Friday, June 19, 2015

Remembering Herb Wakabayashi; Four Terriers named to WJC camp; Sullivan tapped by AHL Penguins-UPDATED

Earlier this month, two-time BU All-American forward Osamu “Herb” Wakabayashi passed away in Sapporo, Japan. He was 70 years old.  Standing just 5’5”, the Chatham, Ont., Maroons product was a puck-handling wizard who centered right wing Serge Boily and left wing Mickey Gray (and later hometown pal Eddie Wright). The trio, dubbed the “Pinball Line” (photo below), terrorized BU opponents in the late 1960s. (See BU in the Big Apple for some of the all-sophomore line’s exploits in the 1966 ECAC Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden)

Most recently, Herb had been a sales rep for Miura Golf equipment as reported in the Jan. 23 THFB post when he connected with former Terrier hockey manager Tony Ruvolo at a golf trade show in Florida. 

A 1978 BU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Wakabayashi scored 145 points in three varsity seasons, which, at the time, was second best in Terrier history.  As a sophomore, he set a BU and ECAC record for assists in a season with 51, along with 16 goals. Wakabayashi scored 43 points as a junior and 35 as a senior, earning All-American honors both seasons.  A member of the Beanpot Hall of Fame, he remains co-holder of the record for most assists in one Beanpot tournament (six).

Legendary Terrier head coach Jack Kelley told THFB: 

"Like everyone else in the Boston University hockey family, I am shocked and saddened by Herbie's passing. When they total up all the great ones who have played hockey for the University, Herb Wakabayashi's name will be up near the top."

Wakabayashi also starred in baseball for BU, hitting .367 as a senior and leading the Terriers to the ECAC regional finals.

After BU, Herb and his brother Mel, an All-American forward at Michigan, moved to Japan, their parents homeland, and played in the Japan Ice Hockey League. He represented Japan in three Olympic Games: Sapporo in 1972; Innsbruck in 1976; and Lake Placid in 1980. He was one of six Terriers to skate in the 1980 games, along with Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Jack O’Callahan and David Silk of the USA and Dick Decloe of the Netherlands.
● Chatham-Kent Sports Network report
● IIHF report

Freshmen Jack Eichel, John MacLeod and Brandon Fortunato, along with 2015 recruit Charlie McAvoy were named to the 39-man roster for USA Hockey’s Junior National Team evaluation camp, set for Lake Placid, N.Y. beginning August 1. The three current Terriers and incoming freshman McAvoy all have been standouts with USA Hockey’s NTDP U17 and U18 teams.

►ESPN: Eichel learning life in the spotlight Eichel and other draft prospects in Chicago for the Stanley Cup Finals (video)

Looking back
Former Terrier captain and Boston Bruins head coach Mike Sullivan has been named head coach of the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes Barre/Scranton. He succeeds former Terrier John Hynes, who recently was named to the top coaching spot for the New Jersey Devils. A four-year standout at BU, Sullivan captained the 1989-90 team  that reached the Frozen Four semifinals and then went on to an 11-year career as an NHL player.

Last season he was a development coach for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. During the previous seven years, he was an NHL assistant coach for Tampa Bay, NY Rangers and Vancouver.

Along with Sullivan, members of the Blackhawks organization this past season (2014-2015) include former Terriers Ron Anderson (Director of Recruitment) and scout Mike Grier.
● Wilkes Barre Times Leader report

► Forty former Terriers played professional hockey during the recently concluded season, including twelve in the NHL. Adam Clendening, who appeared in 21 games for Vancouver, became the 71st BU player to skate in the NHL. Among the 40 players, David van der Gulik won the AHL's Calder Cup with the LA King's affiliate Manchester, while 2005-06 All-American Danny Spang helped the Karpat team of SM-Liiga (Finland's top professional ice hockey league) win its league championship. report and stats for all 40 players

►The renovated Dorchester Street Hockey Rink in Dorchester has been renamed for the late John and Ann Sullivan, parents of a large hockey-playing family including former Terrier All-American Chris O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan played for BU’s 1995 national championship team, scoring twice in the NCAA final and earning the Most Outstanding Player Award in the Frozen Four, and for the Terriers’ Frozen Four team in 1996. With a team-high 56 points in 1994-95, he was named a second-team All-American. O’Sullivan who went on to play in the NHL for Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim, currently is a scout for the New York Islanders.

Women’s Team
Terrier junior forward Sarah Lefort was selected by the Buffalo Beauts in the first amateur draft of the new National Women’s Hockey League. Lefort who led the NCAA with three hat tricks last seson, has scored 148 points (79G, 69A) in three seasons at BU, thus far. The league also has teams in Buffalo, Connecticut and New York City.
Daily Free Press report

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