Boston, Mass. - Even on his skates, Kevin Roy does not stand out. The 5-foot-10 forward, who solidified himself as one of the premier threats in all of Hockey East last season, is tough to pick out in the pregame. But once horn sounds, and Roy gets his feet moving and his stick on the puck, the small, shifty forward doesn't need to be pointed out.
And Roy didn't take long to make his presence felt when his sophomore campaign began.
Just 46 seconds into the Huskies' first contest against Alabama-Huntsville, a great individual effort by Roy led to his and Northeastern's first strike of the season on his very first shot.
Two more goals and an assist later, Roy finished off a big opening night with four points, and a lot to smile about.
"You always want that first one as soon as you can, and that always is really good," said Roy after Friday night's opener. "It gets you going a little bit."
Last season, in games that Roy scored, the Huskies went 5-4-2, as opposed to the 4-17-12 record they posted in games he did not find the back of the net.
"I think all lines were going great," said Roy after the Friday night's Huntsville game. "We got a lot of speed up front; a lot of creativity.
"And we get the puck deep and we try to outwork teams down low."
When the visiting Chargers posed a much more difficult threat to the Huskies in the team's second matchup on Saturday, Roy found other ways to influence the game. He registered the primary assists on two Northeastern goals, as the Huskies held on for a 3-2 win against the Chargers.
"The power play feels great. We had some good looks today," said Roy, who's two assists both came on the man-advantage. On the weekend, the Huskies special teams units went 5-13 combined.
"We're still working it out, but I think we have a lot of good players out there," he said.
And both assists showed why Roy will help Northeastern even when he's not scoring.
"On our unit, I try to get shots through up top, and just make space for the other guys to make plays also," said Roy, who was even able to draw attention from his point spot.
Last year, Roy averaged a little over a point per game in the 29 games he played. Through two games this season, he's averaging a point per period. With new linemates, he'll have to build some chemistry, especially with freshman John Stevens, but so far, it looks like that won't be an issue.
"I really liked the line with Braden Pimm, he's such a hard-worker, does everything the right way, and Stevens is a freshman, and he's playing great with us.
"He sees the ice pretty well, and he does everything right too, so it makes how I play easier. "
But Roy and the Huskies know the competition will get stiffer. Northeastern will travel to Holy Cross this Friday for the first of a home-and-home against the Crusaders, a team that almost stole a game at Agganis Arena against Boston University in its opener.
"You can't win when you get into the league when you're trying to kill nine penalties off a game," sad Madigan. "The teams are just too good.
With a host of new players alongside Roy, the Huskies and Madigan will be charged with the task of adjusting to new roles quickly in a tough league.
"We're working on our systems, and we're also working on a mindset and mentality that will carry us through from game-to-game, and make sure we keep on improving from game-to-game," said Madigan.
But if Northeastern is going to be successful against Hockey East opponent, the onus will likely fall on Roy. With a very young team—Northeastern played eight freshmen in two games this weekend—the sophomore is one of the Huskies only proven commodities. While freshman Mike Szmatula registered five points in his first two collegiate games, the Huskies will likely go as far as Roy can take them.