Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wilson powers USA past Switzerland; next up is Russia

Colin Wilson’s pair of power play goals propelled Team USA to a 4-2 win over Switzerland in preliminary round play yesterday at the World Junior Championships. Team USA has a 2-0 record. Named USA player of the game, Wilson now is tied for the tournament lead in goals scored with three. At last year’s World U18 championships, he was co-leading scorer of the tournament (5-7-12) and USA player of the game in the gold-medal game

USA Today’s Kevin Allen reports that Wilson has performed like the top-10 draft selection he’s expected to be. This afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, Team USA takes on Russia, which also has a 2-0 record. The link for the audiocast can be accessed at USA Hockey Web site.

Good reading

Check out the Cape Cod Times’s nostalgic look at pond and river hockey, with former Terrier All-American and captain John Danby featured. In the article, Danby, former coach at Barnstable and Harwich/Provincetown and now, co-owner of the Top Shelf Hockey School in Hyannis, reflects on his childhood in Port Credit, Ontario, skating for hours on the Credit River.
One of the most deadly snipers ever to wear a Terrier uniform, Danby earned MVP honors in the Beanpot, ECAC Championships and NCAA Championships, leading BU to its second national title in 1972

Former BU captain Terry Meagher recorded his 400th career win as coach of the Bowdoin Polar Bears last night and it came at the expense of a Terrier teammate. The Polar Bears won the Salem State Ice Hockey Classic championship, 6-3, beating Bill O'Neill's host team Vikings, 6-3. Terrier coach Jack Parker was among those watching Meagher's milestone win (photos) in his 25th season at Bowdoin.

Former Terrier John Laliberte, who enjoyed a four-goal game for Augusta (ECHL) last month, scored only half that number last night, but the second was the game-winner in the Lynx’s 4-3 win over Gwinnett. With 15 goals, Laliberte is now 10th in goal-scoring in the ECHL.

2009 recruit Ethan Werek trades his Stoufville jersey for Team Ontario as he begins play today in the World U17 Challenge in London, Ontario. Tied for third leading scorer on the Spirit with 15-28-43 in 24 games, the 6-2, 185 lb., left wing is one of only two non-OHL players on the Ontario U17 squad.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wilson scores in USA win at WJCs

Freshman center Colin Wilson was one of five American goal-scorers in Team USA's 5-1 win over Kazakhstan in first day play at the World Junior Championships. Wilson re-directed a powerplay slapshot early in the third period. Game recap and boxscore. Next up for Team USA is Switzerland on Friday.

Strait with a “C”

BU junior defenseman Brian Strait (media guide, pg. 25) has been voted captain of the U.S. Junior National Team by his teammates. Assistant captains include Wisconsin’s Blake Geoffrion, Denver’s Tyler Ruegsegger and Michigan’s Chris Summers.

Team USA began play in the IIHF World Junior Championships today against Kazakhstan. Audiocast link. Strait is paired on defense with New York Rangers’ draft choice Bobby Sanguinetti. Colin Wilson (media guide, pg. 29) is centering UNH’s James Van Riemsdyk and Minnesota recruit Jordan Schroeder. Coach John Hynes reunited the trio, which was the top U.S. line for the silver medal-winning squad in last Spring’s World U18 Championship. Two seasons ago, Strait was captain of the Team USA squad that earned the gold medal in the World U18 Championships.

Strait’s progress on the Terrier blueline has been monitored by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who drafted Brian in the third round of the 2006 NHL draft. In an assessment of Penguins prospects, he was ranked 5th with Pens’ director of player development Tom Fitzgerald, a former Providence and NHL standout, noting:

"He's kind of listened to everyone's advice: Just keep it simple, be a first-pass defenseman, hold the blue line, get it out, change, jump over the boards, do it again. In my last report, I really thought that he looked like an NHL defenseman. He did everything well, and he didn't make any glaring mistakes. He just kept it simple, and that's all he's going to do. He knows what he is."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Looking back: Deja vu ? Let’s hope so !

Blog contributor srsterrier has prepared a look back to another Terrier hockey season which, like the current one, was faced with a more-than-bumpy start. The ’87-’88 squad also had just four wins at semester break, but turned things around to finish third in Hockey East. The newest Terrier Tales feature, “Déjà vu? Let’s hope so!” details the team’s reversal of fortune that helped set the table for BU’s run of NCAA tournament seasons that began two seasons later. You also can access this article from the list of Terrier Tales in the sidebar to the right.

Wearing the red, white and blue

Last week, we noted that Colin Wilson (photo), now preparing with Team USA for the World Junior Championships, was a projected first round draft choice in 2008. takes a detailed look at Wilson’s strengths and weaknesses in an interview that includes some very candid and self-aware comments from Wilson. We’ve also come across a recent Q&A interview with Wilson, written by a contributor to the Web site and posted on the message board.

Meanwhile, Wilson’s Team USA teammate, Brian Strait’s leadership skills are the subject of a profile, while New England Hockey Journal looks at the region’s four Team USA representatives.

USA Hockey has posted an All Access Pass to its comprehensive information about and links to the IIHF World Junior Championships that begin this week in The Czech Republic and a link to a USA Hockey-WJC blog. All of Team USA's games, beginning with Wednesday’s first-round match against Kazakhstan, will be audiocast on the USA Hockey Web site . Medal round games will be broadcast on the NHL Network. Team USA Coach John Hynes, current NTDP U18 coach and a member of BU's 1995 national championship team, is profiled in the Team USA media guide, along with all team members.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Looking Forward: Trivino & Werek

Future Terrier Corey Trivino got a nice plug from EJ McGuire, head of NHL Central Scouting, at the Canadian Junior A Prospects game this last week week, where Trivino (left in photo) and Ethan Werek (right) played for Canada East and also participated in the skills competition.

McGuire said: "There are players in this game, Corey Trivino of the Stouffville Spirit, and Joe Colborne of the Camrose Kodiaks, that will be first-round draft picks in Ottawa this summer. They'll be on our list as first-round selections.”

Trivino's future teammate at BU, Colin Wilson, also is projected to be a first-round choice in the 2008 draft.

After a red-hot preseason followed by some injuries, Trivino has come on strong and has 39 points, including 11 points in the past five games. Werek has been even hotter of late –14 points in the past five games-- and has nearly caught Trivino.

Werek is one of only two non-Major Junior players named to the Ontario U17 Team for the World U17 Challenge in London, Ontario later this month . The NTDP U17s are in this event, too.

In other news of Terrier recruits:
  • David Warsofsky is acting captain of the NTDP U18s, as noted in a recent feature article in The Patriot Ledger. Next season, he'll join the two previous U18 captains, Brian Strait and Kevin Shattenkirk, on the BU blueline.

  • Another 2008 recruit, left wing Andrew Glass, is the leading scorer at Noble & Greenough School with a 6-3-9 line after six games. Glass, a Washington draft choice in 2007, participated in last summers' Caps development camp.

And some some updates on BU hockey alums:

  • This article, a few weeks old, updates the pro career of John Laliberte, now playing for the ECHL Augusta Lynx. It details his four-goal, two-assist game for the Lynx in a 9-1 win over Pensacola.

  • Mike Grier is thriving in San Jose, where he is an assistant captain, but he isn't forgotten in Buffalo., where he teamed with another former Terrier, Chris Drury, for several years.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hynes live chat at 1 p.m. ET today

NTDP U18 and US World Junior Championships coach John Hynes participated in a CSTV live chat earlier today. The transcript is here. Two current Terriers, defenseman Brian Strait and forward Colin Wilson, have earned spots on the US WJC team that will compete in The Czech Republic later this month. Both are products of the NTDP program.

Hynes, who was a member of BU’s 1995 National Championship team, recently spoke with College Hockey News about the U18 team.
2008 recruit Vinny Saponari, one of Hynes’ current U18 players, has had the hot hand of late. He scored a goal at Agganis Arena in the Dec. 8 exhibition game against the Terriers, matching the goal scored for BU by his brother Victor, a freshman. Both brothers were on the ice for the opening faceoff.

This past weekend, Vinny netted an unassisted game-winning goal for the U18s in their 3-2 win against Minnesota Duluth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Four suspended players return

We have received word that the four suspended players,returned to practice yesterday. While they will not play Thursday against Dartmouth, they are eligible to play on December 30 against Merrimack.

Here is the official announcement. We'll catch up on the past weekend's doings later today.

Four Suspended Men’s Ice Hockey Players to be Reinstated Ewing, McGoff, McGuirk, Yip to return on Dec. 30 vs. Merrimack

BOSTON – The four Boston University men’s ice hockey players who were suspended last week for breaking team rules have resumed practicing and will be reinstated for the team’s home game against Merrimack on Dec. 30, according to head coach Jack Parker.

Seniors Bryan Ewing, Dan McGoff and Brian McGuirk, along with junior Brandon Yip, returned to the ice for practice on Monday (Dec. 10).

After they play host to Dartmouth this Thursday (Dec. 13), the Terriers will take an extended break from their schedule for exams and the holidays before returning to action on Dec. 30 for the Merrimack game.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Gameday: A few good men

With a bench shortened by four suspensions and two injuries, BU will have the minimum number of skaters available for tonight’s game with UMass-Lowell and tomorrow’s exhibition game against the NTDP U18s, featuring future Terriers David Warsofsky and Vinny Saponari. Vinny might find himself colliding with a familiar face as older brother Victor moves back into the Terrier lineup.

The expected lines and defense pairings are:


Another change will be in goal as Adam Kraus (photo), the first-ever BU player from Texas, gets his first NCAA start. We’ll add BU's gamenotes to this post when they become available.

Freshman defenseman Colby Cohen joins Jason Lawrence on the injured list. He suffered a broken finger when slash by BC forward Nate Gerbe, the same player whose slash broke David VanderGulik's hand in the 2006 Hockey East championship game.

More reports about the suspensions of Brian McGuirk, Bryan Ewing, Dan McGoff and Brandon Yip have appeared in the Boston Globe, USCHO, and The Daily Free Press . (Second Free Press story.)

Among the recruits

Newest recruit Ross Gaudet celebrated his verbal to BU with his first two-goal game for Bridgewater in the Bandits’ 8-5 win over Green Mountain.

Meanwhile in the OPJHL, Ethan Werek rang up five assists in Stouffville’s 11-4 win. Corey Trivino added three assists.

In the AJHL, 2008 recruit goalie Kieran Millan, recently returned from an injury, kicked out 45 shots as hard-luck Spruce Grove lost in overtime to Lloydminster, 4-3.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Four suspended for rules violations

To paraphrase Thomas Paine in his 1776 pamphlet The Crisis, these are the times that try Terrier fans' souls.

On top of a disappointing 4-9-2 start punctuated by last weekend's sweep at the hands of Boston College, continuing uncertainty in goal with neither veteran 'tender taking control at the the position and an injury that will keep Jason Lawrence out until sometime in January, four members of the Terrier hockey team have been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules. The four are seniors Brian McGuirk, Dan McGoff and Boomer Ewing, and junior Brandon Yip.

The official news release below offers few details and none about the rules violation. For now, senior Pete MacArthur will wear the captain's "C" while senior Ryan Weston and junior Matt Gilroy will be assistant captains. With Lawrence already sideline by injury, the Terriers will have only 12 forward available for this weekends games with UMass-Lowell and the NTDP U18 Team.

Four Men’s Ice Hockey Players Suspended by Team
BOSTON – Four members of the Boston University men’s ice hockey team have been suspended indefinitely by head coach Jack Parker due to a violation of team rules.

The suspensions, which are effective immediately, were issued to three seniors — captain Brian McGuirk (Danvers, Mass.), Bryan Ewing (Plymouth, Mass.) and Dan McGoff (Winchester, Mass.) — and junior Brandon Yip (Maple Ridge, B.C.).

"I’m disappointed that these four chose to break one of our team rules," said Parker. "This is strictly a team matter."

In light of the suspensions, senior Pete MacArthur (Clifton Park, N.Y.) has been named captain of the Terriers. Senior Ryan Weston (Henniker, N.H.) and junior Matt Gilroy (North Bellmore, N.Y.) will serve as assistant captains.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Looking forward: Another recruit for 2008

BU has a fifth forward for next year’s recruit class. Ross Gaudet, a 6-0, 200 right wing with the EJHL Bridgewater Bandits, will walk on next season. In 21 games for the Bandits, he has 14 points, having scored his 7th goal Sunday in a win over the Jr. Bruins.

Gaudet previously played for Austin Prep, leading the Cougars to the Super 8 semifinals as a senior with 24-20-44 scoring line. He was named to the 2007 Boston Globe Super Team, chosen as a Globe All Scholastic as a junior, and selected 2007 Catholic Central League MVP.

His coach at Austin Prep said Gaudet was among the the "top one, two or three players in the state," describing him as a strong and fast skater with good vision of the ice. Globe: “one of the MIAA’s most intelligent and confident skaters…Unstoppable at times as a physical presence for the Cougars."

  • Also in the EJHL, Kevin Gilroy, younger brother of Terrier defenseman Matt Gilroy, has been a hot scorer of late with six goals in the past five games for a total of 15, good for fourth best in the league. Kevin is a right winger for the South Shore Kings.

  • The other forwards in BU's 2008 class are Corey Trivino (Stouffville/OPJHL) Vinny Saponari (NTDP U18s), Andrew Glass (Nobles) and Chris Connolly (Omaha/USHL). Blog contributor srsterrier posted a preview of Saponari and fellow BU recruit David Warsofsky yesterday, after watching the U18s play Yale over the weekend. Connolly collected his 11th goal of the season tonight in the Lancer's 5-4 OT win over Des Moines. He also added a goal in the shootout that decided the game.

  • In a November 16 post, we reported that Justin Fox, son of ex-Terrier John Fox, was a freshman a Salem State, playing for his dad’s BU teammate, Coach Bill O’Neill. The generational connection will be duplicated next year when Aaron O’Callahan, son of ex-Terrier All-American defenseman, co-captain and 1980 U.S. Olympian Jack O’Callahan will be a first-year player for his BU teammate and another former Terrier co-captain, Terry Meagher at Bowdoin. The younger O’Callahan, a forward, is a senior at Taft.

Strait and Wilson named to U.S. WJC team

Sophomore defenseman Brian Strait (photo, left) and freshman forward Colin Wilson were named today to Team U.S.A. for the upcoming World Junior Championships, beginning Dec. 26 in the Czech Republic. The 39th and 40th Terriers to play in the WJCs, both are products of the U.S. NTDP program and in 2006 were members of the gold-medal winning World U18 Championship team. The 2008 U.S. team is coached by ex-Terrier John Hynes, a member of BU’s 1995 NCAA championship team and current NTDP U18 head coach. Sophomore Luke Popko (photo, right) and freshman Kevin Shattenkirk also had been invited to the WJC tryout camp in August.

Meanwhile, the USA Hockey Web site takes a look at the playing and coaching careers of Hynes’ predecessor in the NTDP program, David Quinn, now the Terriers’ Assistant Head Coach. Quinn, a standout BU defenseman for three seasons, was also a member, in 1986, of the first 1986 WJC squad to win a medal, taking him the bronze.

In the pros
After finding the back of the net just twice in his first 21 games this season, Mike Grier scored in both of the Sharks' 3-2 wins over the Avalanche, yesterday and Friday.

Another ex-Terrier, Adrian Aucoin scored his fourth goal of the year Saturday in Calgary’s overtime loss to Columbus. Jay Pandolfo’s ironman streak of 307 consecutive games played for New Jersey ended after he suffered a pelvic/abdominal injury. He’s now missed two games and isn’t expected to play Wednesday against the Bruins.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Honoring one of BU's own: Bob Crocker

It’s hard to find something positive to say when your arch-rival has swept your hockey team. But during Saturday night's 4-3 BC win, BU honored a very important contributor to its long hockey tradition: Bob Crocker—former BU freshman and assistant coach and recruiter extraordinaire, current “Dean” of New England pro scouts, longtime friend of Terrier hockey, and simply one of the best people you'll meet anywhere in hockey.

While Jack Kelley was the “director-producer” of BU’s hockey resurgence during the '60s and early '70s, culminating in the back-to-back national championships in 1971 and 1972, Bob Crocker was the “casting director” whose dogged recruiting efforts established pipelines from Canada that year-after-year delivered top-notch talent to the Terrier program.

The names go on forever: Fred Bassi, Brian Gilmour, Pete McLachlan, Wayne Ryan, Serge Boily, Mickey Gray, Larry Davenport, Mike Hyndman, Steve Stirling, Wayne Gowing, Bob Brown, Ric Jordan, Mike LaGarde, Jake Danby, Bob Gryp, Dave Wisener and Dave Warner, to just scratch the surface. While BU was a heavily Canadian program for much of that time, Bob secured considerable domestic talent as well, including: Tom Ross, Jack Ferreira, Dick Toomey, later head coach at Brown, Don “Toot” Cahoon, now head coach at UMass, Paul Giandomenico, Dan Brady and Tim Regan—the goalies for the two title teams—Steve Dolloff and Jack Parker.

Crocker’s duties also included coaching the Terrier Pups during those no-freshman eligibility days. He led one squad to a 15-0-1 record and then the 1968-69 freshmen, the group that would backbone the two national title teams, to a 17-0-0 mark, making them the first undefeated/untied athletic team in BU history.

Crocker’s influence at BU didn’t end after 1972 when he assumed the head coaching job at Penn. His recruits—Bill Burlington, Bill Bishop Bill Buckton (all from Owen Sound) Vic Stanfield, Peter Brown, Ed Walsh, Peter Marzo, Ken Kuzyk, Bill Robbins and Terry Meagher—now in his 25th year as Bowdoin’s head coach—were the core of the Terrier squads that ran off four ECAC titles in the 1970s.

Among the former Terriers who returned to BU on Saturday to honor Coach Crocker and his family were: Joe Meehan, Mark Fennie, Jim McCann, Frank D'Orio, Paul Giandomenico, Darrell Abbott, Ron Anderson and three All-Americans, current NHL executive Jack Ferreira, Bob Brown and Jake Danby

With permission from editor Chris Warner, we're posting Saturday's U.S. Hockey Report article about the Crocker recognition:

12/1/07 : Crocker to be Honored Tonight
Today, Bob Crocker is best known as the dean of the New England scouts. He’s the guy the younger scouts try to emulate, for his thoroughness, his energy level, his knowledge of the game, and, most importantly, the way he treats people.

Over 35 years ago, Crocker, who now scouts for the LA Kings, was an assistant on Jack Kelley’s staff at Boston University, and was the key guy in recruiting the players that would form the nucleus of the Terriers back-to-back NCAA championship teams of ’70-71 and ’71-72.

There were some pretty remarkable players on those teams, which went 54-6-2 over those two seasons. Steve Stirling, Bob Brown, John Danby, Toot Cahoon, the late Ric Jordan, Ron Anderson, Bob Gryp, Tim Regan, Dan Brady… and those are just the big names.

Chairman of the Friends of BU Hockey Paul Giandomenico was a forward on both of those teams and is the force behind the tribute to Crocker planned during tonight’s BU-BC game at Agganis Arena. “Bob was a major contributor to those two championship teams. He must have recruited ninety percent of the guys,” Giandomenico says.

However, Giandomenico points out, Bob did more than just recruit the kids to BU. “For the four years that the kids were there, he was everyone’s father. He helped them take care of any problems or issues they had. He was just the man. He was especially important to the guys who came down from Canada. He would help them get acclimated to the city and the life at school and he made sure they stayed in school. He kept them reined in.”

A good number of the players who will be toasting Crocker tonight in Agganis’ Mark Bavis Suite are coming down from Canada to be on hand.

Giandomenico says the ceremony will be low-key. Between periods the Jumbotron’s cameras will pan up there and a short tribute will be read. The former players have a gift for him – a Chelsea Clock – but, says Giandomenico, it’s on backorder.

The players on hand will encompass a greater range than just those two years, as Crocker’s ties with Boston University go back much further. After graduating from BU in 1955, Crocker served the school as director of intramurals. He also was head coach of the varsity baseball team. In the 1960s, Crocker coached the freshman hockey team, which one year went 17-0-0.

After the second NCAA championship season at BU, Crocker took over as head coach of the University of Pennsylvania. In his first season, the Quakers went 16-9-2 and finished fourth in the ECAC, which consisted of 17 teams then. On March 6 Penn went up to Walter Brown Arena and defeated BU, 7-3, knocking the Terriers, then coached by Leon Abbott, out of the ECAC Tournament.

Penn, however, didn’t capitalize on their hockey success, and instead tightened the team’s budget, putting a serious crimp on recruiting. By the late ‘70s varsity hockey at Penn was done.

Crocker then put in 15 years as an assistant general manager with the Hartford Whalers (NHL). After that he scouted for the New York Rangers, who won a Stanley Cup during that time, and is now with Los Angeles.

We’re printing this story as late as possible. We want people going to the game to have this info so they can stop and say hi to Crocker, but at the same time much of this is meant to be a surprise. However, he may have an inkling that something is up because his wife of 56 years, Ann, is attending the game with him tonight -- and that’s a rarity.

Looking ahead: two elite BU recruits

Saturday night December 1 at Ingalls Rink at Yale University featured an exhibition game between the USNDPT Under-18 team and Yale. This gave me the opportunity to see two of BU's recruits for next season, Vinny Saponari (photo) and David Warsofsky, as well as a few players who will be opponents in the next couple of years. In general, Yale, with less speed than Team USA, employed a "hit everything that moves" strategy. That was relatively effective but there wasn't much pinpoint passing and creative playmaking. Also, it seemed like this year's Under-18 squad is just a little less talented than what I have seen in the past couple of years. No Kessels or JVRs in the group but a very strong team nevertheless. Two of the most skilled players on the team are the BU recruits and here are my observations:

David Warsofsky - For the third consective year, the captain of the team is a BU-bound defenseman. First it was Brian Strait, then Kevin Shattenkirk, and this year it is David Warsofsky. Warsofsky is a strong skater who moves the puck up the ice with relative ease. Not only is he a good passer, he has an accurate shot from the point that makes him a good player on the PP. In the 2nd period, the puck came back to him at the point and he let go a quick one-timer that was saved by the Yale goalie. Not blessed with great size [he is listed as 5'11", 185, but Central Scouting says 5-8.25], Warsofsky plays very good positional hockey and is strong defensively. I came into the game thinking that Warsofsky might be just a PP specialist and while that may be his strength, it is clear that the coaches trust him in all situations.The coaches' confidence in him defensively was clear from the fact that he was used when the team was down 2 men in the 3rd period and again in the final minute while they were nursing a 1-goal lead. In both instances, Warsofsky came through and Team USA held on for 2-1 win. Warsofsky is currently 5th on team in scoring with 4-6-10 in 18 games.

Vinny Saponari - This might not have been one of Saponari's strongest games. I chalked this up to an incident early in the 2nd period where he came off the ice clutching the side of his head. I did not see what happened but this might have had an impact on his game. Still, I saw enough to see that he is a finesse-type player who is a very good playmaker. Saponari is 3rd on the team in scoring at 5-7-12 in 18 games. He skates well and played most of the night with two of Team USA's top forwards, Jordan Schroeder [Minnesota-bound] and Dan Kristo [NoDak]. All three are creative with the puck and they did have a couple of chances but were kept off the scoresheet. Saponari got time on both the PP and PK and is solid defensively. Not overly physical, Saponari appears to be slightly-built [listed as 5'11", 174.] Undoubtedly, Mike Boyle will work with him over the summer and he will be bulked up by the time he dons scarlet and white.

Thanks to Kevin McCarey's parents [McCarey is a talented UNH-bound D-man], I was able to find David Warsofsky's dad during the game [I don't think that the Saponaris were there]. Mr. Warsofsky was nice enough to speak with me for a few minutes. When he told me that he was from Marshfield, MA, I mentioned that this was the home of one of my all-time favorite Terriers, Mike Sullivan. Mr . Warsofsky advised that the families have actually been good friends for a long time [Sullivan's parents are, in fact, David's godparents]. He appreciated that our fans are already keeping an eye on his son - I wasn't the only BU watcher at the game - and said he is looking forward to next year.
The Under-18 team, which lost to UMass on Sunday, will play BU at Agganis on Sat. night 12/8.
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