Monday, January 26, 2015

Two goalies earn honors; team rankings; D-men thrive in KHL

Terriers’ junior netminder Matt O’Connor was named Hockey East’s Defensive Player of the Week after limiting Vermont to three goals—only one at even strength—in BU’s sweep of the Catamounts. His save percentage for the two games was .955. O’Connor had earned the same honor back in October following wins against Michigan and Michigan State.

Senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues and freshman Jack Eichel were named to the weekly list of top performers.  Rodrigues, who scored the game-winner and added an assist in Friday’s 4-2 win, tallied the game-tying goal on Saturday, assisted on the game-winner and executed a textbook hip check to stop a UVM rush. Eichel scored the final BU goal in both games: an empty-netter Friday and the game-winner on a deflection Saturday.

Terriers moved up to the #2 ranking in both the USCHO weekly poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine weekly poll. BU is #3 in the SB Nation power rankings.

► USCHO Hockey East blog: Winners & Losers 

► BU Hockey historian Sean Pickett tweeted that Eichel’s overtime game-winner was the 100th overtime goal scored in program history. With his third extra-session goal of the season, Eichel is tied for the career lead among active Division 1 players.

Looking ahead
2015 recruit Robert Carpenter recorded his first USHL hat trick and added two assists as Sioux City throttled Green Bay, 6-2. The previous night he had a goal and an assist as the Musketeers beat the Gamblers, 4-1.  The seven-point weekend brought the former Austin Prep All-Scholastic forward to 40 points for the season in 37 games. He’s tied with fellow 2015 recruit Maxim Letunov for third in the USHL scoring race. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, also a 2015 recruit, is a point behind at 39.

For his efforts, Carpenter was named USHL Forward of the Week.
● Sioux City Journal recap
● HockeysFuture feature on Carpenter

Looking back
Former Terrier captain and Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Gilroy, playing in the KHL for Atlant, made a splash at the league’s SuperSkills competition, breaking four targets on four shots in 4.78 seconds—setting a new record.

Former Terrier standout Ryan Whitney, now playing with Sochi in the KHL, handled “5 Questions” from’s Justin Bourne, a former Alaska-Anchorage player. Whitney discusses playing in the Russian pro league and his plans for the future including finishing his degree at BU.

Former Terrier captain and All-American Kevin Shattenkirk talked with ESPN about his first NHL All-Star weekend experience and was interviewed by Blues teammate Vladimir Tarasenko.

Women’s Team
Terriers rebounded from Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by Vermont to rout the Catamounts on Sunday, 9-2, in their biggest offensive outburst of the season. BU roared out to a 5-0 first period lead, a feat last achieved in October of 2008. Freshmen forwards Victoria Bach and Rebecca Leslie paced the offense with each contributing two goals and an assist. Other goal-scorers were Lillian Braga, Rebecca Russo, Samantha Sutherland, Diana Bennett and senior captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who produced a highlight-reel, end-to-end rush for BU’s eighth goal.

Sophomore goalie Victoria Hanson played the first two periods and turned aside all 15 shots. Sophomore Mia Becker made her first college appearance in the third period and made nine saves, including stopping a penalty shot by the Catamounts’ top scorer.  

● recap and comprehensive box score
● Post-game comments: Becker

Hanson was named Hockey East’s Defensive Player of the Week.  In addition to blanking Vermont for two periods, earlier in the week she backboned a 4-1 win over #3 Quinnipiac, stopping 21 of 22 shots. Poulin and Bach were named to the weekly top performers list.

BU remains at #7 in the USCHO weekly poll.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rodrigues and Eichel rally BU to overtime win and weekend sweep of Vermont--UPDATED

As Yogi Berra would say, “it’s déjà vu all over again.”

For the third time this season, freshman Jack Eichel delivered an overtime game-winner after the Terriers had rallied in the third period to force an extra session. His 13th goal gave BU a dramatic and hard-fought 2-1 win over Vermont for a sweep of the weekend series at UVM. The right-shot center from Chelmsford, who is co-leader for most points in the nation with 36, deftly deflected a shot by senior assistant captain Evan Rodrigues off the right post and into the net exactly three minutes into overtime.   

Rodrigues had earlier provided his own heroics, scoring the tying goal late in the third period and forcing the overtime session. The winger from Etobicoke, Ont., knifed between a pair of Catamount defenders to steal a pass, skated in on Vermont goalie Mike Santaguida and quickly wristed a shot under the netminder’s arm. E-Rod nearly scored again in the waning moments of regulation before assisting on the game-winner.

With the NCAA Division 1 Championship Trophy and the Hockey East Lamoriello Cup on hand as part of the conference’s Road to the TD Garden Tour, BU got off to a strong start with 12 first-period shots, including a six-shot flurry on a power play; but the game was scoreless after twenty minutes.

A Catamount power play early in the second gave UVM a lead it would hold for 36 minutes. Mike Paliotta’s hard wrist shot that beat a screened Matt O’Connor high on the glove side would be the only goal allowed by the BU netminder, who turned aside 31 shots, raising his record to 13-3-3. In the two-game series, he yielded only one even-strength goal.

Eichel’s goal was his 13th of the season and his third in three games, including Friday night’s empty netter to seal the win and last Sunday’s game-winning goal that beat UMass Lowell in OT.  BU’s record in games where Eichel has scored a goal is 11-0.

Rodrigues, who has been the Terriers’ most prolific scorer in recent weeks, extended his point streak to eight games with four goals and 12 assists in that span. Overall he has 28 points (9G, 19A).  Rodrigues also produced a highlight on the defensive side of the puck, executing a textbook hip check in the second period to break up a Catamount attack (:43 of the highlight reel).

Coach David Quinn praised his team’s “poise with the puck” and the poise shown by the young defense corps, which was without Doyle Somerby. The sophomore from Marblehead was suspended for one game by Hockey East because of a hit he delivered on Friday night.  Somerby was given a two-minute interference penalty by the referees; but the league officials believed the hit warranted a more severe sanction.  Somerby will be available for Friday's game against Massachusetts.

Three stars: Rodrigues, Eichel, Santaguida

● recap and comprehensive box score
●  Post-game comments:  Quinn , Rodrigues  
●  Video highlights
●  Daily Free Press recap; Rodrigues continues hot streak
●  Boston Hockey Blog Pluses & Minuses
●  Hockey East Online recap
●  College Hockey News recap 
●  Burlington Free Press recap

BU Hockey historian Sean Pickett reports that "Eichel is the first Terrier since the formation of Hockey East to have 3 overtime goals in the same season. The only other Terriers to have 3 OT goals in a career since then are Colby Cohen and Bryan Miller." 

Terrier TakeAwayObservations from Glenn Staub
1 - While the Terriers have E-Rod and Eichel to thank for producing the goals that tied and won the game, Matt Grzelcyk "stood on his head" defensively with one of his best performances of the year.  His hip checks and stick checks broke up several odd-man UVM rushes that could have put the game out of reach.

2 - Although BU had yet another scoreless first period, it was far from uninspiring.  The power play had sustained pressure and the Terriers were only held off the score sheet because of UVM's strong goaltending and shot-blocking.

3 - BU played an extremely physical game with several bone-jarring checks.  For the most part, BU's penalty killing was extremely aggressive and resulted in few grade-A opportunities for Vermont.
4 - OC was tremendous in net again and is benefitting from being the clear-cut #1 goalie.  

Looking ahead
2015 recruit Robert Carpenter scored a goal and added an assist in Sioux City’s 4-1 win over Green Bay.  Carpenter, who now has a 16-19-35 line in 36 games, was profiled in a article on prospects playing in the USHL whose fathers were NHL standouts.

2015 recruit Maxim Letunov scored his 15th goal in Youngstown’s 3-2 win over Cedar Rapids. Letunov has 40 points, tied for third among USHL scorers.

2015 recruit Jakob Forsacka-Karlsson assisted on three Omaha goals in the Lancers’ 6-3 win over Lincoln. The center from Stockholm has 36 points (10G, 26) in 34 games. 2016 recruit Hank Crone also added an assist for Omaha.

2016 recruit Clayton Keller scored a shorthanded goal for the NTDP U17s who lost to Bloomington, 3-2. 

Women’s Team

#7/6 Terriers were upset by Vermont on Saturday, 2-0, at Walter Brown Arena. BU ran into a hot goalie as the Catamounts’ Madison Litchfield turned aside all 39 shots she faced.  Meanwhile, BU limited the visitors to 21 shots and freshman goalie Erin O’Neil stopped 19.

The teams meet again today at 3 p.m. The game can be seen on a TerrierTV webcast.and followed on GameTracker.

● recap and comprehensive box score

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