Friday, March 31, 2023

More kudos for Lane Hutson; Looking ahead

                             Photo credit Kyle Prudhome

To the consternation of many BU fans and others in the hockey community, Lane Hutson was not one of the three players chosen for the Hobey Hat Trick. But several other honors came his way this week. The freshman defenseman was named to College Hockey News' All-CHN First Team and the All-Rookie Team. BU Captain Dom Fensore received honorable mention.

College Hockey News 2022-2023 All-CHN Teams 

On Thursday, Hutson was named the 2022-23 recipient of the prestigious Walter Brown Award, which is presented annually to the best American-born Division I men's college hockey player in New England. He becomes the first freshman to received the award since Brian Leetch in 1987 and the 12th Terrier so honored, including in six consecutive years in the 1990s.

Other BU recipients: Ed Walsh 1974, Cleon Daskalakis 1984, David Sacco 1993, Jacques Joubert 1994, Mike Grier 1995, Jay Pandolfo 1996, Chris Drury 1997, Chris Drury 1998, John Curry 2007 and Matt Gilroy 2009. Hutson wins Walter Brown Award

Looking ahead   

2024 recruit Callum Hughes, a left-shot forward for Mount St. Charles, is skating with the Rhode Island Saints in the Tier 1 16U division of USA Hockey Nationals. He scored the shootout game-winner in a 3-2 win over the L.I. Gulls. Fellow 2024 recruit John McNelis had an assist for the Gulls.

In the 18U division, 2024 recruit Will Zellers scored a goal and assisted on three others in Shattuck St. Mary's 7-1 win against the Colorado Rampage. 


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Terrier-Gopher hockey wars; Cole Hutson sets U17 record

Tim Rappleye, who authored "Jack Parker's Wiseguys, has penned a terrific look back at the BU-Minnesota rivalry in NCAA tournament games with emphasis on the 1976 semi-final marred by a brawl in the opening minutes, two game disqualifications and bad feelings that weren't soothed until the Miracle on Ice. 

The Terriers and Gophers have met in the semifinal four times with each team winning twice. In their lone national championship game match-up, BU claimed the 1971 title with a 4-2 win.

College Hockey News BU, Minnesota Will Renew Ancient Rivalry in Tampa Every NHL prospect competing in the 2023 Frozen Four

Looking ahead

With a pair of assists in the NTDP U18's 10-1 win against Muskegon, 2024 recruit Cole Hutson is now the all-time leader in points by an NTDP defenseman in his U17 season. With 52 points (9G,43A), he also stands in fifth place for most points by a defenseman in any NTDP season. He's one point behind Quinn Hughes and 11 points behind his brother, Lane Hutson.  

Looking back

Alex Vlasic, who has spent the season in the AHL with Rockford, made his first NHL appearance in the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to Dallas. Jake Oettinger made 17 saves to gain his 32nd win and lower his GAA to 2.47.

Vlasic played nearly 20 minutes, the most of the seven blueliners who dressed for Chicago. He had two shots on goal and his plus/minus was zero.  A 2019 second-round draft pick, he played 15 games for the Blackhawks last Spring after BU's 2021-22 season ended, giving up his final year of college eligibility.

BleacherNation Alex Vlasic made another strong impression 

Pandolfo named a Spencer Penrose finalist; Frozen Four Press Conference Takeaways

Terrier Head Coach Jay Pandolfo has been named one of eight finalists for the ACHA  Spencer Penrose Award for Division 1 coach of the year. Among the other finalists are Frozen Four coaches Bob Motzko of Minnesota, Rand Pecknold of Quinnipiac and Michigan's interim coach Brandon Naurato. 

Former Terrier head coach Jack Parker won the Spencer Penrose Award three times: 1975, 1978 and 2009. The last two were national championship season for BU. Jack Kelley, who coached BU's first two national titles, won the award in 1962 while at Division 2 Colby. He took over the Terrier post the following season. 


Four Terriers were honored with Hockey East weekly awards following the Terriers' wins in the NCAA Manchester Regional Tournament.  Most Outstanding  Player Drew Commesso is the Stop It Goaltender of the Week. Quinn Hutson, who scored the game-winner against Western Michigan is the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. Lane Hutson, whose goal against WMU was his 48th point, making him the highest scoring freshman defenseman in D1 history, is Defender of the Week. Ethan Phillips, with two assists and a goal against Western Michigan and the game-winner against Cornell is Hockey East Player of the Week.

HockeyEastOnline report

 Poll Story

There is no new USCHO poll, but in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine's new poll, BU is now #4, behind its Frozen Four semifinal opponent Minnesota, who is followed by Michigan and Quinnipiac.

We have a pair of feature stories from the Boston Hockey Blog

Takeaways from Tuesday's Frozen Four Press Conference

It hurts to win but the Terriers are ready to feel the burn

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Frozen Four Field is Set

A day after the Terriers and Gophers punched their tickets to the Frozen Four in Tampa, Quinnipiac and Michigan joined them. The Bobcats defeated Ohio State, 4-1, and the Wolverines beat Penn State in overtime, 2-1. The BU-Minnesota semifinal is set for 5 p.m. ET on April 6, followed by Michigan-Quinnipiac at 8:30 p.m. ET. Both games will air on ESPN2. 

The field features the teams ranked 1,2,3,& 5 in the USCHO and USA polls. Minnesota-1, Michigan-2, Quinnipiac-3 and BU-5.  

In the Pairwise rankings, updated after the regionals, it's Minnesota-1, Quinnipiac-2, Michigan-3 and the Terriers-4. 

The top four scoring offenses: Michigan 4.28 GPG, Minnesota 4.21, Quinnipiac 3.95 and BU 3.90

So it would seem, the best four teams emerged from the regional tournaments.

USCHO  A early look at the 2023 Frozen Four Frozen Four Preview

Video wrap-ups of BU's Manchester Regional Championship: 

From Bernie Perisie. 

And from Matt Woolverton.


Boston Hockey Blog Regionals Notebook


Saturday, March 25, 2023

UPDATED: Terriers edge Cornell for Regional Crown; Heading to Tampa for the Frozen Four

#5 Terriers played a nearly flawless defensive game and skated past #12 Cornell, 2-1, to become the first team in the national tournament to earn its way to the Frozen Four in Tampa. BU received goals from Wilmer Skoog in the second period and Ethan Phillips in the third before the Big Red connected on an extra-attacker goal in the final minute. Goalie Drew Commesso stopped 13 shots in the final period and allowed just two goals in the regional tournament to win Most Outstanding Player honors. 

                  Extended highlights linked below.

The victory, before a crowd of 7,143 at SNHU Arena, sent BU to the Frozen Four for the 23rd time and it was the third time that Manchester Regional championship provided the pathway. Prior Manchester Regional titles came in 2009 and 2015.

                Scroll down for defkit's Terrier Takeaway

"I was very lucky with the team that I inherited," Head Coach Jay Pandolfo said, post-game. "I have an older team than we usually have at BU and one that is motivated to do well. We had some young freshman that have really contributed, from up and down the lineup. It was credit for them buying in. Without everyone buying in, this wouldn't be possible."

“I’m just really proud of this group. All year long, they’ve been a resilient group. They’ve come together, especially in the last month,” he added. “One of our goals was to get to the Frozen Four and we accomplished that today, so really proud of them.” 

"I thought we broke pucks out really well,” Pandolfo said. “Our guys did a heck of a job of keeping them to the outside. Obviously, they got that one late, but overall, what an effort from our guys!”

Five Terriers were named to the All-Tournament team. Joining MOP Commesso were forwards Wilmer Skoog and Ethan Phillips and defensemen Dom Fensore and Lane Hutson. Cornell's Jack O'Leary also was selected.

In the Frozen Four semifinal, the Terriers, now 29-10-0, will face top-ranked Minnesota (28-9-1), who defeated St. Cloud, 4-1, in the Fargo Regional, scoring twice in the final ten minutes to pull away.

There was plenty of up and down action in the opening period, but few shots on goal by either team: four apiece to be precise. Following a BU penalty late in the period, Commesso had to make a few sharp saves to keep the game scoreless. 

Terriers got on the board two minutes into the middle period. With the puck in the offensive zone, Skoog sent it from the right corner to the left corner. Dylan Peterson gave up the body to free the puck from a Big Red defender. It trickled to Jeremy Wilmer on the goal line and he quickly found an unmarked Skoog at the top of the crease. He rapped the puck past Ian Shane for his career-best 16th goal and a 1-0 lead.

Midway through the period as a Cornell power play (BU too many men penalty) wound down, Big Red top scorer Gabriel Seger's shot from the left circle was deflected by Jamie Armstrong's stick and then off Commesso's shoulder and the crossbar.

With 5:45 left in the period, Quinn Hutson, who had scored the game-winner against Western Michigan on the rush, nearly doubled BU's lead. He broke in alone, firing a wrist shot that beat Shane, but went off the inside of the right post and stayed out.

BU found itself 20 minutes from a Regional title, nursing a 1-0 lead. The plan was same as it had been from the opening face off: keep the Big Red to the outside and make sure Commesso could see pucks. BU executed it perfectly limiting Cornell to just two shots in the third period until the final minute.

Seven minutes into the period, Phillips got his stick on Cornell pass near the BU blueliner and the puck fell to Matt Brown, who head-manned it to Phillips in the neutral zone. He broke past a defender, fired a low shot off Shane's glove, then buried the rebound for his second goal of the tournament and fourth of the season, giving BU a 2-0 lead.  

Terriers continued to break up entry attempts and block shots when Cornell did gain the zone. At the 15-minute mark, an interference penalty on Cornell enabled BU to take time off the clock. When Cornell Coach Mike Schafer finally pulled Shane for an extra attacker, BU cleared the zone several times. 

With half a minute remaining, the puck was loose to the left of the BU net. As Commesso went to play it, he was slashed in the mask and Dalton Bancroft poked it into the blue paint. The puck trickled past a diving Cade Webber and into the cage. BU asked for a review but the goal stood, cutting the lead in half.

A final Big Red attempt was blocked by Lane Hutson to the end boards where Webber tied the puck up as time ran out.

For the game, BU outshot Cornell 21-14, had 21 blocks to six for the Big Red and won 29 of 56 face offs. Webber and Ty Gallagher each had four blocks.

“Our whole d-core, especially not having Case McCarthy –– the way John Copeland stepped up, Cade Webber every night, he’s one of our best defensive players,” Pandolfo said. “I mean the kid eats pucks.”

The view of the final minute from the band followed by choruses of "Go BU" and "Hey Baby":

MOP Commesso, after finishing the regular season with a shutout of Providence, has yielded just eight goals in five post-season games. He improved his record to 24-7-0, lowered his GAA to 2.41 and upped his save percentage to .914.   

With his assist on Phillips' game-winner, Brown now has 46 points this season and 100 for his career, which includes his first two seasons at UMass Lowell.

Pandolfo is fifth first-year coach to lead his team to the Frozen Four during the past three decades. He also matches the achievement of his BU coach, Jack Parker, who took the Terriers to the Frozen Four in his inaugural season of 1973-74.

BU extended its best-in-D1 current winning streak to nine games, and now has a 22-1 record in games where they have led after two periods. recap and comprehensive box score

Video Highlights, Extended highlights

Post-game press conference

Photo Gallery

Boston Hockey Blog Terriers are Tampa-bound

College Hockey News Back on the Stage

USCHO BU beats Cornell, plays into the Frozen Four

defkit's Terrier Takeaway

What an incredible run this team has been on.

- I was impressed by the size of the crowd. While the end sections of the balcony were curtained off, the rest of the arena was 90% full in my estimation. There were more BU fans, but Cornell was well represented.

- To hold Cornell to 14 shots shows the commitment that this team is making to play however they need to in order to win. For the second game in a row, they played excellent team defense. Cornell doesn't possess a game-breaker and so, by and large, BU was able to keep the shots to the outside.

- Commesso came so close to a shutout. He is playing the way this team has needed to win the trophies they've earned. It won't get any easier from here on out, but the team seems to know they can count on a solid performance in net.

- It is always fun to be at a game when you know many of the fans have not seen Lane Hutson play before. (In this case there were quite a few locals sporting their Monarchs jerseys). The oohs and aahs when he makes his moves...yeah he does that all the time.

- I haven't seen the Pandolfo press conference. I am pretty sure Skoog didn't play at all in the third period. I saw him standing at the bench and during one of the time outs he seemed to go for  a spin on the ice. I hope he is not injured. There are only so many injuries this team can take!

- The 4th line may have had the most ice time - certainly down the stretch they were out there a ton. As a player, Jay was often out there in those situations, given his stellar defensive play. I imagine he loves having guys like Stevens and Armstrong that he knows are going to make the right play consistently.

- It's great to see Phillips get another big goal for the team. He has had some tough luck through his time at BU. And he now owns the GWG that got this team to the Frozen Four. Many big names didn't make it this far. Keller, Tkachuk, Greenway, Zegras to name a few. Phillips now has. Good for him.

- The road ahead will be tough. Minnesota is a force. It could be ugly and end quickly. Hopefully, Jay will bring out a tape of the '97 semifinal against Michigan to show what can be accomplished if the effort and discipline are there.

UPDATED Game Day: BU vs. Cornell for the Manchester Regional championship


#5 Terriers will face #12 Cornell in the NCAA Manchester Regional title game at SNHU Arena today at 4 p.m. At stake is a berth in the Frozen Four in Tampa in two weekends. Puck drop today is at 4 p.m. for the contest that will air live on ESPNU and be live streamed on ESPN+. In Canada, the game will air on TSN+.

The game will be the fourth meeting between the Big Red and the Terriers in the NCAA tournament. In 2018, BU defeated Cornell, 3-1, in the Worcester Regional semifinal. Previously, the two teams met twice in the national championship game, each time following a meeting in ECAC tournament title game. In 1967, Cornell, led by goalie Ken Dryden beat BU, 4-3, in the ECAC title game and then 4-1 in the NCAA final. In 1972, the Terriers returned the favor, defeating the Big Red, 4-1, in the ECAC final and then blanking them, 4-0, behind Tim Regan's standout goaltending and two goals each from Ron Anderson and Ric Jordan, to repeat as national champions.

BU, which is riding a D1-best current winning streak of eight games, is now 5-0 in NCAA tournament games played in the Manchester Regional.

The two team played at Agganis Arena in mid-January with BU pulling out a 4-3 win on third-period tallies by Captain Dom Fensore and freshman Lane Hutson.

Cornell won its regional semifinal, knocking off defending champion Denver, 2-0, as goalie Ian Shane pitched his fifth shutout of the season. His 1.70 GAA is second-best in Division 1.

Gabriel Seger leads Cornell with 29 points while Ben Berard is the top goal-scorer with 11 goals and 28 points. Blueline standout Sam Malinski has 26 points while forward Max Andeev has 22 points. 

After being able to unleash its speed and transition game throughout the semifinal win against Western Michigan, BU will face a tougher challenge from Coach Mike Schafer's Big Red who employ a tight-checking, physical game and have limited their last seven opponents (5-2-0) to just five total goals.














Live Stream, ESPN+, International Stream 

Boston Hockey Blog preview; Phillips proved the difference

● College Hockey News Tale of the Tape 

● Boston Herald Pandolfo has BU One Win from Frozen Four


Looking ahead 

2023 recruit Macklin Celebrini scored a pair of goals and fellow recruit Jack Harvey scored once, but Chicago lost to Green Bay,4-3, when the Gamblers scored with less than a second left in regulation. Celebrini is the league's top scorer with a 43-33-76 line. Harvey is third with 34-31-65.

USHL Spotlight on Macklin Celebrini

2023 recruit Shane Lachance scored his 30th goal and 2024 recruit Brandon Svoboda potted his 14th as Youngstown defeated Madison 6-1. Lachance joins Celebrini and Harvey as three of the four 30+ goal scorers in the USHL this season. 

Looking back

Clayton Keller's 35th goal was Arizona's only tally in a 3-1 loss to Colorado. 

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