Saturday, October 3, 2015

BU Axes Acadia

It was your typical exhibition style hockey game: sloppy, with many mistakes and plenty of penalties. In the end, despite being shorthanded for eight minutes including 3:57 of the final 4:00 minutes of the third, BU came from behind to beat Acadia University 4-2.

The Terriers had the game's first real scoring chance when Nick Olsson fed a pass through an Acadia defender's stick right onto the tape of freshman Bobo Carpenter. Carpenter took one stride before releasing a shot labeled for the back of the net. Only problem was Acadia goalie Brandon Glover was there to make a phenomenal save to keep the game scoreless.

Glover made another strong save on a BU power play just minutes later. That was the only decent chance the Terriers had on the man advantage. The set up was in full preseason form: sloppy.

BU eventually broke though just before the midpoint of the first period. Ahti Oksanen stripped the puck from an Axemen defender along the far wall and then shoveled it behind the net to Danny O'Regan. O'Regan was able to bank it in off a defender in the crease and pinball the puck between Glover's legs. Danny scored from practically behind the goal.

When asked whether he was trying to play the bank, he smiled and jokingly said yes. He then went onto say "I was trying to hit Ahti on a backhand, I don't know what it hit. I don't know how it went in."

Acadia struck back to level the game at the 12:06 marker of the period. Remy Giftopoulos got a tip on a Tyler Ferry point shot and deflected it pass Conor LaCouvee glove side.

Two minutes later, the Axemen jumped ahead on a Zach Franko breakaway goal. Mike Cazzola hit Franko with along stretch pass that sprung him in-behind the BU defense. Franko made a strong forehand-backhand move and and beat LaCouve up over his glove to make it 2-1.

BU answered back just two minutes into the second frame. Bobo Carpenter made a forceful rush up the far side after getting the puck from Nick Olsson in the neutral zone. At the bottom of the circle, Carpenter threaded a pass through a defender and found Shane Switzer backdoor. All Switzer had to do was get a stick on the pass because the net was wide open.

Carpenter's net drive created the whole play and the pass was perfect. It also helped that no one on Acadia picked up Switzer.

Sean Maguire entered the game at the mid point of the second. He played well and was key down the stretch on the penalty kill. In 30:36 of ice time, he made 15 saves and allowed zero goals. LaCouvee allowed two goals on 14 shots.

Acadia almost got the lead back early in the third. Charlie McAovy was burned on a play and the subsequent shot beat Maguire high, but hit off the bar and landed safely in the crowd.

BU regained the lead with just under 15 minutes left in the third. Maguire played the puck off the near side glass and it landed in the neutral zone for AJ Greer. The play turned into a three on two into the Acadia zone. Greer made a centering pass from about the top of the circle, through traffic, to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, who redirected it through Glover's legs and into the net.

The Terriers extended their lead after killing off a Forsbacka Karlsson elbowing penalty. Right as time expired on the man advantage, Ahti Oksanen fired the puck in an attempted clear and in the process hit Forsbacka Karlsson coming out of the box at center ice. Once in the slot, JFK was hooked, but he was well in the clear and was awarded a penalty shot.

On the shot, he came in right down center, pump faked with his leg to get Glover going one way and then pulled it back to the other side and tucked it into the open net. "It was a heck of a move on a pretty good goalie" added Coach Quinn after the game.

BU killed off two late penalties to put ice on the exhibition win. Quinn said that he was almost happy they were shorthanded at the end. He wanted to get a few different looks on the PK and with limited practices so far the more reps the better.  

Next week the Terrier will open the regular season at Union College on Saturday night.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Acadia Preview

Tomorrow night, BU finally kicks off the 2015/16 season with an exhibition game against Acadia University. Acadia is located in Woleville, Nova Scotia home and the campus is about and hour and ten minutes from Halifax. It's just up the 101 for anyone who cares about Canadian geography.

Anyway, back to hockey... It is always tough to scout these Canadian schools, seeing how they only come down once a year and no one really follows Canadian college hockey... But here goes nothing.

Acadia was ranked 3rd in the final CIS rankings for 2015, behind Alberta and the University of New Brunswick. So far this season, the Axemen have played three exhibition games against fellow Canadian school and have gone 3-0-0. They beat Moncton 6-3 and Brock University twice, 4-3 and 3-1.

Last season Mike Cazzola and Liam Heelis lead the team in points with 42 each. Cazzola posted 11 goals and 31 assists, while Heelis scored 24 goals and 18 assists. Heelis' 24 goals was the most on the Acadia squad. In goal, Evan Mosher played the bulk of the time holding a 2.12 goals against average and a .919 save percentage on way to a 17-5-0 record.

BU Notes
- Expect Sean Maguire and Conor LaCouvee both to get time in net this game.

- The Boston Hockey Blog put out a tweet the other day stating that the first line will be Ahti Oksanen and Jordan Greenway with Danny O'Regan in the middle. No other news on the lines as of now.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Look at 2016

It's been a few months since the debacle in the third period of the National Championship and a lot has changed. For one, the most obvious, Jack Eichel is gone and so is Even Rodrigues. That's a combined 132 points for anyone keeping track. Matt O'Connor has also departed, leaving a hole in net (more on this later).
Matt Grzelcyk, Matt Lane, and Danny O'Regan are the 2016
Terrier Captains.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Not all is lost, though.

Dave Quinn has once again recruited a rock solid class of freshman. There is no stand alone phenom like Eichel last year, but come on. We all know that was a one time deal. That's not to dump on these new guys.

Jordan Greenway, #18
Greenway played 53 games for the USA-U18 team last season and posted 9 goals and 35 assists. He is an enormous 6-5, 223lb left hand shot left wing from Canton, New York. This past June he was a second round pick (50th overall) by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL Entry Draft.

Shane Switzer, #2
Last year the 6-2 defenseman split time between the Brooks Bandits and the Lloydminster Bobcats which are in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 52 games he racked up 8 goals and 26 points. Switzer was born on November 13, 1995 and calls Bloomfield Hills, Michigan home.

Ryan Cloonan, #8
Cloonan was a member of the dominate Boston Jr Bruins in the USPHL Premier division. In 50 games last year, he put up 20 goals to go along with 45 assists for 65 points, good for 5th in the USPHL. In 2014 he played nine games for Waterloo in the USHL, but returned to the Bruins later that season. Cloonan is from East Longmedow and is a July 1995 birthday.

Charlie McAvoy, #7
The Long Beach, New York native is widely considered one of the top prospects in the 2016 NHL Draft. He was ranked 6th overall by Hockey Last year with the USA NTDP, the defenseman recorded 7 goals and 33 assists in 63 games played.

Bobo Carpenter, #14
Robert the son of long time NHL standout Bobby Carpenter, played for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. In 60 games, Bobo notched 35 goals and 28 assists for 63 points. For both the 2013 and 2014 season, Carpenter played at Austin Prep.

Jakob Forsbaka-Karlsson, #23
JFK for short (still wondering how they are going to fit his name on the back of a jersey) played two years in the USHL with Omaha after coming over from his native land of Sweden. Last year in 50 games with the Lancers, he scored 15 goals and added 38 assists for 53 points. Forsbaka-Karlsson was a member of the Swedish U17 and U 18 National Teams in 2013. This past June he was selected 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in the NHL (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that was one of the Doug Hamilton picks). According to Elite Hockey Prospects JFK "can be an offensively effective center; possesses a high level of hockey intelligence and plays with intensity. A smooth, yet not dynamic skater. An excellent passer; can turn a "nothing doing" play into a scoring chance"

Max Prawdzik, #1
A lanky 6-2 goaltender rounds out this year's recruiting class. Prawdzik played at the Brooks School, a member NEPSAC, where during his senior year they won the Large School league championship. He had a 1.39 goals against average and a strong .943 save percentage to go along with a 19-5-4 record.

And Starting In Goal For the Terriers...
Gone are they days of seeing John Curry and Kieran Millan and even Matt O'Connor last year play night in and night out. This year there will certainly be a goalie rotation between Sean Maguire, who is back after taking all of last year off due to injury and Connor LaCouvee. LaCouvee saw action in eight games and posted a solid 2.58 GAA and .913 sv%. Maguire last saw action in an NCAA on February 28th, 2014 against Northeastern, but was arguably equal if not better than Matt O'Connor. Lets not forget in 2013 he carried the team through the end of the year and into the Hockey East playoffs all the way to the finals before losing to Lowell 1-0. O'Connor suffered a season ending injury in middle of the 2013 season and once Maguire was the full time goalie he was locked in. He won 5 games in a row twice that year and in the middle of both of those streaks he recorded back to back shutouts.
Sean Maguire squares up a shot in a game at Michigan State 
in october of 2013.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
To start the 2016 season I fully believe there will be a goalie rotation between Maguire and LaCouvee, but I would not be surprised in the least if Maguire takes over and runs with the starting job come Beanpot time and into the playoffs. I just don't see Prawdzik in the mix this year. He is young (97 birth year) and has to fill into his frame at 6-2, 165. Could he jump out of no where like Curry did in in 2005? Sure. I don't see why not, but I just think there are two guys much more established that are in front of him.

Matt Grzelcyk
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Matt Lane, Danny O'Regan and Matt Grzeclyk are your captains this season. Grzeclyk will be out for sometime to start the year due to ACL surgery that he underwent during the offseason. There is no set timetable for his return and he was unable to skate all summer. He has since been on the ice, but in a limited manner.

"We’re going to take our time with it, though. There’s certainly no rush getting him back. We’re going to err on the side of caution. When they think he’s ready, I want to wait another few weeks", said coach Quinn in recent article from College Hockey SB Nation.

As for the rest of the defense, the team should be fine. Assuming everyone makes the natural progression from one year to the next guys like Brandon Fortunato, John MacLeod and Brandon Hickey will all be impact players. The Terriers lost not one (zero) member from one of the best defensive corps in the country, last year. Until Grzeclyk returns, Doyle Somerby will be the senior member of the back end. Freshman Shane Switzer and Charlie McAvoy will certainly will be in the mix, too. Brian Diffley could be the odd man out this year, but much like the goalie situation, there could be a rotation of sorts, at least until Grzelcyk comes back. Diffley did have a strong finish to last season and it will very interesting to see who gets the ice time night in and night out. It's a nice problem for Quinn to have, considering everyone of the eight defenseman on the roster can play at a high level.


The offense is a little more fuzzy than the D. It was said before and if anyone needs a reminder, Jack Eichel and Even Rodrigues are in Buffalo now. Guys are going to need to need to step up to even attempt to make up the points those two put up a year ago. The offense is going to run through Danny O'Regan and Lane, Mike Moran and Nick Roberto will play their same type of role and that' fine. It's the now sophomores that need to come up big such as Nick Olsson and Chase Phelps. I would not be surprised in the least bit to see Ahti Oksanen back on the top line like he was to start last year. He will be the finisher on the team because that is the only thing he knows how to do. Also, it doesn't hurt that he can shoot the puck a billion miles an hour. AJ Greer was mentioned in USCHO's Top 10 Forwards to Watch This Year article and I can' disagree. His goal against North Dakota in the Frozen Four was unreal and he really looks like he could break through and have a huge this year. The freshman will work their way in and I fully expect all of them, especially JFK and Greenway to have an immediate impact. Also, don't sleep on Robbie Baillargeon, the kid quietly just puts up points. Nothing too flashy, but gets the job done.

Monday, September 14, 2015

House Keeping

Well here goes nothing...

It has been a while since I last logged in and actually posted something here, but the wait is over. The end of last year left me rather unmotivated to say the least. Anyway, my goal for this season is to go to and cover as many games as I can. Of course this was always the goal all along, but a few things have changed.

For one, I'm now actually in college. No, not at BU, but a few streets over at Suffolk. I hope to make the hockey team here and if I do that, it will restrict the amount of Terrier games I can get to, but I'l try to make it work.

- I'm working on a new header for the blog. The current one  has three players who are no longer on the team and the banners need updating. That is probably my last in my order if concern, though.

- I was going to try and make a season intro video, but my laptop ran out of storage so that is on hold for the foreseeable future

- I will try and get a preview and recap of each game, along with some sort of mid-week article that goes a little deeper into the prior weekend's games.

-Finally, there will be a Hockey East/BU season preview (probably one article) before the Acadia game in early October.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Season in Review

Instead of writing a full season recap with a bunch of games that I wasn't even at, I created this video. It includes highlights from the regular season and every playoff goal, starting with the Hockey East series with Merrimack.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Providence wins the National Championship 4-3
Photo by Matt Dresens

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Terriers, Friars Play For National Title

So it all comes down to tonight. BU and Providence play in an all Hockey East showdown in the National Championship game. It's the first time since 1999 that Hockey East had two teams in the final and that year, Maine topped UNH in overtime out in Anaheim.
BU-Miami in the 2009 National Championship Game
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Providence, after losing two out of three at home in the Hockey East playoffs to New Hampshire, just barely snuck into the NCCA tournament. In fact, they were the last at-large team to make the field. Clearly that means nothing. Just ask Yale in 2013. They were in a very similar position and ran the table in the NCAA tournament and won the National Championship. If Providence wins tonight, it will be the second time in three years that the last team in won the tournament.

In the regionals, the Friars dropped Miami in the tournament's craziest game so far. PC was up 6-2 with around 11 minutes left when Miami pulled their goalie and scored three extra attacker goals, before Providence eventually sealed the deal with an empty netter in the closing minute.

In the regional final vs Denver, PC was aided when they were handed a five minute power play with inside ten minutes to play. DU's Joey LaLeggia came across the middle and blew up play and caught a Friar with his head down. LaLeggia made contact with his head and was shown the gate. Late in the power play and with only 5:00 left in the game, Tom Parisi scored to put PC up 2-1. The Friars would add two empty net goals to round out the scoring.

Two nights ago, PC dropped Nebraska Omaha in decisive fashion 4-1 to advance to their first championship game since 1985.

Scouting the Friars 
Nick Saracino leads the team in scoring with 38 points, 14 goals and 24 assists in 39 games played. Noel Acciari, who scored the first PC goals against Omaha on Thursday and Shane Luke both have 31 points on the year. Acciari leads the team in goals scored at 15 and has also added 16 assists. Luke has 13 goals and 18 assists. Other players to watch are are Mark Jankowski, Ross Mauermann and Trevor Mingoia.

Goaltending is easily Providence's best asset. John Gillies, a South Portland, Maine native has a 23-13-3 record on the year. Gillies is a big reason Providence has the 4th best defense in the nation, allowing just 2.02 goals a game. For personal stats, Gillies boasts a .930 save percentage (7th in the country) and a 1.98 goals against average.

PC is not nearly as fast at Duluth and North Dakota and instead opt to play a much grittier and grinding type of game. This and their stingy defense was on display the last time these two teams met, way back in October. BU won the first game 4-1 going away at Schneider Arena, but the next night, BU got down 2-0 and could not come all the way back as PC's defense bowed their neck and held on to win 2-1 at Agganis.

BU and Providence have an extensive history in the Hockey East tournament, but only have met once in the NCAA tournament. That was 1978. BU won 5-3 in the opening round of the tournament at Schneider on their way to the program's 3rd National Championship. Earlier, Providence handed BU one of only two losses that season, a 5-1 drubbing in the ECAC semis. A strange quirk in the NCAA tournament selection allowed BU to even get in. Generally, the four league winners would play in the final four, but since BU had such a strong record compared to the field, six teams made it and BU was the lowest seed having to play at Providence.