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This Week in Hockey East: Northeastern seeing Murphy ‘carry the load the entire yr’ from between the pipes


Northeastern goalie Connor Murphy has gone 9-8-3 with a 2.66 GAA, a .912 save share and a pair of shutouts this season (photograph: Jim Pierce).

Connor Murphy has performed roughly 1,100 extra minutes than he did a yr in the past.

He went into the season anticipating to struggle for the highest Northeastern goaltending job with Devon Levi, who spent the primary a part of the season with Crew Canada for World Juniors.

However Levi broke a rib, and hasn’t seen sport motion with Northeastern but.

That opened the door for Murphy to grab the No. 1 goalie place, and with Levi nonetheless not again, with no competitors.

Nobody anticipated him to play as a lot as he has, however he’s saved the Huskies afloat in an odd season.

“Connor’s executed a terrific job,” stated Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “He bought a chance to play proper off the bat and has performed effectively and continues to make nice strides and enchancment through the course of the yr. He’s needed to carry the load the entire yr.”

Murphy, who this season has a .912 save share, performed simply 42 minutes as a freshman and knew he’d have his work minimize out for him to problem Levi, a high goalie prospect who was representing Canada on the world stage.

This season has been a unique world. He’s ended up taking part in almost each minute in web for the Huskies, all whereas juggling a tough position as a goalie in a season the place prep work has grow to be almost unimaginable.

“Connor’s a really balanced, stage younger man, and he does job controlling what he can management,” stated Madigan. “When an opponent modifications, he doesn’t get labored up about it, simply focuses on who the following opponent is, he’s very even-keeled.”

His first sport this season got here in December when Levi was in Canada and it had been a yr since Murphy noticed any sport time. A month afterward January 13, he earned his first profession shutout.

By February, he topped his career-high with a 38-save efficiency in opposition to UConn. His progress was fast, and Madigan credit extra consistency.

The value to consistency is typically burn out too, one thing Madigan and co have tried to keep away from. Murphy has performed all however quarter-hour of the Huskies’ goalie minutes this season, a monolithic workload for a man who barely performed two durations a yr in the past.

“He performed an terrible lot with an excellent crew in Carleton Place (in juniors), he got here in and at all times performed nearly all of the video games,” stated Madigan. “Goalies have to play video games, and the very fact he performed rather well in junior and solely bought higher says that.”

That’s to not say it has been a flawless adjustment; Northeastern hasn’t had a ton of alternative to face high quality opponents with the best way the schedule has fallen for them, and within the eight video games in opposition to top-five groups this season, he has allowed three or extra objectives in every occasion.

It’s a unique really feel than if Levi had been able to go through the season. If he’s at any level going ahead, and subsequent season, Murphy has executed his job sufficient to create some inner competitors and push him, one thing Madigan stated is wholesome for the place.

UMass goes to be a problem. In two video games with the Minutemen this season the Huskies dropped every of them — one 4-3 and the opposite 5-3 –, with Murphy in web. One-goal losses are robust throughout, and counting on an offense to out-score 4 tallies isn’t a easy recipe for fulfillment.

Murphy has repeatedly gotten extra snug although because the season has gone on and he’s adjusted to taking part in in Hockey East. It’s a chance nobody anticipated, nevertheless it’s one he’s made the very best of.

“He didn’t get the chance to play a lot his freshman yr right here at Northeastern,” Madigan stated. “That’s what makes his season this yr all of the extra exceptional. Goalies do want video games, and when he performed in December it had been a yr since he performed.

“He’s executed a terrific job right here.”

League awards

Participant of the 12 months – Matt Boldy, Boston School
Honorable mentions: David Farrance (Boston College), Zach Solow (Northeastern)

Coach of the 12 months – Albie O’Connell, Boston College

All-Rookie Crew
F Nikita Nesterenko, BC
F Josh Lopina, UMass
F Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, Northeastern
F Dylan Jackson, Northeastern
D Eamon Powell, BC
D Aaron Bohlinger, UMass
G Drew Commesso, BU

Rookie of the 12 months – Josh Lopina, UMass

Greatest Defenseman – Jordan Harris, Northeastern

Greatest Defensive Ahead – Marc McLaughlin, Boston School

Goalie of the 12 months – Filip Lindberg, UMass