Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Thoughts: Grab Your Broom

Player of the Week:
Freshman Danny O'Regan
O'Regan scored his first collegiate
goal in the second period of
Friday night's game and added
another, the eventual game
winner in the third. O'Regan
picked up two assists Saturday,
one on the game tying goal
and one on the game winner.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)  
Saturday night, BU completed their first weekend sweep of the season and their first since last February, when the Terriers took four points at Vermont. The weekend goes far deeper than that, as BU played much better than the previous weekend at New Hampshire.

Friday was BU's best all around game of the year. After a sluggish first period, the team really came together and played a strong 40 minutes. Danny O'Regan and Cason Hohmann (again, this is becoming a weekly theme) shined as they both picked up two goals. O'Regan's strong play carried into Saturday's game. He picked up an assist on the tying and winning goals at the Mullins Center.

Matt O'Connor further proved that he is the man to beat in goal, stopping 58 of 62 shots faced over two games. Assistant Coach Mike Bavis, who served as the team's head coach on Saturday because Jack Parker injured his back and could not make the tip, did say that Sean Maguire will play one of the two games at North Dakota next weekend.

 A Good Sign
Matt Nieto picked up his first goal of the season, the game tying goal on Saturday. Nieto will undoubtably be one of the Terriers top scorers at the end of the year, but for right now, getting that first goal is a good sign for Nieto, who had been held in check for the first three games of the year.

Sophomores lead the way
Last year, it was a rare site when either Evan Rodrigues or Cason Hohmann found the score sheet. A combined 4 goals and 20 points was clearly an underachievement for those two. This year is a completely different story. Take a quick glance at the stat sheet for the BU Hockey Team and you will find Hohmann and Rodrigues one/two respectively in scoring thus far with 11 points combined. Hohmann is tied with Wade Megan for the team lead in goals with three.

Happy Birthday
Saturday was Sean Escobedo's birthday and I don't think there was a better way for him to celebrate. With 1:22 left in the third period and the game tied 2-2, Escobedo banged home the eventual game winning goal on a loose rebound at the top of the crease. It was his first goal since March 3rd. In his career at BU, Sean has five goals three of which are game winners. Two of those game winners have come in the last two minutes of games. The first was back in 2010 when he won the Icebreaker Invitational with 1:07 left to beat Notre Dame. The other was Saturday night. His other game winner came last February against Vermont. He scored the first goal in a 5-0 shut out.

 At The Polls
BU moved up one slot in the USCHO poll from 13 to 12. Boston College was again number one, picking up 38 of 50 possible first place votes. Minnesota was two (3 first place votes), Denver third (6 first place votes), Miami dropped from 3 to 4 and North Dakota rounded out the top five. Number 9 New Hampshire picked up two first place votes. Somehow Union slotted at 10, received the final first place vote. Lowell and Northeastern were the other Hockey East schools to crack the top 20 coming in at 14 and 15, respectively.

 Around Hockey East
Friday: Boston College snuck by Lowell 1-0 at Tsongas... Providence upended Maine 3-2 at home... New Hampshire battled back to defeat Northeastern at the Whitt... Merrimack topped Vermont 6-3 at Lawler Rink... BU rolled past UMass 5-2 at home.

Saturday: Providence completed the sweep of Maine, blanking the Black Bears 3-0 at home... Northeastern and New Hampshire skated to a scoreless tie at Matthews Arena... Merrimack and Vermont tied 2-2... BU came back to defeat UMass 3-2 at the Mullins Center.

Sunday: Boston College throttled Lowell 6-3 at Conte.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Escobedo's Late Goal Puts BU Past UMass

Matt Grzelcyk fiers a shot on the power
play in the second period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Today was Sean Escobedo's birthday. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say the lose puck at the top of the crease in which he banged home to win the game was the best gift he received all day. The goal came off of a rush into the UMass zone. Evan Rodrigues put a shot on goal that pin balled around the slot. There, a whole slew of players from both teams took whacks at it. Finally, Escobedo shoveled the bouncing rebound past Kevin Boyle with just 1:22 left.

Before Escobedo picked up his birthday gift, UMass took the lead in the first. BU badly out played the Minutemen for the opening portion of the frame, but Shane Walsh scored his first collegiate goal at 16:49 on the power play. The shot came from the far circle and beat Matt O'Connor short side.

UMass went up 2-0 in the second. Rocco Carzo was driving to the net on a partial break a way and was tripped up by Ahti Oksanen. Carzo was awarded a penalty shot on the play and quite frankly I don't know why. There was no way Carzo was "in alone" as the rule states a player must be to be awarded a penalty shot. Nevertheless, Carzo did in fact receive a free break a way and beat O'Connor five hole making it 2-0.

Less than five minutes into the period and only three minutes after Carzo's goal, BU finally got on the board. Wade Megan was able to find the back of the net out of a huge scrum in front of the UMass crease. It was Megan's third goal of the year and the assists went to Garrett Noonan and Evan Rodrigues.

BU leveled the score at the 14:46 mark of the stanza on the power play. It was not your typical power play goal with a nice setup and nifty passing. No, instead is was kinda fluky. Danny O'Regan tossed a shot/pass towards the front of the net from the high slot. Matt Nieto was able to get a stick on it while facing the goal and not really looking at the pass. The puck deflected off Nieto's blade, past Boyle and into the net to tie the game.

UMass seemed to carry the play in the opening half of the third, generating some good scoring chances all of which were stopped by Matt O'Connor.

For UMass, all was lost with 1:22 left as Escobedo buried the game winner.

O'Regan, Hohmann Both Post Two In Win

Cason Hohmann gets tripped
up on a drive to the net in the
third period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Tonight, BU won because they played as a team. That was a crucial element laking in the UNH game. Passes were not crisp and guys were just not on the same page. Tonight's game started off a little similar to last Saturday', with UMass taking the play to BU early, but picked their game up in the later stages of the game.

After a sluggish scoreless first period that saw the Minutemen out shoot BU 8-6, Wade Megan potted the game's first marker 51 seconds into the second period. Cason Hohmann set Megan up with a drop pass in the far circle. From there, Megan carried the puck through the bottom of the slot before sliding it past UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz's (20 saves) outstretched left leg. 

Less than four minutes later, Danny O'regan would berry his first goal as a Terrier on a bang bang play. Fellow Freshman, Matt Grzelcyk fed O'regan the puck, who was crashing the far side of the net. O'Regan was able to one touch a shot top shelf for his first colligate goal.

BU really carried the play in the second period and looked like a completely different team compared to the first, but all it took for UMass to get back in the game was small lapse. A turnover at the BU blue line allowed Branden Gracel to walk in and unload a wrist shot. He used Alexx Privitera, the lone Terrier defender still in the zone as a screen. Matt O'Conner (28 saves) never saw the shot as it whistled past him into the net. 

Midway through the second stanza, Evan Rodrigues put on display some rather nifty moves in one single rush up ice. It all started deep in the BU zone where he undressed a UMass forechecker with a spin-o-rama. Once he reached his own blue line, he inside-outed another UMass skater before rendering yet another Minuteman defender jockless at the UMass blue line. The gross display of skill almost resulted in a goal, but Rodrigues' centering pass to Cason Hohmann was just a bit off and did not connect. 

UMass continued into the third period with the momentum though, as they had a cary over power play to start the frame. BU killed off the UMass man advantage and less than five minutes into the the period, Danny O'Regan notched his second tally of the game on a 5 on 3 power play. Grzelcyk, who was stationed at the right point, found O'Regan all alone at the far post. Danny easily found twine, roofing a quick shot over a sprawling Mastalerz.

O'Regan scores his second goal on a  5 on 3 power play
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
With about 9:30 to play, UMass cut the BU lead to 3-2 on a power play of their own. Joel Hanley beat O'Conner low glove side on a shot that O'Conner was visibly mad that he did not stop. The anger did not last long though, as Cason Hohmann put BU back up by two just 30 seconds later. A defensive breakdown allowed Hohmann and Megan two skate in two on one into the UMass zone. Hohmann froze Mastalerz by looking over at Megan before ripping a shot short side. Mastalerz got a piece of it, but it was not enough to keep Hohmann from recording his first of two third period goals.

Hohmann finally iced a penalty filled third period with an empty net goal with 50 seconds to play. 

The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at The Mullins Center on the campus of UMass Amherst.    

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Weekend With The Minutemen

Tomorrow night BU kicks off their first home and home series of the season, hosting UMass at Agganis. Thus far, UMass has the same record as BU at 1-1-0. The Minutemen had a chance to hand BC their second straight loss, but instead choked away leads of 3-0 and 4-2 before BC won in overtime 5-4. UMass opened the season with a 4-1 beat-down of future Hockey East member UConn.
From The Vault
Alex Chiasson scores his first goal as a Terrier in BU's
3-2 loss at UMass on October 16, 2009. Chiasson scored
BU's other goal in that game, too.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

If I were Parker, I would start Sean Maguire in net Friday so that he has a chance to play a home game before mid November. The reason I say that is because if the normal goalie rotation was to continue, Maguire would play Saturday's game at the Mullins Center, and the following weekend BU is at North Dakota for a pair of games. Each goalie plays one. Finally, Maguire would start the BC game on the 18th of November at home. If he starts Friday, he will have a chance to regain some of his confidence that was clearly lacking up in Durham last Saturday. For Matt O'Conner, he played very well stepping into a tough situation having no warmups and shutout UNH in his time in the cage. He proved to be a little more confident, therefore I start him on the road seeing how he has already played a home game this year.

-- UPDATE-- O'Conner will get the start in Friday's game. The Saturday starter is to be determined.

Scouting the Minutemen
Stevan Guzzo leads the team with three points notching a goal and two assists in the team's first two games. Darren Rowe and Rocco Carzo share the team lead in goals with two. Junior Mike Pereira, brother of former Terrier Captain Joey Pereira suffered a minor injury against BC. According to Fear The Triangle, Pereira will play this weekend.

In goal, both Steve Mastalerz and Kevin Boyle have seen action. Mastalerz has a 4.72 goals against, allowing 5 goals on 42 shots. Boyle has a .960 save percentage and can take credit for the team's lone win of the year.

The Last Time They Met...
was in February, the game in-between the Beanpot. UMass came away with a 3-2 victory at Agganis.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Thoughts: Oh Boy

Saturday night, was a complete sh*t show for the lack of a better term. Freshman goalie Sean Maguire clearly did not have his best stuff in his Terrier debut and with all due respect was the main reason the Terriers fell flat on their face's against UNH.

UNH's first goal was really the only "real" goal he allowed, but it still should have never happened. John Henrion was allowed to get a low shot off on a one on three, using Garrett Noonan as a screen. As the picture shows below, either Ryan Santana (15) Ryan Ruikka (who really struggled and I'll get to him in a minute) or Noonan (13) needed to step up and make a play on a one on three. Maguire got a piece of the shot, but it did indeed trickle through his legs.
The photo was taken just after Henrion released the shot
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The second goal was square on Maguire. The initial shot was stopped, but he was never able to cover it up, and UNH had at least four chances before Nick Sorkin finally jabbed home the lose rebound. Goal three falls a little more on the BU defense. The Terriers let Eric Knodle walk right into the slot before ripping a wrist shot by Maguire's blocker. I don't believe there was a screen. At this point, I think it was time to pull Maguire, who clearly was a little rattled.

Matt O'Conner did come into the game after the fourth UNH goal, midway through the second. That also was a rather weak goal. O'Conner did play very well for not having any warm ups, shutting UNH out for half a game. If I were Parker, I would play Maguire in Friday's home game against UMass and hopefully rebuild his confidence, rather than shove him back into a hostile building on Saturday at the Mullins Center. 

The goalies aside, BU did not play well as a team. The power play was nonexistent and it really showed that it's going to to take some time to become a team. The second line continues to be the best line for BU, as Evan Rodrigues, Cason Hohmann (who again had a very strong game) and Wade Megan produced the only goal for BU, just 45 seconds into the game. 

Ryan Ruikka had a very poor game. his passes were not crisp and he made some terrible turnovers that lead to great chances for the Wildcats, two of which rang the post. Ice conditions did not help the passing, as there were puddles all over the lake of an ice sheet they have at the Whitt. All excuses aside, Ruikka needs to step up and play like an assistant Captain should.

BU will get some help on D next week, as Ahti Oksanen will be back from suspension  

Cason Hohmann calls for a drop pass
from Evan Rodrigues in the third
period of Saturday's game.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Keep Them Together 
Two games into the season, it is apparent that Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann have some serious chemistry, something the rest of the team lacks in a big way. Hohmann again showed that he will be a big part of this teams success and at some points was all the Terriers had. He was blocking shots and at the same time setting up plays in the offensive zone. Rodrigues on the other hand, set up Megan on a two on one for BU's only goal. All I'm trying to say is if some of the lines get mixed up, Parker needs to keep Rodrigues and Hohmann together.

At The Polls
BU dropped from 11th to 13th in the USCHO poll. Boston College is the new number one, as Minnesota fell to number two after losing to Michigan Tech over the weekend. Miami moved up one slot to third, North Dakota dropped two places to forth and Denver entered the top five for the first time this year.

Around Hockey East
Friday: Boston College completed an improbable comeback to knock off UMass 5-4 in overtime at the Mullins Center... St. Lawrence blanked Maine 5-0 at Alfond... Providence and Miami skated to a 1-1 tie in Oxford, Ohio... Denver blew out Lowell 5-1 at Magnus Arena... Merrimack dropped the opening game of the Alaska Gold Rush Tournament to Alaska Fairbanks 3-2. 

Saturday: Boston College shutout Northeastern 3-0 at home... St. Lawrence completed the road sweep of Maine with a 5-1 win... Providence fell to Miami 4-3 in overtime... Alaska Anchorage dismantled Merrimack 6-3 in the third place game of the Alaska Gold Rush... UNH overmatch BU and won 4-1. If anyone cares, Alaska Fairbanks beat North Dakota in the final of the Gold Rush tournament. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

BU Thumped By Wildcats

Tonight, BU was out played in every phase of the game. For 59 minutes, UNH controlled the play, out working and out playing a BU squad that looked somewhat lost at points.

I say 59 minutes because off the opening face-off, BU controlled the puck and 45 seconds into the game, took a 1-0 lead. Evan Rodrigues and Wade Megan broke into the UNH zone on a two on one. Rodrigues carried the puck in the near circle before dishing to Megan at the bottom of the slot. Megan one touched the bouncing pass from Rodrigues between Casey DeSmith's legs and into the net. It was Megan's first goal of the season.

From then on, it was all down hill. UNH nearly tied the game just a few minutes later. A knuckling shot from the blue line on an odd man rush seemed to fool Freshman goalie Sean Maguire, who struggled all night. The shot rang the bottom of the left post after getting through Maguire's out stretched left leg.

New Hampshire then did indeed tie the game at the 8:52 maker of period one. John Henrion used Terrier defenseman Garrett Noonan as a screen. Maguire got most of Henrion's low wrister, but it had enough on it to get over the goal line and light the lamp. At this point I witnessed "The Fish" for the first time.
John Henrion raises his armes after scoring UNH's first goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

At UNH home games, some hick throws a large fish onto the ice after the Wildcats score their first goal of the game. Overall, I wasn't that impressed.

12 seconds later, Nick Sorkin potted the eventual game winning goal. A shot from outside either hit someone in front of the net, or Maguire got a piece of it. Nevertheless, the ensuing rebound found the tape of Sorkin who rammed home his second goal of the season.

BU and Maguire escaped the remainder of the period only down 2-1.

UNH upped their lead to 3-1 just a minute and a half into the second. Unlike BU's power play in the first period, UNH struck on their first man advantage in convincing fashion. It only took one second. The teams were skating 4 on 4 and literally the second UNH went a man up, Eric Knodel ripped a wrist shot past Maguire's glove into the top corner.

Maguire's struggles continued, allowing Scott Pavelski to score a rather weak goal at the 6:42 mark of the second, making it 4-1. Minutes later, Maguire's forgettable collegiate debut was over, as fellow Freshman Matt O'Conner steeped in. O'Conner looked much more confident, stoping all 15 shots he faced.

BU put together a few good chances in the third, but DeSmith came up with all the stops. UNH hit four posts in the game and the score does not really indicate how one sided this game was. Yes, BU generated some shots, but not too many grade A scoring chances. All in all, the game falls in Maguire, who was clearly a little rattled in his first collegiate game, but not all the blame goes on the young goalie. The all around effort and lack of cohesiveness, that, along with the goaltending, will get much stronger as the year goes on led to the Terriers demise in this one.

Ice conditions were also a major factor in the game for both teams. Throughout the game, large puddles and soft spots appeared on the ice. Players on both teams had a tough time simply making crisp passes and carrying the puck. Sometime even players would just fall down out of nowhere. It didn't help that it was about 100 degrees inside the Whittemore Center.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The First Real Test

Tomorrow, BU travels up to Durham, New Hampshire for the first of three games with the Wildcats this year. I have a feeling this will be a much tougher game for the Terriers than last weekend's tilt with Providence. With all due respect to the Friars, I was expecting a little more. UNH, on the other hand, is coming off an impressive home sweep of St. Cloud State. Granted, St. Cloud is not the second coming of the Soviets, but it's still a quality weekend sweep.

From The Vault
Former Terrier and current Northeastern Captain, Vinny
Saponari just misses scoring on a rebound against New
Hampshire in a game during the 2010 season.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
I picked New Hampshire to finish fifth in the league and if I could, I would probable swap them with Providence right now. The Wildcats return the bulk of their roster from a year ago and have a poised goaltender in Casey DeSmith.

For the Terriers, I figure the lines will closely resemble the Providence game. In goal, Sean Maguire will be making his first collegiate start.

Scouting the Wildcats
After one weekend of play, Senior Dalton Speelman leads the Wildcats in points with four, posting 2 goals and two assists a week ago. Defenseman Connor Hardowa also boasts four points, all coming the way of assists against The Cloud. Forwards Nick Sorkin and Grayson Downing both have three points and were factors in last year's Hockey East Quarterfinal series.

Go Figure
BU is the only team in Hockey East that holds a winning record (11-8-5) at the Whittemore Center.

The Last Time They Met...
was back in March in the Hockey East Quarterfinals at Agganis. UNH took the opener 2-1 in double overtime, only to see BU win game two 4-2. That set the stage for one of the better BU games I've ever seen in game three. BU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first. UNH then went on to score four straight goals before the second period ended. BU chipped away, cutting it to 4-3 before the end of the second. Wade Megan knotted the score 4-4, 30 seconds into the third. The teams then went scoreless until half way through the second overtime, where Alex Chiasson banged in a rebound goal, sending BU to the Garden. Oh, did I mention Kiran Millan made 68 saves in game three?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Thoughts: Hohmann Came To Play

Player of the Week: Cason
Hohmann, for all reasons
mentioned before.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Coming off a somewhat disappointing freshman season, Saturday night Cason Hohmann showed exactly why BU recruited him in the first place. He was undoubtably the best player on the ice for both sides. Not only did the Arlington, Texas native post a goal and three assists, but he won several key faceoffs down the stretch in very important times of the game.

Hohmann looked to be much more confident carrying the puck into the zone, whereas last year he would have just dumped it. In addition, he seemed to play with his head up more often. This directly led to the two assists he picked up. First, finding defenseman Ryan Ruikka at the point from the far wall and later spotting and teeing up Garrett Noonan for a one-timer. Both plays led to goals. Hopefully, Cason can key up the strong play, as BU needs a young gun to step up and assume some of the offensive load this season.

The Second Line
Personally, I think BU's second line is their strongest, as a line, not as individuals. Matt Nieto is hands down the best offensive player BU has, but as a line, the second unit plays the best as a group. Evan Rodrigues, Cason Hohmann, and Wade Megan have combined for  eight points in two games. Yes, one game was an exhibition game, but it really shows the improvement of Hohmann and Rodrigues.

At The Polls
BU moved up one slot in the USCHO rankings from 12 to 11. Minnesota was the new number one, receiving 46 of the 50 first place votes. North Dakota, who's yet to play a real game moved up two slots to number two. Boston College, Miami and Michigan rounded out the top five. In total, five Hockey East schools made the top 20.

Around Hockey East
Wednesday: Northeastern upended Merrimack 4-2 in the Hockey East season opener at home.

Friday: Vermont and Lowell skated to a 1-1 draw at Tsongas Center...  Future Hockey East member, Notre Dame dropped Maine 1-0 in the opening round of the Icebreaker Invitational... UMass skated by UConn 4-1 at the Mullins Center... Providence thumped Sacred Heart 8-2 at home.. New Hampshire beat St. Cloud State at the Whittamore Center.

 Saturday: Northeastern knocked off top ranked Boston College 3-1 at Matthews... Maine came away with a 4-3 win over Army in the Icebreaker Consolation game... UNH completed the sweep of St. Cloud with a 4-2 win.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Terriers Open With A Win

Last night, BU kicked off the regular season on the right foot, dropping Providence in their first game of the year. It was your typical October hockey game: fast paced for bits and spurts with some big time lulls.

BU opened the scoring midway through the first. Cason Hohmann, who played by far his best game as a Terrier, found Assistant Captain Ryan Ruikka at the point. Ruikka teed up a slapper that found it's way through traffic, over the shoulder of PC goalie Jon Gillies, and into the top corner of the net. It was Ruikka's first goal in almost two seasons.

With Just under five minutes to play in the first, Providence tied things up at 1-1. Ross Mauermann beat Matt O'Conner high blocker side from the far circle. From where I was, I could not tell if the shot was tipped.

At the start of the second, PC was taking it to the Terriers, controlling the play, all of which was in the BU end. It did not take long for the Friars to take the lead, as Paul De Jersey shoved a rebound past O'Conner's right leg. The blame falls on O'Conner entirely for this goal, as he had a chance to cover up the rebound, but instead allowed a weak goal to the short side.

O'Conner kept it a one goal game midway through the period with a great right leg save, robbing a Providence forward at the top of the crease. Later, Defenseman Sean Escobedo flipped a PC skater with a textbook hip check in the BU zone.

BU exploded in the latter stages of the period. With less than five minutes to play on the frame, Cason Hohmann continued his strong play, setting up Garrett Noonan at the point for a one timer. The shot nicked the inside of the left post, past Gillies and into the brand new bleach white net at Agganis.

With less than two minutes to play I the second, Hohmann found the back of the net himself, banging home a rebound from an Evan Rodrigues shot.

BU controlled the play in the third until the last five or so minutes. That's when Providence started to pressure and BU was back on their heals. In a way, it looked like they were sitting on the one goal lead.

PC strangle pulled Gillies for the extra attacker with well over a minute to play and while BU had possession. Ben Rosen took full advantage of this, launching a flip shot from his own blue line into the vacant net, icing the game for BU.

BU will face UNH next weekend in their first road test of the young season.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Providence Preview

Tonight, BU opens the regular season at home against Providence College. Finally, BU has a chance to put behind them a very rough offseason and focus on the 2013 season.

BU will be without Freshman defenseman Ahit Oksanen for the season opener and game two on the schedule because of an NCAA violation. Otherwise, BU should have a full lineup. It would not surprise me if the line combinations (forwards anyway) are the same as the exhibition game last Sunday. In goal, it's still a toss up and I have no inside information so I don't know who will be in the cage for the Terriers. If I had to guess, it would be Matt O'Conner, strictly because he started the exhibition game.
From The Vault
Chris Higgins tries to get off a shot against PC in the last game
of the 2009 regular season. BU won this game 3-0 and claimed
the Hockey East regular season title in the process.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

Scouting the Friars 
Last night, Providence blew out Sacred Heart in their season opener at home. One year ago, PC finished 7th in the conference and made it all the way to the Garden in the Hockey East Tournament, before losing to the eventual tournament champions in Boston College. This year, Providence returns much of their team and has also added some very strong freshman to the roster.

Currently, sophomore Ross Mauermann is the overall points leader with three, all coming in last night's romp over Sacred Heart. Last year, Mauermann lead the Friars in points with 25(10g, 15a) in 38 games. Junior Derek Army, son of former PC coach Tim Army, was third in points last year with 22. Senior Tim Schaller led Providence in goals scored in 2012 with 14 in just 26 games played. Freshman, Mark Jankowski was selected 21st overall by the Calgary Flames this past summer in the NHL draft. Jankowski wasted no time in finding the back of the net, scoring twice in his first colege game, just one night ago.

In goal, PC will have Freshman Jon Gillies who will take over for four year starter Alex Beaudry. Gillies made 14 saves in 40 minutes of play last night, allowing no goals on 14 shots.

The Last Time They Met...
was a home and home series in the middle of January. BU swept the series easily, scoring 14 goals to Providence's one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oksanen To "Sit Out" Two Games For NCAA Violations

Ahti Oksanen had two assists in BU's
exhibition game last Sunday
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Today, it was announced that Freshman defenseman Ahti Oksanen will have to "sit out" the first two games of the season for an NCAA violation. The ludicrous violation Oksanen committed was that he played with a professional player for two games while a member of the Espoo Blues in Finland. Per NCAA rule, Oksanen has to "sit out" (let just go ahead and call it a suspension) the number of games he played along side a professional. That was two games. Let me remind you that Oksanen was not paid a dime here. It was his teammate. This is one of the worst rules I have ever heard.

... Oh, but wait, I found a more absurd one: Last season, Northeastern Freshman Ludwig Karlsson was suspended two games for playing AGAINST a player being paid.

Honestly. What is the NCAA trying to accomplish by suspending these guys? All this really proves to me is the NCAA cares more about informing their ridiculous rules rather than putting a good product on the ice.

It reminds me of some of the unbelievably dumb rules in golf and how the PGA goes out of their way to enforce them, rather than just have the players play their round of golf. Come on. Do they really have to sign their scorecards anymore? Anyone who watched the match on TV knows what they shot.

I'll stop ranting here, but seriously, why does the NCAA care about this? It's not like they can make any money off Oksanen by suspending him. Anyone who knows anything about the NCAA knows that  the NCAA is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Thoughts

A day after we finally got to see the 2013 BU squad in action, it's time to look back. I was pretty impressed at how the team played as a collective group considering the amount of new faces and lack of "real" practices. 

Player of the Week
Matt Grzelcyk gets
Player of the Week for his
set ups on the power play.
Grzelcyk had a hand in BU's
first two goals, his best set
up was to Oksanen for a
one-timer on the second
Terrier goal.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Looking at the Freshman
I thought all nine Freshmen in the game made some sort of impact, granted some were bigger than others. Mike Moran picked up the lone goal for the frosh, the fourth BU goal. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and Ahti Oksanen both added a pair of assists. In goal, Matt O'Conner appeared to be a tough guy to score on with his size, granted he only faced 5 shots, but looked good in the process. 

The Rest of the Squad
Goal scorers Matt Nieto and Evan Rodrigues both had solid games, but it was sophomore Cason Hohmann who looked to be the most improved from last year. Hohmann looked very confident carrying the puck and made a great set up on BU's third goal: From the center of the slot he found Alexx Privitera pitching down from the point, Privitera's one-timer was stopped, but Yasin Cisse was there to bang home the rebound. Later in the game, Hohmann found the back of the net himself, cashing in on a on a nice set up from Oksanen in the slot. In addition to Hohmann's strong play, Cisse had a sound game, as well. For the first time in three season's, Cisse is finally 100% healthy. In the words of College Hockey New writer Joe Meloni "Yasin Cisse is healthy and that should scare the hell out of Hockey East."

At The Polls
Somehow by dismantling Toronto in a game that did not actually count, BU moved up one slot in the USCHO rankings from 13 to 12. Boston College was once again number one, receiving 37 of a possible 50 first place votes. Minnesota picked up 12 first place votes and was slotted second in the nation, with Michigan getting the final first place vote a coming in third. North Dakota and Cornell rounded out the top five. 

I could not find the USA Today rankings so.... 

Around Hockey East
Saturday: Maine had an abrupt start to their regular season, falling to Quinnipiac 2-1 in Orono... Merrimack faired far better in their regular season opener, dropping Union 4-1 in Schenectady... Lowell rolled past Toronto in an exhibition tilt at Tsongas... Boston College blanked New Brunswick 6-0 at home... New Hampshire came away with a 5-2 victory at the Witt over St. Francis Xavier... Vermont throttled Concordia, 7-1 at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Sunday: Maine continued their tough weekend, tying New Brunswick 2-2 in an exhibition match... Northeastern was the lone team to lose to a Canadian school, falling to St. Francis Xavier, 4-3 at home. NU has not won an exhibition game since 2009... BU shutout Toronto 5-0. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Terriers Tackle Toronto

This afternoon's exhibition match between BU and the University of Toronto was far from a clean tune-up game for the regular season, but what do you expect it's Toronto. Last time the two teams met in October of 2010, several scrums broke out and it was a very chippy game. Today was a completely different ball of wax. BU and U of T racked up a combined 58 penalties and from what I heard, a fight broke out in the third. (I left after the Second period to go to the Patriots game).

Matt Nieto gets a tip on a shot from the point. Brett Willows
did make the save on this shot.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU opened the scoring on a power play with a little over five minutes into the first. BU was able to set up an umbrella in the Toronto zone. Alexx Privitera found Freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk at the center point. Grzelcyk then teed up Matt Nieto, who was stationed in the far circle for a one-timer. The seeing-eye bullet rang off the inside of the far post past Blues' goalie Brett Willows. The goal was BU's first of five power play goals on the afternoon.

With the period winding down, BU was back on the power play, this time thanks to a Charlie McDonald tripping infraction. Grzelcyk was again in on the goal, as he found Ahti Oksanen at the point. Oksanen let go a bomb that found the blade of Evan Rodrigues' stick deflecting it past Willows and giving BU a 2-0 lead.

BU took the 2-0 lead into the dressing room.

Penalties were the story of this game.
Here, Toronto has five men in the
box at the end of the second.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The second period was (you guessed it) full of penalties. BU took advantage of a five minute major, in which they scored twice, just 13 seconds apart. Cason Hohmann set up Alexx Privitera at the near side faceoff circle. Willows made a great save on Privitera's one touch bid, but the rebound snuck behind him, where Yasin Cisse slammed home the loose puck.

Before anyone sat back down, Freshman Mike Moran slipped one through Willow's pads to make it 4-0 Terriers with just 3:13 left in the second.

At this point, I was walking out the door and driving back to Foxboro to catch the Pats game. From reading the box score and watching the highlights on the BU Athletics web site, I'll do my best to explain BU's 5th goal: Oksanen set up Hohmann in the high slot who appeared to get off a quick shot beating Willows low.

Freshman Goalies Matt O'Conner and Sean Maguire combined to shut out Toronto, making 17 total saves. O'Conner looked solid in the time he played, granted he only faced five shots. Maguire also looked good in the short amount of time I saw him play (9:45) and he finished with 12 saves on the afternoon.

Terriers Take On Toronto

From The Vault
Charlie Coyle stands out in front
of the net on a BU power play vs
Toronto back in 2010.
Finally, the long awaited return of college hockey is upon us. Tonight,  BU hosts the University of Toronto in their lone exhibition tilt of the season. BU and Toronto last faced off in October of 2010, with the Terriers coming away with a 9-3 win, thanks in part to a Charlie Coyle hat trick.

This afternoon will be my first look at the 10 Freshman on the team. This is something I've been looking forward to a long time, because this year will be a very interesting year. With 10 Freshman, that leaves a ton of room for competition on all four lines, defense and goalie.

That leads me to my next point. I don't know 100% who will get the start in the cage this afternoon.  I think it will be Sean Maguire. Like most exhibition games, Parker will probably play all three goalies. He will likely have Matt O'Conner play the second half of the game.

About Toronto
The Varsity Blues top returning scorer is Kyle Ventura who posted 15 goals, 9 assist, for 24 points in 28 games played last season. In goal, Toronto is very young carrying three Sophomores and a Junior, two of which never saw action last year. Current Junior, Garrett Sheehan saw the most action last year, totaling 770.11 minutes in 15 games played, allowing 38 goals with a .914 save percentage. Right behind Sheehan is Brett Willows, who racked up 763.06 minutes. In that time, Willows made 398 saved on 436 shots with a .913 save percentage. Just going to put this out there; I have no clue who will start in goal for Toronto.

Know Your Numbers
This season, BU not only has a large amount of Freshman, but there were several jersey number changes. The number switches are as follows:

3. Ahti Oksanen
5. Matt Grzelcyk
7. Cason Hohmann (from 23)
9. Wesley Myron
10. Danny O'Regan
11. Mike Moran
12. Yasin Cisse (from 27)
16. Sam Kruker
17. Evan Rodrigues (from 26)
19. Matt Nieto (from 17)
23. Matt Lane
29. Matt O'Connor
31. Sean Maguire