Monday, February 18, 2008

Game-winning goals galore!

Wilson delivers in overtime

Freshman Colin Wilson shared Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors (with BC’s Nick Petrecki) after assisting on Luke Popko’s overtime winner Friday night and then potting the winner himself in Saturday’s extra session as BU swept Maine.

Wilson’s game-winner on Saturday was combination of skill and smarts. The freshman center explained in his post-game interview he'd told linemate Brandon Yip he'd get the draw to him and that Yip should put in on net while he drove the net. After easily controlling the draw, Wilson let Maine's Tanner House think he'd tied him up, then spun away to be unmarked right where Bishop was likely to put the rebound and able to cash it in for the only goal in BU's 1-0 win. Wilson and Nick Bonino won key draws all night and together were a combined 14-5 on faceoffs.

BU hockey historian Sean Pickett noted that “the only previous time BU won overtime games on back-to-back days was during the 1985-86 season when the Terriers defeated Northern Michigan at Walter Brown Arena on 17 January 1986, 5-4, and again on 18 January, 8-7."

With three weekends left in the regular season, BU is tied with Vermont for fifth place in Hockey East, just one point out of third place and three points out of second.

Goalie Brett Bennett, who along with Popko was named a Hockey East top performer for the week, has posted a 0.99 goals against average and a .951 save percentage in his past four starts.

The Boston Globe reported Sunday on the strong interest in free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy:

Look for Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy, a junior, to turn pro within days, if not hours, after the Terriers wrap up their season. Much like ex-UMass defenseman Thomas Pock, who signed with the Rangers in March 2004 after four seasons with the Minutemen, Gilroy is considered the hottest college free agent on the market.

"No question," said one league GM, "he'll have 30 offers on the table when he's ready." Gilroy, who grew up on Long Island, originally joined the Terriers program as a walk-on, agreeing to switch from forward to defenseman for a shot at making the club.

Over the holiday weekend:

Kieran Millan, whom we profiled on Saturday, picked up another win for Spruce Grove in AJHL play.

In the USHL, Chris Connolly rang up three goals—one on a powerplay, one shorthander and one at even strength—and two assists in a pair of Omaha wins. Chicago Steel blueliner Max Nicastro, a 2009 recruit, picked up his fourth goal of the year in a win over Sioux City.

Vinny Saponari's two goals included the game-winner in the NTDP U18s' 8-2 win over the NAHL South All-Stars. The 2008 recruit class right wing has 11 goals and 16 assists.

Stouffville began its playoffs by sweeping Couchiching in three games. As they’ve done all season, Corey Trivino and Ethan Werek led the way, scoring eight and seven points respectively. In the final game of the series, according to , "Trivino had a four-point outing, including a pair of highlight-reel goals, in front of NHL scouts. The Etobicoke resident is expected to go in the first three rounds of June’s NHL draft in Ottawa. The Spirit will meet first-place Huntsville in the second round of the OPJHL playoffs." Werek had the game-winner and an ENG in the second game of the series, assisted on both by Trivino.

In the NHL, Chris Drury faced off with his former BU and Sabres teammate Mike Grier on Sunday and scored the game-winner in the Rangers' win over the Sharks. The goal was his fifth game-winner of the season and the 57th of his pro career.

Grier and the Sharks weren't treated any better today by the Islanders' BU alums, Freddy Meyer and Rick DiPietro. Meyer scored the game-winner (his second in three games) in the Isles' 3-2 victory, while DiPietro stopped 28 shots for his 23rd win.

Jay Pandolfo's goal wasn't the game-winner for New Jersey in its 5-1 win over Carolina, but it was Pando's 11th goal in just 32 games as he looks to surpass his NHL career high of 13 goals. He missed 27 games with a bruised pelvis.

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