts: Northeastern 4, Merrimack 1

Mark Dennehy, Merrimack head coach

Opening Statement …

“That’s probably the best game we’ve played in three weeks. There are no moral victories, we didn’t win the game, but I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win. Tip my cap to Northeastern, they have a good team and an excellent crop of forwards, they’re very skilled, but I thought we did a good job of forcing them to dump pucks in and a pretty good job of efficiently breaking it out. Unfortunately we had a couple of turnovers and they got ahead, and they did a good job of protecting the lead and not giving us much in the third.

“Again, no moral victories, our guys weren’t rewarded for tonight’s play, but as I told them, to me that’s an effort in the bank and before you can make a withdrawal you need to make some deposits and it’s been awhile since we made those, so tonight was a positive in that we played hard, smart and gave us a chance to win. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that.”

Can you draw anything from Northeastern? The last two years they started off so bad but have turned it around …

“We got off to a really good start and maybe got lulled into a little bit of a false sense of security, but then also, there is a lot that goes into it. There’s the schedule, that’s our eighth road game in nine games. There’s who you’re playing and when you’re playing them. I don’t know that anyone that wants to play Notre Dame right now, they have it cooking pretty good, and we just came back from having our tail between our legs out there. But we’re also relatively young, we have 17 underclassmen.

“I was happy with our effort tonight. Our execution was fair to good. We still need to take care of the puck, they have a couple of guys that are dangerous and I didn’t think we did a good enough job there. There were a couple of turnovers that cost us.”

Were you happy with how you were able to contain them? Especially in the neutral zone? …

“We had 15 turnovers in the first period last night, and they carried the puck into our zone 10 times in the first period … in the first period. I’m disappointed we lost today, and at Merrimack losing isn’t an option, but I was pretty enraged after the game last night. We regrouped, I give our guys credit, we gave ourselves a chance to win a road game, didn’t do it, but we’ll have another opportunity on Friday.”

Jim Madigan, Northeastern head coach

Opening comments …

“It was a great weekend. Any time you can sweep a team in this league, you’re happy and pleased. That’s a hard team to play against. They’re strong, they’re physical, they come at you. You’re fighting for every inch of ice and we had to stay with it. We went up 1-0, they came back 1-1, we were able to make it 2-1 but we had to grind it out, which is a good thing for our team. Those are the type son wins that build character within the team. Then in the third period we were able to nail it down.

“I thought in the first period we were a little bit undisciplined taking careless stick penalties and we couldn’t get in any offensive rhythm. Obviously we scored a power-play goal, but we didn’t get in any rhythm and the guys taking the penalties were our penalty killers. We had to use other guys and it was a little bit of a cluster there in the first period and we got into some rhythm in the second and third. A sweep, a four-point weekend, we needed that. We made a move there today in the standings and we’ll get ready, we’ll take a couple of days off, and then we’ll get ready for this tournament in the Boston Garden called the Beanpot.”

In the last two minutes, after Merrimack’s timeout, you almost didn’t give them the puck at all. You just controlled that play …

“We just wanted to get the puck deep in their zone and we have that line of the two Stevens boys and Aston-Reese who are real heavy and strong players, so that’s the perfect line to get out there for our sake, to try to get it in and pin them deep. They were trying to stretch us a little bit in the third period and we just didn’t want that to happen so we tried to win the faceoff, get to the red and get it in. We’ve done that a couple of times this year, being able to score late in the third period. It was good to see that. I thought in the third period we played really well. We gave them four or five shots and I thought we did a good job of shutting them down and coming back we were above the puck a lot. Then when Ryan Ruck was forced to make some saves he stood tall.”

About Mike McMahon 6287 Articles
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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