2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: Northeastern Huskies

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Dave Flint (8th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Unannounced – Kendall Coyne (C) in 2014-15

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 14-17-5 (11-8-2 Hockey East/3rd place)
Hockey East Postseason: Conference semifinals; advanced to semifinals with quarterfinal series win vs. New Hampshire, eliminated by Boston University in semifinals

Even with 2014 U.S. Olympian Kendall Coyne back in its lineup last season, Northeastern got off to a slow start, going 2-5-3 from its season opener on Oct. 10 until a win against Boston University on Nov. 11. The team’s first six games were against Syracuse, Mercyhurst, and Robert Morris, all non-conference College Hockey America opponents, and the Huskies won just one of those games, against the Lakers on Oct. 17. They then dropped a decision to Boston University, and finally picked up their second win on Oct. 30 vs. New Hampshire.

After losing three of their next four, albeit winning a big one against the Terriers, Northeastern finally put together a win streak, defeating Providence and then sweeping Vermont. The Huskies then took on three straight ECAC opponents in Harvard, Union, and Dartmouth, and lost to all three; besides a tie against Providence, they would go on to lose six of their next seven games following that series with the Catamounts. After a loss to BU on Jan. 18, Northeastern stood at 6-12-4 on the season.

Things picked up more towards the end of the season for the Huskies. After splitting with Maine and losing in the Beanpot semifinals to Boston College, they earned an overtime win against Providence. They dropped the Beanpot consolation game to BU the next week, but went undefeated in their last four games of the season, beating and tying Connecticut and then sweeping New Hampshire. Northeastern met the Wildcats again in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs, and after losing game one, the team won the next two to clinch the series and advance to the semifinals. There, the Huskies played the Terriers for the fifth time on the year, and had their season ended in a 6-1 loss to the eventual Hockey East champs.

Three different Northeastern skaters collected all-conference honors. Rookie Denisa Krizova was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, while junior Kendall Coyne was named a First Team All-Star and sophomore defender Heather Mottau was named an Honorable Mention All-Star. Coyne also earned a nod as a Second Team All-American, the second such honor of her career, and was voted to the New England Division I All-Star Team.

Meet the Newcomers

G Brittany Bugalski, U.S. Under-18 Team, Loomis Chaffee School

Bugalski helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Championships, posting a .969 save percentage and 1.21 goals-against average in four appearances at the tournament. Over the past two seasons with Loomis Chaffee (Conn.), she recorded a .932 save percentage, 1.24 goals-against average, and 14 shutouts, while garnering All-USA First Team honors and New England First Team All-Star honors in 2014-15.

Coach Flint on Bugalski (via GoNU.com):

“Brittany is arguably the top goaltender in the United States for her age group. She has good size, is fundamentally sound, athletic, and loves to compete. She could have an immediate impact for our team.”

G Brianna Storms, Moorhead High School

Hailing from all the way out in Sabin, Minn., Storms was named a top-10 finalist for the Minnesota Senior Goaltender of the Year Award in 2015. An all-state honorable mention honoree in 2014-15 as well, she also earned a spot on the all-sections team while at Moorhead (Minn.). In one of the best performances of her prep career, Storms made 70 saves in a game against East Grand Forks as a junior in 2013-14.

Coach Flint on Storms (via GoNU.com):

“Brianna is a technically-sound goaltender that is very competitive and has a tremendous work ethic. She will push our other netminders for playing time and is a welcome addition to the program.”

D Maddie Hartman, Lake Zurich High School, Chicago Young Americans

Hartman made a name for herself early on in her career, earning a spot on the all-state team in just her freshman season with Lake Zurich (Ill.). She captured back-to-back state titles with the Young Americans in 2011 and 2012.

Coach Flint on Hartman (via GoNU.com):

“Maddie has a lot of upside. She is a big, versatile defenseman that sees the ice very well. She is good in the defensive zone, but she also has the ability to contribute offensively when needed.”

F Kasidy Anderson, Shaker Heights High School

Anderson has experience at USA Hockey national development camps, skating at the camps from 2011-14 and finishing as the top scorer back in 2011. A decorated athlete in field hockey as well, she captained her high school team to a state championship and was named an All-American in the sport in 2015.

Coach Flint on Anderson (via GoNU.com):

“Kasidy is a power forward that will increase our size and strength up front. She has a heavy shot and is very good below the dots in the offensive zone.”

F Morgan Crane, New Trier High School, Chicago Young Americans

Back in 2012, Crane led New Trier H.S. (Ill.) in scoring and tallied the state championship-winning goal for her team. With the Chicago Young Americans this past season, she once again led her club in scoring with 48 points in 44 games played. Crane is a three-time attendee of USA Hockey national development camps and was selected to the camp all-star team in 2014.

Coach Flint on Crane (via GoNU.com):

“Morgan is a north-south power forward that will add some size up front. She is great in the corners, along the wall, and in front of the net.”

F Adrieana Rossini, Arlington Catholic High School

Named to the Boston Globe’s All-Scholastic Team three times while at Arlington Catholic (Mass.), she also earned spots on the Globe’s “Dream Team” and “Super Team” as both a sophomore and junior. She led Arlington Catholic to a MIAA state championship, as well as two Catholic Central League championships over her career, and is a three-time participant of USA Hockey national development camps.

Coach Flint on Rossini (via GoNU.com):

“Adrieana is a gritty, hard-working forward that can put the puck in the net. I’m excited to see her make the jump from high school hockey to the college game.”

2015-16 Season Preview

Key Departures: G Chloe Desjardins, D Colleen Murphy
Key Returners: F Kendall Coyne, F Paige Savage, F Denisa Krizova, F Hayley Scamurra, D Heather Mottau, D Lauren Kelly
Key Additions: G Brittany Bugalski, F Morgan Crane, F Adrieana Rossini

For the first time since the 2008-09 season, Northeastern was an under-.500 club in 2014-15. They remained among Hockey East’s top-three teams, but that was more likely due to the overall strength of the conference than the strength of their own team. With some of the names that they have on the roster, the Huskies shouldn’t be willing to settle for the same results this year. They’ll be shooting for a winning record again, with hopes of competing at the top of the conference if all goes right.

Northeastern’s biggest loss by far is in net, following the graduation of three-year starter Chloe Desjardins. She had a career save percentage of .919 and goals-against average of 2.48, and made nearly 1,000 saves in each of the past two seasons. Her experience and reliability will be missed, but the Huskies will have several options for a replacement. Junior goaltender Sarah Foss saw time in net last year, most notably making a career-high 38 saves against BU in the Beanpot consolation game. But Northeastern is also bringing in two rookies, Brittany Bugalski and Brianna Storms, and Bugalski is sure to challenge for the starting job right away after backstopping Team USA to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.

Other than Desjardins, Northeastern’s only other loss of real note is Colleen Murphy on the blue line. She did not have her best year as a senior in 2014-15, but at her prime she was a near-20-point scorer for the Huskies and able to log quality minutes for the team. Heather Mottau took the reins on the back end for Northeastern last year, scoring 25 points to finish third on the team. Lauren Kelly had a promising rookie season as well, and senior Jordan Krause and sophomore Ainsley MacMillan should help round out the team’s defensive core this year. But they’re not making any significant additions to a group that helped contribute to Northeastern’s team goals-against average of 2.89, so they’ll need to see some big steps taken from their current players if they hope to buckle down defensively.

Two-time All-American and 2014 U.S. Olympian Kendall Coyne will lead the way once again offensively, just as she’s done in her first three years with the team. She can always be counted on to make things happen and produce, but whether or not her teammates can do the same is another matter. After Coyne’s 52 points, rookie Denisa Krizova’s 35 were the next highest on the team last season, and no other forward scored more than 20. Injuries to Paige Savage and Hayley Scamurra certainly affected that, and having both back in the line-up this season will make a big difference for the team. Junior Hayley Masters and sophomore McKenna Brand are also legitimate top-six players, and Taytum Clairmont showed the same potential as a freshman last year. That gives the Huskies quite a few options up front, so they should be able to find three competitive lines to work with, plus a very dangerous top unit with Coyne as the anchor.

Those two injuries to Savage and Scamurra last season really hurt the squad and they couldn’t seem to find a way to truly bounce back from that. With a healthy line-up, they should be able to regroup this year, but that’s not all that has to change. Northeastern needs to improve on its somewhat lackluster defensive play, especially with a brand new starter in net. The forward group could challenge as the best in the conference behind Boston College’s, and will help overcome some headaches on the back end. But the Huskies will need to see some strides made defensively and a smooth transition in net if they hope to truly compete for the Hockey East crown.

Schedule Highlights

Sept. 26-27 at St. Lawrence
Oct. 16-17 vs. Mercyhurst
Oct. 24 vs. Boston University
Oct. 30 at Merrimack
Nov. 20 vs. Boston College
Dec. 4-5 at Vermont
Jan. 9 vs. New Hampshire
Jan. 10 at New Hampshire
Jan. 13 at Providence
Feb. 2 vs. Boston University (Beanpot semifinal)
Feb. 12 at Boston College
Feb. 19 at Boston University
Feb. 20 vs. Boston University

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