If Cody Ferriero (above and at right) “continues to get those looks and chances, goal-scoring will come,” says Jim Madigan, his coach at Northeastern University.
If Cody Ferriero (above and at right) “continues to get those looks and chances, goal-scoring will come,” says Jim Madigan, his coach at Northeastern University.
Heratch Ekmekjian

As Ferriero heats up,
so do the Huskies

Northeastern University hockey coach Jim Madigan is waiting for it. Patiently.

As Cody Ferriero’s stick gets hot, the Huskies tend to join in. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Regardless, Ferriero’s name on the score sheet has typically meant that the Huskies are winning.

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Last year around this time, when NU put together an eight-game undefeated streak that included wins over Notre Dame and Minnesota — both of which were ranked second in the nation at the time — Ferriero, an Essex native who played four years at Governor’s Academy, posted four goals, five assists, and a plus-11 goal differential.

With the Huskies (4-6-1) suddenly stuck in the mud, having gone winless in their last seven Hockey East games after opening their season with victories over 19th-ranked Merrimack and top-ranked Boston College, Madigan thinks Ferriero has the potential to start pouring in goals at any time.

“Absolutely,” said the second-year coach, who has a 17-22-6 record at NU after Greg Cronin left to join the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. “That’s what happened last year. Our run coincided with him going on a run.

“We’ve been encouraging him to shoot the puck more and he’s done that. He just hasn’t had the puck-luck this year. . . . He’s getting looks and he’s getting chances, and that’s the main thing. If he continues to get those looks and chances, goal-scoring will come.”

Ferriero had long been known around the Independent School League for his devastating slap shot, which helped him score 40 points his senior year.

“No one was ever injured by one,” said Mike Delay , who coached Ferriero and his older brother Ben , now skating with the San Jose Sharks, at Governor’s. “Surprising, I know.”

Ferriero quickly found out there was even less space to wind up a shot on the ice in Hockey East competition. His freshman year in 2009-2010, the 5-foot-10 winger scored three goals in 34 games.

“It was a bit of struggle, but I thought I learned a lot and I grew as a player,” he said. “Obviously I thought I was ready, and so did Northeastern. But it’s not so much about being ready or not ready; the speed of the game is different.”

Unlike Russ Tyler in the Mighty Ducks, Ferriero had much more to offer even when his slapper was taken away.

“Ever since high school,” he said, “I’ve been told, ‘Shoot the puck, shoot the puck,’ in practice or in games, all the time. That is one skill I have, but it’s not everything. I have to work on everything.”

And that’s been his challenge at Northeastern: Find ways to be productive when the goals aren’t coming.

“Here’s the key: He prides himself on being a well-rounded player,” Madigan said. “He has skill, but he doesn’t want to be known as just a skill player, because he brings some grit and feistiness to his game.”

Ferriero leads the team in penalties with seven. Last year, when he appeared in just 17 of the team’s 34 games — he was suspended for a violation of team rules and tore a meniscus — he finished second on the Huskies with nine goals, but also tied for fourth with 13 penalties.

“Sometimes he has to control that,” Madigan said. “But a big part of him is he plays with an edge. And he needs to play with that edge to be successful.”

Drafted in the fifth round (127th overall) by the San Jose Sharks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Ferriero said he has to do the little things right to join his older brother in the NHL.

“I think I’m bigger, I’m stronger, I’m faster than I was a few years ago,” he said. “My skills have gotten better. It’s a lot of the other stuff — getting the puck out on the wall, coming out on the back check, picking up the right man on defense.

“There aren’t many guys playing college hockey who will be the next Alex Ovechkin. You have to do a little bit of everything.”

McCarron scores
for Franklin Pierce

Andover native Brendan McCarron, a captain at Central Catholic in Lawrence during the school’s second-ever appearance in the Super 8 tournament in 2009, buried a pair of power play goals to lift Franklin Pierce over SUNY Canton, 3-1, last weekend.

The senior defenseman, who at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds says he’s the smallest blue-liner on the team, has 12 goals and 19 assists in his college career.

“My coach [Jaymie Harrington] always tells me to shoot at the net,” said McCarron. “I took his advice. And since I’ve been shooting, I’ve been scoring. We also have great team chemistry, and that’s why I’ve been doing so good this year.”

Campus corner

Meghan Robertson  (Tewksbury/Philips Andover) was named Most Valuable Player of the Amherst Tip-Off Tournament last weekend. The sophomore forward averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds in a pair of wins for Amherst College. . . . Nick Hiou  (Peabody) was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team after completing his senior season on the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth football team with a grade point average of 3.8 or better. . . . Ipswich High senior Natalie Soliozy  signed a letter of intent on Monday to play Division 1 lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University. . . . Harvard sophomore tackle Anthony Fabiano of Wakefield and junior safety Chris Splinter (Masconomet Regional) of Middleton earned second team All-Ivy League football honors.