Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Look At The New Class

Ah, tis the season. Football is back and hockey is right around the corner. BU opens their exhibition schedule less than two weeks from today when Prince Edward Island come to Agganis on October 1st.

Bobo Carpenter celebrates after scoring at Yale last season.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Before we get into anything about games, let’s take a look at the incoming freshman class. Many sites across the college hockey landscape have pegged BU as the runaway best recruit class in the country. 

The class is headlined by Clayton Keller and Kiefer Bellows, but we will take a look at all nine of BU’s newcomers. 

Starting in numerical order:

Chad Krys, #5, Defenseman
The six-foot, 185-pound defenseman come from Ridgefield, Connecticut, but spent the last two seasons with the US National Development Team in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Last season he saw time with both the U17 and U18 teams and combined to notch 5 goals, 37 assists for 42. He was also a member of the USA WJC team that won bronze in Stockholm. Chad was drafted 45th overall in this year’s NHL draft by the Blackhawks. Krys’ father was Captain of the 1991 BU team that fell in triple overtime to Northern Michigan in the National Title Game.

Kiefer Bellows, #9, Forward
The Edina, Minnesota native tore through the high school ranks, helping the Edina Hornets net yet another state title in 2014 as a sophomore. The next year he picked up right where he left off and posted impressive numbers (33g, 19a in 58 games) with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. Last season, he led the USA U18 team in goals scored with 50. Bellows was taken 19th overall in the NHL Draft by the Islanders this past June.

Gabriel Chabot, #10, Forward
Cabot might not be the biggest name in the class, but as he flies a bit under the radar, he certainly has the potential to make an impact. The 21-year-old freshman, stands 5-8, 180, but was a big-time scorer with the Rochester Jr. Americans of the USPHL. He led the team in points with 50 (19 goals, 31 assists). Cabot is from Quebec City.

Patrick Curry, #11, Forward
Curry played two years with the Bloomington Thunder (USHL), racking up 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 points in. The 5-11 freshman is from Schaumburg, Illinois and prior to playing in Bloomington, he skated for the Springfield Junior Blues in the North American league.

Dante Fabro, #17, Defenseman
Fabro was considered a “huge get” when he first committed and for good reason. The New Westminster, BC native went 17th overall in the NHL Entry Draft to Nashville. Fabro was named the top defenseman in the BCHL as a member of the Penticton Vees. He led all defenseman in the league in scoring with 14 goals and 53 assists (1.49ppg) last season. He also played for Team Canada in Grand Forks at the 2016 U18 World Championships. He should play a critical role on the power play this season.

Clayton Keller, #19, Forward
To put it bluntly, Keller is the biggest recruit since Jack Eichel landed at BU two years ago. Keller broke Phill Kessel’s NTDP career scoring record by nine points last season. In two seasons with the National Team, Keller recorded 189 points (71 goals, 118 assists). The 118 assists are good for second all-time behind Jeremy Bracco (122). Eichel ranks seventh in total points with 139. Keller was taken 7th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL Draft.

Patrick Harper, #21, Forward
Harper took the old path to college hockey, the prep school route. Last year, he led Avon Old Farms in scoring with 59 points as the team reached the NEPSAC semifinals. As the number one seed, they were knocked off 5-3 at home by The Gunnery School. Harper was selected 138th overall in the NHL Draft this June.

Johny McDermott, #28, Forward
McDermott, another prep school kid, was Captain at Westminster last season and led the team in assists with 25 in 25 games played. McDermott also bounced around a few select teams. He was with the Mid-Fairfield Rangers, Connecticut U16 Oilers, and played two games with the Tri-City Storm in the USHL.

Jake Oettinger, #29
Oettinger will be looked upon to stabilize the goaltending position, a position that was very inconsistent a year ago. From Lakeville, Minnesota, Oettinger has been doing that ever since his freshman year in high school. He played just die games, but led Lakeville to the Class 2A state championship and was named to the all-tournament team in 2014. Last year, he was a member of the USA U18 team and posted a .908 save percentage and a 2.38 goals against. From all accounts, he was the top goalie in the NDTP system and was the starting goalie at the U18 Worlds.

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.