Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eichel and MacLeod begin World U18 Championships in Finland tomorrow

2014 recruits Jack Eichel and Johnathan MacLeod are in Finland with Team USA for the IIHF World U18 Championships, which begin tomorrow. Eichel (photo) has been named an assistant captain by USA Hockey. The 6-2 right-shot center, who is the only returnee from last year’s silver-medal winning team, discussed how he’ll use his experience to lead and motivate his teammates in this year’s tournament. 

Yesterday, Eichel answered questions for fans via the USA Hockey twitter account :

I decided between BU and BC. BU just felt like the perfect fit for me. I always wanted to play in hockey east and the Beanpot.

can't wait for to apart of @TerrierHockey next season. I have talked to a few guys already. @Matt_Grzelcyk5 & @DannyORegan15

►Team USA’s games at the World U18s will be streamed live by Fast Hockey. The first preliminary round game is Thursday, April 17, versus Switzerland with puck drop set for 8 a.m. EDT.

United States of Hockey preview of Team USA

Looking forward
The Sherwood Park News, reporting on Sean MacTavish’s commitment to BU for 2015, spoke with Crusaders coach Tim Fragile, who said:

 “Sean has developed over the course of two seasons in all areas of his game. He is an elite level thinker and is offensively gifted. He had a really good season, especially from November on. Getting 72 points was a big jump from his first season totals. It was just an exceptional year.”

MacTavish, a  right-shot forward, had previously played for the Shattuck St. Mary’s U16 where he was a linemate of Colorado Avalanche forward Nate McKinnon, who became the first overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

The season continues for 2014 recruit Brandon Hickey (photo) and the Spruce Grove Saints, who swept Drumheller, 4-0, to win the 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Championship Cup. The 6-2 defenseman, who contributed 22 regular-season points, added five assists in 13 playoff games for the Saints who move on to the Western Canada Cup tournament in Dauphin, Manitoba.

For fellow 2014 recruit Liam Coughlin, the season is over, as the Vernon Vipers were swept in the BCHL Fred Page Cup finals.  Coughlin, a 6-3 left wing from South Boston, had given the Vipers a 2-0 lead in game three with his seventh playoff goal, but the Express stormed back to win in overtime and then completed the sweep the next night. Coughlin, who previously played for Catholic Memorial, scored 13 points in the playoffs to go with his 45 regular-season points.

USA Hockey announced eleven commitments for the 2014-15 NTDP U17s, including 2016 recruit Clayton Keller, who led Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep to a national U18 championship with a team best scoring line of 36-41-77.

Looking back
USA Hockey has named Joe Sacco an assistant coach for the upcoming Men’s World Championships. The former Terrier and long-time NHLer was head coach a year ago for Team USA’s bronze-medal winning squad. Sacco is currently an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres.

Former Terrier Sahir Gill (photo) leads  the ECHL Wheeling Nailers into the playoffs against first-round opponent South Carolina. Gill, who ended the regular season on a ten-game scoring streak, was the Nailers’ top point scorer with 54 points. Former BU netminder Kieran Millan joined Wheeling late in the season and appeared in five games. The Nailers are coached by former Terrier forward and U.S. Olympian Clark Donatelli.

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