The men’s hockey team has high expec­ta­tions for the remainder of the season, begin­ning with a nation­ally tele­vised game on Friday night at Boston College.

North­eastern has won five of its first six games in dom­i­nant fashion, dis­patching three non-​​conference foes by a com­bined score of 30–15. The team’s 5–0 mark to begin the season matched its strongest start since the 1988–89 campaign.

Northeastern’s play has caught the atten­tion of col­lege hockey’s cognoscenti: On Monday, the Huskies were ranked No. 19 in the USCHO​.com Divi­sion 1 men’s poll of the nation’s top 20 teams.

The num­bers tell the story: in six games, the Huskies have scored 30 goals, 10 of them on the power play. Three players—forwards Kevin Roy, Mike Szmatula, and Braden Pimm—rank among the nation’s top 10 scorers. Roy has the most points in the country (12), Szmatula has the most assists (10), and Pimm has the most power play goals (4).

Kevin Roy is leading the nation with 12 points in six games.

Kevin Roy is leading the nation with 12 points in six games.

Head coach Jim Madigan praised the offense fol­lowing a 5–2 win over Holy Cross on Oct. 19 at Matthews Arena, a game in which the Huskies scored three power play goals. “I think we’re moving the puck pretty well on the man advan­tage,” he said. “We’re crashing the net really well and get­ting rebounds.”

The defense has been equally impres­sive, holding oppo­nents to 15 goals on 185 shots. Goalies Clay Witt and Derick Roy have split the playing time, starting three games apiece. Witt has fared slightly better, posting a 2.00 goals against average and .939 save per­centage to Roy’s 2.68 GAA and .907 save percentage.

Witt turned aside 39 of 42 shots in Friday night’s come-​​from-​​behind vic­tory over St. Lawrence in the first of back-​​to-​​back games against the Saints. “He made some key saves at key times in the game,” Madigan said in the post-​​game press con­fer­ence. “What I liked the most was that he was under con­trol and wasn’t sliding out of position.”

While Northeastern’s strong start has cap­tured the fans’ atten­tion and the media’s respect, the team has also tar­geted areas for improve­ment. The Huskies have won fewer than 50 per­cent of their face­offs, taken 46 minor penal­ties, and allowed nine power play goals, including three in Saturday’s 6–4 loss to St. Lawrence.

We want to play hard and we want to play phys­ical, but we have to stay on the ice and play five-​​on-​​five,” Madigan said fol­lowing Sat­urday night’s set­back. “It’s a point of emphasis, and we’ll work it out going forward.”

Next weekend’s home-​​and-​​home set with BC begins with a nation­ally tele­vised game on NBC Sports Net­work on Friday at 8 p.m. at Conte Forum. The Huskies will then face the Eagles on Sat­urday at 7 p.m. in the friendly con­fines of Matthews Arena.