Sunday, April 27, 2008

He shoots, he hits, he blogs!

Terrier freshman forward, and Hockey East Rookie of the Year (video clip) Colin Wilson is one of several projected first round draft choices who were invitied to blog on the Web site. Colin, ranked #10 by NHL Central Scouting and #8 by International Scouting Services (ISS), has made two lengthy blog posts: the first describes his pre-BU hockey development; in the second, he looks back at his freshman season, discusses another player expected to be drafted in the first round this June, and reveals his favorite team and player in the NHL playoffs.

In the “Draft Dandies” series, several members of the Central Scouting team assess Wilson’s game and offer some comparisons to his father, former Dartmouth and NHL player Carey Wilson.

While Wilson is expected to return to BU for his sophomore season, Terrier fans are understandably concerned that the team that ultimately drafts Wilson might have a different scenario in mind. Coach Jack Parker addressed the situation in The Daily Free Press.

As for Wilson, ranked ninth among draft eligible North American skaters by the NHL's Central Scouting Service, Parker said the start of the rookie's pro career will depend on the team that selects him in June's NHL Entry Draft. Though his rights will be owned by the pro club that picks him as an entry-level player, the decision to turn pro ultimately rests with Wilson and his family.

"We've talked about it quite a bit actually," Parker said. "I think his parents will have a lot to say about it. His father [Carey Wilson] was a former pro hockey player and he'll know all about that. The team that drafts him and the coaching staff here will help him out with the decision. Whoever drafts him -- we'll get together with them and say, 'Hey what do you think. Here's what we think.' If Colin Wilson
is ready to play in the NHL, I say get going. If you wanna go, go. But a lot of that will have to do with what the pro team that drafts him thinks."

From Parker's perspective, the decision should be a no-brainer for the reigning Hockey East and New England Rookie of the Year, who finished third on the team in scoring this season with 35 points.

"There's no question he's a top prospect, but I also think there's no question he should be back here next year no matter who drafts him," Parker said. "It's gonna be difficult for him to step in and make the NHL next year. Some teams might think he's a prospect to play in the NHL because he's got the size and real good hands, but I think he knows he's developing here."

Whenever Wilson reaches the NHL, he'll become a third-generation player in the league. His grandfather, Jerry Wilson, skated briefly with Montreal in the 1950s.

John Curry's sterling first pro season continues in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs. Curry and the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, eliminated Chris Bourque and the Hershey Bears in five games and now move on to the divisional semifinal. Curry, who was named to the league's All-Rookie team, posted a 1.97 GAA and a .934 save percentage in the first round matchup with the Bears.

In the USHL, 2009 recruit Max Nicastro registered his first playoff goal, but couldn't help Chicago from dropping its second game to Waterloo in the Clark Cup semifinals. 2008 recruit Chris Connolly and Omaha lead Lincoln, two games to one in the other semifinal. Connolly remains tied for the USHL post-season scoring lead with seven points.

A USCHO pictorial by Melissa Wade of the Team USA training camp in Portland, Maine, features several shots (#s 4 9,10,19 & 28), of Matt Gilroy who is trying out for the USA National Team that will play in the upcoming World Championships in Quebec (see April 23 blog post). A wannabe Terrier is shown in shot #15.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Two-time All-American defenseman Matt Gilroy is one of only two college players invited to the U.S. Men's National Team training camp in Portland, which began today and runs through April 30. Gilroy, who will co-captain the 2008-09 Terriers, will participate in an exhibition game against Sweden on Sunday.

All three coaches of the U.S. Men's National Team, which will compete at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Quebec City, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 2-18, are former college players. Former BU captain and current Tampa Bay assistant Mike Sullivan joins Lightning head coach John Tortorella, a former Maine Black Bear. The assistant is ex-Providence Friar Kurt Kleinendorst, who is head coach of the Lowell Devils.

NHL Central Scouting has issued its final rankings for the 2008 draft. BU freshman forward Colin Wilson was ranked #10 among North American skaters. Four Terrier recruits also were ranked: Corey Trivino, #49, David Warsofsky (photo), #81, Max Nicastro, a 2009 recruit, #90, and Vinny Saponari ,#122. Wilson and Trivino have been invited to attend the NHL Central Scouting Draft Combine May 26 to June 1 in Toronto.

Trivino, Saponari and Warsofsky all were medal winners at the IIHF World U18 Championships. Trivino and his Canadian teammates earned the gold with an 8-0 blitz of Russia. Trivino scored his fourth goal of the tournament in the championship game to finish with 4-3-7, 5th best for Canada. Warsofsky's seven assists for bronze-medal winning USA was tied for most points by a defenseman in the tournament. Saponari added two assists.

Chicago Steel defenseman Nicastro and Omaha Lancer forward Chris Connolly, a 2008 recruit, are in the semifinals of the USHL Clark Cup playoffs. Omaha is matched up with Lincoln and Connolly is currently second among all playoff scorers with six points. The Steel, the surprising victors over Indiana now taking on Waterloo, are led by USHL Coach of the Year Steve Poapst, a former NHL defenseman. He recently commented to Paul Shaheen's Research on Ice about the progress first-year defenseman Nicastro: "Max is doing well. He's learning to be more patient and control his movement away from the puck."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Looking forward: World U18 edition

All three future Terriers participating in the IIHF World U18 Championships reached the medal round but only Corey Trivino will play for the gold, as Canada takes on the host Russian team on Wednesday. Trivino, who scored a hattrick and added an assist in Canada’s 4-1 win over Denmark in preliminary round play, has six points thus far in the tournament.

Team USA lost in the semifinals, losing to Russia, 3-1, and meets Sweden in the Bronze medal game. on to the quarterfinals and faces Germany. Thus far, team Captain David Warsofsky has six assists and Vinny Saponari, subject of a USA Hockey profile last week, has two assists.

Video of the gold medal game is expected to be streamed live --in Russian-- beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET. Go to CobinaTV. Scroll to the bottom and click on a green icon with the letters THB in the middle. When the small viewer appears, double-click on the video image and it will become full screen. If the bronze medal game is Webcast, it will begin at 7:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

McKeen’s Hockey Prospects recently took a hard, analytical look at the two latest Terrier recruits from the NTDP program, addressing each one's strengths and weaknesses.

USNTDP-U18 Team: My Cousin Vinny Kevin Hopson, McKeen's Hockey Prospects

Though Danny Kristo is considered the top-rated draft-eligible prospect in the U.S. National Team Development Program, there are a few others to keep an eye on, including winger Vinny Saponari. McKeen's correspondent Kevin Hopson provides an update on Saponari, as well as teammates Justin Florek and David Warsofsky.

Vinny Saponari (2008), F, USNTDP-U18 A decent skater who lacks the necessary gear to blow by opponents, though he helps make up for this deficiency with his gifted puckmoving abilities .. owns an active stick and incredibly flexible hands, which – together – can make defenders miss .. crafty with the puck and can hold on to the rubber for lengthy periods of time .. also possesses a sneaky and precise passing game .. for example, he can pick up speed coming out of his own end, giving the impression that he is going to rush the ice however, he will sometimes dish the puck right before hitting full stride, reeling opponents in and causing them to over commit in the process .. enjoys astute vision on the ice, as he can find teammates in transition and even send a wing-to -wing pass across the mouth of the goal .. works most efficiently around the half boards and down low .. a special teams player who logs icetime on both the man advantage and PK .. though a respectable defender, his stickhandling expertise and aggressive nature on the forecheck are what hold value during penalty kills.

David Warsofsky (2008), D, USNTDP-U18 A mobile, puckmoving defenseman who can work in all three zones .. displays proper positioning on defense, as he does an effective job of cutting down angles and getting in the shooting lanes .. not afraid to initiate contact and get in the face of opponents.. utilizes the boards well, particularly in pressure situations .. plays a clean game for the most part, as he makes safe and precise passes in his own end .. has the capacity to skate the puck out of trouble as well .. can be dangerous in transition, as he possesses the gentle hands and smart vision to make a quality outlet pass .. also capable of keeping the puck and leading the rush himself .. does not look to shoot from the point that often, as he prefers to utilize his productive passing game to set up teammates .. however, he will pinch at times, as he loves to crash the net and be on the receiving end of a one-timer .. because of his puckmoving abilities, he sees regular time on the man advantage.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Terrier Hockey Banquet

Posted by CDRAL

The 45th annual Friends of Hockey Banquet was held last evening at the George Sherman Union. It was a pleasant evening weather wise and the turnout was a very nice one. In addition to the salute to the team members and departing seniors, there was a video presentation of hockey highlights of the past season..

A number of former Terriers who are now part of the Friends of BU Hockey Board were present including Chairman Paul Giandomenico, Dennis O'Connell, Brian Collins, and Mike Sylvia.

Tim Regan, the MVP of the 1972 NCAA tournament, yielding just one goal in Final Four and shutting out Cornell in the championship game [Recap from Sports Illustrated Vault] and a BU Hall of Famer, attended along with his wife.

The year end awards were presented as follows:

Ed Carpenter Award (Team Leading Scorer): Peter MacArthur

Clifford P. Fitzgerald Scholarship ( Junior/Senior Defenseman): Brian Strait

Regina Eilberg Scholarship (Excellence in Academics/Athletics): John McCarthy

Bennett McInnis Spirit Award: Craig Sanders (Second Consecutive year)

Most Improved Player: Bryan Ewing

Friends/Albert Sidd Unsung Hero Award: Ryan Weston (absent as he is in AHL playoffs)

George V. Brown Award /MVP: Peter MacArthur

Team Captains were announced for 2008-2009: Co-Captains: Matt Gilroy and John McCarthy
Alternate: Brian Strait

BU will open next season by hosting the Icebreaker Tournament at Agganis Arena, featuring North Dakota, Michigan State, and UMass

An enjoyable evening for all I would say.

Looking back: Stanley Cup edition

The number of ex-Terriers in the Stanley Cup playoffs decreased by one last night as Jay Pandolfo and the New Jersey Devils were eliminated by the New York Rangers, 4 games to 1. The coup de grace came from Pando’s former Terrier teammate, Chris Drury, who scored his 45th playoff goal and 16th game winner.

Joe DiPenta and the defending champion Anaheim Ducks staved off elimination with a 5-2 win against Dallas. Others still in the cup chase: Washington Cap’s defenseman Tom Poti, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney, San Jose Sharks winger Mike Grier, whose family connection to pro football were the subject of a Calgary Herald article, and Flames defenseman Adrian Aucoin.

Technically, there’s one more ex-Terrier in the group as Calgary recalled winger David VanderGulik from Quad City after the AHL affiliate completed its season to provide some emergency depth. VanderGulik’s 2-goal effort in Quad City’s next to last game gave him 19 for the season.

USHR reports that UM Lowell assistant coach Ken Rausch has resigned after seven years assisting Blaise MacDonald, a former BU associate head coach at Lowell. He also was MacDonald's assistant at Niagara for three seasons. Rausch, a speedy forward, played on three Frozen Four teams, including the 1995 national champions, and was MVP of the 1995 Beanpot, the final one played in the old Boston Garden. The report mentions Shawn McEachern, who recently left his post at Northeastern, as a possible replacement.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kudos for Tkachuk

Ex-Terrier and St. Blues assistant captain Keith Tkachuk’s 16th NHL season ended short of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the Melrose, Mass., native reached a major milestone on the final weekend of the regular season. Tkachuk netted his 498th and 499th career goals in the Blues’ next to last game and then recorded his 500th in the season finale.

He joins Joe Mullen, Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick as the only Americans to reach the 500-goal plateau, and with 484 assists, he’s 16 points shy of 1,000 career points.

All-Americans: Gilroy, MacArthur, Ewing

Three Terriers have been named to the 2007-2008 RBK All-American teams, announced by the American Hockey Coaches Association. Junior defenseman Matt Gilroy was named to the East first team and senior forwards Pete MacArthur and Bryan Ewing are on the East second team. (BU Web site report)

This marks the first season with three BU All-Americans since 1997-1998 when Chris Drury and Tom Poti were picked for the first team and Chris Kelleher took second team honors.

Gilroy, who recently decided to return for his senior year, was a second team All-American in 2006-07. He also was a first team Hockey East All-Star this season and last season.

MacArthur, who finished his BU career with 147 points (18th best), also was a first team Hockey East All-Star this season and last season, and was named to the league second team in 2005-06. Ewing joined his two teammates as a first team league All-Star this season and had a career best 43 points.

Monday, April 07, 2008

3 Future Terriers in World U18s

The U.S. and Canada named their rosters for the upcoming World U18 Championships that begin in Russia on Thursday. Former Maple Leaf coach and GM Pat Quinn will coach Team Canada while ex-Terrier John Hynes (pg. 28), coach of the NTDP U18s, will be behind Team USA’s bench.

2008 recruit Corey Trivino (right) was the only non-Major Junior player to be selected by Canada. Earlier this season, Trivino helped Ontario win gold at the 2007 Canada Games, played in the World Junior A Challenge in Trail, B.C., last November and the national Jr. A prospects game in Manitoba in December.

His future teammates, Vinny Saponari and David Warsofsky are on the American squad that is almost entirely NTDP program players. The two are the second and third leading scorers for the NTDP U18s. Warsofsky will be the third consecutive NTDP U18 captain to play for BU.

Team USA— with team captain Brian Strait , Luke Popko and Colin Wilson—won the gold medal in 2006. Last year, Team USA—with team captain Kevin Shattenkirk and co-leading scorer Wilson—took silver, losing in the final to Russia.

Chris Connolly scored his 26th goal in a 7-1 Omaha/USHL win.

Incoming recruit Grant Rollheiser is spending some time as a goalie instructor before enrolling at BU this summer.

The Spruce Grove Saints’ AJHL playoff run ended in the semifinals with a loss to Ft. McMurray, but Kieran Millan, BU's other goalie recruit, was a standout for the Saints throughout the post-season, posting a 2.19 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 15 games. Millan earned his team’s star of the game in several of the games with Ft. Murray, including a double-overtime loss in which he stopped 48 of 51 shots.

USHR reported that BU, along with BC, is interested in 6'2" Avon Old Farms defensive defenseman Brendan Rempel for 2009.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Linkorama—Catching Up--UPDATED!

Four Terriers have been honored by the New England Hockey Writers. Seniors Pete MacArthur and Bryan Ewing and Junior Matt Gilroy were named Division 1 New England all-stars, while freshman Colin Wilson was named Rookie of the Year. Gilroy also received the Bob Monahan Award as New England’s top defenseman, succeeding Sean Sullivan who received that honor a year ago and now plays in the Phoenix organization.

A NESN video feature on Gilroy, produced prior to the Hockey East playoffs, suggests that he might leave BU to sign an NHL contract, but we’re hearing from a number of sources that he will return for his senior year and suit up along with his brother, incoming freshman Kevin Gilroy.

UPDATE: Gilroy's return for his senior year has now been confirmed and reported by the Daily Free Press.

A Boston Globe feature examined the Terrier experience of senior walk-on forward Craig Sanders.

Congratulations to former Terrier Rob Davies, who led Curry College to the regular season title in Division 3 ECAC Northeast Conference.

Former All-American goalie John Curry has been named to the AHL All-Rookie team where he was joined by fellow Hockey East products Brian Boyle (BC) and Ted Purcell (Maine)

This week marked the 10th anniversary of Chris Drury winning the Hobey Baker Award. Earlier in the week Drury scored yet another game-winning goal, the 44th regular season game-winner of his NHL career, in the Rangers’ 2-1 OT win against Pittsburgh

Chris Bourque had a Texas hattrick, netting four goals for Hershey/AHL last Friday
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