Friday, March 30, 2007

A Texan joins the Terriers

The final piece of the 2007 recruit class now appears to be in place. Paul Shaheen's Research on Ice reports that Alaska Avalanche/NAHL goalie Adam Krause has committed to BU for next season to back up Gillespie and Bennett as a recruited walk-on. Tall and lanky at 6-3, 175, Kraus has a 3.39 GAA and a .914 save% for the last-place Avalanche.

From Research on Ice
Boston University has picked up a goaltender for next year in 19 year-old Adam Kraus of the NAHL's Alaska Avalanche. From Irving, Texas, and formerly with the AAA LA Junior Kings, Kraus has played far better than his stats would suggest, given the Avalanche has had a tumultuous year. Alaska has but a 15-38-7 record, and it just this week hired a new head coach in Jamie Smith, an Alaska high school coach. In early November, former Alaska-Anchorage player (and later assistant coach) Keith Morris was brought in as the club's GM. Two week later, however, head coach Dean Larson (Anchorage) and assistant Corey Millen (Minnesota) both abrubtly resigned, leaving Morris to man the dual GM/coaching role for the season's duration.Despite the instability, Kraus has played well, and has earned what we're told is a 'recruited walk-on' spot with the Terriers, who of course lose senior keeper John Curry at season's end. Next year, Kraus wil vie for time in net with returning sophomore Brett Bennett [and returning senior Karson Gillespie]. In the fall of 2008, BU will also be bringing in goaltender Kieran Millan, an '89 from Spruce Grove of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

The geographic diversity of BU's recruiting continues. Victor Saponari (see March 15 post) was BU's first Georgian. Krause, who hails from Dallas Cowboy-land (Irving), is the first Texan. Interesting, he previously played for the LA Jr. Kings organization, which recently sent BU Max Nicastro (March 2 post) for 2009. Ex-Terrier Nick Vachon is an assistant in the Jr. Kings organization. A bit more on Kraus from the Alaska Avalanche Web site.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Recruiting Update

Their prep seasons are over but hockey continues for BU recruits Nick Bonino (2007) and Andrew Glass (2008). Bonino was the leading scoring in last weekend’s Hockey Night in Boston All Scholastic tournament with 3 goals and 7 assists. He also participated in the Spring Beantown Classic. No stats available yet. Glass is playing for the Cape Cod Whalers in the Tier I U18 National Championships in Fraser, Michigan. He had a pair of assists in the Whalers’ first game.

The NTDP U18s completed their North American schedule this past weekend and 2007 recruit Kevin Shattenkirk went out with a bang, registering his first hattrick in a 7-3 win over the Springfield Jr. Blues. Colin Wilson added a goal and an assist for the U18s bringing his scoring totals to 25-37-62 in 49 games. Terrier recruiting target Vinny Saponari, a U17 who has moved up to the older squad, registered his first two goals for the U18s. The team next plays in the IIHF World U18 Championships in Finland. Current team stats are here.

Colby Cohen’s 12-game point scoring streak (2 goals, 14 assists) ended Sunday night in a 1-0 Lincoln/USHL win, but his three assists for the weekend brought his season total to 54 points, tops among all league defenseman. With seven regular season games left, Cohen could become the first USHL blueliner in at least five years to reach 60 points. Only d-man Eli Vlaisavljevich, now at Michigan Tech, had more points than Cohen with 57 last season.

2007 recruit class
Nick Bonino,LC , 6-1, 190, 4-20-88, Avon Old Farms, 27 GP 23G 43G 66 Pts
Joe Pereira, RC, 5-10, 175, -88, South Kent School, 27 GP 25G 25A 50 Pts
Victor Saponari, RW, 5-10, 170, -87, Culver Academy, 39 GP 20G 22A 42 Pts
Colin Wilson, LC, 6-0, 200, 10-20-89, NTDP U18s, 49 GP 25G 37A 62 Pts *
Colby Cohen, RD, 6-2, 200, 9-11-89, Lincoln Stars, 47 GP 13G 31A 54 Pts *
Kevin Shattenkirk, RD, 5-11, 193, 1-29-89, NTDP, U18s 48 GP 12G 22A 34 Pts *
Adam Kraus, G, 6-3, 175, 7-25-87, Alaska Avalanche, 38 GP 3.59 GAA .914 sv% *

* Season still in progress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another forward for the 2007 recruit class

South Kent School leading scorer Joe Pereira the fourth forward has become the fourth forward in BU’s 2007 recruit class. A 5-10, 175, right-shot center from West Haven, CT, Pereira's line this season was 25-25-50 in 27 games (tied for 11th in New England prep scoring with Ryan Bourque) as he led S. Kent to the prep playoff semifinals. USHR describes him as "quick, clever, [with] a good stick and the vision to know what to do with it." Another observer says Pereira is "good skater, with a very good work ethic, [who] projects well at the college level of play."

Pereira, who also scored 25 goals for South Kent as a junior, had committed to UConn last August, but never signed a letter of intent. According to USHR, Pereira recently "informed UConn that he had had a change of heart" and then decommitted late last week. The USHR post goes on to say BU reported that Pereira had "initiated things, contacting them and possibly others, a couple of weeks ago – in the days leading up to the Hockey East Tournament." When members of the BU staff contacted the UConn coach to determine Pereira's status, they were told he had decommitted. USHR's report indicates that Pereira also contacted "UMass, UNH, Vermont, Northeastern, and likely others as well."

Pereira finished the prep season particularly strongly, with 10 goals and five assists in South Kent’s final seven games.

With NTDP U18 second-leading scorer Colin Wilson, Prep Forward of the Year Nick Bonino and walk-on Victor Saponari also in the 2007 class, BU will have 17 forwards on next year’s roster, which should lead to greater competition for ice time.

ATOs for Sullivan and Roche

Longtime teammates Sean Sullivan and Kenny Roche are about to do something they likely never imagined would happen. They’re going their separate ways, having signed ATOs with the AHL farm clubs of the NHL teams that drafted them.

Sullivan, from Braintree, and Roche, from South Boston, had been high school teammates at St. Sebastian’s before coming to BU in 2003. Previously they’d played together in youth hockey.

Sullivan, a 9th round draft choice of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2003, signed an ATO with the San Antonio Rampage, while Roche, a Rangers’ 3rd round choice, also in 2003, reports to the Hartford Knights for the balance of the AHL season.

They join a long list of ex-Terriers on AHL rosters: Ken Magowan and Gregg Johnson in Bridgeport; Mike Pandolfo, Dan Lacouture and Scott Lachance in Lowell; Carl Corazzini in Norfolk; Chris Bourque in Hershey; Dan Cavanaugh in Springfield; John Laliberte in Milwaukee; Jakabs Redlihs, in Syracuse; Dan Spang in Worcester; and David VanderGulik in Omaha. In addition, Steve Stirling is the head coach of the Springfield Falcons while Joe Sacco is an assistant coach for the Albany River Rats.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Looking Back: Miracle in Milwaukee

BU’s most recent Frozen Four appearance is now a decade in the past. One of the most memorable games in Terrier history—BU’s stunning 3-2 upset of defending champion Michigan in the 1997 semifinal—was played ten years ago today.

When Jack Parker’s “few good men” traveled to Milwaukee’s Bradley center for a rematch of the 1996 NCAA semifinal, easily won by Michigan, 4-0, few observers gave the Terriers much of a chance. The top-ranked Wolverines boasted a gaudy 35-3-4 record, 240 goals scored, seven 20-goal scorers and three first-team All-Americans, including goalie Marty Turco. After North Dakota won its semifinal earlier in the day, some of the media were asking Michigan Coach Red Berenson how his squad stacked up against the Sioux.

The Terriers had other ideas, beginning with a gameplan that called for playing fast and physical, and making the players in Maize and Blue regret each time they handled the puck. Crunching hits by Dan Lacouture on Michigan power forward Jason Botterill and Chris Drury on Brendan Morrison (who edged out Chris for the Hobey Baker that season) set the tone and the Terriers never let up. Even still, Michigan took a first period lead on a Warren Luhning goal that eluded Michel Larocque. Later in the period, BU survived a 5-minute major to Bill Pierce who received a game misconduct.

The second period belonged to the Terriers. Lacouture won a battle in the corner for a puck and centered to Greg Quebec (who later played for the short-lived Macon Whoopee) in the high slot who beat Turco. Six minutes later, Chris Heron (the hero of the Hockey East title game) converted from Shawn Bates and Tom Poti to put the Terriers on top. Then, on a BU powerplay, when three Wolverine defenders followed Drury behind the Michigan net, Tommi Degerman was all alone to convert a pretty goalmouth pass for a 3-1 lead. Drury nearly upped the margin to three when he ripped a shot off the post and Turco was forced to make a nifty glove save on Drury's wrister off the rebound.

The Terriers held the vaunted Michigan powerplay at bay (0 for 5) and Larocque stopped 9 of 10 shots in the final period, yielding only an extra-attacker goal to Morrison just after a glaring non-call when Drury was tripped trying to clear the puck.

The win gave BU an eight-game winning streak, with Larocque in the net for seven of them, registering 1.67 GAA and .931 save percentage in those games. The streak ended two days in the NCAA final, with BU losing 6-4 to North Dakota.

Last year when the NCAAs returned to Milwaukee, College Hockey News’ Adam Wodon took a look back at the BU-Michigan game as an example of college hockey at its finest. Wodon points out that 17 players from the game reached the NHL, including Poti and Bates, now Islander teammates.

Sullivan and Quinn to coach Team USA in 2007 Worlds

Two former BU captains will lead the United States’ entry in the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship set for April 27-May 13 in Moscow. Current Terrier Assistant Head Coach David Quinn has been named by USA Hockey as an assistant coach. He will assist former Bruins coach Mike Sullivan, who has been named head coach for Team USA. Quinn and Sullivan were teammates on the 1986-87 and 1987-88 BU teams.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Looking Back: Kings of Comm. Ave. and the NCAA

On March 25, 1978, Boston University won the third of its four national championships in the first all-East final since BU's shutout of Cornell in 1972. The Terriers defeated arch-rival Boston College, 5-3, in the first ever NCAA tournament meeting between the schools. BU was led by freshman standout Mark Fidler, who registered a 30-goal season, and three future Olympic gold medalists, Dave Silk, Jack O'Callahan and Jim Craig. After Fidler scored 38 seconds into the game, BC's Joe Mullen and Bobby Hehir put the Eagles on top. Goals by Silk and Tony Meagher restored BU's lead. Meagher's second and Fidler's second extended the lead to 5-2 before BC added a final tally. Craig stopped 28 shots while BC's Paul Skidmore had 31 sames. The win capped a 30-2 season for BU which won its first 21 games before falling to Yale.

Despite its stellar on-ice record, the Terriers almost didn't reach the NCAA tournament, which at that time was just a four-team event. BU had lost in the ECAC semi-final to Providence, before beat Brown in the consolation game. After Providence lost to BC in the ECAC final, the NCAA elected to hold a playoff game between the Terriers and Friars to determine the second Eastern participant. This time BU won 5-3 in a game played at Schneider Rink. Four days later, BU returned to Providence, this time at the Civic Center, where they throttled Wisconsin in the NCAA semi, 5-2, setting up what would be the fourth win over year against BC.

Fidler led BU in scoring with 65 points, followed by John Bethel's 65, Dick Lamby's 59, Silk's 58 and O'Callahan's 55. This also was the season of the big blizzard in Boston which hit the night of the Beanpot first round (BU 12, BC 5) and forced the finals (BU 7, Harvard 1) to be played in March.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Gameday-NCAA Midwest Regional

As BU prepares to take on Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional, there’s no shortage of gameday reading for BU fans. First there are BU's own game notes and the news release.

Then we have the experts and pundits weighing in on who will emerge from each regional. Five of the eleven members of the panel say the Terriers will emerge as the winner of the Midwest Regional. Most of College Hockey News’ team of experts picks Notre Dame to reach the Frozen Four, but old friend Tom Burke and writer Bob Snow have the Terriers continuing their post-season travels in St. Louis. USCHO previews the four teams in the regional.

Lots of coverage in the media, both locally and in Michigan.
- Daily Free Press
- Boston Globe
- Boston Herald
- Patriot Ledger
- The State News (MSU) and
- The Buffalo News, which reports on Sabres players following their alma maters in the NCAAs.

Previously we reported that 1972 All-American goalie Dan Brady, a Grand Rapids resident, would be at the regional. He’ll be joined there, among Terrier rooters, by another All-American, Brian Gilmour, who with his cousin Pete McLachlan, anchored the Terrier defense from 1964-1967, including the 66-67 team that reached the NCAA final against Cornell.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Looking back: “A few good men….”

On March 22, 1997, ten years ago today, Chris Drury's goal at 12:20 of overtime gave Boston University a 4-3 win over Denver in the NCAA East Regional Final in Worcester, punching the Terriers' ticket to the Frozen Four in Milwaukee.

The second-seeded Terriers (Clarkson had been the #1 seed) had taken a 3-2 lead with 3:19 left in regulation on Shawn Bates' (in photo)shorthanded breakaway goal. However, the Pioneers forced overtime with an extra-attacker goal by Eric Anderson, beating Michel Laroque with 53 seconds left.

In overtime, with both teams two men down, Chris Kelleher took a pass from Jon Coleman and wristed a shot on goal from the left point. Drury was locked up with a Denver defender in front of the net, gained control of the rebound and, while falling down, slid the puck past tournament MVP Jim Mullin.The moment is replayed in the taped intro to BU hockey radio broadcasts, punctuated by Bernie Corbett's call, "A few good men are going to Milwaukee."

The “few good men” line was reference to a BU roster that began the season short on depth and was further depleted by injuries. Tommi Degerman joined the team after first semester to bolster the team and became a key contributor. Drury's goal was his 37th of the season. Albie O'Connell had a pair of goals for BU, which upset defending champion Michigan in the Frozen Four semis before losing to North Dakota in the final.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NCAA Regionals on Television

ESPNU is the primary network for the NCAA Regionals, but many other local carriers are picking up some or all of the games. Check here to find the outlets in your area for the games.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Next Stop Grand Rapids

For the first time since the NCAA hockey tournament began holding neutral ice regionals, BU is headed West for the first round of the national tournament. The Terriers travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the #2 seed in the Midwest Regional, and will take on #3 seed Michigan State on Friday, March 23, at 8:30 p.m. The victor plays the Notre Dame-Alabama Huntsville winner for the regional championship and a trip to St. Louis for the Frozen Four.

All NCAA Regional games will air on ESPNU. In addition, CN8 in New England will air the BU-MSU game at 8:30 P.M. on Friday, with a Webcast available at CN8 Live.

BU’s last game against Michigan State was 6-1 win in the first round of the 2002 Great Lakes Invitational. The last Terrier-Spartan match-up in NCAA tournament play was a 4-2 MSU win in 1992. Two years previously in 1989-90, the teams played a best of three quarterfinal at Munn Arena in East Lansing, with the Spartans winning the first night and BU registering 5-3 wins each of the next two nights. Overall BU is 7 up and 6 down in 13 games against MSU. Michigan State is coached by former Northern Michigan coach Rick Comley, a good friend of Jack Parker. The two last squared off in an NCAA tournament game in 1993 when BU beat NMU in the regional final. Two years previously, The Wildcats had outlasted the Terriers in 8-7 in 3 OT to win the 1991 National Championship. BU has never played Alabama Huntsville, but has played Notre Dame twice, winning 7-3 in both games. Coincidentally, BU went to the Frozen Four in both years it played Notre Dame: 1971, after beating the Irish at Boston Arena, and 1996, after defeating them in the Badger Showdown.

And, there is a strong BU-NCAA hockey connection in Grand Rapids. Former All-American goalie Dan Brady, who was named Most Outstanding Player during BU’s first NCAA championship win in 1971 and who is now second to John Curry on the BU career GAA list, lives in Grand Rapids. Dan had attended the Terrier’s home opener against Northeastern; he’ll have a shorter trip to see BU play on Friday.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Looking Back: Regan Shines at the Garden

35 years ago today, March 18, 1972, BU gained its second NCAA championship, beating Cornell in the title game, 4-0, just a week after a victory over the Big Red in the ECAC tournament final. Goalie Tim Regan, who allowed just one goal in two games was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The victory concluded the 10-season Jack Kelley era at BU, marked by four Final Four appearances, a 206-80-8 record and a .714 winning percentage.

The backstory here concerns Regan, BU's starting goalie throughout 69-70 and the first half of 70-71, when he lost the job to Dan Brady who led BU to the '71 national championship. The next year, with both goalies returning for their senior seasons, Regan was given leave to play for the '72 U.S. Olympic team that won a Silver medal in Sapporo. Regan lost the starting Olympic job to a late squad addition, Lefty Curran, and then was called home to Boston, just before the end of the Olympics, when Brady was injured. By the time Regan reached Boston, Brady had recovered and Regan saw action in just one regular season game after his return.

Brady was in goal for BU's ECAC tournament win, the school's first, but strained a knee ligament in practice, forcing the rusty Regan into goal. He gave up an early goal on a tipped 80-ft shot against Wisconsin in the semi-final, stopped a Badger breakaway that would have made the score 2-0, then slammed the gates shut as BU roared back for a 4-1 win, led by John Danby's final college hattrick. Two nights later, Regan turned away all 39 Big Red shots, in the 4-0 win to make BU the first Eastern team to win back-to-back NCAA titles, while handing Cornell its first shutout in 225 games.

Looking Back: Last game in the old Garden

On March 18, 1995, Boston University won the final college hockey game played at the old Boston Garden, defeating Providence College, 3-2, to win its 4th Hockey East championship and complete the second leg of what would be the second "triple crown" season (Beanpot, league championship, NCAA title) in Terrier history. PC 's first period goal was matched by BU's Ken Rausch. Mike Grier put the Terriers ahead in the second before the Friars knotted the score on a Brady Kramer slapper past a screened Derek Herlofsky. Then, late in the second, Chris Drury muscled his way off the sideboards and passed to Matt Wright, who wheeled, closed on the net and whipped a shot past PC goalie (and tournament MVP) Bob Bell for the game-winner. Bell had 40 saves and Herlofsky, 24.

Wright scored the last college goal at the Old Garden; a month earlier, he'd scored the final Beanpot goal at the Garden in BU's 5-1 win over BC in the championship game.

All three Terrier goals in the HE championship game were scored by walk-on players: Wright, Rausch and Grier, who was a first-team All-American and Hobey Baker finalist in 94-95.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hockey East Tournament telecasts

Due to a conflicting Bruins game, Saturday night's Hockey East Championship game won't be seen on NESN, but is available live on a number of alternative stations, including CN8.

Fans in New York, New Jersey and southern Connecticut can watch all three tournament games on SportsNet New York (the Mets' cable network) on a delayed basis. UNH-UMass will air tonight at 7:30 p.m. The BU-BC semifinal airs Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and the championship games airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.


If the Terriers can peform as well on the ice this weekend as they did in the awards category yesterday, BU fans will be a very happy group.

First, John Curry was selected as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Chris Drury is the only Terrier to win college hockey's top individual honor.

After two years as runner-up, Curry earned Hockey East Player of the Year Honors. He also was named Itech Goaltending Champion and won the Itech Three Stars award. Team Captain Sean Sullivan took home the Old Tyme Hockey Defensive Defenseman award. All the league awards are listed conference first team All-Stars. Only once before has BU had three first team All-Stars in a season. That was 1985-86 when current Assistant Head Coach David Quinn, John Cullen and Scott Shaunessy were selected. Pete MacArthur was named to the second team, while Kenny Roche earned honorable mention.
(Photo from 2007 Beanpot; credit Melissa Wade)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday Trivia Answers

1. Of the three BU games that made the list of 30 longest NCAA D1 hockey games, the only Terrier win came in the 2003 Hockey East Semifinal against, you guessed it, BC, 6-5 2OT. Justin Maiser not only scored the game-tying goal, but also the game-winner in the 2nd overtime to complete a hattrick.

With these four links we can almost turn the clock back to 2003.
Tying goal
Winning goal
Game Recap
Box Score

Justin is currently the 2nd leading scorer for the ECHL Dayton Bombers.

2. Maine put the last back-to-back defeats on BU on consecutive days on the Terriers' home ice, 3-4 and 3-6 in November 1992.

A walk-on forward for 2007

BU has added a walk-on forward for 07-08. It's Victor Saponari, and if you've been following posts on this blog, the name sound familiar. Victor, a 5-10, 170 forward from Powder Springs, Georgia, is the older brother of NTDP U17 forward Vinny Saponari, a Terrier recruiting target for '08. Securing the older brother, who plays at Culver Military Academy as a PG (and played there last year with Vinny) doesn't mean BU is a lock for Vinny, but it certainly helps.Vinny, who has moved up to play several games with the U18s, had his first point for the U18s last weekend.Victor played in last Summer's Chowder Cup and had 2 goals in 3 games for the Atlanta Jr. Flames. I believe he's BU's first player from The Peach State.

More Kudos for Terrier Recruits

USHR’s New England Prep Awards have been announced and two BU recruits have been recognized as best at their position. Voters—prep and college coaches, and pro scouts—chose 2007 recruit Nick Bonino (Avon) as Top Prep Forward. and 2008 recruit David Warsofsky (photo,Cushing) as Top Defenseman.

USHR described Bonino as “a 6'1" center, who has great hands and an excellent shot, and who was the go-to guy on the team that won the New England prep title. He won this award by a comfortable margin.”

Warsofsky, it reported, is “highly-skilled, with great hands, vision, and passing ability.” He was the leading-scoring defenseman in Div. I with a 15-34-49 line in 29 games. Current Terrier captain Sean Sullivan won the same defensive honor in 2002-03.

The third award winner was BC goalie recruit John Muse of Nobles.


Sports Illustrated hockey writer Michael Faber’s all clean team, candidates for the Lady Byng award, features ex-Terrier Jay Pandolfo...Staying with Sports Illustrated, the SI On Campus Awards have been announced and John Curry was named college hockey's top goalie for 2006-2007...The coaches of the four HE seminfinalists participated in a teleconference this week and the transcripts are available online... The Bruins Web site offers thoughts on the HE tournament from Bruins players and other employees, each with a rooting interest. Brant Berglund, the Boston Bruins Video Coordinator (who held the same position at BU) believes BU's underdog status might give them an "advantage" this time around.

"I think it's an easier position (for BU head coach Jack Parker) to come from," said Berglund, who is also a proud former member of Parker's staff. "It's easier for him to address his players in that situation."

Reacting to the Terriers’ “road trip” at Agganis last weekend, he was not surprised at all. "That is vintage Parker," said the B's captain video, chuckling. "He thinks outside of the box and mixes things up that way.."I saw some stuff like that when I was there…and obviously it worked."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On to the Garden

Congratulations to Brandon Yip, whose parents were at the UVM games, visiting from British Columbia, on becoming the only player in Hockey East history to score two overtime goals in tournament games. Congratulations, too, to Brian Strait, who, a week after having several wisdom teeth removed, earned Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors. It was his second selection as top rookie.

Friday’s Hockey East semifinal with BC is the next challenge for BU and it has implications beyond the conference tournament. Right now, BU is #7 in the Jason Moy, the resident bracktologist at USCHO, has BU as the second seed in the Rochester regional, with a first round game against Michigan State. A victory over the Spartans would match BU with the Notre Dame-Sacred Heart winner.

INCH’s 4x4 projection for the NCAA tournament assumes certain outcomes this weekend, including a Terrier loss to the Eagles. In that scenario, BU would travel to Grand Rapids, again as a second regional seed, for a matchup with Michigan with a win sending the Terriers up against the Notre Dame-Alabama/Huntsville winner.

While bracketology is a murky science, it appears very likely that BU has one added incentive on Friday night. Besides playing its historical rival for the 238th time overall (and 5th time this season) and seeking to defend its Hockey East title, BU can take a major step toward staying in the East for the regionals with a win. A pair of victories this weekend would make it a lock.

Terriers are 4-3-1 since the Beanpot championship game, which, most would agree, was a fortunate win. BC is 8-0 since the teams last met, averaging about 4.5 goals a game with a red-hot power play. While the Terriers certainly face a stiff challenge, Garden/Fleet history is on their side: in the past 10 meetings at that venue, BU has won 8 times, 6 of them by a single goal. Four of the past six meetings on Causeway Street have gone to overtime. Advice for Friday night: clean your fingernails and plan to stay late.

06-07 Beanpot 2-1 ot
05-06 HE 2-1 ot, Beanpot 3-2
04-05 Beanpot 2-1
03-04 Beanpot 1-2 ot
02-03 HE 6-5 2ot, Beanpot 3-2
01-02 Beanpot 5-3
00-01 Beanpot 3-5
99-00 Beanpot 4-1

Quarterfinal Video Highlights

If you missed the quarterfinal series with Vermont, video of the goals in game 2 can be seen on the HockeyEastOnline site. Highlights of game 3 are available as podcasts on the BU Web site.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday Trivia

BU was a participant in three of the 30 longest games in NCAA history. If the list went to 35, it probably would be 4 of 35. The 1991 triple overtime loss to Northern Michigan in the NCAA championship just missed making the list at 81:57. BU has won only one of the three games on the list. What game was it and who scored the GWG? No fair looking at the list before submitting an answer.

Second question. This week’s Hockey East Online report notes that BU has not lost at home to the same team on consecutive days since Nov. 20-21, 1992. Who was the opponent? That season BU had a 3-4-1 record after eight games before going 26-5-1 in the next 32, reaching the NCAA semifinals.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Looking back: March 10, 1991

Sixteen years ago today, Shawn McEachern’s “wonderous dash up the Boston Garden ice to score 2:19 into overtime” (quoting the late, great Boston Globe writer Joe Concannon) gave BU a 4-3 win over Maine and its second Hockey East Tournament championship. Defenseman Phil von Steffanelli got the game-winning goal started with a pass from the BU blue line to Tony Amonte, just outside the Maine blueline. He quickly found McEachern streaking into the Maine end where he beat netminder Garth Snow, plunging the Terrier team and the BU faithful into delerium. Coach Jack Parker cited the game as one of the most memorable games he coached against the Black Bears' Shawn Walsh.

The Terriers’ other goal scorers were Amonte, Ed Ronan and Peter Ahola. McEachern, Ahola and goalie John Bradley were named to the All-Tournament team. McEachern, the tournament MVP, finished the season with 82 points.

1991QUARTERFINALS(single game elimination)

#8 Northeastern 6-#1 Boston College 5

#2 Maine 5-#7 Lowell 3

#3 Boston University 7-#6 Merrimack 1

#4 Providence 4-#5 UNH 1

SEMIFINALS (Boston Garden)

Boston University 7-Providence 5

Maine 4-Northeastern 3 (OT)

CHAMPIONSHIP (Boston Garden)

Boston University 4-Maine 3 (OT)

MVP: Shawn McEachern, So. F, BU

An audio clip of an interview with McEachern about his BU and NHL career is here. Scroll down to the photo of Shawn and click the link.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Looking ahead: Nick Bonino

Could Avon Old Farms center and co-captain Nick Bonino be the sniper BU has been seeking since, well, Chris Drury graduated?

The Terriers had this past weekend off, but 2007 recruit Bonino (see McKeen’s Q&A article) was busy doing what he does best—scoring goals and setting up teammates—as he led the Winged Beavers to their record 6th NEPHISA championship. Bonino had a hand in all three Avon goals in a 3-0 title game victory over Belmont Hill, scoring twice and assisting on the other. He scored the game-winner on a goal-mouth scramble and closed out the scoring with a strong individual effort described in The Boston Globe (and reminiscent of Steve Thornton’s unassisted goal in the 1995 national championship game against Maine):

The last hurrah came with five minutes left in the game. In what seemed like an instant, Bonino controlled a faceoff in the Belmont Hill zone, then slid the puck between the legs of a defender and created an open alley to the net. He fired a gloveside shot that beat Gedman, who barely had time to react to the sequence.

"That was Bonino at his best," [Coach John] Gardner said. "He's a magician with the puck."

Gardner also told New England Hockey Journal "Nick can snipe, but he's so creative with the puck and without the puck.”

His 3-3-6 line in three post season games lifted his season’s total to team-leading 23-45-68, good for second overall in New England Prep hockey. Last year, he also led Avon with 25-30-56 and the previous year, he set a Connecticut high school record with 68 goals in 24 games for Farmington.

Sniper and puckhandling skills, along with great vision, are his strengths. A year ago, a post on the McKeen’s site described Bonino as “A pure goal scorer .. very gifted offensively - can put it in the net, make a beautiful pass or stickhandle through multiple defenders .. excellent one-on-one or setting up another player .. despite his average size, he can also play a physical game and doesn't let the rough play knock him off his game “

Co-MVP and top scorer at last spring’s Hockey Night in Boston All Scholastic event, Nick received a “Best Pro Prospect” award at the 2006 HNIB’s Major Showcase in the summer (see photo).

A source close to BU has compared his hands to Chris O’Sullivan’s and another established talent evaluator recently remarked that "if his skating matched his hands and stick skills -- he can really shoot it -- he would be a first round pick in June's draft."

Skating is the perceived weakness in his skill set and the reason he was ranked #117 by Central Scouting in its midyear evaluation, rather than in the top 30. A USCHO poster familiar with Bonino’s game posted this week:

“Yeah, there is some doubt about his skating, most people consider him slow, I know that over the past year he has been working with a hockey specific trainer that also works with[ex Lowell defenseman Ron] Hainsey from the Canadians, and several other players who are in the Connecticut area in the off season to work on his quickness, he is solid on his skates, and what he lacks speed wise forwards backwards, he more than makes up laterally, fastest kid I have seen with the puck move side to side around people, also what he lacks in speed he makes up for in vision on the ice, hockey knowledge, and the ability to almost always be in the right spot.”

Of course, Bonino is working hard to improve his strength and skating, as noted in the McKeen’s Q&A article linked above. And when he arrives at BU, he’ll get considerable attention from BU strength and conditioning guru Mike Boyle, who will put to good use the 50 yard straightaway sprint track inside the Agganis Arena training facility. If Boyle can duplicate the improvement in speed he achieved with Mike Pandolfo, Terrier fans can look forward to a dynamic player who'll frequently find the back of the net and make his linemates look good, too.

Friday, March 02, 2007

First 2009 recruit

BU has reached all the way across the country for its first 2009 recruit, 6-2, 180 right shot defenseman Max Nicastro of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings who turns 17 years old today. He’ll spend the next two seasons with the Chicago Steel (scroll down) of the USHL coached by former Colgate and NHL defenseman Steve Poapst.

Steel general manager Jason Koehler says “Max is one of the top young defensemen in the country not playing in the USHL right now," adding that “Boston University made a wise move grabbing him now, as his stock will only go up once he's in the USHL next season and getting many NHL Draft looks.”

Despite being injured early in last summer’s Select 16 national camp, Nicastro was named to one of the two USA U17 teams that played in the Three Nations Tournament in Rochester. His team, which also included 2008 recruit David Warsofsky, won that event. Nicastro was in Massachusetts this past December for the Fall Beantown Classic which the Junior Kings won.
One pro scout calls him a player with “potential, good size and offensive ability.” USHR says Nicastro “holds the blue line well, has a good stick, can make a pass, and sees the ice well.”

Nicastro currently has a 17-19-36 line with 15 powerplay goals. Like BU’s 2007 and 2008 blueline recruits (Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, and Warsofsky) powerplay effectiveness is a big part of his game.

USHR on Warsofsky: [He] is small, but he has excellent mobility, an excellent stick, and he sees the ice uncommonly well. He can thread the needle with his passes – a high number of them are exceptional. He has poise a-plenty. When he’s running the power play for the Terriers in a few years, those high-priced seats in the new arena will be worth every penny. He’s just a fun player to watch.

U18 Coach Ron Rolston on Shattenkirk: He's one of the players on the team that's a difference maker on the ice surface. He's really good instinctively and creating off the blue line. He can really make things happen and is the catalyst of our offense."

Is there a BU connection at the Junior Kings. Yes, there is. It’s former Terrier Nick Vachon, son of NHL goalie Rogie Vachon. Nick, who briefly reached the NHL with the Islanders, is a coach on the Junior Kings staff.

With permission from Paul Shaheen, we’ve reprinted his report on Nicastro in Research on Ice.

In a week where many an NHL GM went searching for diamonds in the rough, the Boston University Terriers have done likewise, snagging 1990 born defenseman Max Nicastro from the AAA Los Angeles Junior Kings for the fall of 2009.

At 6-2 and 180 pounds, Nicastro is a fire-wagon type blueliner, who in 48 games has scored 36 points on 17 goals--15 of which have come on the power play.

"He's as dynamic as they come," says Junior Kings coach Mike Pilon, who took over the AAA Kings coaching duties earlier this year after (former Bowling Green star) Nelson Emerson stepped aside from his full-time coaching duties to work as an assistant with the NHL Kings.

"Max's biggest asset is his shot. He can get off a one-timer no matter what. Slow puck, bouncing puck, you name it, he can pivot and shoot and usually get it right on net. For a kid his size, he's very smooth."

From the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, CA., Nicastro is a junior in high school, and according to Pilon, the type of kid any team would want to have around.

"He comes from a very good family, and he's a very dedicated young man," Pilon adds, "he's very good in the locker room, especially on our team which only has three kids that young. He could well develop captain-type qualities, but for now he's an excellent support guy. He does his job, and he's no distraction at all."

Only in his first year with the Kings, this may also be his last. Property of the USHL's Chicago Steel, Nicastro, born March 2, 1990, is more than likely to be playing in the USHL next year, and barring a trade, in Chicago.

The Junior Kings are preparing for their USA Hockey district playoffs, which will begin next week.
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