Saturday, May 31, 2014

More honors--UPDATED

Today's BU Athletics Hall of Fame Induction (see John Curry story below) will be live streamed beginning at 4:30 today.

On Thursday night, former coach Jack Parker was named the 2014 Legend of Hockey recipient by the Hobey Baker Memorial Foundation at its announce banquet in St. Paul, Minn. 
The three-time winner of the Spencer Penrose Award was joined at his table at the banquet by a group of former Terriers who either are Minnesota natives or have won the Hobey Baker Award.
-Chris Connolly 
-John Curry 
-Tom Morrow 
-Kris Werner 

● Hockey East Online report report

Curry is about to receive his own recognition tonight as one of six Terrier athletes chosen for the  50th class to be inducted into the BU Athletics Hall of Fame. Induction will take place at the Metcalf Trustee Center at the BU School of Management. Curry, a fan favorite at Agganis Arena had a storybook BU career that took him from walk-on to first team All-American and Hockey East Player of the Year in 2007. The previous year, he led the Terriers to the 2006 Hockey East Championship. Curry's professional career began in the Penguins organization and included stops in Germany, too. This past season, Curry started in the ECHL, moved up to AHL and eventually was recalled to the Minnesota Wild where he started and won one game and served as back-up goalie during the team's Stanley Cup playoff run.

Curry is the 43rd Terrier hockey player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
BU Today feature story reported:

Arguably the best goaltender in the storied history of Boston University men's hockey, John Curry ('07) rewrote the record books during his stellar career and holds the program records for career goals-against average (2.07) and career save percentage (.923). He joined the team as a recruited walk-on, and after getting his first start early in his sophomore season, he never relinquished the role. Curry backstopped the Terriers to the 2006 Hockey East title and was named the 2007 Hockey East Player of the Year after a dominant season between the pipes that saw him become one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. He was one of the best performers in the history of the Beanpot, going 5-0 in the tournament while leading the Terriers to three straight titles. 

Curry was a two-time All-American, including a first-team nod in 2007, and signed a free-agent deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins following graduation. The Shorewood, Minn., native earned a win in his NHL debut on Nov. 26, 2008, and spent four seasons within the Penguins organization. Curry played a year in Germany, which concluded with a spot on Team USA's squad at the 2012 World Championships, and returned to the NHL in exciting fashion by coming home to play for the Minnesota Wild organization this past season.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Honors for Parker--UPDATED

Former Terrier Head Coach Jack Parker has been named the 2014 recipient of USA Hockey’s Distinguished Achievement Award (scroll down for bio) to be present on June 6th in Colorado Springs during the President’s Awards Dinner.

The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to a U.S. citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made outstanding contributions on or off the ice to the sport in the United States.A three-time winner of the Spencer Penrose Award for Division 1 coach of the year, Parker led the Terriers for 40 seasons, amassing 897 wins—third most among D1 coaches, and the most at any one D1 school. His teams won three NCAA titles: 1978, 1995 and 2009.

Looking ahead

2015 recruit Vas Kolias (5-9 LD, Chicago Mission) was the fourth pick overall (and first d-man) in the USHL's dispersal draft. Selected by Youngstown, Kolias will join 2015 recruit Maxim Letunov on the Phantoms next season. Recently crowned USHL champ Indiana has suspended operations for next season due to arena issues. Former Terrier Sam Kurker, who joined the Ice in January, was also picked in the first round, by Sioux City, and reportedly will play another USHL season.
Elite Prospects card

2014 recruits Johnathan MacLeod and Brandon Hickey, both defensemen, are among 119 highly regarded draft prospects who began the 2014 NHL Combine yesterday in Toronto. bios: Hickey, MacLeod

2016 BU recruit Hank Crone's Dallas Stars Elite U16 coach sets the bar high for the high skilled forward who will spend the next few seasons with Omaha.

“He’s a small forward who is a tremendous, high-end offensive player. His hockey IQ and his skills are probably as good as any player in his age group,” said Dallas Stars Elite U16 coach Eric Silverman. “He has the look to me like a player we’ll be talking about in the Hobey Baker conversation one day.”
This past season he registered 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 31 games with the Stars Elite U16 team. 
Elite Prospects card

Women’s Team
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Marie-Philip Poulin has been named captain of the 2014-15 Terriers. Serving as assistant captains will be Shannon Stoneburgh and Kayla Tutino. Poulin returns to BU after taking a year off for the Sochi Winter Olympics, where she scored the tying goal and then the overtime winner in the gold-medal game to lead Canada past the USA, 3-2. She had served as co-captain of BU’s 2012-13 squad that reached the NCAA  championship game. 

Poulin’s selection to lead BU earned her a Twitter shout-out from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Stoneburgh has been a blueline standout for BU during the past three seasons, appearing in all BU’s games as a sophomore and junior. Tutino returns to the BU lineup after missing much of last season due to an injury. She was a Hockey East All-Rookie selection as a freshman.

Terrier assistant coach Katie Lachappelle has been named by USA Hockey as an assistant for the 2014-15 US U18 squad. Lachappelle, recipient of the 2013 Women's Ice Hockey Assistant Coach Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association, was a former captain and ECAC all-star at Providence.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Roster cuts reported

Last month, Head Coach David Quinn told The Daily Free Press that he planned to make cuts to the Terrier roster. This week, both the Boston Hockey Blog and SB Nation reported that the players involved are freshman forward Brendan Collier and sophomore transfer JD Carrabino.  SB Nation indicated that both players are seeking to transfer to other schools.
● Boston Hockey Blog report
● SB Nation report, in its assessment of Ottawa Senators’ prospects, dubbed freshman Robbie Baillargeon (photo) as its “breakout player of the year”:

It did not take long for Robbie Baillargeon to establish himself as a top-line player for Boston University. He exceled on a checking line to kick off the 2013-14 campaign, and Terriers head coach promptly promoted the rookie to the first line. Baillargeon works hard to win puck battles, retain possession and create offense. He can thread passes and shoot well, and given increased playing time, Baillargeon soared to become the Terrier’s leading point-scorer this season. With 10 goals and 17 helpers through 35 games, he was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. As Baillargeon builds strength and bulks up his 6’0, 175 pound frame, with his current skill set intact, the ceiling for Baillargeon appears high.  

Looking ahead
Two of BU’s 2014 recruits, defensemen Johnathan MacLeod and Brandon Hickey, have been invited to the NHL Combine in Philadelphia beginning on May 26. MacLeod spent the last two seasons with the NTDP, while Hickey (photo)  played for the AJHL Spruce Grove Saints and was the only player from his league to be invited to the combine.  The Hockey News included both players in its top 100 eligible players for the 2014 draft, offering these comments:

MacLeod: “He’s a guy who might get many injuries as he dishes out because there is no compromise in his game.”

Hickey: “Fantastic skater who also has size.”

2014 recruit Jack Eichel was named a second team USHL All-Star.

2014 recruit Liam Coughlin and the Vernon Vipers have reached the semifinals of the RBC Cup, Canada’s Junior A championship tournament. On Saturday they’ll take on the Yorkton Terriers, whom they defeated, 6-4, in the preliminary round with Coughlin (G,A) earning player of the game honors for the Vipers.  Coughlin, a 6-3 left wing from South Boston, scored 45 points during the regular season, tied for third best on the Vipers, and added 13 more in 19 BCHL playoff games.

Looking back

And then there were none. 

The last former Terrier actively involved in the pursuit of the Stanley Cup--Nick Bonino-- was eliminated last night as the Kings ousted the Ducks with a 6-2 win in game seven of the Western Conference semifinals. The former BU captain assisted on one of the Anaheim goals, giving him a 4-4-8 scoring line in 13 playoff games. His regular season totals for goals (22) and assists (27) are both career highs.

Technically, one other ex-Terrier is still involved in the playoffs. Adam Clendening was called up to the Blackhawks but has yet to dress for any games.
Charlie Coyle, whose playoff season ended when Chicago eliminated Minnesota in six games, reportedly played the series with two separated shoulders. Coyle scored 3 goals and 4 assists in 13 playoff games.

Former BU All-American Freddy Meyer has been named head coach of the new EHL franchise, the East Coast Wizards. Meyer, who spent the past two seasons as assistant coach of the AHL Manchester Monarchs, scored 73 points in 281 NHL games after a four-year career at BU and two seasons in USA Hockey's NTDP program.

Former Terrier blueliner Jakabs Redlihs is competing for Latvia in the IIHF World Championships in Minsk, Russia. The 6-2 defenseman, who currently plays for Dyanmo Riga in the KHL, was a fourth round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002. Redlihs recorded an assist in Latvia’s 6-5 win against Team USA on Thursday.

The Boston Herald reports that former Terrier forward and associate head coach Mike Bavis is a candidate for the vacant Holy Cross head coaching job.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Skilled blueliner Fortunato commits to BU

The Terriers’ 2014 recruit class grew a bit larger and significantly more talented as left-shot NTDP U18 defenseman Brandon Fortunato gave a verbal to BU today.  The 5-9 blueliner from North Hills, N.Y., had recently decommitted from Harvard and reopened his recruitment. CHN’s Mike McMahon reports Fortunato made his final choice between BU and Union College, with other leading Hockey East school also involved.  He joins U18 teammates Jack Eichel and Johnathan MacLeod as incoming Terriers.

When Fortunato committed to Harvard in 2012, USHR's Chris Warner called him a "quick, highly-skilled, puck-moving D with vision and the stick to match – i.e. someone who can QB a powerplay. In addition, given his size, he’s likely to stay at school for the full four years. A 6/7/96 birthdate, Fortunato is one of the top college prospects in his birth year.”

Fortunato, who quarterbacked the U18s power play, was the team’s top scoring defenseman with 39 points (3G, 36 points) including five assists at the World U18 championships where Team USA won the gold medal.  Previewing Team USA prior the tournament, Chris Peters of United States of Hockey wrote:

Brandon Fortunato – North Hills, N.Y. — A dynamic offensive-minded defenseman, Fortunato has top-end puck skills and creativity. At 5-9, 144, he’s probably not the ideal size for a defenseman and was left unranked by Central Scouting, but what he does with the puck makes him extremely effective and could even get him drafted anyway. With 32 points including 29 assists, he was the U18′s top scoring defenseman this season. Fortunato is a good skater and has really sound on-ice vision. He is excellent at creating time and space for himself, which leads to Fortunato making a lot of nice plays with the puck. The defenseman reportedly decommitted from Harvard and is currently being pursued by several top college programs. His skills are definitely worth watching. NHL CSS Ranking: N/A

In his first year in Ann Arbor he tallied 21 points—all assists—for the U17s. Before joining the NTDP program in Ann Arbor, he played for The Portledge School on Long Island (10-20-30 in 17 games) and the Long Island Royals—coached by NHL Hall of Famer Pat Lafontaine—
who won the 2012 Tier I 16U national championship (3-11-14 in 22 games).

The Royals’ championship season was the subject of an episodic documentary that aired on NHL Network and on Two episodes featured Fortunato and his father.

Following a strong performance in the 2012, Select 16 Development camp he was named to the US U17 Selects for the 2012 Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic, where he helped win a gold medal.

● Boston Hockey Blog report
● SB Nation report
● Elite Prospects card
● Hockeysfuture video interview with Fortunato at World U18s

Hockey East has finalized plans for an expanded post-season tournament. With the addition of Connecticut, the conference numbers 12 teams and all of them will participate in the championship tournament.  A best of three opening round will match seeds #5 through #12, followed by a best-of-three quarterfinal round in which the opening round winners will be hosted by the seeds #1 through #4. Single-game semifinals and championship game follow a week later.
● Hockey East announcement.

►The Terriers 2014-15 schedule is not yet completed, but you can check this Website that shows confirmed games for each of the Division 1 college teams.

Looking ahead
2015 recruit Shane Starrett was named to the all-tourney team at last weekend’s ProAm Hockey PreDraft Showcase. The 6-5 netminder from Bellingham, Mass., backboned Team EPS to the championship game. Playing three playoff games on Sunday, Starrett yielded just one goal in the quarterfinal and semifinal games, before EPS lost 3-2 to Canada West Red in the title game.  In three preliminary round games, Starrett, who previously played for Catholic Memorial, Selects Academy and the Portland Jr. Pirates, recorded a 1.38 GAA. Starrett reportedly is deciding whether to play for the South Shore Kings (USPHL Premier) or in the BCHL next season.

2014 recruit Liam Coughlin scored a power play goal and added an assist for Vernon in a 6-4 win over the Yorkton Terriers in the RBC Cup, which is Canada’s Junior A Championship tournament. Coughlin was named player of the game for Vernon, which evened its record at 1-1 in the five-team tournament hosted by the Vipers. Coughlin, a 6-3 left wing from South Boston, who previously was Starrett's teammate at Catholic Memorial, had an 18-27-45 scoring line in 53 regular season games for the Vipers and added 13 points in the BCHL playoffs.

Looking back
Nick Bonino’s fourth post-season goal gave Anaheim an early lead as the Ducks edged the Kings, 4-3, to take a three games to two lead in their playoff series. The former Terrier captain rifled home a wrist shot from the bottom of the circle to the goalie’s left just 2:15 into the first period.

Earlier this week, the versatile Bonino took on another role, interviewing teammate Cam Fowler for ESPN.

Ken Rausch, USA Hockey’s Manager of Youth Hockey, was interviewed for Liberty Mutual’s “Responsible Sports” series, discussing sportsmanship. Rausch, a member of BU’s 1995 national championship team and a four-year member of the Hockey East All-Academic Team, began his coaching career at BU with stops at Niagara and Lowell before joining the USA Hockey staff in 2009.  He scored 53 points as a Terrier, including the overtime game-winner against Minnesota in the Mariucci Classic on Dec. 31, 1994. (video)

Former BU MVP and All-American John Curry, who began the season in the ECHL with the Orlando Solar Bears, is getting his first taste of Stanley Cup hockey, even if it is from the Minnesota Wild bench, backing up Ilya Bryzgalov. He discussed the experience with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. On May 31, Curry will be inducted into the BU Athletics Hall of Fame.

The Wheeling Nailers, coached by former BU standout Clark Donatelli, had their season end in the ECHL Eastern Conference semifinals. Sahir Gill, who led the Nailers in regular-season scoring with a 13-41-54 line, was co-leader in the playoffs with nine points.
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