Hockey East hands Northeastern’s Madigan two-game suspension for behavior toward officials

Northeastern coach Jim Madigan will miss both games against Boston University this weekend (photo: Melissa Wade).

Northeastern coach Jim Madigan has been suspended for his team’s final two regular season games because of what Hockey East called unsportsmanlike behavior directed at officials.

Madigan, whose Huskies play a home-and-home series against first-place Boston University on Friday and Saturday, are tied for sixth place, one point behind a group of three teams tied for third. The top four teams earn a first-round bye in the Hockey East playoffs, while the next four host a first-round series.

In suspending Madigan, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna cited Madigan’s behavior toward officials after last Saturday’s loss at Maine and after Monday night’s overtime loss to Boston University in the Beanpot final.

The Northeastern bench was issued a game misconduct penalty after Monday’s game, which ended with a BU overtime goal 42 seconds after a Northeastern penalty.

“Coach Madigan’s actions are not consistent with the expectations we have for our department,” Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby said in a statement. “We hold all members of our department to a high standard, and we expect our representatives to treat others with respect and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner both on and off the field of competition.”

Northeastern said associate head coach Jerry Keefe will lead the team during Madigan’s suspension.

Madigan is eligible to return to the bench in the Huskies’ first Hockey East playoff game.

“We are committed to operating an athletics program that is reflective of the values of the university and department we represent,” Roby said. “We look forward to having Coach Madigan back behind the bench for the start of the conference playoffs.”


    • Exactly right, what are we trying to do let HEA convince us to run off yet another quality coach … rather than kowtow to HEA how about standing up to being treated as a doormat in Boston’s college hockey scene. No reason why NU can’t be having the same success year-in-year-out … just looks at what the can accomplish as places like Union and Quinnipiac.

  1. Arbitrary and capricious are the two words that best describe suspending Jim Madigan for two games. He said absolutely nothing wrong in his post game pressers. Nothing. I’m a little surprised Hockey East didn’t impose a penalty that Northeastern needs to play shorthanded with an empty net during Madigan’s undeserved suspension. Oh wait, it’s not too late……

    • Just as you claim he said nothing wrong last year during the HE playoffs when essentially he acted like a complete arrogant idiot the entire weekend. This story also says nothing against a post game presser, it states “after” the games, but they certainly would not issue a bench misconduct penalty after the presser, but after the game they would. Does your inside knowledge know what he said to the officials before he left the ice?
      Nothing against NU at all, I was hoping they would finally win a Beanpot, but maybe a trend starting with Madigan. Late season, emotions high, big games, things don’t go his way and he doesn’t know how to handle it.

      • Only JM and the on ice official know exactly what was said after the games. I know what JM said (and how he said it) during the post game pressers. He was careful to not go over the line or even enter a gray area.

        This is not a JM issue, it’s more a due process issue. I would have the same problem if it was any other head coach in the same position (facing a two game suspension).

        Madigan, while passionate, is not like the old Bobby Knight (throwing chairs during the heat of the battle to express their displeasure). The league has no right to single him out by handing him suspensions that may hurt his program. Madigan was upset during the heat of the battle. He directed his frustration directly at the official who made a questionable call that led to a GWG. He didn’t get on a soap box at the post game press conference and complain. He basically said he could not talk about it.

        As a fan of the college game, I am sad that such a terrific, hard fought game was indirectly decided by an official, not the players. Suspending the coach who expressed his displeasure directly to the on ice official after the game, does not warrant a suspension.

        • If he didn’t choose his words properly, heat of the moment or not, it certainly does warrant a suspension. Nowhere does it say he went nutty in the post game and every coach, including Madigan know the right things to say in the press conferences by now. I truly believe his own actions, not those of HE may hurt his program, just the same as last year.
          Remember, even though this is college hockey, he is still the “adult” and the one setting the impression for his players, recruits, fans, and especially kids that look up to the Huskies. Not that any coach should act like a perfect citizen by any means. But, I don’t believe HE has it out for Madigan and the fact that he has been suspended three games in two years means he obviously isn’t sure where that line is and when to stop.

          • Wow, can you maybe spare us that sanctimony?? All HE coaches and players need to eat, sleep and dream their craft, virtually year round, to have even a hope of success, so for someone to get screwed after all of that sweat equity by a grossly incompetent OT call in a very big game, slack must be allowed, especially when the criticism isn’t publicly aired in a press conference. Bertagna should be far more concerned about the quality of HE officiating than punishing deserved criticism; but that of course is a far tougher challenge.

          • Wow, big word, you must have gone to BC. You are be absolutely right, HE and Bertagna especially must be out to get Madigan and NU. Since he is the only head coach that has been suspended not once, but twice in less than a full calendar year. It can’t possibly be his fault and knowing what to say, when to say it, and when to stop.

          • Is that you, Mr. Bertagna?? As a Harvard guy, I’m surprised to learn that my vocabulary stresses your comprehension!

            …but anyway, since whatever Madigan said is not public knowledge, yet the egregious (you OK w/ that word?!) call of your man in the stripes IS publicly known, then all you’re doing is making matters worse by sitting Madigan down. The officiating reputation of your conference is quite deservedly weak; don’t reward it.

          • I was merely impressed, it didn’t stress my comprehension at all. Nope, not Mr. Bertagna here. Is there college hockey conference that the officiating is considered good? Look, doesn’t matter, I really don’t care either way about NU or Madigan and the call was poor but how many big games at all sports and all levels are decided after a poor call? There are a lot and some coaches just don’t deal with it the proper way. I think if the officials felt a suspension was right (and the AD was in total agreement), it should be done. I guess it worked out, though I didn’t see the game, it sounds like they played very well last night.
            Best of luck to your Crimson, it’s been a rough second half for them.

          • Actually, his previous suspension was in 2014, which is not the same calendar year as the one he was just suspended in.

          • Thanks for pointing that out… oh well, 2 within less than a year… I obviously wasn’t thinking!

          • While I agree 100% with your post, the Beanpot refs were brought in from the AHL. Cameron Voss is an AHL ref. He made the call in OT on the Beanpot game.

          • Cameron Voss is a HE ref. Looking at NUs score sheets, he’s appeared in no less than 5 of their games this season. He’s done several Providence and BC games as well.

      • Just maybe the refs think they are the show and certainly don’t want lowly NU to upstage the mighty Terriers. He should have emotions–for nearly an entire game they let them play and then in OT they suddenly find their whistles. Refs should have continued to let them play and treat the fans to a hard fought game and epic finish. But wait, that would have risked allowing Terriers to loose.

        • I hope he has some emotion, just know how to control it. It’s not like it’s the first time it’s happened in favor of BU. 2009, NCAA Regional Final, 1-1 with under a minute left in regulation, no penalties at all in the 3rd and all of a sudden, JvR called for interference. BU PP goal and two weeks later they win a National Championship. Again, I really have no beef with NU or Madigan, but since it’s been two suspensions so close together and no others, leads me to believe part of it is his fault.

      • Just as you claim he said nothing wrong last year during the HE playoffs when essentially he acted like a complete arrogant idiot the entire

        It should have been clear to Benedetto, after he reviewed the play, that the puck was tipped in by UNH’s defenseman. He was given two distinct angles which showed that it would have been impossible for a NU player to have raised his stick let alone tipped it.

        • Great, but that doesn’t explain why he acted the way he did all weekend, since that came at the end. Also, a little professionalism goes a long ways sometimes. All I see is NU posters on here (normally), saying “if the can avoid stupid penalties,” they have a good chance to win. Well, undisciplined coaching leads to undisciplined players.
          And, from your post above, if you think there is any way you would not be considered the doormat to BU and BC, you are insane. You would be better off moving the school.

          • Great, but that doesn’t explain why he acted the way he did all weekend,
            since that came at the end. Also, a little professionalism goes a long
            ways sometimes.

            I have no idea how Madigan comported himself that weekend. How a person behaves should have no impact on the officiating. Just because someone was a jerk to you it doesn’t make a trip[ any less of a trip or a goal any less of a goal.

            Has UNH been penalized yet for Delay of Game for throwing the fish? That used to drive St. Shawn crazy.

          • It was because he was on the officials from the first puck drop. on the way on and off the ice between every period he was shouting out expletives that could be heard by more than just officials.
            Since you played D1 for Shawn, you know the first time anything is throw on the ice it’s almost always a warning.
            Everything drove Shawn crazy. But, it was a fun rivalry then. Not that everything at Alfond didn’t drive Umile and all of UNH crazy too,because it did. Were you on a NC team? If so, congrats!

          • From all of our posts, Umile obviously is well liked by his players because everyone that has played for him says good things. A lot are coaching currently too and they want to come back and help him out. And of course we all think Walsh was the devil… can’t say that anymore, still a tragic loss. Anyways, best of luck to UMO and you. We’ll probably never agree on some of this, but that’s UNH/UMO, I guess, right?
            Take care.

          • Not that everything at Alfond didn’t drive Umile and all of UNH crazy too,because it did.

            Huge rivalry that has long flown UTR…

          • Very true, I am hoping somehow it regains what it used to be. Win or lose, the “We got 2 how ’bout you?,” chant, whatever… all made for some great times and great games. I can’t say I was disappointed that Maine lost and has to go to UVM, since when it’s a big game, seems like Maine still has UNH’s number.

        • Also, we all know Benedetto loves UNH… yeah right. Not to defend his call, but on those replays…

          “He was given two distinct angles which showed that it would have been
          impossible for a NU player to have raised his stick let alone tipped it.” Was it absolutely 100% shown that it was tipped in or hit off a UNH D’man? If not, the call on the ice has to stand, no matter what because it is still inconclusive.

          • He was given the side view and the overhead view. Both of those angles show one player and one player only lifting his stick above the crossar…that player was Justin Agosta who was a UNH defenseman.

            After the call was “confirmed”, Madigan asked Benedetto which NU player tipped the puck and he replied #17. If you can find those replays on Youtube – you can clearly see 17 has his stick well below the crossbar; in fact, it’s closer to the ice.

          • I’m not saying it was probably Agosta that tipped it but unless you can actually see the puck being tipped, you can’t reverse it. Now as to why he answered #17… that is Benedetto and most HE officials for you.

          • it was pretty obvious to me that only the UNH player raised his stick above the crossbar. Ergo.

          • Again though, the actual contact has to be visible, per the rule… I didn’t say I didn’t agree with your thinking.

  2. two games well worth it that call sucked and costed the huskies the beabpot. penalty or not you put the whistels away during the OT of a championship game.

    • I completely disagree. People say that the officials shouldn’t decide the game by making a penalty call. But in NOT making a call, they can be deciding the game the other way. I believe a game should be called consistently from the first puck drop until the final whistle.

    • Kevin, you got that RIGHT. I saw Jerry York a couple of years ago yelling at the refs after a Lowell game and did he get suspend, NO. This year @ NU, Jeff Jackson same thing, same result!!

      • …sorry; I suspect you’re exaggerating. I’ve been following York for years; his gentlemanliness is exceptional, almost to a fault. BC is the 2nd or 3rd most penalized HE team this season, by the way.

        That said, NU did indeed get totally hosed by a horrendous call by a guy who felt a need to insert himself into what was otherwise a great contest.

        I’ll also say that Jack Parker and Dick Umile was/are total raving ahole’s to the refs from the bench, yet I don’t remember Bertagna ever sitting either of them down, so he’s being arbitrary and capricious, just like most of the referees who work for him.

        • York is a gentleman, but I was at that game and he was red faced and yelling at the refs about a non call for icing at the end of the game and continued it after! Even the BC people I was with had never seen York that mad!

          • NU is the only school that has ever been screwed over by a bad call, right? I bet if you watch enough of them and think a little, you could probably come up with a few times where they got calls they didn’t deserve as well… but you tend to forget those like most homers do.

          • I’m a Maine alumnus and was actually in attendance for Senior Night when Madigan had his initial incident. Right before the buzzer, one of his players was absolutely hammered from behind in a manner that has previously gotten me and others tossed from a game. I have no problem with a coach calling out a ref on such a dangerous play – even if that coach is on the opposing team.

            The two most conspicuous calls in HE over the last year were, in order, Benedetto waving off a NU goal that would have tied the preliminary rubber game @ UNH and Voss’ absolutely moronic hooking call on Matt Benning. In neither case did HE do anything about disciplining the offending referees. Nothing.

            Both of those calls had a direct affect on the outcome of the game.

  3. BU and BC have always received the benefit of the doubt. Jack Parker berated the refs all the time. Players at BC have always been good ‘divers’, just like Montreal. Lowell got screwed in the HE Championship game against BU in 2009. An obvious goal for Lowell was not allowed. It did not shock me that BU got a PP opportunity in OT at the Beanpot. Not at all!

  4. Just to be clear, to all posters on this issue: the Beanpot ref who made the questionable call (Cameron Voss) against NU is not a Hockey East ref. The Beanpot refs were brought in from the AHL. Look up the AHL referees online.

    • He is also a HE official. I have seen him a few times this year around the league. On the HE website it says it’s his 2nd season as referee.


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