Saturday, June 25, 2016

Six Terriers Taken In Record Setting NHL Draft

Charlie McAvoy was taken
14th overall by the Bruins.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
It was a record setting NHL draft in more than one way in Buffalo this weekend. BU matched the 2007 Minnesota Gophers as the only other team to have four players picked in the first round. The Terriers were the first school ever in draft history to have four players taken in the first 19 picks.

Three CHL teams have also had four picks in the first round, but that was in the '60s and '70s.

It was also a record night for USA Hockey. Twelve Americans were selected in the first round, an all-time high.

Clayton Keller was the first Terrier off the board at 7 overall to Arizona. Keller will be on campus this fall as the most touted freshman since Jack Eichel.

The Bruins made a move to bolster their blue line for the future when they picked up Charlie McAvoy with the 14th overall pick. For what the Bruins need, it was a strong pick. Thankfully, for BU, McAvoy will be back on Comm Ave for at least one more year before he heads down the street to Causeway Street. It also sets up a possible reunion with Matt Grzelcyk, who was his D-partner for the majority of last year. The two will certainly look good in black and gold in the coming years.

Three picks later at 17, Nashville scooped up Dante Fabbro. Fabbro is a highly projected defenseman out of Penticton of the BCHL.

The Islanders rounded out the BU selections at 19 when they selected Edina, Minnesota native Kiefer Bellows. Bellows is the son of Brian Bellows, who racked up over 1,000 points in the NHL.

On day two of the draft, Chicago picked up another Terrier recruit for this fall in Chad Krys. Krys was originally projected as a first round pick in the early draft boards, but faded in the second half of the year. The defenseman will still be looked upon to make an immediate impact at BU this fall.

Patrick Harper was the final Terrier selected in the draft. He went 138th overall to Nashville in the 5th round.

Freshman Pick Numbers
Lost in all of the draft news from the weekend was the announcement of roster numbers for the incoming freshman class. They are as follows:

5. Chad Krys (D)
9. Kieffer Bellows (F)
10. Gabriel Chabot (F)
11. Patrick Curry (F)
17. Dante Fabbro (D)
19. Clayton Keller (F)
21. Patrick Harper (F)
28. Johny McDermott (D)
29. Jake Ottinger (G)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tribute To Terriers In the Stanley Cup Playoffs

All the goals and highlight-reel assists from former Terriers in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. Enjoy.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2017 Home Schedule Announced

Earlier today, BU announced the home component of their 2017 schedule. It is as follows:

Sat 10/1 Prince Edward Island (exhibition)
Thus 10/6 USA U18 (exhibition)
Fri 10/21 Sacred Hart
Sat 10/22 Quinnipiac

Sat 11/5 Northeastern 
Sat 11/19 UConn
Tues 11/22 Harvard

Fri 12/2 Providence
Tues 12/13 Yale

Thurs 1/5 Union
Fri 1/13 Boston College
Fri 1/20 Maine
Fri 1/27 Merrimack
Sat 1/28 Lowell

Fri 2/3 UMass
Fri 2/17 New Hampshire
Fri 2/24 Notre Dame
Sat 2/25 Notre Dame

It is interesting to see so many non-weekend games in the first half of the year. I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing, but the building will be a morgue for most of them. Also, why is BU playing Sacred Hart?

This does nothing of for the team. If they beat them, great. It does nothing PWR wise. If they lose, it has the potential to kill their PairWise. There is no benefit from playing them. The way it is set up, it could be a real trap game with Quinnipiac coming in the next night.

If you want to play an AHA team fine. Play a good one. Why not bring RIT into Agganis? 

Other than that, I like the schedule. There may not be a high profile team like  Michigan/North Dakota on their, but  QU, Yale, Harvard are all solid goon conference games and should do well at the gate. Ok, maybe the Yale game in the middle of the week when winter break starts will be an empty barn, but other than that the place should be mostly full. 

The BC series once again seems to be in the middle of winter break. This is stupid for the obvious reason that no students will be there, but it also sets up an almost inevitable conflict with a Patriots playoff game, much like last year. 

The league should want to spotlight this series, not bury it over holiday break and NFL Playoffs. 

The scheduled is slowly coming together. It can only mean hockey season is slowly coming up on the horizon.

Friday, April 15, 2016

2016 Season Highlight Video

Yesterday I finally finished the season highlight video. I did this instead of a full year recap post, just something a little more exciting. Enjoy.

Songs:
Once, Pearl Jam
Sleeping Sickness, City And Colour

Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Our Season Ended in Notre Dame"

Seniors Matt Lane and Mike Moran
were the last two head off the ice
yesterday after they played their final
game as a Terrier.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
As the sparsely populated crowd departed the Xcel Center in St. Paul, Minnesota last night, somewhere deep under the seats in the bottom of the building Dave Quinn was in tears. Captain Matt Grzelcyk, still in his uniform, was right next to him as they answered questions from the press. 

Grzelcyk and the rest of the senior class were sophomores when Quinn took over for longtime coach Jack Parker in October 2013.

"They mean so much to our program, they're incredible people," said Quinn following yesterday's 7-2 loss to Denver. "The great part about coaching college sports is you get to build friendships with your former players. Hopefully they like me enough to continue friendships moving forward - maybe if I pay for golf moving forward, they'll spend some time with me. It's a sad day for me personally.”

Unlike last year, this season seemed to have a very gradual end to it. Since the Beanpot final, BU never really found their game. They were one goal away from beating Boston College, a team that is currently packing their bags for Tampa. BU never played the same again.

They followed the Beanpot with a split against Lowell and three point weekend vs New Hampshire. Still, BU wasn't playing great hockey. UNH should have been a relatively easy sweep. Instead, BU struggled to score and barely held on in the second game of the series.

Then it was onto Notre Dame. BU won game one. They came out, played strong from the get go and scored first, eventually building a 3-1 lead in the third. Even though ND struck late, BU won their first game in South Bend… ever. Game two saw Sean Maguire stand on his head, making 27 saves and allowing only one goal. It was not enough. BU threw 39 shots at Cal Peterson, but could never find the back of the net. That killed BU.

"It seems like our season ended at Notre Dame," said Quinn. "I don't know what happened to us mentally. We were playing good hockey and we became a fragile group mentally. All of a sudden we're playing well and we go down 1-0, and we just never really recovered from that. It's certainly disappointing, to say the least."

He could not have been more right. After the loss and the way the league standings filtered out, BU finished as the fifth seed in the Hockey East Tournament. That meant they had to face last place UMass in the opening round at home, instead of having a bye to the quarterfinals.

A series that should have been a no problem, slam dunk turned into a major struggle. BU needed overtime in game one and really should have lost. Just prior to Bobo Carpenter scoring his second goal of the game in OT, UMass was on the power play. Sean Maguire made two huge saves to keep the game going. Unfortunately, that was his last great game as a Terrier.

He allowed four goals the following night and BU again had difficulties putting away a scrappy UMass club. Eventually, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scored the go ahead goal midway through the third and that was enough to push BU past the Minutemen. They didn't play well at all, but because of the competition, it was enough.

That certainly was not the case in Lowell. Again, once Lowell got the lead in both games it felt like the game was over. Maguire was not sharp, but it was certainly not all on him. BU scored just two goals the entire weekend and completely no-showed in game two.

At least yesterday they came out fast. But once again, the second Denver got one the board, BU was sunk. The Terriers had no offense. They never were able to find that comeback magic they had at the start of the year. First semester, BU was always in a game, no matter how much time was left or what the score was. After the Beanpot, it seemed like once they were down a goal the game was out out reach.

Quinn added, "I wish I could explain how our season kind of unfolded here after that Notre Dame loss. We played well the second night at Notre Dame and it cost us a bye. We just never recovered from it. For a team that had battled back from a lot of adversity early in the year - we'd get down and we just kept battling back and we were mentally tough - somewhere along the way we lost that. It's too bad.”

It will be interesting (as always) to see who sticks around. Personally, I think the biggest flight risks for next year come from the backend. Doyle Somerby and Brandon Hickey could both be on their way to the NHL or at least the AHL. That being said, if Somerby stays he will more than likely be the captain for next year's squad. BU could potentially have five (5) first round picks on their roster next year.

To Danny, Ahti, Matt, Sean, Matt and Mike, if you are reading this A) thanks you for doing so, and B) it has been a pleasure to watch all of you over the past four years. Good luck, I wish you well.

I would also like to thank everyone who followed along this year. I will have one or two more posts, maybe a video to wrap up the year. Otherwise, see ya in October.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Disaster

Denver Runs Over BU, Terriers Season Ends

ST. PAUL - We should have seen this coming. Two weeks ago the team looked all out of sorts. Tonight, they might have been worse. Denver walked all over BU 7-2 and sent a Terrier team that could not get any aspect of their game in gear back to Boston, thoroughly beaten. Denver will play Ferris State tomorrow night in the Regional Final. 
A dejected group of Terriers head off the ice following the game
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Denver hit the post on their second shot of the game. Despite that, BU had the early momentum with two power plays. Unfortunately they could not cash-in on either, but were out shooting DU 7-2 at one point. It was a steep and never ending decline from there. 

Coach Quinn said it pretty straight forward: "When you lose 7-2, you lost to a better team."

Denver first struck midway through the opening stanza on a rebound goal from Blake Hillman. Evan Janssen slipped a pass to Troy Terry, who fired in a shot from the far side wing. It hit perfectly off Sean Maguire's right pad, out into the slot and onto Hillman's stick. Hillman one touched the rebound into a wide open net. It was just Hillman's second goal of the year. 

"We came out with a lot of energy," said senior captain Matt Grzelcyk. "Then they got the first goal and it seemed like we had never faced adversity before. You could kind of see it coming. It just kind of snowballed on us."

The Pioneers doubled their lead with 2:20 left in the period. BU had a decent chance down in the Denver end, but the Pios transitioned well from defense to offenses and the rush went the other way. From behind the net, Danton Heinen worked the puck over to Dylan Gambrell in the low circle. Gambrell finished with a backhand roof job up over Maguire's left shoulder and in. 

To say Denver was the better team in the second period would be an incredible understatement. BU needed to come out with some jump, play with a spark. The did the exact opposite. Denver out attempted BU 20-9 and out scored them 3-0.

Denver scored 24 seconds into the period on a cary-over power play. Will Butcher wristed in a shot from the point, through a screen for his 7th goal of the year. 

"We always felt like we had a chance," mentioned Quinn. "We talked about getting back to basics, getting back to the way we played in the first 15 minutes. But then they got an early power play goal and it's always tough because you see the heads go down and we kind of lost belief right then and there."

Less than three minutes later, it was 4-0. Matt Marcinew burred a centering pass from below the goal line from Jarid Lukosevivi five hole on Maguire. 

Looking for a change in momentum, Quinn opted to pull Maguire in favor of Connor LaCouvee. Maguire made 9 stops on 13 shots. 

With Maguire out, Denver continued to pour it on. Evan Janssen tucked a breakaway attempt through LaCouvee's legs to make it 5-0 before the end of the second.

Butcher notched his second of the game 3:23 into the third on a five on three power play, before Danny O'Regan got on BU on the board at the 12:45 marker. 

Trevor Moore regained a six goal lead for Denver with a wraparound bid a little over a minute later. Finally, Mike Moran rounded out the scoring for BU with 15 seconds left. The senior forward looked to have tears in his eyes after scoring in his last shift as a Terrier. 


I'll have more up tomorrow to wrap up the year. Thanks to all who followed along this year. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Denver-BU Square Off In Opening Round Of NCAA's

The break is over. Now, let's just see how they come out of it.

As you know, BU did not make it past Lowell in the Hockey East Quarterfinals and thus did not play last weekend at the Garden. BU was off for the first time since the holiday break. That brings us to Saturday.
The Terriers will be headed west to St. Paul, Minnesota and play Denver in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This is the second straight year BU has qualified for the tournament and that's as far as I will go in reference to last year's appearance. It marks the first time since 2007 that BU has made the dance in two consecutive years. The Terriers were in the NCAA's from 2002-2007 with the exception of 2004.

BU and Denver have already met this year. That was back on Halloween at Agganis. BU was coming off their first two game losing streak since 2014 with back to back losses to UConn and Merrimack. Denver on the other hand, played Boston College the night before and lost by a goal.

The Terriers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a Ryan Cloonan goal just 1:58 in. A quick start will be critical for BU. Denver accumulates the majority of their offense from their top line and if BU can get up early, that line is going to be gassed. Easier said than done, as BU's offense has been almost non existent recently.

DU did find an impressive way to come back on BU in that Halloween tilt. With BU leading 4-2 entering the third, things were looking pretty good. That was until Denver out shot BU 18-5 and outscored them 2-0 to tie the game in the final frame. It was not to be for the Pioneers, though. Ahti Oksanen scored his second goal of the game just 21 seconds into overtime to give BU the win.

Fast forward to this weekend, both teams are in very similar spots. At the time, BU was ranked 8th in nation, Denver was 5. This weekend, BU is the 9 seed, DU the 6. Also, BU is on a two game losing streak.

“Maybe the break did us good,” said Quinn. “We’ve had some great practices; I love our attitude right now. One of the things we’ve talked about over the last 10 days is keep building on feeling good, and the best way to feel good is to work hard, and they’ve worked hard.”

As for the rest of the season, Denver lost only six games after coming to Boston in October. They went winless in December, with a pair of losses to North Dakota and St. Cloud. DU all but made up for that tough stretch by reeling off 11 wins in a row from January 30th to March 12th. In that span, they beat North Dakota twice, Colorado College twice, Western Michigan twice and Omaha four times… in a row. Last weekend, DU fell to St. Cloud 4-2 in the NCHC semis.

Speaking of St. Cloud, they will most likely be the team the winner of the BU-DU game faces. The Cloud plays Ferris State, who made an impressive run at the WCHA title, in the early game on Saturday.

Scouting The Pioneers
Like I said earlier, Denver is led by mostly one line. Freshman Dylan Grambrell leads the Pios in points with 43 (15g, 28a) in 38 games played. Right behind him is Trevor Moore and Danton Heinen. Heinon could potentially be on the Bruins third line next week if DU doesn't go to Tampa. He has a team high 19 goals and 22 assists for 42 points. Moore is the set up man on the line. He comes in with 33 assists and 9 goals for 42 points. Other players to watch: Will Butcher (scored vs BU last time, former US WJC Member), Quentin Shore and Troy Terry.

In goal, BU saw Tanner Jaillet back in October. On the year, he has a .925 save percentage and a 2.23 goals against average and three shutouts.

Common Opponents
Boston College
Denver 3, @ BC 4 (October 30)
BU 3 @ BC 5 (January 15)
BC 1, @ BU 1 (January 16)
BC 1, vs BU 0 (OT) (Beanpot Final)

Wisconsin
Wisco 1, @ BU 4 (October 17)
Denver 3, @ Wisco 3 (November 20)
Denver 6, @ Wisco 2 (November 21)

Notre Dame
BU 3, @ Notre Dame 2 (Febuary 26)
BU 0, @ Note Dame 1 (February 27)
ND 1, @ Denver 1 (January 1)
ND 2, @ Denver 2 (January 2)

History
BU and Denver have met four times in the NCAA tournament that dates back to 1948. The first meeting was in 1960. Denver won the third place game in that year's tournament. Until 1976, the field was just four teams in a one game playoff format. The teams met again in '66, with Denver winning again, 4-3. BU picked up their first win in playoff action vs the Pioneers in 1971. They won the opening round of the final four 4-2 against Denver, before beating Minnesota by the same score in the final. Finally, in 1997 the two teams met in the second round of the east regional in Worcester. BU won the game 4-3 in overtime off a Chris Drury goal. That sent BU to the frozen four in Milwaukee where they upset Michigan before losing to North Dakota in the championship game.