Saturday, July 15, 2017

CACC3: "Honestly, as the 3rd period rolled around, it was a little serious"

By Neal E. Boudette
BOSTON – You never like to lose to the school up the street, and the annual Comm Ave Charity Classic, while all for a good cause, is no different.
The Terrier alums, behind a hat trick by Garrett Noonan and two goals apiece from Mike Moran and Jack Eichel, went home with an 8-6 victory over BC.
“Honestly, we’ve all played professionally and, as soon as the third period rolled around, it was a little serious,” said Brian Strait, a defenseman on the 2009 national championship team who’s signed to play for the New Jersey Devils this season. “Once you hit the 10-minute mark, that’s when guys were like, ‘OK, I’m going to go a little harder here.’ Guys were looking to make solid plays and get a win.”
Jack Parker, who was back behind the Walter Brown Arena bench for the Terriers, summed up the game with a laugh: “Everybody had fun.”

Of course the only number that truly mattered was $64,388, the sum raised by the event, which included a silent auction of signed sticks, photos and jerseys donated by players from both teams. The total surpasses the $55,000 that was raised a year ago.
The money benefits the Travis Roy Foundation on the BU side, and Compassionate Care ALS, which provides care and support for people suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. The organization is closely associated with BC because Pete Frates, the ALS sufferer who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge, graduated from BC and captained its baseball team.
“As many people as we can get to come out here and raise some money – that’s what it’s all about,” Strait said. “It was a great turnout and a great game too.”
Fan favorite Jack Eichel opened the scoring only minutes into the game, taking a pass from Charlie McAvoy and redirecting it past BC netminder Cory Schneider at the left post. BC had more and more chances as the first period wore on, but Matt O’Connor was equal to the task.
The Eagles tied it up ten minutes into the period on a wrist shot from Paul Carey. Terrier fans who dabble in BC trivia may recall that it was Carey who scored the game winning goal in the 2012 national championship.
Moments later it was O’Connor with another pad save, and then Johnny Gaudreau tried to dangle through Doyle Somerby but the former captain shut him down.
Late in the period, the Terrier alums regained the lead, when Mike Moran took a feed from Freddy Meyer and fired an NHL-quality snap shot from the left dot, beating Schneider high on the glove side and picking the corner. Moran spent last season with the Mississippi River Kings of the Southern Professional Hockey League, going 29-24-53 in 42 games.
“That was some shot and he beat an NHL goalie,” Somerby said of his former teammate. “Mike can really shoot the puck. We’ve seen him do that before. Beanpot against Northeastern a few years ago. Check YouTube. Back of the net and out, just like this one.”
In the second, BU extended its lead when Noonan – playing wing -- streaked into the BC zone and showed that maybe Schneider does in fact need some work on his glove hand before joining the Devils for training camp. Moments later Moran got his second of the game, potting a rebound. The Walter Brown crowd then went into a chant of “Schneider, Schneider, you suck!”
It’s all for a good cause, of course.
Eichel then got his second of the game with a laser from the right circle.
At that point Sean Maguire took over the BU net, and John Muse replaced Schneider. Maguire hardly had time to tap the goal posts before Gaudreau swept in on a partial breakaway and used the five-hole to enliven the BC faithful. “It’s all your fault!” they chanted.
Eichel set up Danny O’Regan for a clean breakaway.  Muse stopped the shot, but just the sight of those two hooking up again was enough of a thrill. BU added another goal from Sean Sullivan, who played his last of four seasons under Jack Parker in 2006-07. He’s still making a living playing hockey in Germany’s DEL, and is signed to man the blue line for ERC Ingostadt this fall.
Oh yeah, BC got a late goal on a one-timer and the period ended 6-3.
A minute into the third, Kevin Hayes scored for BC, signaling the Eagles weren’t done yet. Noonan then found himself in front of the net and deked right, left, right, left and finally slid the puck past Muse. Still, two quick goals from BC  turned it back into a nail-biter until Noonan, who scored 30 goals in four years with the Terriers, burned Muse top shelf from an impossible angle, sending the home crowd into one final frenzy.
“It was a lot of fun to get out there,” said Freddy Meyer, who at 36 was the oldest Terrier on the ice. “There were a lot of young guys playing. It’s funny looking around the locker room seeing how young guys are now. Hopefully I’ll be invited back next year.”

Game notes:
Sean Maguire suffered what appeared to be a knee injury late in the game. No word on the seriousness of the injury although he was seen limping after the game.
Maguire is in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and should have a shot at competing for the job backing up starter Matt Murray.
Freddy Meyer is heading into his fourth season coaching a junior team, the East Coast Wizards in Bedford, Massachusetts. He spent two years as an assistant with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. He also has his own business doing camps, clinics and private lessons.
Brian Strait has signed with the New Jersey Devils and is excited to be reunited with a familiar face: Head Coach John Hynes was coaching the USA NTDP team when Strait was in the program in 2004-06.
“I went into a situation last year where I didn’t really know any of the management and this year I’m in a situation where I have a history with all the management. It’s better to be more familiar with people, especially Hynesie, I’ve got quite a history with him,” Strait said.
Strait had been a solid D-man for the Islanders for four seasons but spent most of last year with the AHL's Manitoba Moose, while suiting up for their NHL club, the Winnipeg Jets, only five times.
“I’m excited. I want to get back in the NHL full time,” he said. “Ray Shero is building something in New Jersey and I’m working hard.  I want to make a really good impression when I get to camp.”

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