Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The NCAA Tournament As It Would Look Right Now

Playoffs? Already? No, but the Pair Wise rankings have come out and have been out for a couple of weeks now. The PWR determines the field of 16 for the NCAA tournament. You will not find it on USCHO (they're still figuring out how to use their new format to their website), but the PWR is up on The College Hockey News and Sioux Sports.com.

BU sits in fourth right now, making them the final number one seed.

The winner of each Conference tournament is an automatic qualifier regardless of their Pair Wise Rank. 

Here's how my playoff bracket looks going into December:

Regional site: Bridgeport Connecticut, East Regional 
1. Yale vs. 16. Canisuis/Robert Morris (Atlantic Hockey Conference leaders)
8. Michigan vs. 9. Denver

Regional site: St Louis Missouri, West Regional 
2. Nebraska Omaha vs. 15. Maine
7. North Dakota vs. 10. Minnesota

Regional site:Green Bay Wisconsin, Mid-West Regional 
3. Minnesota Duluth vs. 14. Rensselaer
5. Notre Damevs. 11. Union

Regional site: Manchester New Hampshire, North-East Regional. 
4. Boston University vs. 13. Dartmouth/Boston College
6. New Hampshire* vs. 12. Miami

*Site host automatically seeded at their host site. In a normal Bracket the 5th seed would play the 12th seed and the 6th seed would play the 11seed.

The Frozen Four is in St. Paul Minnesota on March 7th and 9th.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Colby Cohen Traded To Bruins From Colorado

Former Terrier, Colby Cohen was traded today to the Boston Bruins from the Colorado Avalanche. The B's gave the Aves defenseman Matt Hunwick, and in return received Cohen.

The Bruins say it was to make room on the salary cap for when Mark Savard comes bak from a concussion.

"This (move) will be enough to activate Marc Savard when he's ready to play," general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a conference call. - USA Today

Last season at BU, Cohen racked up 14 goals and 16 assist, his most productive offensive year with the Terriers. In case you forgot he did score the game winning goal in the National Championship game back in 2009 and was named tournament MVP. He was also an All American last year. 

This season with the Avalanche, Cohen has played in only three games, recording no points and is -1 on the year. In AHL Lake Erie he has played in 14 games, scored one goal, his only point, and has 12 penalty minutes.

It's Like '07 All Over Again

Garret Noonan (top) and
Ben Rosen (bottom) are
my "Players of the

Noonan had two assists
over the weekend and
one came on Rosen's goal,
his first collegiate goal
in the first period of the
Brown game.That is why he
was named
a "Player of the Week"

(Photos by Matt Dresens)
During the 2007 season, BU racked up nine ties throughout the year. This season they are just four away from that mark and we're not even in December yet. (although the next game will come on Friday which is in December). 

After going an impressive 6-0-1 through the first month of the season, BU has only been able muscle together one more win since the end of October. That came last weekend against New Hampshire in a 4-2 win at Agganis. The night before, the Wildcats ended the Terriers unbeaten streak at 10. 

Parker had this to say about the abnormally high number of draws thus far this season:"I have a closet full of ties; I’ve got enough ties.”

He might need a bigger closet because there is still more than half the season to go. 

At this point in 2007, BU had an identical number of ties at five. They also both won and lost a game in overtime before the last month of the year rolled around. 

At The Polls 
BU remained in second in the USCHO poll by the skin of their teeth. The Bulldogs from Yale and BU are tied (the theme of this article) at 901 points, but BU gets a leg up because they picked up one first place vote and Yale did not. Minnesota Duluth held on to the top spot and Nebraska Omaha and NewHampshire rounded out the top five. 

Yale edged BU for second in the USA Today poll by just six points (454-448). The top five was the same except for that. 

The Terriers slipped to fourth in the INCH Power Rankings

BU moved up from 6th to 4th in the Pair Wise Rankings

Around Hockey East
On Friday night, BC was taken down by Merrimack, 5-2. The Eagles responded by blanking Vermont 6-0 on Sunday. UMass also beat Vermont last Tuesday 4-1. Northeastern tied the Catamounts 2-2  Saturday night. That same night, Lowell was blown out 8-3 by Minnesota State. State beat the Riverhawks again the next night, 3-2. Merrimack was upended by UNH 2-1 and UMass picked up it's second straight win by beating Quinnipiac 5-1, also on Saturday night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Crap Shoot Goes For Knot

Ben Rosen, scored his first career goal
in the first period. Behind him is Harry
Zolnierczyk who was later tossed from
the game.
(Photo By Matt Dresens)
Tonight, BU and Brown played one of the ugliest games in a long time. There were 8 total goals but, at the same time, lacked any sort of flow at all. Pucks were being iced and tossed into the stands, plus there were many penalty stoppages.

Brown came out of the gates with a full head of steam. Two goals in the first two minutes put the Terriers in hole. Brown's first goal was kind of a fluke. The puck bounced up in the air and Harry Zolnierczyk batted it down and in one motion somehow hit it over to Jesse Fratkin, who put it past Millan. It was the first shot of the game. Brown's second shot on goal also found the back of the net. BU's David Warsofsky tried to headman the puck, but was pickpocketed by Zolnierczyk, who then skated in on Millan and slipped a backhander between the goalie's legs, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead on just two shots.

BU responded with a little over 8:30 left in the period. Garrett Noonan made a nice play to keep the puck in the Brown zone. At the same time, he slid a pass to Ben Rosen who scored his first collegiate goal. Rosen transferred from Brown, before the start of last season.

BU tied up the game in the early minutes of the second period. Captain Joe Pereira was sent on a 2 on 1 with Ryan Rukkia. Pereira opted not to pass and took a shot that was stopped by Mike Clemente, but there was a small rebound that Pereira pushed in, along with the goalie.

Later in the second frame, BU took the lead on a 5 on 3 power play. Brown's Bobby Farnham and Zolnierczyk were sent to the box for crosschecking. Zolnierczyk disagreed with his penalty and threw a fit, resulting in a 10 minute misconduct and another penalty. Might I add, this guy is the Captain of an Ivy League school. His night of penalties did not end there. In the middle of the third period, after Adam Clendening made a nice spin-o-rama move on him, he tried to take out Clendening at center ice. Clendening was skating through the neutral zone and Zolnierczyk threw a nasty leg check and was tossed from the game and BU was given a five minute power play. Clendening took a long time to get up, but did return on his next shift. Anyway, back to the goal.... Clendening and Warsofsky both help set up Alex Chiasson for a goal. Once Chiasson got the puck at the top of the crease, he delayed and waited for Brown goalie Clemente to over-commit to the left post. Alex popped the puck in on the right side, giving BU a 3-2 lead.

The lead was short-lived, Jack Maclellan tied things up for the Brownies on a power play of their own.

Brown took a 4-3 after BU successfully killed off a power play to begin the third period. David Brownschidle beat Millan by collecting his own rebound and puting it past the netminder. Although the goal was not a power play goal in the box score, it may have well been. BU's PK unit was still out there and was very tired, thus resulting to a muscle goal.

BU was not about to lose its first home game of the season, thanks to Wade Megan. Megan tied the game with about 7 minutes left by stuffing home a rebound on the far post, giving the assist to Warsofsky and Guadet.

Video Highlights 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Brown Comes To Town

Tomorrow, BU will take on the Brown Bears at Agganis Arena. Brown is unranked, but are currently riding a three game unbeaten streak. Starting with a 5-2 win over Colgate on November 19th. The next night the Bears upended Cornell 3-2. This past Tuesday, Brown skated to a 5-5 tie with New Hampshire.

In the UNH game, Brown was up two goals in the third period. UNH scored two goals in the final two minutes and tied the games at 5.(Video Highlights)

What To Watch For
I honestly know nothing about this team. I looked at the stat sheet and will put up the scoring leaders and goalies.
  • Harry Zolnierczyk, Brown forward. Zolnierczyk leads the team in goals with 5. He is also second in overall scoring with 8 points, 5 goals and 3 assists. 
  • Jack Maclellan, Brown Forward. Maclellan leads the team in points with 11 (3g, 8a). 
  • Brown goalies. Mick Clemente leads the team in minutes played with 245. He has 2 wins, one loss, and one tie. Freshman goalie Marco DeFilliop, has a 2-1-1 line and 119 minutes in the cage. 

In Other News
Last night Three former BU standouts were all in action in the same game. Ryan Whitney of the Edmonton Oiliers, faced Kevin Shattenkirk and Brandon Yip of the Colorado Avalanche. The Aves found themselves down two in the second frame. Shattenkirk got the Aves rolling with his third goal of the season. (Video Highlights). Colorado tied it later in the second. Matt Duchene jammed home Yip's pass from behind the net (Video Highlights) . With less than a minute left in the game, the #1 overall pick in the NHL draft, Taylor Hall put home a rebound and won the game for Edmonton (Video Highlights). 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Something's Missing

Former Terrier, Nick Bonino
attempts a shot in last year's
game against Harvard.

Bonino was sent down to the AHL by
the Anaheim Ducks, yesterday

Bonino was called up back up by the
Ducks from AHL Syracuse as of
today (11/25)
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
It's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and BU plays Harvard tonight. Wait, What?  That's not happening this year. WHAT? BU always plays Harvard on this day, or at least has a game against someone. For the longest time, the Terriers and Crimson have had their pre-Thanksgiving contest tonight. Each year the home team would flip flop. BU one year, then Harvard the next, and it went on like this well into the 90's and up until this year.

In 2009, the Terriers took on the Crusaders of the College of the Holy Cross. Although BU did not play Harvard, they did still have a game. Last season, BU went over to Harvard and won a thriller in comeback fashion in overtime.

This season, BU will play the Crimson on the 15th of January at Agganis. Why is this game not tonight?

This weekend's game against Brown was originally scheduled for tonight  but was switched at the last minute. So now we can all kick back and watch Brown (who was supposed to play BU tonight) take on New Hampshire. Also, Vermont will visit UMass. That game is on CBS College Sports.

Other games around the country tonight include Ferris State at Michigan, Princeton at Quinnipiac, Colgate at Niagara, and Sacred Heart at Yale.

So, as I watch theses games tonight, I will be saying to myself "why am I not at Agganis tonight?"

In Other News
The College Hockey News ran a great article about the tragic story of Travis Roy, 11 Seconds, 15 Years.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Power Play Needs a Makeover

Sahir Gill lays a hit on a UNH forward. He also is
one of my "Players of the Week"
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU is currently ranked at #9 in penalty kill. At one point this year they were at the top of that statistical ranking. The other half of the special teams category, the power play, you would have to look much farther down the ranking to find BU. In fact they are not even on the top 40 list at all. BU went just 1-11 on the power play over the weekend. Last weekend they went 0-17. Something has to change.

This happened last year too. BU was struggling to even get pucks to the net. Over the holiday break Parker revamped the power play and in the teams first game back against UMass, they scored 3 PP goals on route to a 7-3 win. The new power play looked sort of like a diamond. One player would be behind the net, the two defenseman would be at the point, and there would either be two skaters out in front of the goal or on the face off dots. That work last year, could it work again this year? I don't know, but I would like to see something done, anything! Maybe decline the penalty?

Something will change this upcoming weekend when Brown comes to town. Chris Connolly, the teams top goal scorer, will be out for 4 to 6 weeks with a broken finger. Connolly has just one power play goal this season, but is sill a key man on the man advantage for the Terriers. He is the setup man. He feeds the defenseman the puck for onetimers and also the other forwards for tap in goals.

At The Polls 
BU, for the second straight week, finds it self as the #2 ranked team in all three polls. The USCHO rankings have Minnesota Duluth again at #1 followed by BU, Yale, Nebraska Omaha, and Miami (oh), rounding out the top five. Maine dropped all they way from 3 to 10, after being swept at the hands of Boston college who moved from 10 to 7. Merrimack cracked the top 20 for the first time since 1988. They currently sit at 18. 

The top 7 is identical in the USA Today poll.

The top 4 were the same in the INCH Power Rankings. Maine remained in the top five, at #5. North Dakota, UNH, Miami, Michigan, and Union made up the top ten in this poll.

BU remained in the one slot in the Hockey East standings and now have 14 points,. after the win over New Hampshire.

The Terriers find themselves down three spots in the Pair Wise rankings from 3 to 6. This is undoubtably the most important of all the poll because it determines the field of 16 for the NCAA tournament.

Around Hockey East. 
As you already know BU and UNH spilt a home and home series. BC swept Maine at home. Merrimack also picked up a sweep against Lowell. Northeastern tied Providence 3-3, Friday night a then blanked them 5-0 Saturday.

My Player of the Weekend
I've got two.
Grant Rolleihser, Stopped 41 shots in BU's 4-2 win, Saturday night. With this win he upped his record to a perfect 3-0-0 on the season. Pretty good for a guy who sat on the bench for almost a month, to come in and shut down #7 New Hampshire. It would not shock me if he got the start this upcoming Saturday against Brown University.

Sahir Gill. He had a ton of energy in the win. He was up and down the ice and created many chances to score which he eventually did in the second period. It was on a break away, which makes three of this type this year. He did not pull his typical move, fore hand back hand, but instead just stuffed it five hole.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Freshman Pave The Way To Victory Lane

Matt Nieto picked up his second
goal of the season in the
 second period.It was
 the first BU goal.
(Photo By Matt Dresens) 
One night after UNH had broken up BU's unbeaten streak, the Terriers turned the tables on the Wildcats and did the same thing to them, thanks in large part to four second period goals.

It was New Hampshire who drew first blood, though. In the final minute of the first period, Paul Thompson, who had two goals last night, fed Brett Kostolansky at the point. The freshman wasted no time and he reared back and beat BU netminder, Grant Rollheiser, five hole. This was Kostolansky's first collegiate goal and it came on the power play.

BU answered right back in the opening minute of the second period. Alex Chiasson and Corey Trivino both took good whacks at the puck, before Matt Nieto swooped in and slammed it past UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo, tying the game.

The Wildcats were way outplaying the Terriers in the middle part of the period. BU also got a little lucky. Stevie Moses was able to split the Terrier defense and go in on a semi breakaway. Rollie made the initial save and in the process kicked off the goal from its moorings. Moses was able to score on the rebound, but the play was reviewed and the ref saw what 6063 fans all saw, that the net was off.

The luck ran out shortly after. A basically identical play occurred except for the net not being kick off.  Phil DeSimone was stopped by and outstretched Rollheiser. Paul Thomson collected the rebound and deposited it into the back of the net.

Over the next ten minutes, BU took over the game. Ryan Santana made a heads up pass to a wide open Adam Clendening at the red line. Clendening took it and went all the way to the top of the face off circle, where he ripped a wrist shot over the shoulder of DiGirolamo and into the top corner. This was also Clendening's first collegiate goal.

BU would tack on another just under five minute later. UNH was on a power play that backfired. The Wildcats lost control of the puck near their blue line. Trivino was able to pick up the bouncing puck and find Chiasson wide open out in the slot. Chiasson one-timed the pass into the upper twine, giving BU a 3-2 lead.

With just 17 second left in the period, Sahir Gill picked up a loose puck at center ice. He burned two UNH defenders and skated right in on DiGirolamo and stuffed it between the goalie's legs, upping the lead to 4-2, the final score.

There was no scoring the third period, but thankfully BU did not just sit on the lead like they had in the Icebreaker tournament, against Wisconsin. BU pressed New Hampshire throughout the third frame. Cycling the puck and taking smart shots that produced rebounds, allowed the clock to keep running. A power play with about 7:30 to go had a lot of good chances, but no one was there to put home rebounds.

At 17:31 of the third period, Sean Escobedo picked up his second five minute major of the weekend. He slugged a UNH skater direcly in the face. He will be suspended for next Saturday's game against Brown.

You would never know it but Grant Rollheiser did have to make 41 saves, his career high, and for that he was crowned the first "Star of the Game". Rollie moved to 3-0-0 on the season after picking up the win.

Game Photos
Box Score
Video Highlights

Bad News
Captain, Chris Connolly will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger. This is according to the Boston Hockey Blog.

In Other News
Kevin Shattenkirk, again found the score sheet, tonight. No goals, but he racked up two assists in the Aves 4-3 shootout win over the Dallas Stars.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rollie To Start In Goal Tonight

Grant Rollheiser will make his
second start of the season tonight.
(Photo By Matt Dresens)
I don't really know why Parker would make this move. Kieran Millan played pretty well last night, even though he gave up five goals. He made some big stops and a couple of flashy ones too. But hey, its Parker's decision and we will wait and see if it pays off. It might just be to give Millan a rest, who has started every game since Halloween. 

Grant Rollhieser holds a perfect 2-0 record this season. He backstopped the Icebreaker Championship game, making 30 saves, on rout to his second Icebreacker Championship game win. (He was the winning goal in the '09 tournament, where he held Michigan State to just one goal). His other with this season came against Lowell, a 2-1 win, which the Terriers had to come back and score two late third period goals to win. Rollie made 24 saves. 

In Other News
Kevin Shattenkirk stayed hot for the Avalanche, as he picked up his second career NHL goal. A wrist shot from the point that some found it's way through a crowd out in front and then past the legs Ranger's goalie Marty Biron. The Aves skated away with a 5-, waxing of the New York Ranges, former Terrier, Matt Gilroy's team. Gilroy registered no points in this game, but did have a nice hit on former teammate, Brandon Yip. 

UNH Powers Through BU, Unbeaten Streak Is Over

David Warsofsky's two goals went for not
as the Terrier's were out played in
Durum New Hampshire tonight.
(Photo By Matt Dresens)
Thompson's two goals leads the way for the Wildcats

The end of The Streak was near. We all knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time. There are now no undefeated teams in College Hockey. With the win UNH now holds the longest unbeaten streak at 10 games, tying BU's mark.

The game started off well for the Terriers. Charlie Coyle won a battle in the corner and then found Sahir Gill out in front. Gill's shot was stopped, but it produced a rebound that David Warsofsky found and roofed on UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo, giving BU a 1-0 lead.

The lead was short lived, as New Hampshire's Phil DeSimone made a nice back hand pass from behind the net to the front of the goal. The puck slid across the crease and Millan had no idea where it was. Paul Thomson picked up the rebound and shot it into the crowd out in front. The shot somehow found the back of the net, tying the game.

UNH went up by one with exactly eight minutes gone in the first period. BU had some real trouble getting the puck out of their own end. A turnover by Wade Meagan lead to the goal. John Henrion picked up the puck and all in one motion, spun to the front of the goal and took a shot, beating Millan five hole.

With just under five minutes left in the first frame, BU's Sean Escobedo took a five minute major for hitting from behind. The call came just 15 seconds after Garret Noonnan had been whistled for a bogus tripping call. It gave UNH a 5 on 3 for 1:46. BU kept the Wildcats at bay for the rest of the period and killed off the remaining 12 seconds in the second period.

The start of the second had a furious pace to it. UNH had a 2 on 1 which Millan stopped. The play went the other way and the Terriers skated out of the zone and developed a 4 on 2. Corey Trivino hit the cross bar and the play went back into the BU end. Damon Kemp took a shot that bounced off the glass and pinballed around in the crease before Paul Thompson again put in the rebound, for his second goal of the game. The play went to review for a long time, but the goal stood.

Shortly after, Nick Sorkin scored his first Collegiate goal, beating Millan far on the glove side. The puck hit the post and then went in and he [Millan] was kind of hung out to dry. 

BU got one back on their own 5 on 3. Warsofsky picked up his second goal of the game on a bomb of a slap shot. Max Nicastro made a one touch pass to Warsofsky who one-timed it into the top corner, over DiGirolamo's shoulder. 

At 16:40 of the second, Trivino had a golden opportunity to cut the lead to one. DiGirolamo was down but Trivino's shot missed the mark over the net, and the two goal margin would stand.

With 1:15 remaining, Thompson found DeSimone, who jammed home the pass through Millan's legs. The goal came on the power play and it marked the most goals BU has given up all season. 

The third period saw no goals, but it did have a ton of New Hampshire power plays. Adam Clendening racked up two penalties in a span of about 30 seconds. He got out of the box from a slashing call and then was flagged for an elbowing minor after only meer seconds from stepping out of the box. Noonan also had a tough game penalty-wise picking up two of his own. 

Millan did actually play pretty well, despite giving up 5 goals. He stopped 44 shots, his best on the season. 

The Terriers and Wildcats go at it again tomorrow night at Agganis, Game time 7:00 pm

Box Score
Video Highlights or should I call them Lowlights? (coming soon)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekend With The Wildcats

BU once again puts it's undefeated record on the line this weekend against the #7 UNH Wildcats in a home and home series. Fridays game is scheduled for 7:00 at the Whittemore Center (AKA, Lake Winnipesaukee).  The Whitt has an Olympic sheet of ice, the only one of it's kind in Hockey East. Saturdays game is at the smaller, more North American style Agganis Arena, measuring a manageable 200 x 90 compared to the 200 x 100 sheet north of the border.

Last weekend UNH shutout UMass, 3-0 then the next night the Minutemen came back and tied up the Wildcats, 3-3. New Hampshire had a tough schedule start to their season, having to travel out to Miami (OH). They managed a split with the Red Hawks, losing the first game 6-3 and then winning Saturday night by the same score. After that they tied two straight to Michigan and Northeastern respectively. Following the two ties, the Wildcats rolled off four wins in a row over Cornell, BC, Lowell, and UMass in that order.

I will not be attending the game up there, but the game is on NESN so I should have a recap.

What To Watch for 
  • Mike Sislo, UNH forward. Sislo is tied for the team lead in goals at 5, with Stevie Moses. He has 8 total points just two points shy of the team's top point getters, Phil DeSimone and Paul Thomson who both have 10.  Last weekend the top three point leaders were involved in 6 goals over two games. Sislo is one of five seniors on the Wildcats.
  • Matt DiGirolamo, UNH goaltender. DiGirolamo, now in his junior year, played the roll of back up his first two seasons on campus to Brain Foster. He came into relief for Foster in 2009 as the Terrier's had shelled Foster. As DiGirolamo came into the game, the BU student section welcomed him by chanting "frozen pizza". Hinting that his name is similarly pronounced like DiGiorno, the oven ready pizza company. While he might have a joke prone last name, he is also a pretty solid goalie. He is probably just as good as Foster was. (He also has awesome pads, shinny silver with blue out lines, looks pretty sharp)
The Last Time They Met...
was January 23. UNH cruised to a 4-1 win. The loss snapped BU's short lived two game winning streak. 

Did You Know?
The three consecutive ties this season, matched the longest unbeaten streak for all of last season. 

BU's undefeated record gives them the longest unbeaten streak in all of college hockey, UNH has the second longest streak at 9 games. 

Shatt Pots First NHL Goal

In a game that had three former Terriers, Brandon Yip, John McCarthy, and obviously Kevin Shattenkirk, plus Joe Sacco another former Terrier and coach of the Colorado Avalanch, Shatt could not have picked a better night to pick up hie first NHL goal. The Aves won this game in comeback fashion 4-3 in overtime over the San Jose Sharks. Shatt's goal came on the power play, as he went top shelf on Sharks goalie Antiero Niittmaki. Shattenkirk also picked up a two minute delay of game call for chipping the over the glass in the second period.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ties Are Good But Not Great and Can't Keep BU In Top Slot In The Nation

Wade Meagan Scored his first goal 
of the season and all the BU players
should take not of this goal.
(explanation farther down the 
Photo By Matt Dresens
Coming into last weekend, BU was ranked #1 in the Nation. Because of this, they might have thought they were going to walk right over unranked Merrimack.Wrong. The Warriors gave BU all they could handle and the Terriers should be thankful that they came away with two ties and there are still no "L's" on the schedule, yet.

Merrimack was up 3-1 going into the final period of the weekend. BU showed a sign of a good team and did not just mail it in being down two. Chris Connolly and Corey Trivino both scored and assisted on each other's third period comeback goals.

Things That Caught The Eye 
Kieran Millan stayed very sharp over the weekend, stopping all but 4 shots.

Adam Clendening, at the start of the season showed signs that he could really be something special on defense. Over the weekend that was not there. Clendening made some huge mistakes in the defensive zone, seeming to take a very long time to make a decision on whom to pass to. This led to turnovers and good scoring opportunities for Merrimack. Luckily, Millan was there to get Clendening off the hook. I also think that he, along with the rest of the team, need to shoot more. He had some good set ups for one timers that he just didn't attempt. Instead, he passed to the other defenseman on the blue line.

BU's penalty kill in Friday nights game was exceptional, killing off all ten Merrimack power plays. Game two was a different story. The Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game on the power play. A slap shot was tipped in front of the goal and into the upper twine. Merrimack grabbed another man advantage goal late in the first period. This was a result of nice passing which caused Millan to be out of position. These two man up goals were only the third and fourth power play goals scored on the Terriers this season. Two came in the first weekend of the season.

While the PK shined, the PP sucked. BU's power play went a dismal 0-13 on the weekend. Its not that the setups where bad but there were no real good shots to the front of the net. Blind passes to the goal mouth made it easy for Merrimack to clear, because there was just no one there for BU. They need to take smarter and many, many more shots, instead of continuing to try and set up the perfect shot with a ton of passes. Case in point, Wade Meagan. Meagan took a pass from Sahir Gill late in the first period and skated directly to the goal and stuffed it home. He did not try and go back to Gill for a better percentage shot instead, he went right to the net and scored. BU needs to do more of this.

At The Polls
For the first time all season, BU fell in the USCHO poll, from #1 to #2. The two ties were not enough to  retain the Nations top spot as last week's #2, Minnesota Duluth flipped places with BU and became the fourth team to reach the top of the poll. The last three Mondays there had been a new #1, Miami, BU and now Duluth. Rounding out the top five was Maine, Nebraska Omaha, and Yale respectively. BU picked up 11 first place votes. 

Duluth also leapfrogged the Terriers in Inside College Hockey's Power Rankings

The Terriers are also slotted #2 in the USA Today poll.

BU still finds themselves in first place in the Hockey East standings with 12 points. The closest competitor is Maine at 9 points. 

BU also finds themselves in second in the Pair Wise Rankings, the most important off all the polls because it determines the NCAA tournament field. 

What Happened around Hockey East. 
Vermont and BC split a series up at Gutterson Field House. Providence swept Alabama-Huntsville, the nations only independent school. UNH upended UMass Friday night, while UMass was able to come back and tie up the Wildcats the next night. Maine swept away a struggling Northeastern team, who has not won a game since the 23rd of October. As you already know BU and Merrimack tied both games they played over the weekend. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Better Than A Loss

For the second time in as many nights, BU and Merrimack skated to a draw. This one, from a BU standpoint, was a little more exciting. Down two gaols going into the third period, BU stormed back to tie up the game and remain undefeated for at least one more weekend.

They will likely not retain their number one ranking as they failed to pick up a single win over the weekend, plus Yale stayed perfect on the year crushing Colorado College 5-1, tonight. Also current #2 Minnesota Duluth swept a series against Michigan Tech.

BU Celebrates the game tying goal, scored by
Corey Trivino
(Photo By Matt Dresens)
It was all Merrimack early in the first period. Unlike last night, BU's penalty kill was not perfect. Less then two minutes into the game, Merrimack's Mike Collins was able to tip Brendan Ellis's pass by Millan, giving the Warriors an early 1-0 lead.

With little over two minutes left in the period, Merrimack extended their lead, again on the power play. Joe Cucci took a pass from Jordan Heywood and beat an out of position Kieran Millan.

On the very next shift, BU's Wade Meagan picked up his first goal of the season, cutting the lead in half. Meagan, unlike everyone else on BU who was trying to make the perfect pass, cut right to the net and beat goalie Joe Cannata. Meagan made great fore hand back hand move which forced Cannata out of position. The goal came inside of 30 seconds left in the period.

The second period was scoreless until the final minute. Jesse Todd pulled a move at the top of the slot that had Mailln totally beat and he slid the puck in with 12.2 seconds remaining in the frame.

A Sign of a Good Team
Heading into the third period BU was down 3-1, the largest deficit the Terriers have faced after two periods all season and came back to tie it up. Last season this game is a loss. They would have cashed it in. Not this season, just another example of a new year and a different team. A better more drivin team. A team that shows that they wan to win games and have the sill to prove it.

With Merrimack sitting on the lead a bit half way through the period BU cut the Warrior lead to one. Chris Connolly revived a pass from Corey Trivino at the top of the crease and had basically the whole net to shoot at...he did not miss, beating Cannata blocker side.

After Merrimack took some really dumb penalties, BU was able to tie things up.Though not on the power play which went a pathetic 0 for 6. The man advantage, even though they did not score, did ware down Merrimack. Chris Connolly came busting out of the corner and took a bad angle shot that produced a rebound for Trivino, who by the slimiest of margins put the puck over the goal line. There could not have been three inches of white ice between the puck and the goal line, but hey thats all it takes. All the puck has to do is cross the line. No where in the rule book dose it say that it has to hit the netting.

“Anytime you come back from a 3-1 deficit, it’s almost like a win. We’re really happy with that point, much more than we were with the point from [Friday] night.” Parker Said after the game.- The Boston Hockey Blog
The overtime chances where about 50/50. BU had some sustained pressure early and Merrimack had the better play towards the end, but there were no goals.

Next weekend BU and UNH will square off for a home and home series. Friday's game is up at the Wittimore Center and Saturday's contest will be back in Boston at Agganis. Fridays game is on NESN.

Game Photos

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Tie

Ross Gaudet scored his frist goal of the
season in the second period.
(Photo By Matt Dresens)
Playing for the first time this season as the number one team in the country,the Terriers could only manage a tie with unranked Merrimack. BU looked far from the best team in the nation tonight, but their penalty kill proved why it is also ranked #1. BU successfully killed off all ten of the Warriors power play opportunities. Unfortunately, BU's PP fared just as poorly as Merrimack's, going  an ugly 0-7.

In a scoreless first period and thoughout the game, both goalies, Kierain Millan and Joe Cannata (the one and two "stars of the game" respectively) played very well. Cannata was called on to make 32 saves in the game, while Millan stopped 35 of 36 shots he faced.

BU finally broke through mid-way through the second period. Ross Gaudet was able to to put in a bouncing rebound from a Sahir Gill's shot. The puck hopped over Cannata's leg pad and into the back of the net.

During the very next shift Merrimack came with in inches of tying it as a shot rang the outside of the post and ended up in the corner.

On the subsequent shift, Merrimack did tie the game. With three BU skaters caught in the corner, the puck popped out into the face off circle. There,an uncovered Mike Collins was able to pick up the puck, fire it by Millan between his legs,and tie the game. Millan  reacted slowly, as if  surprised, thus allowing Collins to score his first collegiate goal.

At the very start and at about the four minute marks of the third period, BU squandered two power play opportunities. Both of this chances were clearly not BU's best efforts. However BU's penalty kill remained outstaning, shuttting out Merrimack in all of their third period attempts.

BU out played Merrimack in the overtime session. Alex Chiasson may have had the best chance to put one in. A Merrimack defenceman misplayed the puck behind his goal and the puck came right to Chiasson. Luckily for Merrimack, Cannata was there to bail them out, making a right shoulder save.

Throughout the game it felt like BU could not buy a faceoff win, but in reality the teams tied 38-38 on facoff draws this evening.

The two teams faceoff again tomorrow night at Lawler Rink, home of the Warriors. Game time, 7:00pm.

As an observation, it seems apparent that these teams have no love for one another. On many occasions thoughout the game play was very chippy. Following numorous stoppages in play, guys on both teams seemed very interested in retaliating for various perceived indisgressions. This could lead to quite a willd game tomorrow!. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weekend With The Warriors

BU enters it's first weekend as the #1 ranked team in the nation since the 2009 season. The Terriers look to continue to remain undefeated and pick up some valuable points in the Hockey East standings against Warriors of Merrimack College. The two will square off in the only home and home series  of the weekend in Hockey East.  Friday's game is at BU's Agganis Arena and Saturday's contest up in North Andover at Merrimack's Lawler Rink.

I will be at both games so there will be "game photos" from each of the two games.

Merrimack has shown some potential in a few games this season, but has also has looked like the Merrimack teams that most people are used to, in others games. The Mack is coming off a 2-0 loss to surprisingly competitive Providence, last Friday night. To start the season, the Warriors tied Niagara  4-4 then the next weekend waxed UConn 7-1. The first loss came from Boston College, but the next night, Merrimack was able to cut down the then #1 ranked Eagles. Currently Merrimack sits in 7th in the Hockey East standings with three points, tied with Northeastern.

This is not the typical Merrimack team that will either finish last or very close to last in the conference standings. This 2011 Warrior squad could likely finish in the top four and claim home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

What To Watch For

  • Stephane De Costa, Merrimack forward. Leads the team in goals, (3) points, (8) and assists (5). This kid has speed and vey good puck control, along with a lazer beam for a shot. The Terriers last season did a great job of controlling him and will have to do the same this weekend to say undefeated. He was named the National Rookie of the year last season. 
  • Joe Cucci, Merrimack forward. Is econd on the team in points with 6 (2g, 4a). He is a senior with speed and strength. Last season BU did not take him as seriously as the needed to and he killed them. 
  • Joe Cannata, Merrimack goalie. Holds an impressive .936 save% along with a 2.21 goals against average. Cannata was named Hockey East goalie of the month of October.
The Last Time They Met...
was in March in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. BU won game one in comeback fashion. The next night the Mack upended the Terriers in overtime 3-2. In the third and final game of the series, BU won 3-0 and moved on to the Hockey East semi finals, where they were bounced by Maine 5-2.

Lawler Rink gets a face lift
The Lawler Renovation project is currently adding chair back seating, an end zone student section and an overall modernized look to the lobby and arena.  Joining Merrimack as a marketing partner offers a multitude of benefits as we look to build on the momentum gained in 2009-10. -Merrimack Athletics.com

In Other News
Brandon Yip stayed hot for the Avalanche, as he scored his 5th goal of the season Tuesday night on the power play. 

BU is currently in third place in the Pair Wise Rankings. The PWR is the formula that determines the team in the NCAA tournament.

Ticket Info for Saturday (at Merrimack) 
This game could very well be sold out so to get tickets click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Terrier Trivia, The 2000's

#1 Who scored an NCAA Regional record for the fastest hat trick in 2006 against Nebraska Omaha?

#2 In the same game BU set another record. What was it?

#3 With Kevin Shattenkirk getting the first assist on Colby Cohen's National Championship game winning goal, who got the puck to Shatt?  In other words, who got the second assist?

#4 BU has won two Hockey East championships this decade. Which years did they accomplish this and who scored the game winning goal in each of the two championship games?

#5 Who netted a hat trick against BC in a double overtime classic in the 2003 Hockey East Semi Finals?

#6 Which BU forward, now on the Colorado Avalanche, scored arguably the most important goal of the decade? The goal came against New Hampshire in the last  game of the 2004 season in overtime. If it was not scored, BU would have missed the Hockey East playoffs for the first time in their history.

#7 Which BU back up goaltender turned away 36 of 37 BC shots in the first round of the 2005 Beanpot?

#8 Who scored both the first goal at Agganis Arena and the last goal at Walter Brown?

#9 In 2003, this BU goalie was able to win the Hockey East tournament MVP, even though he was the losing goalie in a 1-0 loss to UNH.

#10 Who scored the 10,000th goal in BU hockey history?

To answer the questions, comment on the bottom of this post and just put the number of the question then your answer.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Coyle Named Pro Ambitions Rookie Of The Week

Photo by Matt Dresens
Charlie Coyle (photo) is the reason the Terriers are still undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation. His goal with 1:21 left to tie Maine on Saturday, was why he was given the honer of Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. A part of Hockey East's weekly awards.

Chris Connolly made the list of "Top Performers" with a goal and an assist over the weekend. Goalie Kieran Millan also made the list after he stop 34 of 36 Maine shots.

Thoughts Confirmed

Yesterday I put up an article about how the team would be ranked #1 in the nation. Today that was confirmed. Receiving 31 of the possible 50 first place votes. BU became the nation's new #1 ranked team in the USCHO poll.  The Terriers jumped over both Miami and Minnesota Duluth. Duluth remained in second with 11 first place votes, but Miami fell to fourth. Yale jumped from 5th to 3rd and Maine rounded out the top five. Newbees to the poll were Western Michigan at 17 and Ferris State at 20.

"I would like to know who's voting," Parker said laughing. "We're a pretty good team, but I don't think we're the No. 1 team in the nation."

This is the first time since March 23rd 2009 that BU has been ranked #1.

BU is the third team to reach the summit of the polls. Miami and Boston College were the others.

The Terriers were also ranked #1 in Inside College Hockey's Power rankings. BU and Duluth were once again the top two teams, but Maine, Yale and Miami made up the top five (in that order).

 BU was also ranked #1 in the USA Today poll with 23 first place votes.

 Notes from the Maine game
Maine was by far the best team BU has played so far this season. The Black Bears outplayed the Terriers for large chunks of the game, though mostly in the first two periods. Maine outshot BU 23-14 over the first two frames but BU held them off the board, mainly due to great penalty killing.

BU killed off all 6 of Maine's man advantages, including a 5 on 3 not even two minutes into the game.

"That was the surprise of the game, actually," said BU's Parker. "We did a great job of killing penalties, especially on the 5-on-3's."

Prior to the game, Maine had the 7th best power play in the country at 25.5%. BU had the third best PK in the land and it showed Saturday. At the start of the season, it looked like the penalty kill was going to need a lot of work. The University of Toronto scored two PP goals on BU like they were a high school team. Granted, it was a exhibition game and it was the first time the team had played together, but it was not promising. The next weekend Wisconsin showed up the PK in basically the same way Toronto had. Since then BU has killed of 36 of 37 power plays including 22 straight. 

Goalie Kieran Millan once again looked very solid in net stopping 34 of 36 shots. 

BU's comeback marks the second time in two weeks that they have scored a game tying goal inside of five minutes to go. 

New Season, New Results
At this point last year, BU was 2-6-0 and had not won a game since the 30th of October when they beat Lowell 5-4 in overtime. They were nowhere near the top of Hockey East, in fact they were dead last and not even close to the top twenty rankings. This season they are a top both the hHockey East standings and the top 20. 

In Other News
BU's Women's team was ranked 5th in the nation and received one first place vote. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BU Likely New #1

Former Terrier Captain, John McCarthy
scored his second
NHL goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
After coming back and tying Maine last night, BU will probably become the nation's new #1 ranked team. Both Miami and Minnesota Duluth, who were 1,2 respectively last week, lost. Miami fell to unranked Ferris State Friday night then tied them Saturday and Duluth split a series with #9 North Dakota, losing Friday night. Boston College, the fourth ranked team in the country, also lost at the hands of New Hampshire.

Here is what I think the top five will look like come 2:30 Monday afternoon:

  1. Boston University (6-0-2)
  2. Yale (4-0-0)
  3. Minnesota Duluth ( 7-1-2)
  4. Nebraska Omaha (7-1-0)
  5. Maine/Miami (4-1-3 /5-2-3)
In Other News
BU West (the Colorado Avalanche) had four former Terriers in the lineup last night. Brandon Yip, Colby Cohen, Kevin Shattenkirk, and David Van Der Gulik all saw ice time as the Aves rolled over the Dallas Stars, 5-1. Yip picked up his third goal of the season and also got into a fight. Colby Cohen, playing in his first NHL game, picked up two minor penalties but he and Shatt where held off the score sheet. Vandy notched an assist on the first Colorado goal. 

Another former Terrier, John McCarthy, fond the back of the net. McCarthey, playing for the San Jose Sharks, scored his second career NHL goal

Better Late Then Never

Charlie Coyle screens goalie Dan
Sullivan. He would later score
the game tying goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Tonight BU and Maine played a classic up and down hockey game, full of big hits and plenty of action, but not much scoring . Each goallie played very well, shutting down the few chances the teams did have in the early going.

A rare great chance to get on the board in the first was when Maine had a 5 on 3 power play just a 1;54 into the game. BU was able to kill off the power play and only allowed one shot on goal in the proses.

Despite getting out played badly in the second period, BU took the lead on a power play of its own. Alex Chiasson slipped a pass through the top of the crease over to Chris Connolly who had the whole net to shoot on. He put his shot just under the cross bar on the far right side.

The lead held up throughout the remainder of the period, but at the start of the third, Maine regained all the momentum they had prior to the BU goal, grabbing two of their own. Gustave Nyquist took a pass from Jeff Dimmen on the left side. Nyquist beat Millan upstairs, but the BU  netminder could really do nothing about it.

About four minutes later Dimmen would score a goal of his own. His shot when through about everyone on the ice, including Millan who never even saw it. The puck some how got to Dimmen because it was ruled an unassisted goal.

When it looked like BU was going to see it's first "L" on the schedule, Charlie Coyle nudged one by Maine goalie Dan Sullivan with just 1:21 to go. The puck was bouncing around in the crease and then Joe Pereira looked as if he had kicked it in, but after further review the ruling on the ice stood and the goal was given to Coyle. All Coyle did was get the blade of his stick on the puck before it crossed the line.Remind you of last weekend?

Prior to the goal, BU poured on some serious pressure that resulted in a delay of game penalty. BU did nothing on the power play but set up the dramatic ending.

In over time Maine did the best chances to score. Nyquist had a couple of shots that Millan had trouble handling that lead to rebound in the slot.

Next weekend BU takes on Merrimack for a home and home series. Fridays game will be at Agganis and Saturday's will be at Lawler rink.

Game Photos 
Box Score and Video Highlights 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Maine Event UPDATED

Tonight's game will be the Terriers first real test of the season and a chance to see what they're really made of. Are they really the #3 team in the country? Are they really the best team in Hockey East? I don't know, but I will after this game. 

BU is 6-0-1, their best start to a season in recent memory. Maine is off to a good start as well, ranked 7th in the nation with a 4-1-2 record. Last weekend, The Terriers swept Lowell in a home and home series. Maine upended Vermont 3-2 in overtime.

The Black Bears got off to an up and down start to the season. In the first game of the year Maine wiped the floor with Lowell, 8-2. The next night they tied the ultra competitive UConn 3-3 at home. After tying and losing at Michigan State, Maine played to their potential, crushing then #2 North Dakota in two games. 

Maine's captain, Taner House will miss the game due to an upper body injury. 

Millan will likely get the start in goal for BU.

What To Watch For (there's a lot) 
  • Gustav Nyquist, Maine Forward. Last season Nyquist was a Hoby Hat Trick finalist. He racked up an astronomical 61 points(19g, 42a) in 39 games and he looks like he is having no trouble finding the score sheet this year, either. In just seven games he already has 12 points (2g, 10a) and does not even lead the team in points. That would be Spencer Abbott, who shockingly, is next on the list.
  • Spencer Abbott, Maine's point leader. Last season he tallied a measly 28 (9g, 19a) points compared to Nyquist. This year he looks to be outdoing his fellow teammate by leading him in total points with 13. Abbott has netted six goals on the season, good for 6th in the nation. 
  • Robby Dee, Maine forward. Dee ranks 10th nationally in overall points with 11. He is a high speed, high tempo skater who has many tools to make guys miss. 
  • Joey Diamond, Maine Forward. He was one of the reasons BU's season ended last year. Diamond scored the first goal of the Hockey East semi finals. This season he has 4 goals and 4 assists for the Black Bears.
  • Maine Power Play vs. BU Penalty Kill. This should be interesting. Maine has the 7th best power play in the nation, converting on 13 of 51 (25.49%). On the other hand, BU has the 3rd highest PK % in the country at 91.2%. Special teams will win this game!! What ever has the better night, PK or PP will come out on top. 
The Last Time They Met...
was in the Hockey East semi finals back in March. BU never showed up and Maine skated away with a 5-2 win.

In Other News
Former Terrier Captain, Kevin Shattenkirk made his NHL debut Thursday night for the Colorado Avalanche. Shatt was drafted 14th overall in the '07 draft by the Aves. This game also saw another former Terrier Captain, David Van Der Gulik, score his first NHL goal. It was all in a losing effort though, as the Aves fell 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks. The goal came on Former BC goalie Cory Schneinder.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top 5 BU-Maine games of the last 20 years

In anticipation of game that might be on this list next year, I have ranked the top five best BU-Maine games of the last two decades.

#5 March 13th 2009
BU and Maine play down to the wire in the first game of the Hockey East playoffs. Colby Cohen's power play goal finally put the Terriers over the edge, as they come back and win 2-1. Maine would win the next night forcing a game three, which BU won 6-2, on the way to the Hockey East Tournament  Championship.

#4 November 15th 1991
Mike Prendergast scores a shorthanded goal with 21 second left in the third period, as BU drops Maine 5-4

#3 February 19th 1993
BU's Mike Prendergast scores on a two on one in overtime, handing the Black Bears their only loss of the season.

#2 April 1st 1995
BU wins its fourth National Championship, as they recored a 6-2 thumping of the Black Bears in Providence.

#1 March 10th 1991
The Terrier's Shawn McEachern beats Maine goalie Garth Snow to win the Hockey East Championship.

IN Other News
Sahir Gill was named Hockey East Rookie of the month. Gill has 3 goals and 5 assists so far this season and BU is off to their best start in 32 years.

Former Terrier Nick Bonino was called up from the AHL to the Anaheim Ducks.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Where Are The Goals At Home?

Chris Connolly was named Hockey
East player of the week.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
After Saturday's come from behind win over Lowell, BU completed an undefeated month of October. The Terriers are off to their best start since the 2001-2002 season, with an identical 6-0-1 record. BU has won two neutral-site games, two road games, and have won two and tied one at home.

On the road and at neutral sites, the team has scored a combined 18 goals. At home, BU has netted only 6 goals (not including the nine goals scored in the exhibition win over Toronto).

Parker had this to say about the topic after the 2-1 win on Saturday  "I would feel a lot better if this were a road game instead of a home game. We’ve played so much more thorough on the road than we have at home in terms of a thorough 60 minutes. We just seem to be more la-di-da at home, and we’ve got to get that out of our system."

BU will have to get a few more than two goals this Saturday, as the red hot Maine Black Bears come to town. 

At The Polls
BU continued their upward trend in the USCHO poll as they jumped from 6th to 3rd in the nation. They also picked up seven first place votes in the process. Miami remained in the top slot. Minnesota Duluth is second after Boston College fell to fourth BEHIND the Terriers. Rounding out the top five was Yale, who actually proved they should be there, by wining two games over the weekend. 

BU also was slotted third in Inside College Hockey's power rankings

BU was also ranked third in the USA Today poll, behind the same two teams. They also picked up 4 first place votes. 

Players of the weekend 
Kieran Millan. We know he has had great year so far, but Fridays 5-1 win seemed a little better than the others. He came up with some very clutch stops in the first period (when Lowell still had a shot). He was solid throughout the rest of the games, too.

Sahir Gill. Scored his first career short handed goal Friday on a break-a-way. He also showed great speed and talent in that game and the next. He was also moved up to the first line this weekend. He seems to be a real playmaker. 

Chris Connolly was named Hockey East player of the week. He scored the game winning goal to beat Lowell 2-1, Saturday night. He also went +3 for the weekend

Around Hockey East
Merrimack and BC split a home and home series, with both teams winning at home. Maine beat Vermont 3-2 in overtime Saturday. Providence beat UMass Saturday and tied them again on Friday. Northeastern dropped games to both Bentley and Holy Cross. New Hampshire cruised by Cornell 7-4 on Friday. 

In Other News...
Jack Parker will be attending a meeting in Toronto to discuss the NHL convincing players to leave early. 

College hockey has been under assault,” said Paul Kelly, executive director of College Hockey Inc., to the paper. “It used to be hard to keep your highly skilled players for three years; now it’s two years, and sometimes one. You’re constantly recruiting; you have to re-create your team.”-USCHO