Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Camping at Walter Brown; OC's save earns top play honors

U.S. Junior NationalTeam camp is underway at BU’s Walter Brown Arena. Three days of practice and Friday's exhibition game against the Terriers will help determine Team USA's final roster for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships. CHN’s Mike McMahon reported that BU brought all its pre-2005 banners from Agganis Arena to the Terrier’s previous home, Walter Brown.  

 And the media turned out in force.

Former Terrier co-captain and 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mike Eruzione also was a visitor to today’s practice.
● NHL.com: Eruzione shares high praise for U.S. hopeful Eichel
SBN report on first day of practice 
●  Hockeythisweek.com  looks at Jack Eichel’s “Sweater Swap: BU for USA” as well as BU’s win at RPI and talks with BU Captain Matt Grzelcyk and Head Coach David Quinn.  
Patriot Ledger: Mike Sullivan
Boston Globe: USA camp report 
USA Hockey: Live TV & Streaming Details for World Junior Championships  

Looking back
Alex Chiasson's seventh goal of the season gave Ottawa a 4-3 lead over Buffalo in the third period, but the Sabres tied the score and won in a shootout.  
Recap and video

Kevin Shattenkirk recorded his team-leading 23rd assist in the Blues' 5-2 win against Los Angeles. The former Terrier captain is tied for fifth in assists among all NHL players and tied for the lead among defenseman. The assist came on a power play, giving him a tie for the NHL lead in power play points with 17.

Former Terrier forward and NTDP coach John Hynes signed a multi-year extension with the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Dec. 12. Hynes recorded his 200th AHL victory at Hershey on Dec. 7, accomplishing the milestone in just 333 games.

Women’s Team
Yahoo! Sports Puck Daddy’s Top Ten Hockey Players of the Year lists BU captain and Canadian Olympic hero Marie-Philip Poulin at #9.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Top Dogs in the Polls

With its 5-1 win at Rensselaer and North Dakota splitting its weekend series with Denver, BU has regained the top spot in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine weekly polls.                                  
Daily Free Press report

Photo by Michelle Jay

Three Terriers earned a spot on the Hockey East Weekly Top Performers list: Matt O’Connor (photo) , who stopped 35 of 36 shots, assistant captain Evan Rodrigues whose three assists against Rensselaer gave him six multi-point games for the first half of this season, and J.J. Piccinich, who notched his first collegiate goal on Saturday.

In Army ROTC Three Stars of the Game” competition, three Terriers, Jack Eichel, Danny O’Regan and Evan Rodrigues, are in the top five.  O'Regan has points in 12 of BU's 15 games.

O’Connor finishes the semester with the nation’s third best GAA (1.67) and fourth best save percentage (.941)

Junior National Team
Thirty candidates for the U.S. Junior National Team arrive at BU’s Walter Brown Arena tomorrow for a competitive camp to decide Team USA for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships beginning Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto. Three days of practices (details and schedule) that are open to the public will be followed by Friday night’s  game against the Terriers, also at WBA, at 7 p.m. The game will be live-streamed without charge by TerrierTV.

Freshman Jack Eichel (photo), the Division 1 points-per-game leader (1.69) and points co-leader (27) will  appear in his second WJC tournament, while former BU captain, NHLer and Bruins head coach Mike Sullivan is an advance scout for Team USA. The story within the story of this event remains the much anticipated Dec. 31 match-up between the US and Canada, where Eichel and Erie's Connor McDavid, the top two prospects for the next NHL draft, will go head-to-head.
● USA Hockey WJC page
Looking back
A pair of former BU captains—Chris Connelly and Sean Sullivan (photo)— are now teammates playing for the Iserlohn Roosters in the German DEL.
Former Terrier MVP and All-American John Curry stopped 33 of 34 shots in the Iowa Wild's 4-1 victory over San Antonio.

Former BU assistant captain Justin Courtnall assisted on two goals for Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers dropped a 5-4 decision to Hartford, whose line-up includes ex-Terriers Chris Bourque and Vinny Saponari.

Former BU All American and Hobey Baker Award Winner Matt Gilroy is the top-scorer among defensemen—and third overall--on Moscow Oblast Atlant. In his first season in the KHL, Gilroy has 4-17-21 in 38 games.

Women's Team

Freshman goalie Erin O’Neil was named Hockey East’s Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week after backstopping BU’s 3-1 win against Providence to gain her fourth victory. The Minnetonka, Minn., native also picked up an assist. O’Neil is the third Terrier freshman to win the weekly award this season. Rebecca Leslie won it for the week of Oct. 6 and Victoria Bach earned hers for the week of November 17.

Senior defenseman Shannon Doyle was named to the Hockey East Weekly Top Performers list.

At the break, sixteen Terriers have at least one goal and seven have tallied at least 10 points.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BU upends RPI, 5-1; finishes semester at 11-3-2

Photo by Matt Dressens
#2 Terriers completed the first semester with an emphatic 5-1 win last night at Rensselaer. Five different players scored goals and assistant captains (photo) Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann contributed three and two assists respectively. With the win, BU stands at 11-3-2—one more win than last season and only the sixth squad in program history to record at least 11 first-semester wins.

Repeating a season-long trend, BU started slowly and struggled to move the puck quickly in the face of the Engineers’ strong forecheck. The hosts fired 18 shots in the first period, but all of them were turned aside by Matt O’Connor—including a spectacular right foot save in the final minutes of the period to keep the score at 0-0.

The second was another story as BU found its game and scored three times. Freshman John MacLeod’s hard blueline wrist shot off a Rodrigues feed opened the scoring. Three minutes later, with BU on a power play, freshman Jack Eichel threaded a pass from the blue line to Danny O’Regan just outside the crease and the junior redirected it past Scott Diebold. The third goal was of the flukey variety. Freshman defenseman Brandon Hickey, who had pinched down into the corner to the right of Diebold, flung a pass toward the goal that the RPI netminder misplayed into the net. BU outshot RPI 15-10 in the period.

In the third, the Terriers held back the Engineers’ attempts to get back into the game and then extended the lead to 4-0 on freshman J.J. Piccinich’s first collegiate goal, a turnaround shot from the slot assisted by his senior linemates, Hohmann and Rodrigues. With three minutes remaining, Rensselaer foiled O’Connor’s shutout bid, following a weak clearing attempt. Sophomore Nick Roberto’s empty-netter closed the scoring.

O’Connor stopped 35 of 36 shots to earn his 10th win against two losses and a tie and lowering his GAA to 1.67. 

● GoTerriers.com recap and comprehensive box score 
● Video highlights 
● Post-game comments: Coach David Quinn, O’Regan 
● Daily Free Press recap 
● Boston Hockey Blog: Pluses & Minuses, Second-period adjustments 
● RPI Athletics recap 
Albany Times-Union recap
● Hockey East Online recap 
College Hockey News: Hockey East recaps

► With his 12th goal, O’Regan has 22 points, equaling his 2013-14 total. Eichel’s pair of assists give him a Division 1 best 19 as well as the nation's top points-per-game of 1.69 and point total with 27.

► In addition to his two assists, Hohmann had a particularly strong night at the faceoff dot, winning 13 of 18 draws. 

At the break, Rodrigues has 16 points (5G, 11A), two points more than his 2013-14 total.

Terrier Take-Away: Today’s entry from Terrier Blogger

□ Strong effort from the second line with a goal and five assists to go with nine shots on goal. A step toward the needed scoring balance.

□ Terriers took only one penalty, a season low.

□ Big contributions from the freshman class—goals from MacLeod, Hickey and Piccinich—and assists from Eichel (2) and A.J. Greer, who turns 18 today. Greer had a strong game, creating several scoring chances for himself and his linemates.

□ In the face of a strong forecheck, BU’s breakouts need quicker, crisper passes and better execution on indirects. This improved in the second and third periods.

Terrier Trivia [as presented on Inside BU Hockey]
Q--Jack Eichel will be playing in his second World Junior Championship tournament this month. Which former Terrier is one of just 16 players to have skated in three World Junior Championships?
A—BU’s new director of hockey operations, Scott Young, was a member of Team USA for the 1985, 1986 and 1987 WJCs. He also skated for Team USA in three Olympics: 1988, 1992 and 2002.


Looking ahead
2016 recruit Patrick Harper, off to a strong start for Avon Old Farms, has been added to the U.S. roster for next week’s Under-17 Four Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor. The diminutive forward from New Caanan, Conn., who has 6 goals and 6 assists in five games thus far, joins a roster primarily made up of the NTDP U17s, including fellow 2016 recruit Clayton Keller. Team USA, the defending champion, takes on Russia on Tuesday, followed by games against Switzerland and Slovakia.  

2017 recruit David Farrance, one of the top ’99 defensemen, scored a power play goal and added an assist for the Syracuse Stars U16s, who defeated the NH Jr. Monarchs, 4-2, on Friday night.  Farrance has a 14-13-27 scoring line in 17 games. 

2015 recruit Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson had primary assists on three goals in Sioux City’s 4-1 win against Des Moines. The Swedish center has 23 points in 22 games.

OCS recap

2015 recruit Maxim Letunov collected his 17th on the game-tying goal and scored once again in the shootout; but Youngstown lost 3-2 to Tri-City. The 6-3, left-shot center has been successful in all three shootout attempts in recent Phantom games.

2015 recruit Robert Carpenter scored his 10th goal and recorded his 23rd point in Sioux City’s 3-1 win over Cedar Rapids.

Looking back

 Kevin Shattenkirk’s fourth goal of the season, coming on a power play, knotted St. Louis with Colorado in the first period.Then, a minute into overtime, he assisted on the game-winner. The former BU captain and All-American leads the NHL in power play points with 16.
Recap and video

 Nick Bonino’s eighth goal of the season was all the Vancouver scoring in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. 
Recap and video

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