2024-25 Schedule Analysis

On Tuesday, Northeastern fans got an exciting news drop to break up the summer monotony when the Huskies’ men’s hockey program released their 2024-25 schedule. This is the earliest Northeastern has released their schedule in five years, and with rumors and speculation continuing about the future of Matthews Arena, will be sure to help people plan what may be their final visits to the historic barn.

Keen-eyed readers will notice a lot of similarities between this season’s schedule and last year’s- this is commonplace in the sport as teams tend to engage in multi-year agreements with each other. Similarly, Hockey East has been rotating which teams play the extra conference games against each other for years now, leading to the additional games you see against Providence, Merrimack, Maine, and New Hampshire being the reciprocal of the ones played in 2023-24.

Looking on the whole, we see that the schedule has a balanced home/road split: 15 home games, 15 road games (plus an exhibition on the road), and 4 neutral site games. The home games are a little bit front-loaded, with nine of them coming before Christmas, and only six home games after the calendar turns. It’s also nice that Northeastern largely avoided the dreaded mid-week games, hated intensely by fans, and were saddled with only one non Tuesday/Wedneday/Thursday game all year, and it comes in the final days of the season.


The big thing everyone wants to know year after year is who the Huskies will be playing from outside Hockey East. This year, the team will have ample opportunity to measure themselves against the best in the country. For the first time since 2005, the Huskies will play the Denver Pioneers of the NCHC. Northeastern is 5-15-0 against Denver all-time, and have not won since 1990. Of course, Denver is the reigning national champions, and Northeastern will be their opponent for Homecoming Weekend and their banner raising ceremony. Every player dreams of reaching that mountaintop- now the Huskies will get to see first-hand what it takes, and also experience the environment and atmosphere that comes with that pinnacle. We here at the Blog will be making the trip to Denver for both games that weekend and could not be more excited.

Not to be outdone by the 2024 National Champions, the 2023 National Champions also appear on Northeastern’s schedule again, as they will return the two encounters with Quinnipiac from last season with two of their own in Hamden, starting with an exhibition in October and a single game in January. Northeastern has not beaten QU since 2002, so expect the Huskies to be geared up for that game as well, especially after hanging with the Bobcats both times last year en route to two ties. Let’s hope the Huskies avoid any injury woes as a result of this year’s exhibition game, after losing Hunter McDonald last year to an injury sustained in that exhibition.

The 2024-25 season also sees the return of Northeastern to the Ledyard Classic, hosted by Dartmouth the weekend after Christmas. This year, Northeastern will join the Big Green as well as Providence and Alaska Anchorage in the tournament, a true four team tournament without a predetermined second night of matchups. We expect Northeastern to play Dartmouth in round one, however those matchups have not been released yet. The last time Northeastern played in the Ledyard Classic was 2013, where they lost to Air Force and then came back to tie Dartmouth the second night with two extra attacker goals in the third period, leading to a wild 8-8 final score. Northeastern is 27-31-1 all time against Dartmouth, and 1-1 against Anchorage.

The final non-conference games include Brown at Matthews Arena in December in a weird two days, two teams assignment from the schedule makers; Stonehill to open the regular season at Matthews Arena for the second straight year; Bentley returning to Matthews the Saturday after Thanksgiving; and the two Beanpot games, with NU facing Boston College in round 1 as they defend their Beanpot championship. We were a little bummed to not see RPI come back to Matthews considering Northeastern went to upstate New York last year after Thanksgiving, but hopefully the Engineers are in the plans for the future.

Conference Games

While it’s impossible to predict how the preseason rankings of the teams by coaches and media will play out, one can bet that Northeastern will be one of a handful of teams that will be concentrated in the middle of the conference pack, likely with some combination of UMass Amherst, Providence, UConn, and New Hampshire. As a result, and honestly just how it is every year, every game has the chance to be a deciding factor down the road in terms of conference seeding and NCAA Tournament eligibility. But with expectations around them low, every game will be important as a chance to surpass those expectations.

A couple things about conference play: It’s a bit weird to me that the conference chose to schedule Merrimack three times as single games rather than get them and Northeastern together for a classic home and home weekend, particularly when NU has a weekend off in early November. Every year it seems like the Hockey East schedule makers make one or two questionable decisions, that’s the big one that sticks out to me.

Similarly, having two instances of playing two different opponents within a day or two of each other is strange to me. New Hampshire and Brown back to back to start December, and Merrimack and Providence with a day apart to end the season just seem like very strange choices that give the illusion that one or two games were shoehorned in rather than calculated to fit well.

It sucks that the Huskies have to go all the way up to Orono ahead of the Beanpot, both for the team travel situation but also for Huskies fans who would have wanted to visit Alfond Arena. We don’t know where the other three schools will be playing that weekend, but no one will have to travel further than Northeastern, which may put them at a disadvantage, however slight, the following Monday against Boston College. It’s the third time in the last ten years the Huskies have been assigned to go Maine in a game around the Beanpot. Conversely, BU has only had that assignment one time in the same timeframe, while BC has never had to go to Orono around the Beanpot. I’m not saying anything, I’m just saying….

Lastly, I am glad the final game of the regular season is a home game. It was natural to make it so after the final game last season was on the road at Providence, but if this truly is the final season at Matthews Arena, I am glad the team, the program, the fan base, and the school as a whole will have a final chance to close the year with a home game, barring a home game for the postseason. I have more thoughts in the future about how I would want Northeastern to go about a final season for the beloved barn, but that’s for another time.

Final Thoughts

Northeastern has spent the last handful of seasons teetering on the edge of the NCAA Tournament bubble. This year the absolutely have a chance to be there again, and if they can get a win over Denver or Quinnipiac, that will go a long way to help push their RPI calculations in their favor for the tournament. A more home game-slanted Fall should help give some home-ice advantage as well to try and bank wins when they can as they continue to strive to raise the bar for this program. This year’s schedule has a good mix of games they should win, games they will be pushed and challenged in, as well as a bonus in-season tournament to play for some hardware and recognition before the Beanpot and postseason tournaments come around.

As the summer rolls on we will cover any news that comes out related to Northeastern and the NHL Draft, NHL Development Camps, and eventually we will break into our annual series looking at the incoming class of freshmen and transfers that will be a part of the 2024-25 Northeastern Huskies. Stay tuned to Twitter and the site for all things Husky Hockey.

As always, go Huskies!