Monday, April 14, 2014

Frozen Four Linkorama--UPDATED

Congratulations to Union College on its first-ever NCAA hockey championship, earned with wins against Boston College (semifinal, 5-4) and Minnesota (championship, 7-4) at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia. With the Dutchmen’s victory on Saturday, the ECAC has claimed back-to-back titles for the first time since BU repeated at NCAA champions in 1971 and 1972. [Note: prior to the formation of Hockey East, BU was a member of the ECAC].

Eastern teams have now claimed six of the past seven Divison 1 national championships. Western teams had dominated the first 25 years of the tournament, winning 21 times.

Former BU netminder Jason Tapp has been an assistant coach to Union’s Rick Bennett since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, after having served as the team’s volunteer goalie coach.

Union’s 12 goals in two Frozen Four games, matched North Dakota dozen in 1997 and BC’s 12 in 2010 as the most goals tallied in two games since BU racked up 13 scores en route to the 1995 NCAA title. That year, the Terriers swamped Minnesota, 7-3, and then defeated Maine, 6-2, in the title game, led by Chris O’Sullivan’s pair of goals.

Looking ahead
2014 recruit Johnathan MacLeod’s wrist shot from the left face off circle gave Team USA a 1-0 lead midway through the first period and the Americans cruised to a 9-1 win over Germany in a pre-tourney game at the IIHF World U18 Championships. Fellow 2014 recruit Jack Eichel assisted on two goals as Team USA prepped for its preliminary round game against Switzerland on Thursday.
● USA Hockey recap and box score

2014 recruit Brandon Hickey’s wrist shot on a power play led to the game-winning goal for Spruce Grove in a 5-3 Saints win against Drumheller. Spruce Grove leads the best-of-seven AJHL Gas Drive Cup  League final, two games to none.  The 6-2 left-shot defenseman has four assists in eleven playoff games, after posting a 4-18-22 line in 49 regular season games for Spruce Grove. Hickey was the highest-ranked AJHL player (#63) in the recent 2014 NHL Central Scouting final rankings and second highest for all Canadian Junior A leagues.

2014 recruit Liam Coughlin assisted on Vernon’s third goal, but Coquitlam came away with a 4-3 overtime win over the Vipers and have a 2-0 league in the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup championship round.  The rugged left wing from South Boston, who scored 45 points in the regular season, has six goals and six assists in 17 playoff games thus far.

Looking back
Nick Bonino, who has scored more than a few memorable goals in his college and pro career added another Saturday night in Anaheim’s 4-3 shootout win against the Kings. The former BU captain, who earned second-star honors, stole the puck from a defender and whipped it home from his knees with his back to the net. It was his 21st goal of the season. 

Last night, he scored in overtime, giving the Ducks a 3-2 win against Colorado. In a breakout season for Bonino, the Connecticut native set new career highs in goals, assists and points with a 22-27-49 scoring line.  Bonino helped led Anaheim to a Western Conference best 116 points this season and its best regular season record in franschise history. They’ll meet Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.

Just before his standout weekend, Bonino talked with Puck Daddy's Jen Neale about college hockey at BU, his breakout year with the Ducks and the upcoming playofffs. 

San Jose, which finished five points behind the Ducks, announced that Matt Nieto, along with Tomas Hertl, were named co-rookies of the year for the club in a vote of Bay Area media. Nieto scored 24 points (10G, 14A) in 66 games for the Sharks.

Colin Wilson wristed home his 11th goal of the season for Nashville in the Predators’ 7-5 win against Chicago. The former Terrier All-American finished the season with 33 points.

Former Terrier and NHL forward Dan LaCouture talked with the New York Times about the lawsuit against the NHL he and eight other former players have brought related to brain injuries. LaCouture, who played for the Terriers’ 1997 team that reached the NCAA finals, discussion the multiple concussions that he contends cut his career short.

Women’s Team
The Terriers held their post-season awards banquet and celebrated their 24-13-1 season, highlighted by a third consecutive Hockey East championship and another trip to the NCAA tournament. Team captain Louis Warren (photo), who scored 27 goals and 19 assists, was named Most Valuable Player.  She concludes her BU career with 108 total points. Other award winners:
  Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year – Sarah Bayersdorfer
  Academic Honors Award – Meghan Riggs and Kerrin Sperry
  Friends of Hockey Unsung Hero Award – Dakota Woodworth
  Caroline Bourdeau Spirit Award – Braly Hiller
  Most Improved Player – Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga

Marie-Philip Poulin, who returns to BU next season after leading Team Canada to the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal, was selected as the 2014-15 captain.

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