In the DogHouse

What Does the Best Student Section in New England Sound Like?

By Matt Levin

Over the past few years, Northeastern hockey has experienced some of its most successful seasons ever. The men’s team has won back-to-back-to-back Beanpot tournaments and earned two Hockey East Championships in the last five years. The women have been even better, winning their first Beanpot in seven years this past season along with their third consecutive Hockey East Championship. Before they could begin their run at a national title, their special season was stifled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Northeastern hockey’s success could not have been possible without The DogHouse, who earned major recognition by the NCAA when they were named one of the top student sections in college hockey. 

The DogHouse is composed of Northeastern’s die hard student hockey fans who sit in the upper level of Matthews Arena. In its rankings, the NCAA described the DogHouse as “rambunctious” and stated that opposing goalies should be scared to play in Matthews Arena as they have to “spend two periods dealing with the Huskies in front of the net and the DogHouse above and behind it.” 

“I was excited [after seeing the rankings], but not too surprised after seeing the large crowd at the Beanpot,” said Joe Callaghan, a fourth year student at Northeastern and a leading member of the DogHouse. “It’s a nice accomplishment to see that there is some school spirit. It shows what the fans and athletics have done to help promote both the men’s and women’s teams over the past couple years.”

The continuous support doesn’t go unnoticed. Men’s head coach Jim Madigan, had a lot of praise for the DogHouse. 

“They create an atmosphere and environment in Matthews Arena that spurs on the rest of our students and fans,” Madigan said. “If the game isn’t going the right way, they pick us up and we feed off of that support. If things are going well, they are there cheering and putting pressure on the opposing team and goaltender. It plays a significant role in our success.”

Senior forward Matt Filipe emphasized the DogHouse’s impact on the ice. 

“Anytime we line up on the goal line, you look up and see the DogHouse, it gives you an extra boost,” said Filipe. “They are rowdy in the beginning and really let the opposing team hear it. It’s an added boost for the guys. During the game, they stay really loud and supportive. The louder they are the more motivated you are.”

While impressive at Matthews Arena, the DogHouse really shines during the Beanpot. Freed from the capacity restrictions at Matthews, they fill up nearly 12 whole sections in TD Garden – a fact Madigan calls “inspiring.” The other schools will take up 2-3 at most, giving the DogHouse a massive advantage when fans from both teams chant back and forth at each other. Even the pep bands from both schools get into a friendly competition. 

“We love going back and forth with each other,” said Allison Betsold, director of the Northeastern pep band. “It’s not competitive. We are not trying to ‘win band,’ but we play songs in our book that we want to show off and that the fans love.”

When the players see the huge DogHouse crowd during the Beanpot, they are in awe.

“You look up and see the support from the students and the lack of support from other schools; it tells us this is our tournament to win,” said Filipe. 

Of course, the signature DogHouse move is the playing of the classic 2003 pop hit, “Stacy’s Mom.” The DogHouse’s anthem, the Pep Band plays “Stacy’s Mom” every game and everyone in the DogHouse sings along. 

“It’s a fun song to sing along to,” Callaghan said. “It gets everyone excited and when you hear it, you just want to sing along to it.”

 Both Madigan and Filipe agreed that Stacy’s Mom is their favorite song played by the pep band during the games. In fact, “Stacy’s Mom” even helped recruit Filipe to play at Northeastern. 

“I love ‘Stacy’s Mom,’” Filipe said. “Everytime hearing that, going through the recruiting process, I thought it was pretty cool. It gives us extra motivation late in the game.”

Betsold knows the DogHouse – and the team – loves hearing “Stacy’s Mom” and she makes sure to always give them what they want. 

“The Doghouse always chants for ‘Stacy’s Mom’ too early as a joke,” Betsold said. “We play it during our designated time in the third period and take a lot of pride in the song. I don’t know why, but it brings a lot of husky pride, especially during Beanpot. We played it three times during the Beanpot to give the fans what they want.”

Being ranked in the top nine of all college hockey fan sections is a great accolade for the DogHouse. However, they are still seeking to be even louder and more rambunctious at future Northeastern hockey games. 

Callaghan said that next year, he and his fellow members of the DogHouse will continue to “be as loud as we can and try to get as many people as possible to every home game and hopefully some away games as well.”