Monday, March 28, 2011

The Dynasty is Over For BC --- Updated

One week ago, it was looking good for the Boston College Eagles. They had just beaten Merrimack in the Hockey East championship game 5-3 and earned the third overall number one seed in the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they were shipped out west to St. Louis to face a red hot Colorado College team.

In the Gateway City, BC ran into the best Freshman in college hockey, Jaden Schwartz and his senior brother, Rylan Schwartz. The two combined for two goals and five assists in the 8-4 rout of the Eagles Friday night.

To pour salt on the wound, Cam Atkinson, arguably BC's best offensive threat with 31 goals, decided to forgo his Senior year at Boston College and sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets. With Atkinson’s departure, the Eagles will lose their top line of Brain Gibbons, Joe Whitney, and Atkinson. Whitney and Gibbons were both Seniors. Also, BC will have to replace four year goalie John Muse. Also departing early for the Eagles, is Junior Jimmy Hayes, who signed with the Chicago Black Hawks earlier today. He will report to the AHL affiliate The Rockford Icehogs Hayes was second on the team to Atkinson with 21 goals. Muse and the two other seniors won two national championships, three Beanpots and three Hockey East titles.  

Since this a BU hockey blog then I guess its ok to be biased. Right now the Terriers and Northeastern are my two favorites for Hockey East next year. 

Other Early departures around Hockey East. 
Gustav Nyquist, Maine (signed with Detroit) 
David Warsofsky, Boston University (signed with Boston)
Cam Atkinson, Boston College (signed with Columbus)
Jimmy Hayes, Boston College (signed with Chicago)

The Warrior Rink Rat  blog has reported that Merrimack center and 2010 National Rookie of the Year, Stephane Da Costa is meeting with several NHL teams, including the Burins and Maple Leafs this week.   The blog states that he will likely sign this week.

Updated: Da Costa has officially singed with the Ottawa Senators as of Thursday, (4/1)

In Other News 
I have created a video of the best college hockey goals:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dave Departs

Photo by Matt Dresens
Junior Assistant Captain, David Warsofsky has decided to forgo his senior year as a Terrier and sign with the Boston Bruins. This is confirmed by the Daily Free Press, the Providence journal, and Warsofsky himself.
In three seasons at BU, Dave racked up 22 goals, 46 assist fir a total of 68 points. Before the start of the season he was traded from the St. Louis Blues, the team which drafted him 94 overall in 2008, to the Bruins.
Parker had this to say about Warsofsky to a USCHO reporter: " He didn't perform as well as he could have this year, and I think it was because he wasn't challenged. He needs to be on eggshells, worrying how good he is compared to everyone else, and I think this year he thought it was going to be to easy for him.
Warsofsky will play in his first AHL game this up coming weekend against former Terriers Joe Pereira, John McCarthy, Sean Sullivan and the rest of the Worcester Sharks. Pereira singed a tryout contact with the Sharks earlier this week. All three BU standouts named were once captain of the Terriers. McCarthy in '09, Sully in '07 and Joey this passed season.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Skating 16

Today the NCAA brackets were announced and no surprise, BU did not make  the field of 16. Last night BC, Yale, North Dakota, Miami and, Air Force won each of their respective conference tournaments. BC and Merrimack both went down to the wire in Hockey East. Miami won in a land-slide over Western Michigan in the CCHA final. I did not get a chance to see any of the Atlantic Hockey Championship game, so all I know is that Air Force beat RIT. The best game of the night by far was the WCHA championship game. Matt Fratten won the Brodmore trophy for the Sioux in the second overtime of a very exciting hockey game. Yale also crushed Cornell 6-0 in the ECAC final.

East Regional, Bridgeport Connecticut 
The ECAC champion, Yale Bulldogs are the number one overall seed in this year's tourney and will face Ari Force in their first game. This is a rematch of the 2009 regional opener. Air Force upset the three seeded Bulldogs, but lost the next night in double overtime to Vermont. In the other end of this regional is the WCHA's Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, the 9 seed, and the surprising ECAC regular season champs of Union College, the 8 seed.
Prediction: Union beats Yale to go to the Frozen Four 

Northeast Regional, Manchester New Hampshire 
The first game sees the Miami Red Hawks take on site host New Hampshire. Usually Miami would like to stay away from Hockey East teams (especially ones from Boston), seeing how the last four years their season has ended at the hands of a Hockey East team. On the other side of this bracket, Merrimack will see Notre Dame in their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1988.
Prediction: Miami beats Notre Dame in the regional final then heads to St. Paul

MidWest Regional, Green Bay Wisconsin  
The second seed in the tournament might have the easiest first game out of all the one seeds in the dance. North Dakota will play Rensselaer, a team that has not played a game in two weeks. RPI lost 2 out of 3 to Colgate in the ECAC opening round at home. In the later game, Denver takes on a surging Western Michigan team.
Prediction: North Dakota drops Denver (again) in the final and heads to St Paul 

West Regional, St Louis Missouri 
This is the most competitive bracket out of the four regionals. Really any of the four teams could win this pool. Despite being the third seed in the tournament Boston College will make the trip to the Gate Way City and face Colorado College, a team that is playing their best hockey of the season at the right time. Not much travel here for 12th seeded Nebraska Omaha, who take on Michigan in the late game. 
Prediction: Boston College goes back to the Frozen four with a win over Omaha

Frozen Four picks:
Miami knocks off Union 5-4 and the Sioux take revenge against BC from 2008. UND 4, BC, 2

UND 5, Miami, 3

Printable Bracket 

In Other News
The woman's team fell 4-1 to Wisconsin in the National Championship game. It was BU's first trip to the Championship game in the six year history of the program. BU was also the first Hockey East team ever to make the final. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Playoffs? There's Still a Chance

In Other News
Adam Clendening (pictured) and
Charlie Coyle were both named to
(photo by Matt Dresens)
Lately, I have not been keeping up with the blog over the past month, as much as I would have liked to. The main reason was my own hockey commitment. My team, Medfield High lost to Pembroke 5-1 in the South Sectional and that took up most of my time.  

As you may have heard already, BU did not do so hot in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, losing two of three to the sixth seeded Northeastern Huskies. For the first time in 10 years, the Terriers will not be in the Garden. I will still do a preview of the semis and the final but root hard for BC!! BU needs all the favorites to win their conference championships in hopes to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. The Boston Hockey Blog has a complete list of the scenarios. Currently, the Terriers sit in 17th in the Pair Wise and must be in 15th or better.

In Other News
The woman's team has advanced to their first trip to the Frozen Four in program history. After beating Mersyhurst College Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena, the Lady Terriers will take on Cornell in Erie, Pennsylvania this upcoming weekend.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

There Will Be More Hockey!

BU stays alive after 3 goal first period

After allowing a 5 on 3 goal just minutes into the game BU out played and out worked Northeastern for the rest of the game. On that 5 on three power play, Wade MacLeod set up Brodie Reid for a one-timer, which Reid drilled past Millan (30 saves) blocker side.

BU would respond just three minutes later. Taking a pass from Corey Trivino, Alex Chiasson put a shot on net that was stopped by NU goalie Chris Rawlings (3 saves). The rebound kicked out to the point where Ryan Ruikka spotted the open top left corner to tie the game. BU's response was a good indication as to how well they would perform the rest of the evening.
Captain Joe Pereira had two goals and made sure that last
night's game was not his last in a BU uniform. Joey had a
ton of energy all nigh a was wizzing around the rink.
(Photo By Matt Dresens)
Three minutes later Matt Nieto would notch a rare power play goal to put the Terriers up for the first time in the series. Nieto received a pass from Chris Connolly in the slot and the freshman wasted no time with his shot as he burried it over Rawlings' glove into the back of the net.

The fourth line played well all night, especially Justin Courtanall, and the line was rewarded with a goal at the 13:00 minute mark of the first period. Courtnall was able to free up the puck behind the Husky net where NU killer, Kevin Gilroy, picked it up. Gilroy made a big loop before cutting back to the middle and firing a wrister by Rawlings' glove again to make it 3-1 Terriers. It would be the game winning goal, the second game winner for Gilroy vs the Huskies. Last year he ended the NU season with a game winner in the final regular season contest. That loss demoted the Huskies to 9th place and out of the 2009-'10 playoffs. Given the obvious poor performance by netminder Rawlings, NU coach Cronin oppted to change in favor of freshman Clay Witt.

NU picked up the only goal of the second period with just 26 seconds left. Jamie Oleksiak was able to get just enough wood on a bouncing puck at the blue line. The puck surpised Millan, knuckling off the cross bar before winding up in the back of the Terrier net.

BU dominated the third period. Long stretches of play were controled by the Terriers in the NU zone. Eventually, BU upped the lead to 4-2 as Joe Pereira was able to jam a lose puck following a rap-around attempt  stop by Clay Witt (29 saves) .

After the goal, BU played lock-down defense, limiting NU to little offence and very few chances. Pereira would add an empty-netter to seal the game for the Terriers forcing game three, Sunday night.
BU is undefeated in Hockey East Quarter final game three's at Agganis. Every year but 2006 there has been a third and final game.

Go Figure
Kevin Gilroy was pictured on the ticket and scored the game winning goal for the Terriers.

Pipe Luck
Northeastern hit two posts last night, one in the third and one in the first periods.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hockey East Quarterfinal Pairings and Predictions

Series Diference maker:
Cam Atkinson. He is a threat to score
from any where on the ice.
photo by John Quackenbos of
ESPN Boston. 
1. Boston College vs. 8. Umass
Last weekend BC rapped up the number one seed by sweeping New Hampshire in a home and home series. UMass, on the other hand, was able to take one point from Maine, enough to lock up the 8th and final seed. This series is a repeat of last year's. BC was the 2 seed and UMass the 7. BC won in a sweep and went on to win the Hockey East Championship with a 6-5 overtime win over Maine.
Prediction: BC wins in two. 

Series Diference maker: Rob Madore. He must
play well if Vermont wants to have any shot at
Photo credit to Dennis Pause of In Goal Magazine
2. New Hampshire vs 7. Vermont 
Another repeat of last year's matchup, Vermont was the 8 seed and pulled off the huge upset with an overtime win in the third game. The Catamounts were the first team since the '04 BU squad to knock off the #1 seed in the quarterfinals. Vermont punched their ticket to the playoffs by defeating Lowell 4-2 on Friday night. UNH had already clinched home ice coming into last weekend and could have fallen to third if BU had beaten Northeastern Saturday night.
Prediction: UNH wins in three 

3. Boston University vs 6. Northeastern. 
Series Difference Maker: David Warsofsky.
He will be back in the Terrier lineup after
missing the past four games with a
concussion. BU will be without Garret
Noonan for game one due to a suspension.
(Photo By Matt Dresens) 
Well, here are a couple of familiar foes. There is a possibility that these two teams could face each other for five games straight. That would happen if the first two games result in a split. This series, unlike the others will start Thursday at Agganis Arena. BU won the season series 2-1, but both wins were by just one goal. In NU's case, to make the National Tournament they must win Hockey East. For the Terriers it would be huge if they swept, but can still make it even if they don't. The road would just be a little tougher. The Huskies will be getting their Head Coach Greg Cronin back this weekend from a suspension for recruiting violations.
Prediction: BU in Three

4, Merrimack vs 5. Maine
Series Difference Maker: Stephan
DaCasta. DaCasta was injured
during the two Maine games in
which his team was swept. With him
back I gave MC the nod. 
(Photo from Merrimack Athletics)
The final series features one team playing their best hockey of the season and the other, not so much. Merrimack limped into the playoffs after winning just one of their last four to end the regular season. The lone win was a 6-1 rout of Providence College last Friday. PC won the second game 5-3 but failed to make it to the tournament. Oh yeah, and the other two losses both came against Maine in Orono. Maine has been playing well as of late. As said before, they swept MC and they took 3 of 4 points from UMass last weekend. 
Prediction: Merrimack in 3 (final game in ot) MC does not lose at home. 

I know I really didn't  go out on a limb with these picks but I truly see all the higher seeds getting it done and moving on to the Garden. 

Bracketology Take Two, Somethings Missing
After Losing to Northeastern BU fell out of the top 15 and into a tie with RPI at the 16 spot in the Pairwise. So they are not in my bracket this week.  The one thing going for the Terriers is that RPI lost to Colgate  in the ECAC Quarterfinals. All that means is RPI is basically out of contention for the NCAA tourney. So with a win this weekend BU should pass the Engineers. 

Click Here for larger image 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Terriers Fall In Final Regular Season Game

Last night, the Terriers came up one goal short of second place in Hockey East. Instead of playing the seventh seeded Vermont Catamounts, BU will face Northeastern for potentially five games straight.  Last night was yet an other one goal game and a penalty filled contest.
Adam Clendening is hooked from behind by Husky Captain
Tyler McNeely. BU would later score on the power play.
(Photo By Matt Dresens)

It was BU's power play that struck first in the opening period. Sahir Gill fed Charlie Coyle in the slot. Coyle sent a no-look behind the back pass on the tape of Max Nicastro who put it pass NU netminder Clay Witt on an off balance slap shot.

The Huskies picked up the equalizer towards the end of the frame from Senior Randy Guzior.

The Terriers would pick up their second power play goal of the period at the 17:13 mark. Chris Connolly sent a wrister over the shoulder of Witt and into the top twine giving BU the lead back.

NU would go on and score three straight goals from Drew Denials, Mick Hewkin, and Steve Silva respectively.

BU would cut the lead to 4-3 with 2:50 remaining in the game. Kevin Gilroy was able to squeak one by Witt.  After putting a shot on net, the puck somehow found its way under Witt's legs and dribbled over the line.

With the loss, BU will be the three seed in the Hockey East Tournament.

Video Highlights


Prd Player               Team Min Offense              Time
1st Bitetto, Anthony     NU     2 INTERFERENCE         01:03 PP
1st McNeely, Tyler       NU     2 HOLDING              02:54 PP
1st MacLeod, Wade        NU     2 INTERFERENCE         05:10 PP
1st Reid, Brodie         NU     2 TRIPPING             07:42 PP
1st Chiasson, Alex       BU     2 TRIPPING             08:45
1st Noonan, Garrett      BU     2 ELBOWING             12:29 PP
1st Silva, Steve         NU     2 INTERFERENCE         16:44
1st Gill, Sahir          BU     2 ROUGHING             16:44
1st Silva, Steve         NU     2 ROUGHING             16:44 PP
1st Noonan, Garrett      BU     5 CONTACT TO THE HEAD  19:00 PP
1st Noonan, Garrett      BU    10 GAME MISCONDUCT      19:00
2nd MacLeod, Wade        NU     2 CROSS-CHECKING       01:04
2nd Megan, Wade          BU     2 HOOKING              04:31 PP
2nd Guzior, Randy        NU     2 ELBOWING             11:23 PP
2nd Ferriero, Cody       NU     2 SLASHING             14:44 PP
2nd Connolly, Chris      BU     2 HOLDING              15:18 PP
2nd MacLeod, Wade        NU     2 SLASHING             17:30
2nd Coyle, Charlie       BU     2 HITTING AFTER WHISTL 17:30
3rd Chiasson, Alex       BU     2 CROSS-CHECKING       12:20 PP
3rd Quailer, Steve       NU     2 HIGH STICKING        13:09 PP
3rd Nicastro, Max        BU     2 HIGH STICKING        13:34 PP
3rd Gaudet, Ross         BU     2 INTERFERENCE         19:57 PP

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Terriers Pick Up Another 1 Goal Victory, Clinch Home Ice

Terriers celebrate at the bench after
Sahir Gill (28) score the eventual game
 winning goal.
(Photo By Matt Dresens) 
Last night BU downed Northeastern in a penalty-filled game. In the process, BU was able to rap up home ice in the first round of the Hockey East Tournament.

BU had a golden chance to go up 1-0 early in the first frame, when Joe Pereira broke in on NU goalie Chris Rawlings (24 saves) on a short handed bid. Pereira was hooked from behind and was given a penalty shot. He made a decent move on Rawlings but the goaltender made the save.

BU would take the lead later in the period. Alex Chiasson tried a wrap-a-round to stuff it past Rawlings. Rawlings made the save but the rebound went to Corey Trivino behind the net. Trivino put it past Rawlings on the other side of the cage on another wrap-a-round.

The score would stay 1-0 heading into the second stanza, thanks in large part to both teams penalty kill's. It would be a theme all night.

NU would grab the lone goal in the second to tie the game. Cody Ferriero made a nice toe drag move on Garret Nooonan and in the same motion, ripped a shot low blocker side past Millan (39 saves).

In a third period chalk full of penalties, it was both team's special teams that came to play. BU's Adam Clendening and Northeastern's Randy Guzior both received 5 minute majors. Clendening for hitting from behind and Guzior for contact to the head.

NU's Jamie Oleksiak was called for a holding penalty which gave the Terriers a 2 minute power play. BU was able to grab the lead after Cory Trivino set up Max Nicastro for a one timer. Nicastro drilled it past Rawlings who never saw it because of a screen.

NU would score a short handed goal later on the BU power play. Wade MacLeod carried the puck into the BU zone and then found Steve Silva on the doorstep. Silva tipped it in, tying the game at two. As NU scored, BU was called for a penalty. In college hockey, the penalty must be served even if the team scores before the penalized team is able touch up.

That is exactly what happened. After Northeastern went on the man advantage, it was BU who got their shorthanded strike. Sean Escobedo made a heads up cross ice pass to a wide open Matt Nieto at the Husky blue line. Nieto and Sahir Gill broke in 2 on 0. Nieto dished to Gill at the top of the crease and Gill redirected the pass over Rawlings, giving BU the lead once again.

Kieran Millan played very well (again) and came up huge in the last two or so minutes.

The two teams will meet again tonight at Agganis Arena. With a win tonight and a UNH loss (vs BC), BU will finish with the second seed in the Hockey East Tournament. They can finish as low as 4th.

Video Highlights:


Prd Player               Team Min Offense              Time
1st Nieto, Matt          BU     2 HOOKING              04:28 PP
1st Reid, Brodie         NU     2 TRIPPING             05:13
1st MacLeod, Wade        NU     2 HOLDING              11:03 PP
1st MacGregor, Patrick   BU     2 HOOKING              16:51 PP
1st Nieto, Matt          BU     2 SLASHING             17:55 PP
1st Clendening, Adam     BU     2 ROUGHING             18:24
1st Silva, Steve         NU     2 ROUGHING             18:24
2nd Rosen, Ben           BU     2 TRIPPING             03:39 PP
2nd Bitetto, Anthony     NU     2 HOOKING              05:01 PP
2nd Quailer, Steve       NU     2 CROSS-CHECKING       11:52 PP
2nd Eibler, Luke         NU     2 HITTING AFTER WHISTL 16:16 PP
2nd Daniels, Drew        NU     2 HIGH STICKING        17:45 PP
3rd Coyle, Charlie       BU     2 ELBOWING             00:32 PP
3rd Nicastro, Max        BU     2 BOARDING             06:51
3rd Vermeersch, Garrett  NU     2 BOARDING             06:51
3rd Guzior, Randy        NU     5 CONTACT TO THE HEAD  06:51
3rd Guzior, Randy        NU    10 GAME MISCONDUCT      06:51
3rd Clendening, Adam     BU     5 HITTING FROM BEHIND  07:26
3rd Clendening, Adam     BU    10 GAME MISCONDUCT      07:26
3rd Noonan, Garrett      BU     2 HOLDING              07:34
3rd Silva, Steve         NU     2 ROUGHING             07:34
3rd Oleksiak, Jamie      NU     2 HOLDING              12:44 PP
3rd McNeely, Tyler       NU     2 HOLDING              13:48 PP
3rd Ruikka, Ryan         BU     2 SLASHING             15:05 PP
3rd Nieto, Matt          BU     2 HOOKING              18:56 PP

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bracketology And Hockey East Playoff Picture

IN Other News
Kieran Millan was named the Hockey East
Goalie of the Month. Millan went 5-2-1 in
February with a 2.09 GAA and .936 save
percentage. He also had a 5-0-1 record in
conference play. In one stretch of the month,
he stopped 99 of 100 shot he faced.

Photo by Matt Dresens
=> So here we are with the final weekend of the regular season on the horizon. The Terriers take on Northeastern with a chance to finish in second place in Hockey East. All BU has to do to clinch home ice is take one point from the Huskies. BU can finish as low as fifth if there was to be three way tie between Maine, Merrimack and the Terriers. Hockey East Online has a full list of playoff scenarios.

=> With the NCAA tournament fast approaching, it is time to start forecasting the possible field of 16. Currently, BU would be in the tournament because they have cracked the top 15 in the Pair Wise. They must be in the top 15 because RIT, the likely Atlantic Hockey Champions, will have an automatic bid due to the fact that they are conference champions. A regular season conference champ does NOT have an automatic bid into the tournament but, I have never seen a team finish first and not make it. Prior to the 2001 season, it was an automatic bid but, with the addition of the weak Atlantic Hockey Conference, it was dropped. 

Now to the proposed bracket:
To view larger image click here