Letter to the Editor: Don

Last year, I could have been writing this very synopsis:’ Crosstown rival bulldozes all opponents, overcomes all challenges to take yet another national championship. In 2008, it was Boston College that crafted a near-flawless season. In 2009, Boston University stormed through Hockey East, the NCAA Tournament and, despite being down by two scores with less than one minute remaining in the national championship game, found a way to win against a Miami (Ohio) team that gave them a heck of a fight. So why does this year’s outcome hurt so deeply on such a personal level?
Comparing these two seasons shows conspicuous similarities:’ Late struggles from a Northeastern team that battled to the end but came up short while other Boston schools seized the opportunity for victory and completed dream seasons, dispatching all challengers along the way.
Last season, any hope that the Huskies would make the NCAA tournament was lost with a horrendous post-Beanpot slide worthy of the futility that has plagued Northeastern’s hockey teams for decades now. This year was different. This year, Northeastern was talented enough to remain one of the top 10 teams in the nation, earning a NCAA tournament berth. Shortcomings in postseason play ‘- giving up a goal in the final minute of regulation in each of the final three games of the year, surrendering a lead in each game ‘- were eventually their undoing.
However, the fact that Northeastern could hang with the likes of Boston University, forcing two ties late in the season, makes BU’s title especially tough to swallow. While last year Husky fans resigned to watch the remainder of the Hockey East and NCAA tournaments unfold without their own horse in the race, this season Northeastern was able to compete with the best teams in the nation. It is realistic to think that in place of Bemidji State in the Frozen Four, it could have been our Huskies battling with Miami for a chance to face the Terriers in the title game.
That is why this year’s championship outcome hurts so profoundly. Had Northeastern been out of contention well before the end of the season, Husky fans (as rivals to BU) would be jealous, but not to the degree of newly inflamed hatred. For the first time since 1994, we experienced the joy of being equals to our nationally recognized peers.
In historical context, the fact that we worry about our team winning in the NCAA tournament as opposed to making it past the first round in Hockey East is an accomplishment. History is perhaps the only shackle left to break before Northeastern can truly achieve long-overdue success. Remarkable improvements have occurred each year:’ from a three-win season year, to making the conference playoffs, to winning a playoff game, to winning a playoff series and making the NCAAs. It cannot be denied that the Huskies’ stock is rising. What remains for head coach Greg Cronin’s team is to learn from mistakes and reload for a new season.
It’s a long road to Detroit next year.

‘- Alex Faust is a sophomore political science and economics major and radio announcer
for WRBB sports.

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