Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Eichel makes it official

Recently returned to the U.S. from Finland with the gold-medal winning U.S. Under 18 team, 2014 recruit Jack Eichel has signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent to play hockey at BU next season.

Tomorrow morning BU will announce Eichel and five other members of its nine-man 2014 recruit class via the @terrierhockey twitter account.

United States of Hockey's Chris Peters examines Eichel's strengths achievements and the certain competition with Canadian Connor McDavid for being selected #1 overall in the 2015 NHL draft.  

College Hockey News report
SB Nation report

Looking back: The New Captain Clutch
A couple of Anaheim Ducks fan sites have hung the title of “Captain Clutch” on Nick Bonino, after his overtime winner in game six of the Ducks-Stars series—following his goal late in the third period that helped Anaheim rally from a two-goal deficit.  It’s a nickname that had been earned by another former BU captain and Connecticut native, Chris Drury, for his penchant for scoring key goals in Stanley Cup playoff games.  Drury, who is BU’s all-time goal scoring leader with 113, racked up 47 playoff goals,including 17 game-winners, so Bonino has a ways to go emulate those numbers. But he’s off to a good start.  The Ducks have won seven playoff games in the past two seasons and Bonino has three GWGs, two of them in overtime.

Earlier this month Bonino's no-look goal from his knees, beating his former Avon Old Farms teammate Jonathan Quick, was a highlight reel sensation. (Video)

  OC Register: Bonino relishes his shifts in clutch situations

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

O'Connell returns to BU, joins BU coaching staff

Confirming reports posted here earlier this month, former BU captain Albie O’Connell is joining the Terrier coaching staff, replacing Buddy Powers.  Head Coach David Quinn told The Daily Free Press that O’Connell will be an assistant coach, but focused on recruiting where he has had an impressive track record in the past three seasons at Harvard and before that at Northeastern and Merrimack.

Quinn told the DFP that OConnell “has got his tentacles everywhere. There are really not a lot of places he hasn’t been or if he hasn’t been there he knows people who are there. He understands how important it is at our level to recruit. At the end of the day, that’s what it is about.”

O’Connell, who was a member of one of only four BU classes to win four Beanpot titles and also skated in two Frozen Fours, led the Terriers in scoring as a senior with 39 points and had a career total of 108 points (42G, 66A). After graduating from BU in 1999, he played in the ECHL and the British National League, where he led the Basingstoke Bisons in scoring with 74 points.

Quinn also revealed that former BU standout, U.S. Olympian and 17-season NHL forward Scott Young will assume the Director of Hockey Operation duties currently handled by Pertti Hassanen. Quinn said that Young, a first-round draft choice of the Whalers who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins 1991 and Colorado in 1996, would be his “right-hand man in a lot of ways.”

● Daily Free Press report

Looking back
The Los Angeles Times spoke with Long Beach, Calif., native Matt Nieto about facing the team he rooted for as a youth, the Kings, in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Women’s Team
The Terriers blueline for next season received a significant boost when defenseman Alexis Crossley revealed that she is transferring from New Hampshire to BU.  Crossley, who hails from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, played at Shattuck St. Mary’s prior to UNH, where she was a teammate of BU sophomore Rebecca Russo.

Last season, as a sophomore, she was an assistant captain and scored eight points in 25 games, missing time due to a broken collarbone. As a freshman, she was second on the Wildcats in scoring with a 7-17-24 scoring line and was named to Hockey East’s All-Rookie team.
● The New Hampshire report

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bonino déjà vu; Eichel, MacLeod bring home gold

Down two goals with less than three minutes left in regulation—then a frenzied comeback and OT win? As Terrier fans know, Nick Bonino has been there, done that---successfully.  So last night when Anaheim snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in game six of its series with Dallas, it had to seem like “déjà vu all over again” for the former Terrier captain and sniper.

The script was a little different from BU’s D.C. Miracle in the 2009 National championship game, when Bonino sent the game into overtime with a one-timer that saved the Terriers season. The Ducks, seeking to close out a stubborn Stars club, were trailing by two for the third time in the game and had pulled their goalie. Bonino took a pass behind the Dallas net, skated out to the side and roofed a shot over Kari Lehtonen to close the gap to one with 2:10. Then he was involved in the mad scramble in front of the Dallas cage that saw the Ducks knot the score with 24 ticks left on the clock. And 2:47 into overtime, Bonino, standing just at the edge of the faceoff circle, wristed a dart past Lehtonen, clinching the series for Anaheim and ending the season for Dallas and Alex Chiasson. The two ex-Terriers shared a hug in the post-game handshake line.

Bonino, who is featured in the current issue of The Hockey News (“This Duck’s Rise is Mighty”) earned the game’s first star as well one of ESPN’s three stars of the night. recap and video highlights 
  LA Times recap 
  The Hockey News recap 
   Post-game interview 

The season also came to end for Kevin Shattenkirk, whose St. Louis Blues were eliminated by defending champion Chicago, 5-1.  The former BU captain and All-American recorded a career-best 45 points during the regular season and also played for Team U.S.A. in the Winter Olympics. Another former BU defenseman, Adam Clendening, is on the Blackhawks roster for the playoffs, but has yet to appear in a game. 

Looking ahead 
Half a world away in Finland, Team USA completed its run to the gold medal in the IIHF World U18 Championships, defeating the Czech Republic, 5-2.  2014 recruit Jack Eichel helped Team USA get on the board early with a stretch pass leading to a rebound goal. Later in the first period, 2014 recruit Johnathan MacLeod assisted on a goal that increased the lead to 3-0. Two more U.S. goals in the second put the game out of reach.

Eichel (left in photo), who was named one of Team USA’s three best players in the tournament, finished the tournament with a six-game point streak, scoring five goals and five assists, including the game-winner in the Group B clinching game vs. Finland and goals in both the quarterfinal and semifinal games. His season total of 87 points (38G, 49A) in 53 games—including seven game-winning goals--led the U18s and is the fourth highest single-season point total in NTDP program history. MacLeod finished the year with five goals and six assists.
 Recap/photos and box score 
IIHF recap 
  Lowell Sun report 
● interview with Eichel discussing the tournament and his future plans.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Eichel, MacLeod lead Team USA past Slovakia

Terrier 2014 recruits Jack Eichel and Johnathan MacLeod (photo) provided the offense for Team USA’s 6-2 win against Slovakia in the quarterfinal round of the IIHF World U18 Championships.  Eichel, who scored the game-winner against Finland in the final minute of regulation on Wednesday, got the Americans on the board just 54 seconds into the game, scoring from in close after a Slovak turnover. Just 2 ½ minutes later, MacLeod, took a pass from Eichel and scored on the power play to double the lead. Eichel picked up a second assist on Team USA’s third goal.  After the Slovaks got on the board in the third period, MacLeod scored again on the power play, rifling home a one-timer.

With three points, Eichel earned U.S. player of the game honors and increased his team leading point total to 85, which is now fourth best for a single NTDP season. His 48 assist are third most on the NTDP’s all-time list for one season. MacLeod’s pair of goals gives him a season total of 5, second most among NTDP defenseman.

Team USA’s semifinal opponent is Sweden with puck drop on Saturday scheduled for 8 a.m. EDT. Fast Hockey will live stream the game for free.

Looking back
Charlie Coyle’s power-play backhander, his third goal of the playoffs, was the game-winner in Minnesota’s 2-1 win over Colorado, evening their series at two games apiece.

Matt Nieto scored his second playoff goal, but Los Angeles escaped a sweep, doubling up the Sharks, 6-3. Nieto is one of two San Jose players with points in each playoff game.

David Warsofsky scored a power play goal for Providence, which fell to Springfield, 3-2, in the Calder Cup playoffs

The NHLPA posted a 3-minute video of every Stanley Cup championship celebration since 1949. Can you spot the one showing a Terrier?
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