Column: Show some class, Northeastern fans

We are entering the last month of regular season play in Hockey East before conference tournaments begin in March. The action is heating up as games take on even more significance. Crowds at Matthews Arena have been packed with attendance routinely over the 4,000 mark. The noise and support for Husky hockey is at an all-time high.
‘ With all these positive signs, it is unfortunate that the actions of a small number of fans concern me. Last week against Providence several objects were thrown on the ice at the end of the game. Buckets, brooms and soda bottles were thrown as the Providence players headed for the locker room. Back in November when New Hampshire visited Boston, a similar incident transpired as Wildcat players were leaving after an intense and physical game. They too were pelted with objects, as well as a chorus of boos and profanities.
‘ This has to stop. I understand that the majority of Husky fans refrained from this and only a small percentage of students are at fault, but it only takes a few idiots to make us all look bad.
‘ Earlier this month Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna issued a press release reminding hockey fans to watch their language and remember that games are attended by families with children. Bertagna, understandably, is trying to keep Hockey East a popular product with fans and is weary of some scenes at recent games.
‘ ‘The overwhelming majority of our fans, including our student population, is absolutely terrific,’ Bertagna said in the release. ‘But we acknowledge that there have been some isolated incidents at some venues that we would like to see go away.’
‘ Bertagna is referring mostly to the language that is within earshot of families, but the incidents at Northeastern have drawn his consideration as well.
‘ What alarms me the most is how we will be portrayed in the public eye.
‘ The Beanpot starts Monday and there will no doubt be a huge turnout of Northeastern fans. These games are televised and will be seen by viewers throughout the New England region. The Huskies also have two more home games that will be televised. Should NU advance into the postseason there is a great chance these games will be carried on television as well.
‘ With viewers watching, the last thing the school needs is publicity for such negative reasons. Our hockey team shows promise and is looking like a strong contender in postseason play.’ Let us be remembered as the school with a great hockey team and even greater fans, rather than for some embarrassing scene of fan misbehavior.
‘ Consider this a friendly reminder to all fans to watch your behavior at games. Cheer the Huskies and be as loud as you want.’ And should another Husky player score a hat trick, feel free to toss your baseball caps, wool caps or purple and green jester hats onto the ice. These incidents are harmless and all in good fun. It is when our fans put others in danger that the problem becomes serious.
‘ Should fans see others throwing things onto the ice, please stop them.
‘ A two minute delay-of-game penalty will not be the full extent of the damage to our team.

‘- Patrick McHugh can be
‘ reached at [email protected]

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