Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend In Review

Matt Nieto has now scored a goal in 8 
straight games dating back to to last 
season. It is thelongest such streak
since Chris Drury's 9 game
 goal streak back in '96.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Yes, BU would have liked to sweep UMass, but three points will have to do and it better because they did not come easy. The Terriers had to dig themselves out of a grave (to use a Halloween term) not once, but twice over the weekend.

Out at UMass, anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Until Matt Nieto, arguably the hottest player in college hockey right now, scored on a three on two, midway through the second frame. Sahir Gill scored the tying goal off a rebound, evening the game at two, where it would stay knotted through the overtime session. 

On to Saturday. If anything else had gone wrong in this game, BU would have lost. The Terriers once again proved that they can come back and make games very interesting. They did it against Providence earlier in the year and against Holy Cross last weekend. The difference between those games and this past weekend's was that BU could not fully overcome the deficit and ended up losing both games. This past weekend though, BU came back not only to tie but to win.

Down three nothing after the worst period the team played all year, BU stormed back, scoing four straight goals before UMass re-tied the game on a power play goal by Mike Pereira. 

Matt Nito had scored a goal in every game up to Saturday's contest and his streak was not about to end in this game. Nieto scored the biggest and most clutch goal of the year on the power play, 3:17 into overtime on a wrist shot, after he took a pass from Charlie Coyle.

Coyle picked up his first goal of the year, the game tying goal of Saturday's win. The assist came from none other that Matt Nieto, who seems to be doing everything for BU. Coyle leads Hockey East with a plus 9 rating and is second on the team in points with 9 behind, you guessed it, Nieto.

Athe The Polls
BU move up one place in the USCHO rankings from 13th to 12th. BC remained the Nation's number one ranked team, followed by Colorado College, Michigan, Western Michigan, and Minnesota rounding out the top five. The only other Hockey East school to make the poll is Merrimack, who came in at 7th.

In the USA Today ranking, BU stayed put at number 12. The top five looked like this: Boston College, Colorado College, Michigan, Notre Dame and Minnesota. Merrimack was also slotted at 7. 

My team of the week goes to Lake State, who swept Miami and now have a 6-1-0 record. The Lakers have not started a season this well since the days when Jeff Jackson was their bench boss. 

Around Hockey East
In other action around Hockey East, Maine swept their weekend series with Providence while BC and Merrimack also won both their two games over Lowell and Vermont respectively. Northeastern fell 5-2 at UNH. UNH also beat Union 2-1 in overtime Friday night.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nieto's OT Strike Caps BU Comeback

3:17 into the second overtime period period of the weekend, Matt Nieto scored his sixth goal of the season in as many games, lifting the Terriers to a 5-4 come from behind victory at Agganis.

The BU players and fans celebrate after 
Nieto's overtime goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Before Netio's OT winner, it looked like UMass was going to run away with this one. The Minutemen jumped out to an early first period lead. Steven Guzzo picked up the first of UMass' three first period goals. Minutes later, Troy Power scored his first collegiate goal on the power play. The goal was an absolute gift. BU defenseman Ryan Ruikka attempted to clear the puck by wrapping it around the glass. In the process, the puck deflected off a medal stanchion and found it’s way right on the tape of Power, who beat Rollheiser with ease.

With 30 seconds left in the frame, Conor Sheary potted his second goal of the weekend. Sheary picked Charlie Coyle's pocket right in the middle of the BU slot, where he ripped a wrister past Rollie high glove side.

UMass continued to carry the play through the mid-way point of period two. BU gained some much needed momentum after the killed off a 5 on 3 that lasted for about a minute.

Following the PK, BU got on the board with a great passing play. Corey Triovino picked up a UMass turnover, allowing him to set up Garrett Noonan on the far side. Noonan took a one-time wrist-shot which hit the water bottle inside the UMass goal, past goaltender Jeff Teglia.

Grant Rollhieser made 
29stops in his season 
debut.Here he plays the 
puck wellout of his 
crease while BU is
on a power play.
(Photo by 
Matt Dresens)

Less than a minute later, Sahir Gill banged home a loose puck on the far side past Teglia making it 3-2. BU dominated the remainder of the second frame and Garrett Noonan came within an inch of tying the game on a power play, but his shot hit the post and deflected into the corner.

A little over ten minutes into the third, BU tied the game with their Nation leading fourth shorthanded goal of the year. Matt Nieto and Charlie Coyle created a 2 on 1 with a UMass defender in the middle. Netio took the puck low, drawing the defender toward him, before slipping a pass to Coyle who slammed it into the net five-hole on Teglia.

Some good, hard, work led to the go-a-head goal for the Terriers. Chris Connolly won a battle in the far corner and then skated behind the UMass net, before whipping a pass over to Trivino who beat Teglia, while the UMass goaltender was well out of position.

To Umass' credit, they stayed in the game and came back to tie it themselves, while on a power play. With about five minutes left Mike Pereira put home a loose puck past Rollie's glove, knotting the game at 4-4.

2:49 into overtime, UMass’ Michael Marcue was called for cross checking as he dumped BU freshman Casson Hohmann on the near side boards.

The infraction ended up gravely costing UMass as Charlie Coyle set up Matt Nieto for an open shot. As said before, the sophomore forward won the game for BU on a shot that beat Teglia blocker side. This was BU's first overtime win since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving game at Harvard back in the 2009/10 season.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

BU Comeback Is Good For Tie

Sahir Gill cuts toward the UMass net.
Gill scored the game tying goal in
the third.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
In and effort to erase last weekend's painful loss to Holy Cross, tonight, BU came back to tie UMass 2-2 in Amherst.

UMass pulled out to a 1-0 lead in period one. With 34 seconds left in the frame, T.J. Syner potted a power play goal past BU goalie Keiran Millan.

The Minutemen doubled their lead in the second period. Branden Grace picked-off Max Nicastro's blind pass that was intended to absolutely no one. The turnover led to a scrum in front of the BU goal, which produced a rebound that was eventually roofed into the BU net by Conor Sheary.

Later in the period, Matt Nieto extended his goal scoring streak to 5 games. (Thats every game this season if your scoring at home.).Charlie Coyle took and outlet pass from Adam Clendening which turned into a 3 on 2 for the Terriers. Coyle looked to make a pass to Garret Noonan, but it was deflected back to Nieto, who put it past UMass goalie Kevin Boyle low blocker side.

UMass continued to cary the play until the end of the second. That's when Parker must have really fired up the troops in between periods as BU came out flying in the third.

A little over five minutes into the period, Sahir Gill put home a loose rebound, tying the game at two. A shot from outside produced a large rebound and Boyle was caught out of position, allowing Gill to score his second of the year into a rather wide open net.

On the goal, Charlie Coyle picked up his second assist on the evening, upping his season total to 7. The sophomore has yet to score a goal, but is in a tie with Alex Chiasson for the team lead in points.

Minutes latter, Nieto set up Chiasson for the go-a-head goal but Boyle was there to make a fantastic save to keep the game tied at two.

It would stay tied a two throughout the five minute overtime session. BU carried the play for the majority of the OT, with Matt Nieto getting the best chance to win it off a rebound.

 Millan made 33 saves in the 2-2 draw. Fellow Senior, Grant Rollheiser will make his season debut tomorrow night at Agganis.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back On The Ice, BU-UMass Weekend

At last, an actual game to cover. This past week has been very interesting. BU loses to Holy Cross and the sky is falling. Rumors about if Parker should step down and everything else that could be said was said. Everyone needs to relax and realize its October in a season in which the last game is played (hopefully) in the beginning of April.

So that brings us to this weekend's matchup with un-ranked UMass. I can assure you the Terriers won't be overlooking these games. BU is coming off what I assume was one of the tougher weeks of practice in the history of Jack Parker's 39 year stint as BU's head coach. BU wants to erase any memory that the Holy Cross game ever happened, so don't be shocked if they come out flying Friday night at the Mulins Center in Amherst.

Scouting UMass
Danny Hobbs and Mike Pereira are the Minutemen's leading goal scorers with three apiece. T.J. Syner is the team's leading point getter so far this season with seven in four games played.

UMass has played four games this year and has used two different goalies, Sophomore Jeff Teglia and Freshman Kevin Boyle. Boyle is the holder of the team's lone win against Bentley. Teglia played against BU twice last year while regular starter Paul Danton was injured. Teglia failed to win either of his two starts against the Terriers, but did manage to hold BU to a tie and a one goal loss.

To be honest, I have no clue who will start for UMass, but I would not be surprised if both saw action over the weekend.

Back to Mike Pereira for a moment. The high powered offensive machine is the brother of last year's BU Captain Joe Pereira. Mike had some rather interesting comments about why he chose UMass over BU on a UMass radio show the other day.
"I think it's the coaching staff. I think it's the players as well. It's one thing, you know it's BU players, you know it's BU hockey, they kind of have that swagger to them, that snob sort thing. (On if that turned him off to BU) To an extent. It's just not me. I'm a blue collar guy. I don't like to get handed things. I felt like it was a good fit here [at UMass]" 

College Hockey Picks Week 4

School with the blue dot next their logo is the team I picked

From Inside college hockey's Pick 'em

 Last week I when a disappointing 8 for 17. needles to say there were a lot of upsets. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Should Parker Step Down?

Not to beat a dead horse, but here is more reaction from the Holy Cross game. A column in the Daily Free Press came out today stating that it was the end of the road for the Old Puck Coach.

Personally, I think Parker has plenty of hockey left in him. If he didn't think he could coach any more, I'm sure he would have retired after the National Championship season. Jack is in his 39th year as the BU bench boss, and four games into the season is way to short of a time to be calling for the coaches head. 

Yes it was a bad loss, but it was only a one goal loss. Could BU have been more prepared to play? Maybe, but most of that is on the players and not the coaches. BU was not ready to play against Providence because the team was stuck in traffic and arrived at the rink late.

What I'm trying to say is it's way to early and really unnecessary to be calling for Parker's head. The guy can still coach and can still motivate his team. Hell, I'm sure this week of practice was pretty tough and many of the players will be chomping at the bit to get back in a game situation. They will get that chance Friday in Amherst and we'll see how the team responds this weekend against UMass. 

If BU wins both games this weekend, everything will come back down to earth and the BU hockey community will probably be raving about how well the team has turned it around. Just like out in Wisconsin where the Badgers were swept by Michigan Tech, of all teams. The following weekend, Wisconsin swept North Dakota and all is well again in Badger country. 

Can it hurry up and be Friday? I'm tired of writhing about all this carp... GO TERRIERS, BEAT UMASS AND END ALL THIS TALK. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Bad Day For College Hockey

Today it was announced that the University of Alabama Huntsville will drop "varsity hockey" following this season. That means that the UAH Chargers will become a club team in 2013. UAH is in it's second and final season as an independent school after the four-team College Hockey America conference folded following the 2010 season. 

UAH won the final CHA tournament championship in 2010. In 2007, they also won the tournament, which awarded UAH an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. UAH took Notre Dame to double overtime before loosing when ND's Ryan Thang scored 15:18 into the second overtime. There is a slight BU story behind this game too. The Terriers were the late game that night part the NCAA's Mid-West Regional in Grand Rapids Michigan. BU lost to Michigan State 5-1,  after having to wait around for and extra few hours. 

With Huntsville  leaving, the NCAA is left with 57 teams. Penn State is joining next year and there is talk that Minnesota-Moorhead wants to create a "varsity" level hockey squad, but there is no time table on that decision as of now.

At The Polls
Following BU's excruciatingly frustrating loss to the College of the Holy Cross, the Terriers dropped all the way from 7th to 13th in the nation according to USCHO. BC summited the rankings for the second time this year with Denver, Colorado College, Michigan (last week's number one) and Notre Dame rounding out the top five. 

I had BU drop from 5th to 8th in the BU Hockey Blog's top 20. Honestly the Terriers should be lower then 8, but I ran out of places to put them and 8 was open so thats why they're slotted there.

BU fell from 8th to 12th in the USA today poll. I'm not going to get into the PairWise because it is all but meaningless at this point in time during the season.

Year of the little guy?
So far this season many of the Nation's smaller, lesser known teams are off to fast starts. Most notably Ferris State and Northern Michigan. Also, the team of the 80's, Lake Superior State, is surprising people (including me) with an impressive 5-1-0 start. Ferris swept Miami last weekend and Northern Michigan beat and tied last week's number one Michigan.

So with all the news about conference re-alinment and how the little schools are not going to have a chance, its nice to see lesser known teams get off to good starts. Let's all remember it's how you finish the year and not they way you start. Just look at BU last year. They started off 6-0-6 and failed to make the NCAA tournament.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"It Was Pathetic"

Matt Nieto had a goal and one
assist in the loss.
(photo by Matt Dresens)
The words of Jack Parker following BU's embarrassing 5-4 loss to the College of the Holy Cross.

HC went up 1-0 early in period one, before BU took a 2-1 lead on goals from Sahir Gill and Alex Chiasson. Holy Cross would go on to score the next four goals before Chiasson picked up a shorthanded goal and Matt Nieto hit one with about six minutes left.

I'm not going to recap the game any further, but I am going to point out things BU needs to change... Fast.

It seems ever since the '09 National Championship season BU can not "get up" to play teams lesser than themselves. Lets all face it, Holy Cross is a team that will be lucky to win 15 games this season. If BU can't wake up and take every team seriously that they play, its going to be another really frustrating year, similar to last season. They're called"easy wins" if you play the way you're supposed to. Letting Holy Cross come into Agganis and score four straight goals is not getting the job done.

Good teams take care of teams that are supposedly inferior. BU has to stop "playing down to the other teams level" if they want to go anywhere this season.

Fine. If BU can't "get up" to play teams that are supposedly lesser opponents, then don't schedule them. BU played Denver like it was the National Championship game, and they came out with a W. Granted, DU came back to make things very interesting, but all in all BU played a very solid game. Since BU has to fill out a non-confrence schedule why not play some of the top teams in the nation. It works out better in the long run. If BU wins, it scores major points in the PairWise and if they lose it dosen't effect they're PWR rank as greatly as it would to lose to a team like Holy Cross. I know its way to early to put any weight at all into the PairWise, but the Terriers started the night in 8th and dropped all the way out of the rankings following this loss. If they had won, it would have been relatively irrelevant as HC (prior to last nights game) was not ranked at all in the PWR. With the win over BU, HC has jumped all the way to something like 15th. See, HC's win helped them far more then it would have if BU won.

Bring Back the '90's 
Yes, the days when Nirvana dominated the radio and the Cowboy's were "America's Team", BU was dominating college hokey. BU took no prisoners against teams that were weaker than themselves. Example; The Terriers played Princeton in the Badger Shootout in Madison Wisconsin over the holiday break in 1996. BU won the game 10-2. Granted it was a tournament game so its a little easier to be excited about playing, but the point is BU knew they were the better team and they sure as hell showed it. Oh, and if its so easy to "get up" for a tournament game, someone explain to me how BU lost 6-2 to to Brown last year in the Shillelagh tourney out in Chicago.

It still makes zero sense to me how BU lost last night. Unlike the Providence loss where the team arrived at the rink late and players did not even have time to tape their sticks, BU was at home with no game to look ahead to the following night. Nope, I guess this is just a case of  bad coaching. How can BU not be prepared to play Holy Cross. IT MAKES NO SENSE.

Ok, yes, Teams have "off nights", but for three years, BU has been having these "off nights" on a regular basis. A team with a slue of high round draft picks should not have 2,3,4 bad games in a month. The '09 team had one bad stretch where they lost 2 out of 3. Two to Vermont and one to UMass with a win over Northeastern in-between. But really, how bad a stretch was that, as Vermont made the Frozen Four and both games were 4-3 losses. What I'm trying to say is that every team ever created, good or bad, will find themselves down in a game and will lose once in awhile. Having several bad games over a season is not a recipe for a championship team, something a number of people said was posable from this BU squad.

I leave you with a Bill Belichick quote from the resent "A Football Life" documentary on NFL Network. "I Just Cant get get this team to play the way we need to play. Its so f*cking frustrating." Yes Bill, its frustrating as hell to watch BU play the way they do sometimes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BU Gets Crossed Up

Alex Chiasson had three points in the
Terrier's tumble vs Holy Cross
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Thankfully, I missed every second of this disgusting display of hockey. If you can't tell already, I'm pissed and BU lost to Holy Cross by a score of 5-4. Since I could not make it to Boston tonight, here is a recap entirely based off the USCHO box score.

Holy Cross jumped out to a 1-0 at the 6:46 mark of period one on a strike from Erik Vos. About a minute later, Sahir Gill picked up his first goal of the season from Adam Clendening and Corey Trivino at 8:04. 40 seconds later Alex Chiasson tallied his first of two from Matt Nieto and Charlie Coyle.

Holy Cross's Adam Schmidt potted two power play goals to wrap up the scoring in the first. One came on a 5 on 3 man advantage at 11:41, the other 5 on 4 at 17:37. HC lead 3-2 after one.

The Crusader's Andrew Cox scored the lone goal of the second frame at 12:09.

Brendan  Backer scored the eventual game winner during a 4 on 3 situation at 7:17 of period three.

BU would make things interesting, as Chiasson scored his second goal of the night, shorthanded at  9:31. Minutes later, Matt Nieto found that back of the net at the 12:45 mark of period three. Give the assists to Coyle and Chiasson.

The comeback was not enough and Holy Cross embarrassed BU 5-4 at Agganis Arena.

Kieran Millan stopped 26 of 31 shots in 58:29 of playing time. The Terriers fall to 2-2-0 on the season

Much More reaction coming tomorrow.

Holy Cross Crusades on Agganis

Tonight, BU will face their second non-conference opponent in as many games as the College of the Holy Cross comes to Boston to take on the number 7/8 Terriers at Agganis Arena.

Holy Cross, members of what most people consider a weak conference, the Atlantic Hockey Association. The Crusaders find themselves in a three way tie for second in the AHA with UConn and Canisius. The Cross is coming off a 2-1 win over America International, a game that took place one week ago today.

HC's leading scorer through two games is Adam Schmidt, who has one goal and two assists. Holy Cross' Shayne Stockton is the team's leading goal scorer, with two. Matt Ginn will get the start between the pipes for Holy Cross. In two games, Ginn has a 1-1-0 record with a .898 save percentage and six goals allowed.

Judging from Coach Parker's comments in the Daily Free Press, Millan will likely start in net for BU.
“He’s going to play soon,” Parker said of [Grant] Rollheiser. “The problem is that if Kieran [Millan] doesn’t play, he’s got two weeks off since there’s only one game this week. Kieran has earned this number one spot here with his play so far before this year and this year. Rollheiser’s in a tough spot.”
In the same Free Press article, it was noted that neither red-shirt freshman Yasin Cisse or defenseman Ryan Ruikka will dress tonight. Cisse is still trying to become comfortable to getting back on the ice after missing two full seasons with leg injuries. Ruikka has a hair-line fracture in his right foot.

The last Time They Met...
was back in November of 2008, part of BU's National Championship season. BU defeated HC 3-2 in a very closely fought game on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The win was part of BU's perfect non-confrence regular season record of 9-0-0.

Go Figure 
The last time BU played Holy Cross they were ranked 8th in the the Nation. That is exactly what the Terriers are ranked coming into tonight's game.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Remembering Travis Roy

Today is the 16th anniversary of Travis Roy's tragic accident which left him paralyzed. 

It happened on a night that everything was going so right. BU had just raised the 1995 National Championship banner to the rafters of old Walter Brown Arena. Then, in an 11 second span of time, the whole mood in the rink changed.

Freshman, Travis Roy was playing in his first colligate hockey game for the Terriers against the University of North Dakota. BU was dominating the Sioux, which allowed Roy, and the rest of the fourth line, to take their first shift of the game. For Roy, it was his first in the NCAA. Off the faceoff, the puck rattled around the side boards into the corner where Roy and a UND player both chased after it. Roy lost an edge trying to deliver a body check and fell head first into the dasher along the boards. 11 seconds into his college hockey career, Roy was laying face down on the ice, motionless. He was paralyzed from the neck down.

Roy's number 24 has since been retired, and hangs in the same rafters as other famous BU hockey banners. Travis continues to be a huge BU hockey fan and travels to country as a great motivational speeker. A few years ago he actually cam to my school, Medfield High. 

College Hockey Picks Week 3

Team with blue dot next to their school logo is the team I picked.

From Inside College Hockey's Pick 'em

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reaction From The Weekend

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the Providence game because of my own hockey commitment, but I was able to see the best part of the game (from a BU perspective). As I was bringing my skates to the pro shop to be sharpened, I looked up at the TV and Matt Nieto had just scored on PC goalie Alex Beaudry, cutting the Friar lead to 3-1. Since skate sharpening takes about five minutes, I stuck around and caught Corey Trivino's power play goal making the PC lead 3-2.

That's all I saw of the Providence game, but I was able to make it to the Denver game.

As DU carried the play for about the first five minutes, it looked as if the Pioneers were going to dominate BU. Millan made some huge saves very early in the game. The entire momentum of the game changed when Denver's Nick Shore was called for both slashing and cross checking in the same shift.  Although BU did not convert on the power play, they gained all the momentum and minutes later Alex Chiasson picked up his second goal of the year.

Nick Shore slashed BU's Patrick MacGregor's stick out of
his hand in the first period. This was one of two penalties
that Shore committed in the same shift
BU's second goal was a complete fluke. Denver was on the power play and the puck was behind the BU goal. Millan had enough time to clear it from behind the goal line. In a way, it looked like the old BU stretch play where Rick Dipitro (who had a cannon for a goalie) would spring a waiting Terrier in on break-a-way. For Millan, it was not a break-a-way but it worked just as well. Denver's goalie Adam Murray misplayed the puck behind his goal, which allowed Corey Trivino to swoop in and score an eerily similar goal to Alex Burrows' in game two of the Stanley Cup against the Bruins. Take a look for yourself:
Trivino has now scored a goal in every game of the year.

Wade Stays Hot
Wade Megan and Trivino have been dominating the score sheet for the Terriers. Megan has four goals (including two in the exhibition game) and Trivino has three. BU needed more production out of these guys and they are certainly getting it. Trivino was drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft, while Megan was drafted by Florida in 2009.

At The Polls
The Terriers have moved up one spot to 7th in the nation with one first place vote in the USCHO rankings. Michigan is the nation's new number one, while BC, Denver Colorado College and North Dakota make up the rest of the top five. Merrimack (13) and Maine (18) are the other two Hockey East teams in the ranking and Providence was the third team left out.

I had Minnesota at number one in my rankings with a top five looking like this: U of M, BC, Michigan, Denver and BU.

BU dropped from 7th to 8th in the USA Today poll, while picking up one first place vote.

USCHO has put out the PairWise rankings already. Michigan Tech sits atop the rankings. Normally this poll does not even come out until the holiday break, as it is used to pick the NCAA tournament field.

Around Hockey East
Friday night, Providence kicked off an evening of upsets by downing the Terriers 5-3. #3 Denver knocked off top ranked BC 4-2 at Conte Forum.  Northeastern blanked UNH 4-0 at home. North Dakota got the best of Maine 3-1 in Grand Forks, while UMass upended Bentley 5-3 at the Mullens Center. Up in Lowell, the River Hawks defeated Minnesota-Mankato 4-2 and the last game of the night saw the USA U18's come away with a 2-1 win over Vermont.

Saturday proved to be another tough night for UNH as they fell 5-1 to Boston College. Providence won it's second game of the weekend 6-4 over UMass in Rhode Island's capital. In Merrimack's only game of the weekend, the Warriors got past Army 3-2 at Lawler Rink. Also, Maine and North Dakota skated to a 3-3 draw, while Lowell completed the sweep of Mankato with a 4-1 win. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

BU Shortens Up Denver

What a difference a night makes. On Friday, the Terriers found themselves down 3-0 to Providence and comeback and tie it before losing5-3.Tonight, the fate for Denver was strangly similar. BU was up four, only to have Denver storm back in the third and make things very interesting in the final minutes.

Ross Guadet (22) and Adam Clendening (5) fight for
position against Denver's Jason Zucker (17) and
Drew Shore (15) furring the second period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The game started off by Denver controlling the flow. That all changed when Drew Shore was called for both slashing and cross checking in the same shift. The result was a four minute BU power play. The Terriers could not convert, but did have some good looks on the man advantage. At one point in the first, BU held an 8-2 edge in shots.

The Terriers would however, pick up the lone goal of period one, during a four on four situation. Cason Hohmann fed Alex Chaisson with a home run pass that sprung the assistant captain in on a 1 on 1 break-a-way with DU goalie Adam Murray. Chassion crossed up Murray with a forehand-backhand move before roofing a wrist-shot into the top shelf,  where the puck actually got stuck in the netting. It was Hohmann's first carere points as a Terrier.

BU would add to their lead early in the second period, on the first of many fluky goals. Denver was on the power play and dumped in the puck behind the BU net. Terrier goalie, Kieran Millan had just enough time to send the puck the length of the ice for the clear. That's were things got interesting. Corey Trivino chased after Millan's dump just as Denver netminder Adam Murray fumbled the puck behind his goal. Trivino swooped in, stole the puck, and wrapped it around into the DU net, picking up BU's first shorthanded goal of the year. It was Trivino's third goal in as many games.
Adam Murray makes 1 of 12 second
period saves. Murry did allow 3 goals
 in the second frame.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

Seconds later, BU would score their second shorty on the same penalty. Charlie Coyle dished Matt Nieto a perfect saucer pass before Nieto inside outed Murry with a forehand-backhand deak. Nieto scored five hole on Murray who was still trying to recover from the deak.

Later in the period, the the Terriers would show Denver what they were supposed to do on a power play. Wade Megan was able to put home a loose puck from the left hash mark.. The backhand shot beat Murray blocker side. That would conclude BU's scoring on the evening.

Luke Salazar would put the Pioneers on the boar at the 6:01 mark of the third. A BU turnover behind their goal allowed Salazar to pick up the loose puck and score on a wrap a round.

BU controlled the play until there was about nine minutes to go in the game. That's when John Lee blasted, what seemed to be a hard dump-in slap-shot twards the BU goal. I'm not really sure what happened but Millan missed it and the Pioneers were with-in two. I think it was a case of Millan playing too deep in the crease and just missed played the angle.

DU pulled Murray with about three and half minutes to go. At the time, it seemed really early, but in a way it payed off. Drew Shore potted a goal from out in front of the BU cage at the 17:39 mark. The Pioneers had several chances to tie the game with the goalie pulled, but Millan and the Terriers held on and came away with a 4-3 victory. It also helped that with about 20 seconds left DU was called for an interference penalty. Murray was put back in and BU killed off the remainder of the game.

It was Millan's 63rd win as a Terrier, setting a new school record for career wins, passing previous leader Sean Fields.

BU's next game is one week from tonight against Holy Cross at Aggains.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

DU-BU Preview

I've been looking forward to this game since last year when Lets Go DU (a Denver hockey blog), posted that the Pioneers would be making the trip to Boston to take on BC and BU in back to back nights. I watch a lot of college hockey games in person and on TV. For some reason, I'm able to pick up the DU and North Dakota broadcasts on Fox College Sports, so i'm pretty familiar with the Pioneers roster.

DU's best player (in my mind) is sophomore Jason Zucker. As a freshman, Zucker posted 45 points (23g, 22 a) in 40 games played. He is a very shifty player with great hands and a light-beam for a shot. He was part of the USA World Junior Championship team in 2010, where he was among the leaders in scoring.

Another player to look out for is Luke Salazar. Salazar had 17 goals in 42 games played.

DU's goaltender, Sam Brittain will miss this game and most of the first half of the season, due to leg surgery. In 33 starts last year, Brittain posted a 19-9-5 record with a .921 save percentage. In his place will be junior netminder, Adam Murray. Murray started 11 games last year winning 6 and losing 3.

Last season, DU lost to North Dakota in the WCHA championship game in double overtime when Sioux standout, Matt Frattin scored on a rebound. The Pioneers then went on to beat Western Michigan in two overtimes, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, before falling to NoDak again in the Mid-West Regional final.

The last Time They Met...
was back in 2009. BU made the trip to the Mile High city for the Denver Cup over the holiday break. BU defeated RPI in first round action 6-2 while Denver one upped Holy Cross 3-2 in a shoot-out. BU then took care of the Pioneers 4-1 on DU's home ice, Magness arena.

The last time Denver played at Agganis was back in 2005/06 season BU came away with a 1-0 shut out.

BU leads the all time series 13-12-2

Friday, October 14, 2011

BU Falls To Providence 5-3

Tonight's game played similarly to the exhibition game against St. Francis. The opposition storms out to big lead and then BU's comeback is to little to late.  

PC jumped out a 3-0 first period lead. The Friars first goal came off a turnover by Terrier defenseman Sean Escobedo. PC's Andy Balysky was then able to beat BU goalie Kiran Millan just 2:48 into the game. 

34 seconds latter, Matt Montesano potted a goal from inside the slot, making it 2-0.

Latter in the frame, Stefan Demopoulos increased the Providence lead to 3-0 at the 16:24 mark.

BU would storm back in period two. A little over a minute into the second, Matt Nieto scored his first of the season on a wrist shot that beat PC goalie Alex Beaudry over his shoulder. 

Less than a minute latter, Corey Trivino notched his second of the season on the power play. He punched in a loose rebound into a vacant PC goal.

Minutes into the third, defenseman Garett Noonan tied things up at Schneider Rink. He was able to flip a shot over Beaudry's arm and into the net. 

Following Noonan's goal, BU defenseman Max Nicastro was called for high sticking. On the power play, PC's  Myles Harvey ripped a slapper passed Millan, which re-gained the lead for the Friars.

Minutes latter, Ross Mauermann iced the Friar lead, scoring off a rebound. 

BU falls to 1-1-0 on the year as PC picks up their first win under new head coach Nate Leaman.

The Terriers play third ranked Denver tomorrow night at Agganis. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BU Heads To Providence For First Road Test

This early-season game is full of firsts for both teams. In fact, it's Providence's first game of the year. For BU, it will be the first road game of the young hockey season.

BU comes into the game with a 1-0-0 record and sits atop the Hockey East Standings tied with Merrimack and Maine with 2 points. Providence has yet to play a game so they have no points.

Last season BU won the season series three games to none. BU won the opener 2-1 in a closely fought game on October 23. The Terriers then swept a weekend home and home series in February with a 2-1 win and a 1-0 shutout. The season series has not always been so one sided. PC actually was one of only five teams to beat BU in the 2009 season. PC also got the better hand on BU in 2010, beating the Terriers two games to one.

I don't think there is any doubt that Kieran Millan will get the start in the BU goal. Millan is coming off a 5-0 shut-out (career number 6) of UNH. If Millan and the Terriers win this game, Millan will become the all time leader in career wins for a Terrier goaltender. Sean Fields and Millan are tied with 62 victories.

Scouting the Friars
PC enters the 2012 season with a new head coach in Nate Leaman. Leaman was the head coach of Union last year, leading the Dutchman to their first NCAA appearance in school history. Union was ousted by eventual National Champion Minnesota Duluth in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Providence's best returning scorer is Tim Schaller, a Junior from Merrimack, New Hampshire. Schaller posted 5 goals 14 assist, for a total of 19 points in 34 games played during his sophomore campaign.

The Friars best player, hands down, is Senior goaltender Alex Beaudry. Despite only winning 7 games last year, Beaudry finished with a .902 save percentage with one shut-out. The Ontario native made 883 saves last season.

Injury Report
The Boston Hockey Blog reports that Yasin Cisse will be out for this weekend because he needs more time to become acclimated to returning to the ice.

This will most likely be the last weekend Defenseman Ryan Ruikka will miss. He is said to almost be fully recovered from a hairline fracture in his right foot.

College Hockey Picks Week Two

School with the blue dot next to their logo is the team I picked.

Last week I went 4 for 9 with two ties. Not a bad way to start the season.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Second Look at the UNH Game

Sean Fields and Kieran Millan hold the
all time Bu record for career wins. Both
goalies have 62 wins. Millan will look
break the record this weekend at
What happened Saturday night was, in a way, kind of a shock to me. BU upended New Hampshire 5-0 in the season's first game. Over the past years, most (if not all) the BU-UNH games have been really close. Throw out the 5-2 UNH victory last year and the 5-0 BU win in 2009 and you would have to go all the way back to the 2006 Hockey East semifinal to find a game that was so one-sided. BU won that game 9-2 en route to the '06 Hockey East crown.

The score was 5-0, but the game was closer than that. UNH had several chances to take the lead in period one, but BU goalie Kieran Millan made some unreal stops on a few two on ones. The play seemed to be pretty even through the first half of the game, but after Corey Trivino scored to make it 2-0, BU took over the game.

Matt Nieto's goal less than two minutes into period three was the final nail in the coffin, as it shattered any hope of a Wildcat comeback. The Terriers held UNH to just six third period shots, none of which were really close to going in, except for one that hit the crossbar in the final seconds of the game.

Millan picked up his 6th shut-out of his BU career, stopping all 34 UNH shots. In the process, the Senior netminder tied the BU wins record held by Sean Fields.

At the Polls
Following last weekend's BU victory, the Terriers moved up two slots in the USCHO poll into the 8th position. BC took over the #1 spot followed by Notre Dame, Denver, Michigan, and rounding out the top five was Miami.

In the USA Today ranking, BU actually dropped a spot from 6th to 7th. The top five was the same with the exception of Miami being slotted 4 and Michigan 5.

I had BU ranked 5th in my rankings, with the top five looking like this: BC, Notre Dame, Miami, Minnesota-Duluth, and BU.

Millan Named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week
Hockey East announced today that Millan was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for his 5-0 shut-out.

What Happend Around Hockey East
Friday night, Merrimack defeated Maine 2-1 in Alfond Arena. That same night, Northeastern tied UMass with 2 seconds left in the third period. Following a scoreless overtime, the game ended in a 3-3 draw. Also on Friday, Boston College upended Michigan State 5-2 in game one of the Icebreaker Invitational in Grand Forks North Dakota.

Saturday saw BC beat North Dakota 6-2 in the IBI final to win the tournament. Lowell tied New Brunswick in an exhibition contest and on Sunday Maine got the best of Northeastern winning 6-2 at home.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BU Blanks UNH in Season Opener

It's pretty clear that starting goalie Kieran Millan got some good work in over the last week, as he put his dismal five goal drubbing behind him and picked up the shutout in the year's first real game.

Both teams were held scoreless through the first period, but there was still plenty of action. Millan made a great save on a two on one little over five minutes in. Matt Nieto planted a UNH skater that looked to be about two times the size of him.
Corey Trivino breaks the puck out of the UNH end in the
second period. Trivino scored BU's second goal of the
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

BU jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3:16 into the second frame. Chris Connolly set up Wade Megan for his first official goal of the season (Megan had two goals in the exhibition game). Megan was camped out in the low slot on the BU power play and Connolly found him from behind the net. Megan had his stick on the ice to entire time and slammed it past UNH goalie Matt DiGirolamo.

Minutes later, Connolly set up another goal. This time he fed fellow senior Corey Trivino with a perfect back-door pass that Trivino simply re-directed past DiGirolamo and into the back of the net. That concluded the scoring for the second period. BU took over play following the Trivino goal, dominating time of position, but UNH still held a slim 29-23 shot advantage heading into the third.

Matt Nieto celebrates after his third
 period goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The Terriers opened the flood-gates minutes into period number three. Alex Chiasson made a great play to cover for pinching defenseman Alexx Privitera. Chiasson was able to keep a bouncing puck in the attacking zone before rifling a shot that DiGirolamo stopped, but was not able control the rebound which Matt Nieto deposited into the goal.

Strangely, UNH pulled DiGirolamo with about 5:30 left in the game after they called a timeout. Needless to say the gamble didn't work, as Alex Chiasson scored with relative ease on the goalie-less net.

Kevin Gilroy picked up a garbage goal with three minutes even left. Justin Courtnall made a heads-up play to keep the puck deep in the UNH zone. A Wildcat turnover allowed Gilroy to swooped in  behind the net and potted a wrap-a-round goal on DiGirolamo.

With the win under their belts, BU moves to 1-0-0 on the season and currently sits in a two way tie for first place in Hockey East.

After winning tonight's game, goalie Kieran Millan passed former BU great Sean Fields for the all time wins record. Millan currently has 62 career wins.

BU takes on Providence next Friday night, before playing national power Denver on Saturday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

College Hockey Picks Week One

Home Team
Visiting team


Michigan State
Boston College

North Dakota
Air Force

Bemidji State


Minnesota Duluth
Notre Dame


New Hampshire
Boston University

Alaska Anchorage
St. Cloud State

North Dakota

*Winning team prediction is in Red

BU Takes On UNH In Season Opener

Saturday BU will look to put all the question marks from last weekend's exhibition loss to SFX behind them and kickoff what hopefully will be an exciting, successful season against New Hampshire.

Last year the Terriers took the season series verse the Wildcats, two games to one. UNH won the opening match 5-2 at the Wittimore Center, but BU bounced back the next night with a 4-2 victory. In February, BU somehow beat the then league leading Wildcats 2-1 in Durham, despite getting vastly out played.

Kieran Millan will get the start in net for the Terriers. Last weekend Millan allowed 5 goals on 17 shots.

Scouting the Cats
UNH lost their best defenseman to the NHL in Blake Kessle, who signed with the Flyers over the summer. Look out for Senior Stevie Moses, the assistant captain of the Wildcats. Last season Moses had 14 goals, 12 assists for a total of 26 points in 39 games played. In the one game that I saw him play last year, it looked like he has a decent shot and can really skate.

Apparently UNH's Matt Digrolamo is the best goalie in the nation, according to USCHO's pre-season rankings. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can object to this as, I don't not think he's the best goalie in Hockey East. If I had one league game to win and had to pick my starting netminder its either Merrimack's  Joe Cannata or Providence's Alex Beaudry. Sorry Matt Digrolamo, your not that good.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Injury Report

Red-shirt freshman Yasin Cisse will dress this Saturday night. Last week he suffered a concussion that kept him out of the lineup vs SFX. This will be Cisse's first real game as a Terrier. Last season he played only a half a period before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Cisse did however play in last year's pre-season game vs Toronto. 

> Junior Forward Ryan Santana will be out until Christmas time with a shoulder injury. Santana's injury occurred sometime last season, and the lingering affects of surgery is what is keeping him out of the lineup.

> Defenseman Ryan Ruikka is out Saturday with a hairline fracture in his right foot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Notre Dame To Hockey East

In a press conference on the South Bend Indiana campus of the University of Notre Dame, it was announced that the Irish would join Hockey East in the fall of 2013. ND is the first new addition to HE since Vermont jumped ship from the ECAC in 2006.

BU's athletic directer Mike Lynch had this to say about ND's joining:
“We think we’ve made a great move in the right direction,” Lynch said, “and we are thrilled to welcome Notre Dame to Hockey East and look forward to many great years together in our conference.”

With this announcement, Hockey East gains their 11th member and will be looking for a 12th. If the league goes to 12 teams each team will play each other twice for a total of 22 league games, as opposed to the current 27 game schedule.

Hockey East will be considering many teams for the 12th member. The Warrior Rink Rat Blog has a list of team that could possible join. They include RPI, UConn, Niagara, Syracuse*, Qunnipiac, Alabama Huntsville, and Holy Cross.

* Out of all they teams mentioned, I would love to see Syracuse start up hockey and join the league. Just like Penn State did last year, 'Cuse could and probably should already have an ice hockey team. Up-state New York is a hockey breeding ground and if schools like Union, Niagara, and RIT can fund hockey, I'm sure the Orange Men could do it. All they would have to do is put down a cooling system in the Carrier Dome and boom, they have the biggest arena in college hockey.

In Other News.
The 2013 NCAA regional locations were announced today. Brown will host the East Regional at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence. UNH and Verizon Wireless arena will be home to the North East Regional. For the west, Michigan hosts in Grand Rapids and Bowling Green will host in the newly formed hockey hot bed of Toledo Ohio.

How the NCAA thinks they will draw any fans in Toledo is beyond me. Just another example of why they should go to the best 2-of-3 series format, on the higher seed's campus. Hey, they did it in the 80's and early 90's, why not now?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Taking a Closer Look at the Xavier Game

Millan allows the 5th SFX goal, their
second shorthanded goal of the night. 
Before everyone wigs out over the pre-season loss, let's all remember that they called it an exhibition game for a reason. BU has had about one whole week of team practices and Saturday night's loss was the first time BU has played in a competitive situation all year.

St. Francis, on the other hand, had already played two games defeating Dalhousie University 8-1 and loosing 2-1 to Calgary. SFX, also has had a few more weeks of practices than BU.

Not to put all the blame in the lack of preparation, BU did come out flatter than Iowa in the first period and their special teams was even worst. BU allowed two short handed goals in two periods and before anyone in the building knew it, it was 5-0 Xavier.

Starting goalie, Kieran Millan allowed 5 goals on 17 shots. Junior forward, Wade Megan, who scored two goals for BU, says there's nothing to worry about in goal.
“I don’t think one person on this team is worried about Millan,” Megan said. “He’s proven from the time that he’s been here that he’s more than capable, so we just tried to play hard in front of him, and that just means we need to score more goals if he lets a few in. 
“He’s bailed us out many, many, many times, so I don’t think that’s a cause for concern at all.” From the Daily Free Press
With that being said, Millan did look like he was fighting the puck all night. It seemed like he was struggling to (A) see the puck and (B) then make the save. A couple  of the goals scored were to the glove side, which has historically been a weak point for the senior netminder in past years.

Coach Parker also said that Millan's poor performance "surprised him". I'm sure Kieran will start this weekend's season opener against UNH, but it would not shock me if he was on a short leash. Grant Rollheiser played a perfect third period, stopping all 7 shots he faced. Last season, Rollie picked up the win in BU's 4-2 victory over UNH.

In Other News
> 2009 co captain, John McCarthy was sent down to AHL Worcester by the San Jose Sharks. McCarthy played in 37 games, scoring 2 goals and 4 assists with San Jose last season. His jersey will temporarily be taken down from the blog header, until he is called back up to the Sharks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

BU Comeback Isn't Enough, St. Francis Takes It

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the rink for the first half of the game, but I'll do my best to report on this one.

On the way to Agganis, I was reading the Boston Hockey Blog's live blog of the game, so here goes nothing.

Freshman, Alexx Privitera (6) celebrates after his third
period goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

BU fell behind early in the first on a shorthanded goal by SFX's Bryce Swan just 1:45 into the first period. Three minutes later, the X-Men found the back of the net again on Brennan Wray's four on four goal. St. Francis would close the first period scoring with the third leg of the special-team's trifecta (shorthanded goal, 4 on 4 goal, a power play goal) with a power play goal from Kevin Undershute.

Xavier continued to score special-teams goals in period number two. Nick Pageau potted a five on three goal at the 14:00 minute mark (just as I was walking in). Before the end of the frame, Jason Bast picked up the second shorty of the night for SFX. He was able to gain possession at the red line and skated in one on one with Terrier defenseman Sean Escobedo. He use Escobedo as a screen and beat Millan low glove side.

Kieran Millan was pulled after the second period (which was planned) but he only made 12 saves, while giving up 5 goals on 17 shots. Grant Rollheiser played a perfect third period, stopping all seven shots he faced.

BU celebrates after Ben Rosen's goal
The tally really gave the Terriers a
surge in the 3rd period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Ben Rosen got BU on the board with one of the weaker goals you'll ever see. He skated over the blue line and took a simple wrist shot on net. It was a "seeing eye" shot that found it's way under the arm of SFX goalie Joseph Perricone (33 saves) and into the brand new Agganis Arena net.

Six minutes later, freshman defenseman Alexx Privitera scored his unofficial first collegiate goal. He popped in a rebound from a Chris Connolly shot. Privitera used his backhand to flip the puck into a wide open net.

Wade Megan notched his first of two goals at the 15:52 mark of the third. As he moved in on Perricone, he pulled a forehand-backhand move and beat the Canadian netminder high glove side with a sweet backhand shot.

Little over two minutes later, Megan made things real interesting at Aggains. He slammed home a loose rebound from Alex Chiasson's shot, right through Perricone's legs. The valiant comeback proved to be too little too late, as St. Francis tacked on an empty netter with two seconds left.

Final score, St. Francis Xavier 6, Boston University 4.

BU takes on UNH in the regular season opener next Saturday at Agganis.

Game Photos
Box Score
Video Highlights