Tuesday, January 31, 2023

UPDATED: Hockey East honors for Commesso, Lane Hutson; Grzelcyk & Dad to BP HOF; BC Sweep Videos

UPDATE:  BHB's Belle Fraser reports on the "infectious energy" at Beanpot Media Day with comments from Jay Pandolfo and seniors Dom Fensore, Matt Brown and Jay O'Brien.

Boston Hockey Blog: Beanpot Countdown Begins

Also, in his weekly media call, Pandolfo indicated that Fensore has skated well in practice, is awaiting medical clearance and could play Friday at Maine.

Finally, Hockey East's #1 Play of the Week goes to its Goaltender of the Week. (video)


For the second week in a row, BU has claimed two Hockey East weekly honors as Drew Commesso was selected as Stop It Goaltender of the Week and Lane Hutson repeated as Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. Last week, Matt Brown joined Hutson among honorees, as Co-player of the Week. Hutson has collected weekly top rookie honors four times as well as for the months of November and December.

In Saturday’s 3-1 win at Conte Forum, Commesso stopped 40 of 41 shots, including all 22 he faced in the third period as well as 13 during BC power plays.  His  24 saves in Friday's victory were punctuated by standout saves during the first and third periods as the Terriers pulled away from the Eagles..

Hutson assisted on two goals in each of BU’s wins against BC, and has a streak of four two-assist games, along with a nine-game points streak. He leads all conference defensemen with 23 points in Hockey East games and all D1 blueliners with 31 points overall.

Dylan Peterson and Ty Gallagher earned spots on the weekly top performers list. Peterson, who was plus-5 for the weekend, had a goal and two assists Friday. On Saturday, he assisted on Case McCarthy’s game-winning goal and also provided a timely screen on the play.

Gallagher had a career-points night Friday with a pair of goals and two assists. For the weekend, he was plus-5 and blocked four shots.

● HockeyEastOnline Men’s Weekly Release

● GoTerriers.com Commesso, Hutson earn Hockey East Weekly Honors

No video highlights were available from NESN following Saturday’s game, so Bart Rhett created this one for Terrier fans.


And Agganis Arena videographer Bernie Perisie created this Lane Hutson-level gem from Friday night's win.


From BU Hockey Historian Sean Pickett (posted on the USCHO Fan Forum):

With the win on Saturday Coach Jay Pandolfo matched Coach Jack Parker's first season record (1973-74: 19-6-0) for the best start by a BU head coach. With a 0.760 winning percentage they are just ahead of Coach Harry Cleverly, who had a 17-5-2, 0.750 record his first two seasons (1945-46: 2-0-1; 1946-47 15-5-1). Coach Wayland Vaughan had the best first season winning percentage of 0.792 (9-2-1), but BU only played 12 games in 1928-29.


2023 Beanpot Luncheon

                        L-R Aidan McDonough, Dom Fensore, Marshall Warren and Henry Thrun (Photo credit Boston Hockey Blog)

Head Coach Jay Pandolfo and Captain Dom Fensore represented BU at yesterday’s annual Beanpot Luncheon at TD Garden’s Legends Room. This year's tournament is the 70th for the four-team event that began in 1953 at Boston Arena. Last year's 1-0 championship game victory over Northeastern gave the Terriers their 31st Beanpot title.


                                Photo credit Brian Babineau

The announcement that Matt Grzelcyk would be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame next Monday was hardly a secret in the hockey community; the surprise was that his father, John Grzelcyk, a 55-year member of the Garden’s famed Bullgang, would also be inducted.

Matt, a two-time All-American and two-year Terrier captain, scored the overtime game-winner in 2015 to deliver the Beanpot to BU for the 30th time. He also had a goal earlier in the 4-3 win

And there's a third Terrier captain--and longtime coach--in the background enjoying the festivities.

GoTerriers.com Matt and John Grzelcyk Selected as 2023 Beanpot Hall of Fame Inductees

NHL.com report, Interview with Matt

● NESN.com Jay Pandolfo Shares Why Beanpot Is So Unique

● NESN Grzelcyk, Boston Icemen Provide Advice for Beanpot Newcomers

For next Monday's opening round game against Northeastern, which begins at 8 p.m., BU will hold Beanpot Watch Parties at seven locations. Details are here.


Women’s Team

Brooke Disher vs. UVM - Skating Strides

Freshman Brooke Disher has been named the Hockey East Army ROTC Defender of the Week. The British Columbia native recorded three assists in BU’s weekend wins against Merrimack and Vermont, including setting up Julia Nearis overtime winner against the Catamounts.  Disher earned Rookie of the Week honors in November

●GoTerriers.com report



Monday, January 30, 2023

Commesso's bounce-back; Coming Up 3s

                           Photo credit Jenna Van Sickle

After being pulled midway through the 9-6 win against Maine, Drew Commesso delivered a strong bounce-back performance, stopping 64 of 68 shots in the two wins, including 40 of 41 Saturday. Of the four goals yielded, three were on power plays (one on a 5-on-3).

“I think he took ownership of not feeling good that last game against Maine,” Coach Jay Pandolfo said of his netminder. “He was determined to come back and have a great weekend… he was certainly ready.”

“Yeah, it feels awesome. Growing up a BU fan my whole life, I’ve never really liked the Eagles,” Commesso said post-game. He mentioned the “embarrassing loss” in December, and noted how it fueled the Terriers towards this weekend’s sweep. (From Boston Hockey Blog)

The Boston Hockey Blog’s newest writer provided this analysis: Against Boston College, Drew Commesso gave BU everything it could have hoped for, and more


Poll Story

Terriers move up to #3 in the USCHO D1 Weekly Poll with seven first-place votes. With last week’s top-ranked team, St. Cloud, losing twice to Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota, the new #1, Quinnipiac and BU also moved up a slot.

In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, BU also is #3, improving from #5 last week, with three first-place votes.

ESPN’s John Buccigross has the Terriers at #2 in his ranking. The Everything College Hockey ranking also has BU in the #2 slot.

In the PairWise rankings, BU, which has the second best winning percentage in D1, jumped from #6 to #3.

SNL (Saturday Night Leftovers)

►BU’s 19-6-0 record is its best mark through 25 games since 2008-09 when the Terriers finished January at 19-5-1. In 1995-96 with Pandolfo as captain, BU was 19-3-3 after 25 games.

Nationally, BU is second in goals per game with 4.2, just a smidge behind Western Michigan’s 4.214, and fourth in margin at 1.52 GPG.  BU also is second in winning percentage at .7333, trailing Quinnipiac (.8269)  and edging top-ranked Minnesota (.7321)

►BU has a perfect 15-0-0 record in games when ahead after two periods. When tied after two periods, Terriers are 3-2 with wins in the last three instances.

Hot sticks report:

-Wilmer Skoog has scored nine goals in the last 11 games and 16 points in the last 12.

-Jeremy Wilmer has scored five goals in last five games. He has nine points in the eight games played in 2023.

-Luke Tuch has scored four goals in the last six games and seven points in his last seven games.

►With four assists in the BC series, Lane Hutson has broken the Terrier record for points by a freshman defenseman. He now has 31 points (9G,22A), exceeding the mark set by Alex Legault (30) in the 1989-90 season.

Elite Prospects.com reports that Hutson was 7th most frequent among players at all levels clicked on its site last week.

Sights & Sounds of a Sweep


Looking ahead

2023 recruit Macklin Celebrini scored twice in the third period to help Chicago rally from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime with the NTDP U17s before Team USA scored for a 5-4 win. With the two tallies, Celebrini is now tied with teammate and fellow 2023 recruit Jack Harvey for the league scoring lead with 45 points. Celebrini’s 23 goals pulls him even with another 2023 recruit, Youngstown’s Shane Lachance, two behind Harvey’s league-high 25. 2023 recruit Hunter Hady recorded his 11th assist for the Steel, while 2024 recruit Cole Hutson scored his sixth goal for the U17s and now has 32 points.

2024 recruit Jack Pridham had a pair of two-goal games and a three-assist game to lead St. Andrews College to the bronze medal in the MacPherson Tournament in Aurora, Ontario. With eight points in the five-game event, Pridham now has a 23-28-51 line in 37 games.

The Hockey News’ look at draft prospects whose stock has improved or fallen recently has BU’s latest 2023 recruit, Tom Willander (a ★★★★¼ prospect per NeutralZone) , moving up:

Stock Up: Tom Willander, RHD, Rogle BK J20 (J20 Nationell)

Quietly moving up boards over the last couple of months, Willander has been one of the most intriguing blueline prospects in Europe. He boasts good size as he stands 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. He also possesses mobility and tools that could give him an impressive upside despite already ranking as Sweden’s second-highest scoring defender at the J20 level.

Willander plays a calm, cool, and collected game. He spins off opposing forecheckers and escapes pressure, diffusing danger before finding a teammate in the neutral zone. While playing for the Swedish under-18 squad, he routinely showed more confidence with the puck. Willander tends to lean towards a conservative style of play despite having the skill to play a bit more aggressively. He is committed to Boston University, which could be an excellent place to develop more of a killer instinct with the puck.


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