Boston, Mass. - Last year, Derick Roy sat and waited. Sure, he practiced, but the freshman goaltender, who red-shirted the 2012-2013 season, watched incumbent Chris Rawlings take the majority of the workload like the rest of the Huskies goalies.
On Saturday night, Roy's number was finally called.
"I said in the locker room there weren't a lot of positives that came out of this game from my end," said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan Saturday night. "I thought our younger players played really well, and I thought Derick Roy was very good in the third period and got us the win by holding the fort down."
If there was ever an environment to ease Roy into the collegiate game, the setting at Matthews Arena might have been near perfect. With his parents and some extended family in attendance, and his older brother Kevin supplying the offense for Northeastern, it was a task made much easier.
"It was my first start, but I have a lot of practice under my belt," said Roy. "It was everything I expected; obviously there was a little butterflies at the beginning of the game, but nothing negative, and a lot of excitement.
"I'm happy we got the ‘w.'"
Of course, Roy could have started the night before, a game in which the Huskies cruised to an easy victory over Alabama-Huntsville, and Northeastern goaltender Clay Witt didn't see many difficult chances.
But when the two teams met again Saturday night, the play was much closer, and a strong third period by Roy solidified the win for Northeastern.
"Obviously it's not what coach wants, with all the penalties, but that's what you want: to be able to make a difference every game you play," said Roy.
On Saturday night, in his first shot at collegiate action, Roy showed definite stretches of leadership. After facing 16 relatively easy shots in the first two periods, Roy turned back 11 shots in the third during a period played at a frenetic pace. The Huskies found themselves shorthanded five different times in the last 20 minutes, and although Roy and Northeastern conceded twice, the damage could have been much worse if not for the freshman.
"He did a real good job for us tonight, and solidified the win for us," said Madigan. "He deserved a start, and I knew he would play well.
"I've seen him in practice for a while, and as he alluded to, he's got to get the butterflies out because he hasn't played in a little bit."
Still, it's tough to compare the performances of Roy and Witt. While Witt allowed fewer goals on Friday, he faced fewer shots, and fewer quality chances.
"I've got confidence in all our goalies; all three of them have worked hard, and Derick has worked hard for a year, beginning his second year now," said Madigan.
However, the Huskies coach was non-committal when it came to the team's long-term plan in net, and praised his trio of back-stoppers.
"We've got three outstanding goaltenders, and I only had two games this weekend," said Madigan of his decision to start Roy and Clay Witt over the weekend.
"They each deserved an opportunity to play, and Clay went Friday, and Derick tonight, and neither one of them played last year because of certain situations.
"Bryan Mountain has worked his rear-end off and will play, and moving forward we'll make those decisions each and every weekend who will get the start in goal."