Friday, September 29, 2006

Midnight Mania, Part 1--Get your motor runnin'

Midnight Mania begins at Agganis Arena in just under three hours. It's the second milestone, following Captain's practice, pointing toward the new season.
The event, originally for Saturday afternoon, was restored as a late night celebration in response to student request. Now let's see how they respond to the challenge to cut back on crude and replace it with clever, without losing any of the enthusiasm and noise level enhance the HAA home ice advantage. Expectations must be realistic, too. It won't happen overnight.

If you can't be there tonight, first we have the video clip BU produced, featuring Sean Sullivan and co-captains John Curry and Ken Roche to promote the event. We'll have a guest report posted on the evening's activities.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Polls and Predictions

With the 2006-07 season just around the corner, polls and predictions are in the air. The USCHO/CSTV poll ranks BU fourth behind Wisconsin, BC, and Minnesota. Hockey East held its media day this week and its coaches poll ranks the Terriers 2nd behind the Eagles. As always, Jack Parker is quoted is extensively.

INCH’s Hockey East preview picks the guys in Scarlet to finish third behind BC and Maine. The article suggests that BU will overcome the loss of three senior forwards with even better performances from the two returning lines. It also reminds us that BU is very unlikely to repeat its 19-1-2 run beginning in December [Looking back, that was a truly exceptional effort.]. By the same token, BU can not be expected to duplicate the 5-6-2 record in the first 13 games. BU’s schedule puts it in a position for a strong start. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

Finally, congratulations to Coach Brian Durocher, whose second year varsity women's squad came in third in the Hockey East preseason poll just ahead of the Providence Lady Friars, coached by another former BU netminder, Bob Deraney. Durocher has brought two high-quality classes of recruits into the program with a number of important transfers complementing the first-year players. For this season he had added a foundation defenseman in Julie Poulin who transferred from Maine after leading her team in assists and earning All-HE honorable mention. The team's standout goalie Alysse Wilcox played in the same junior program, Honeybaked, as incoming men's goalie Brett Bennett. We'll be keeping an eye on the Lady Terriers from time to time.

Some comments on these rankings?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

2007 BU recruits pace NTDP U18 wins

It was another good weekend for the future Terrier contingent on the NTDP U-18 team, especially Colin Wilson. On Friday, the 6-0, 190 lb center, son of former NHLer Cary Wilson, tallied an unassisted goal and a shorthander en route to a three-point night in the U18s’ 6-4 win over Mahoning Valley.

What happened the next night in the U18s’ first game against a USHL team was a true hockey rarity. Tied with Indiana at 1-1 in the waning seconds of the third period, the U-18s faced a two-man disadvantage and a defensive zone draw. Indiana pulled its goalie, creating a 6-on-3 advantage. But Wilson won the faceoff back to RD Kevin Shattenkirk, who fired the puck the length of the ice into the empty net, just beating the buzzer. The assist gave Wilson a team-leading 10 points in 6 games, while Shattenkirk’s second goal of the season also was his second game-winning goal. Details.

NHL training camp update

Dan Spang remains in Sharks camp (along with Mike Grier) and played in San Jose’s 4-3 win last Thursday. He was mentioned in the recap article.

David VanderGulik was reassigned by the Flames to the Omaha Knights (AHL) over the weekend. One of our readers spotted a Calgary Herald News story in which Vandy discussed the injury the kept him out half of his senior year.

John Laliberte scored his first professional goal in a loss to the Kings, had his photo appear on Yahoo and then headed East as he was reassigned to the Albany River Rats (AHL). Brad Zancanaro had previously signed with Albany, through the Carolina Hurricanes organization.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Research On Ice

For those who follow college hockey recruiting, Paul Shaheen’s e-mail newsletter, Research on Ice, is a must-have resource. Paul, who also pens the recruiting column for INCH, puts together informed and accurate stories about top talent in the junior and prep ranks and also reports recruiting and related news. The newsletter is published several times a week. To receive it, simply e-mail Paul at . After a small one-time enrollment fee, there is no other charge for subscribing.

We have on file many back issues including ones with stories about current BU freshman Luke Popko, Zach Cohen, and Eric Gryba and several of BU’s 2007 and 2008 recruits. If you’d like to see those reports posted on THFBlog, either comment below or send an e-mail to

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band “Plays” Agganis

One of our readers noticed a Boston Herald report that this past Monday air condition/air quality problems forced the Rolling Stones to move a rehearsal session to the friendlier confines of Agganis Arena. One would guess they used the large club room for the session, which Mick Jagger skipped.

But imagine if Coach Quinn or Coach Bavis had been showing a visiting recruiting around Agganis: "Here is our video theater we're we review game tapes. And this is Mike Boyle's state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility. And (matter-of-factly) the racket you hear from our Club Room is The Rolling Stones. They practice here, too. "

We don’t foresee “Satisfaction” replacing the Peter Gunn Theme anytime soon, but having to kill a series of 2-man disadvantages might result in a “Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This Season's Surprise Player?

Among the fine performances that carried BU to the Hockey East title last season, it’s hard to argue that any was more unexpected than that of Matt Gilroy, a walk-on forward, who transitioned to defense and eventually won a spot on BU’s top pairing with Dan Spang. Gilroy’s poise and ability to rush the puck and step up into plays had Terrier fans wondering “where did this guy come from?” Just as they did the previous year when John Curry emerged as a top goalie.

Who will be this season’s surprise? Is this the year Brian McGuirk becomes an important offensive contributor? Does senior Eric Thomassian earn a regular spot and deliver? I’m casting a vote for the speedy Steve Smolinsky. He has the jets and defensive ability. If he can make that freshman-sophomore step-up on the offensive side of the puck, he can help put some scoring into BU’s third line—and justify BU’s winning a bidding war with BC, Michigan State and others for his services.

Comments? Other candidates?

Recruiting Update

USHR reports strong local competition for two of BU’s recruiting targets for 2008--when five or six forwards will have graduated.
Andrew Glass is a 6-0 180 left wing, who scored 15-24-39 for Nobles last season. He also plays for the midget Little Bruins in the Jr. Bruins organization. Scouting reports say skating is his best asset and that he has excellent puck skills and creativity. Harvard and BC are the competition for Glass.

Paul Carey is a 6-1, 185 left wing who scored 16-11-27 for 2006 prep champion Salisbury (coached by ex-Terrier Dan Donato) and previously played at Thayer. He was a 2004 Mass Select 16 teammate of Brian Strait. Providence and Harvard also are interested in Carey.

Defense Pairings

A reliable observer of captains’ practices this week reports these initial blueline combinations:
Sean Sullivan-Matt Gilroy
Kevin Kielt-Kevin Schaeffer
Tom Morrow-Brian McGoff
Brian Strait-Eric Gryba

The observer had some extra praise for first year players Strait and Luke Popko. Strait was ranked #2 among all freshman defensemen by INCH, behind the NHL’s top draft choice, Erik Johnson of Minnesota.

Speaking of INCH, the Web site ranked BU's overall freshman class #2 in the nation despite the presence of an offensive threat at forward. Let's remember that last season INCH totally ignored Brandon Yip, who became HE's Rookie of the Year.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

NTDP U18s--Too easy pickins' ?

Game three of the NAHL Showcase…more of the same. An 8-0 U18 blitz with all three BU recruits finding the net. Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game-winner while Colby Cohen and Colin Wilson scored 3rd period goals and both also tallied assists. The USA defensemen are being tutored during the tournament by former NHL standout Phil Housely.

The U18s' early blowouts support a U.S.Hockey Report opinion piece earlier this week contending that playing 17 games against NAHL teams doesn’t really benefit the players. Shooting fish in a barrel isn’t much of a challenge. USHR editor Chris Warner suggests the U18 players be spread across the teams in the USHL which has become the best feeder league for NCAA teams. He argues that playing a rugged USHL schedule with the challenge of earning playoff spots would be of greater value for even the best U18 players. In the early years of the NTDP program, the U18s did play against USHL teams. Might that scenario be revisited, allowing the U18s to remain together as a team following their U17 season, so that they can be well-prepared for international tournaments, including the World U18s?


A good read

The USA Hockey site has an informative piece about two former Harvard teammates, defenesemen Ryan Lannon and Noah Welch, who are moving up through the Pittsburgh Penguins system. Both had previously skated for the Boston Junior Terriers. The future very well may find them in a decidely-Beantown flavored blueline corps with current Penguins Ryan Whitney and Brooks Orpik (BC)

Band of Brothers

Taking another look at Devils training camp, the official roster shows three pairs of brothers from the college ranks. Jay Pandolfo is joined by sibling Mike who played at Reading/ECHL and in Germany last season. Brian Gionta’s brother Stephen (BC) is there, too, as are the Parise Brothers, Zach and goalie Jordan, both from UND.

More familiar names from the college ranks in Devils camp: Eric Lundberg (PC) Travis Zajac (UND), Rod Pelley (OSU) Alex Brooks (Wisconsin), Ryan Murphy (BC) Frank Doyle (Maine) Gregg Naumentko (Alaska-Anchorage) and the previously posted ex-Terriers Bryan Miller, Dan Lacouture and Scott Lachance.


The newest addition to our sidebar links is "Pointstreak Stats," a powerful service that provides gamesheets, standings and individual stats for a host of junior and other leagues including the USHL, NAHL (with many U18 and U17s games), EJHL and Ontario's OPJHL, the league in which Corey Trivino plays.

Speaking of the future (2008) Terrier from Stouffville, he had his first multi-goal game last night, both on the powerplay, in the Spirits' 7-3 win against Huntsville

Friday, September 15, 2006

NTDP U18s Off to Fast Start

The NTDP U18 team which features three future Terriers—forward Colin Wilson and d-men Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk—began its season with a pair of wins in the 2006 North American Hockey League Showcase. And all three recruits hit the score sheets.

In a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Bandits, Wilson and Cohen assisted on the game-winner, a powerplay goal late in the third, while Shattenkirk had a helper on the U18s’ first goal.

The next night, the U18s stomped the Texas Tornado, 10-1. Wilson led the way with an unassisted goal and two assists. Cohen and Shattenkirk each tallied two assists.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Guest Post: In the Crease…

In the blog's first guest post, defkit discusses the Terrier goaltending situation and the dilemma of finding opportunities for backups to gain experience when league wins remain so critical.

It will be interesting to see how Parker approaches the goaltending this year. John Curry comes in as the clear #1, fresh off a First-Team All-HE, Second-Team All-American season. Karson “Dizzy” Gillespie only saw 4 games last year – two strong performances (including a shutout of defending champ Denver) and two weak showings (the latter of which he was pulled in, effectively ending his season). Finally, Brett Bennett comes in with a strong reputation, but he only played a third of a season in Ann Arbor after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Other than the first three games of the 04-05 season, Parker has had no rotation to speak of since Sean Fields was a sophomore. Will Bennett be good enough to force some early playing time? Unfortunately for him, the first real game is on the road, followed by eight straight league games. Not exactly a recipe for some early PT for either BB or KG.

Given how much we relied on great play down the stretch, I think Parker is going to want to get off to a good start this season and I don’t think he’s going to be willing to give up a game here or there just to give the other guys some PT. Each goalie likely will play one period against New Brunswick. Then Curry will play at least 9 of the next 10 games, through the Harvard game. The possible exception would be the Oct. 21 away game vs. Merrimack. The late December home game against Yale is the next likely spot to give someone else a shot. Who will get the chance? That all depends on how well BB performs in practice. Nobody is expecting him to perform the way our last USNTDP goalie did…

Blog News

We’ve been adding new links to the list of blogs in the sidebar off to the right. One of the best—and most prolific—college hockey blogs out there is The Western College Hockey Blog. In recent weeks, this blog has been previewing the teams in the WCHA and CCHA, providing a quick means of becoming familiar with the top teams and players in those conferences. The blogger also ranks forwards, defensemen and goalies for those interested in fantasy leagues.

Today the Western blog takes a brief look at the BU fan-obscenity issue that has been raging on message boards and was covered in the Boston Globe and elsewhere. It links to a guest post by well-know college hockey authority Mike Machnik which appears in the newest blog on our list, The College Hockey News Blog. Elliott Olshansky also offers an opinion on the Rink Rat blog.

Time (that is, the lack of it) has prevented this blog from addressing the obscenity issue thus far, but we invite members of the BU hockey community to express their opinions either through comments to this post or a guest post of your own. If you’d like to submit a guest post or this or any BU hockey topic, please e-mail .

The College Hockey News Blog has a very extensive list of links to other blogs in its sidebar. We’ll check s them out and add some to our own list. Again, your suggestions are encouraged.

Finally, thank you to the other blogs that have acknowledged this fledgling effort to provide information to the BU hockey community.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bourque II?

Sources have told the THFBlog that Ryan Bourque, younger brother of Chris, was a recent visitor to the BU campus. Ryan is a sophomore at Cushing Academy this season, where he'll be a teammate of 2008 BU recruit David Warsofsky and 2008 recruiting target Matt White.

A 1991 birthdate and just 5-5, 135 lbs, Bourque was the 2nd leading scorer at the recent National Select 15 Festival and one of the top forwards there, according to one observer:
Strengths: excellent vision and precise passing; extremely competitive; a very quick stick. Plays a smart, thinking man’s game, without the chippiness his brother displayed. He’ll be an excellent college hockey player. A potential first-line forward.

Will he become a future Terrier ? It remains to be seen.

Vandy is still dandy

David VanderGulik scored a goal in the first Calgary Flames intra-squad game and earned some praise from Coach Jim Playfair: "One of the things we've been talking about all week is after the shot is taken, hunt down loose pucks and go to the net with pucks and he (Van der Gulik) certainly did that and was rewarded for it," commented Playfair.

Show Me the Money

Islanders owner Charles Wang must love his goalies, but not equally. Earlier this summer he named backup goalie (and ex-Black Bear) Garth Snow as the team’s general manager, replacing Neil Smith after just a month. He showed even more love to ex-Terrier netminder Rick DiPietro, locking him up for 15 years for $67.5 million. Looking at the longterm security Rick receives and the relatively reasonable per season salary the Islanders are paying for a top NHL goalie, this appears to be a good deal for all parties. Comments?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lace ‘em up

Captain’s practices began Monday for the Terriers--another marker of the fast-approaching season. As always, there are questions to be answered about the team.
-Who will be the surprise player who emerges this season?
-Did Chris Higgins add some strength and weight over the summer?
-Which freshman are ready for prime time duty?
-And, of course, is this club talented enough to repeat as HE champs and then take the next step in the NCAA’s and reach the FF in St. Louis?

Jack Parker spent his Sunday evening in Stouffville watching 2008 recruit Corey Trivino (See Sept. 2 post) in the Spirits season opener. The ’90 left-shot center scored a goal in his club’s 5-3 win.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Mark and Ace

As the nation marked the 5th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, the Los Angeles Times remembered two members of the hockey community lost that day, ex-Terrier Mark Bavis and ex-Bruin Ace Bailey.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

More Alumni Updates

We previously reported that John Laliberte had become a free agent. He has now signed an amateur tryout contract with the Avs. Thank to Koga for the heads-up....Chris Dyment won't be the only ex-Terrier in Carolina's training camp. Brad Zancanaro, who played a few games for the Lowell Loch Monsters at the conclusion of last season, signed on with the 'Canes in August....Jay Pandolfo and Bryan Miller will see some familiar faces when Devils' camp opens in West Orange, N.J. Ex-Bruin, Ranger and Oiler Dan Lacouture will be on hand and is expected to sign a two-way contract. Congratulations to Dan on becoming a new father. Defenseman Scott Lachance, a member of the '91 Terriers that reached the national championship game, also will be in camp. Lachance, who played in Switzeland last season after many years with Vancouver and Columbus, will be in camp on a tryout basis....After four seasons as an assistant coach with the U.S. National Team Development Program, John Lilley has become the Toronto Maple Leafs' scout for New England.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

If you must follow BU via the Web…

…there is good news from the BU athletic office. An agreement has been signed with CSTV to provide Game Tracker service this season. Game Tracker icons appear on the USCHO Schedule/Results page and, one would expect, on the BU athletics site.

BU and CSTV have also agreed to again offer the CSTV All-Access Webcast service which was available for the final four home games last season. This subscription service delivers the video feed from the Agganis Arena scoreboard along with the audio of longtime broadcast team Bernie Corbett and Tom Ryan

Details are not yet available and last year’s link to the services in presently inactive. We’ll update this information when details become available.

This is especially good new for some of BU’s most distantly-located, but ardent fans: Dr. Alastair Strain, a Scottish professor who teaches at the University of Birmingham in England and will be at HAA for the 2nd home game this fall; Arthur Berman out in British Columbia who became a Vancouver Giants/WHL fan; and Joe (sorry I forgot his last name) the former BU bandleader, now based in New Zealand and who occasionally posts on the BU Yahoo board.

Signpost: September 7

It's the home stretch of the off-season. One month to the New Brunswick exhibition game.

Free Agents: Where did they go?

Here is a link to where NHL free agents, including several ex-Terriers, have or haven’t signed for the upcoming season. Joe DiPenta is back in Anaheim, but Tom Poti has relocated to Long Island and Mike Grier now knows the way to San Jose. Chris Kelleher isn’t ready to hand ‘em up, so after two seasons in Scranton-Wilkes Barrer (AHL), he’s off to Sweden to play for Linkoping. Shawn McEachern reportedly has retired while neither Scott Young nor Dan Lacouture has been signed for next season.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bits 'n Pieces--Alumni

All American Defenseman Chris Dyment most recently with the Providence Bruins, has signed on with the Albany River Rats, now a Carolina farm team. Chris may find himself paired with a former opponent as Carolina also signed ex-Eagle JD Forest, back from two years in Finland. Is the 5-9 defenseman trying to duplicate the path to the NHL taken by Devils’ blueliner Brian Rafalski?

Dan Cavanaugh is a holdover Springfield Falcon, who will be greeting new coach and 1971 BU captain Steve Stirling. Stirls did a fine job with limited manpower in his tenure as Islanders head coach, but fell victim to a front office that can only be described as “nuts.” Back to Cavanaugh, who also will find himself skating with a guy from “the team up the block,” David Spina. Ex-UMass ‘tender Gabe Winer is on the roster, too.

One of the newest alums, John Laliberte, was not signed by Vancouver, which had drafted him in the fourth round of the 2002 Draft. That makes him a free agent. We’ll try to get more info on the power forward some folks call “Freedom.”

All American forward and MOP of the ’95 National Championship game Chris O’Sullivan ( and another ) had been scouting for the Avs, but now will scout for the Islanders' and their new GM, Garth Snow, . Chris once again coached a team in the recent Beantown Classic, which will be covered in a future post. Another ex-Terrier who coached at the Beantown Classic also has changed scouting jobs. Bob Crocker, Jack Kelley’s assistant coach and former BU baseball coach, now checks out prospects for the Los Angeles Kings. “The Dean of New England College Scouts,” he was previously a Rangers scout and remains a fan of Blueshirts draft choice Ken Roche.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Future Terrier: Corey Trivino

Among the four recruits who have verballed to BU so far this summer, Corey Trivino is unique because he is the only Canadian in the group. Moreover, he is the first forward from Ontario recruited to BU since Chris Heron back in 1996.

A native of Etobicoke, Trivino is a product of the Toronto Marlies organization and will spend the next two seasons with the Stouffville Spirit of the OPJHL to protect his NCAA eligiblity. A feature article in New England Hockey Journal takes a look at Trivino and his decision to play for Stouffville.

Prior to the 2006 OHL draft, one scouting report said "Trivino is a player that has a ton of offensive tools. He possesses great feet, displaying quickness and the ability to hit another gear when it is required. Couple this with his high level of puck handling skills, and you have a player that can carry the puck and beat opponents one-on-one while playing at high speed. He is excellent on the rush." called attention to his "Incredible hands, especially around the net."

A 6'0" 160 lb., left-shot center, Trivino scored 17 goals and 22 assists with just 4 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midgets. He also has played for Travis Howe's East Coast Selects in the Prospects Tournament and others. Two other future Terriers, Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk, are East Coast Selects alums.

Trivino plays his first regular season Junior A game on Sept. 10. The Stouffville site reports that "Rookie phenom Corey Trivino had two goals and an assist" in the team's final exhibition game.
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