Saturday, November 30, 2013

Red Hot Hockey Round 4

Tonight the fourth installment of the semi annual Red Hot Hockey showdown between Boston University and Cornell at takes place at Madison Square Garden.
Opening face-off of Red Hot Hockey 2011.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU won the first match up 6-3 in November 2007. Two years later, BU battled back from an 0-2 hole and with two third period (one in the final minute) forced a 3-3 tie with Big Red. In the most recent meeting in 2011, Ross Gaudet tipped Max Nicastro's shot through his legs and into the net in overtime four a 2-1 win for BU.

Scouting the Big Red
Cornell jumped out of the gates to quick start, going 3-0-0 in their first three games that included a sweep at Nebraska-Omaha. Then, in their next four games, the Big Red picked up just a tie against RPI and lost to Qunnipiac (3-0), Union (3-0) and Clarkson (3-2). Their last three games went just as they started the season: perfect. Cornell downed St. Lawrence (5-2), Brown (5-1) and Yale (2-1).

Through 10 games played, four juniors are all within three points for the leading scorer race. John MaCarron leads the pack with 13 points, three goals and ten assists. Brian Ferlin and Joel Lowry are tied for the team lead in goals with six but Farlin has one more assist. Joakim Ryan has three goals and seven assist to round out the junior scoring domination. He is the loan defenseman of the group. 

Andy Iles will get the start in the Cornell goal. Iles, who was a sophomore the last time these two teams met, comes into this game with a 6-3-1 record in ten appearances. In 603 minutes played, the senior from Ithaca, New York posted a .915 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average.

NCAA History
BU and Cornell have only met twice in the NCAA Tournament, both times were in the National Championship game. Cornell won the 1967 National Championship game by a score of 4-1. BU got even in 1972, as they dropped The Big Red 4-0 in the National Title Game.

Quick Hits
- Matt O'Connor will again start in net
- Several players missed practice this week with illness. It is unknown at this time who is out.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

O'Connor Does It Again

Terriers, Sioux Skate to Thrilling Draw

Last night was an impressive performance for sophomore goalie Matt O'Connor. Tonight was record breaking. O'Connor stopped a career high 55 shots in a 3-3 tie with the University of North Dakota.

Time and time again, O'Connor was there to bail out the Terriers with clutch saves at key points in the game. His previous high water mark for saves in a game was 42.
Matt O'Connor makes one of his 55 saves. This one came in
the first period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Much like last night, there were a ton of penalties and BU took advantage their third power play, less than seven minutes into the game. BU was able to set up and Matt Lane and Ahti Oksanen got the puck to Garrett Noonan at the top of the slot. From there, he delayed before launching a well placed wrist shot top left on Zane Gothberg (24 saves) that found upper twine. It was Noonan's third of the year. 

Less than two minutes later, the Fighting Sioux evened the game. On a delayed penalty to Dillon Lawrence, UND's Bryn Chyzyk picked up the puck before BU could touch up in the high slot. From there, he spun around and in all one motion flung a wrist shot toward the goal. The puck got through a crowd and beat O'Connor to the far post for Chzyzk's second of the year from Keaton Thompson and Wade Murphy at 8:49.  

The teams went to the 'room knotted at 1-1.

Seven minutes into the second, BU regained the lead. Danny O'Regan fed Nick Roberto who was all alone in the low slot. Roberto wasted little time, as he one-timed home his 4th of year. His shot found its way over Gothberg's right shoulder. It was only BU's 6th shot on goal to that point.

The lead lasted all of 14 seconds, as Stephane Pattyn ripped home his second of the year from Michael Parks at 7:13.

At 4:56 of the third period, Jake Moscatel was called for a charging penally. It was a touch call, and man did the Sioux make Jake pay. Brendan O'Donnell and Connor Gaarder set up Adam Tambellini with a wide open net after a cross box pass. Tambellini didn't miss and UND took a 3-2.

BU would even the score about three minutes later as things really opened up. Robbie Baillargeon finished off a rush with Evan Rodrigues and Dalton MacAfee. Rodrigues slid the puck over to Baillargeon at the last possible second, leaving Gothberg well out of position. Robbie had most of the net to shoot at and he did not miss, as he slammed home his 4th of the year into the bottom of the net. 

The game saw no more scoring and after a pretty intense overtime, with both teams having some pretty good chances, the game ended in a 3-3 draw. 

BU will face Cornell in the semi annual Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

O'Connor Backstops BU Win

Cason Hohmann celebrates after scoring
on a two on one in the first period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Matt O'Connor played one of his more impressive nights in the Terrier net, making 37 saves in BU's 3-1 win over North Dakota. ND's lone goal scorer on the night, Rocco Grimaldi said "[O'Connor] was hot. Give credit to that guy a lot. He definitely stole the game there."

After a very even first ten minutes, BU got on the board at 9:14 of the first. Garrett Noonan from the far corner rung the puck along the boards to Matt Lane along the half wall at the hash-marks. Lane tomahawked the puck out of the BU zone to Cason Hohmann in the neutral zone. The chip sprung Hohamnn and Danny O'Regan on a two on one into the zone. ND's Nick Matson took the O'Reagn pass option out of play, so Hohmann opted to shoot himself. He beat Clark Saunders (34 saves) blocker side with a quick wrister. It was Hohmann's third of the year.

BU would double their lead on the first of two power play goals with 2:45 left in the first. Garrett Noonan got the puck at the low circle from Ahti Oksanen who was at the point. Noonan cut to the front of the net and shoveled the puck towards the goal. It pin-balled around the crease before Danny O'Regan was able to tuck it home. There was a bit of confusion because no one could see that the puck was in the goal. It was lodged between the post and the inner net padding, essentially hiding the puck from the crowd. After a quick review, it was pretty obvious that it was a goal.

North Dakota's Rocco Grimaldi
cut to the net in the first period.
Matt O'Connor made one of his
37 saves on this play.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Hohmann went down after a weird looking collision in the middle of the period. He got up holding his wrist and went right down the tunnel and never returned. Turns out, he has a pretty serious shoulder injury, something that looked to be a problem in the UConn game.

"He's going to be out for a while unfortunately," Quinn said. "I liked how we responded, but it's obviously tough when you lose your top right wing. He gets an important goal on an initial rush. He finally shoots the puck. We lost him, and we had to patchwork our lines. For us to respond the way we did, I was pleased". (From College Hockey News)

BU looked to have made it 3-0 minutes into the second frame. Mike Moran tipped home Doyle Somerby's point shot, but after a lengthy review, it was determined that Moran hit it down with a high stick. Moran certainly tried to sell the goal with an all out celebration.

BU would actually make it 3-0 on the power play five minutes into the third stanza. Nick Roberto fed Matt Grzelcyk at the point from the near half wall. Grzelcyk's long range wister found Saunder's left leg  pad. The rebound went right onto the tape of Kevin Duane's stick. Duane backhanded home his third of the year to give the Terriers some much needed insurance.

Grimaldi cut the lead to 3-1 with less than three minutes on a pro-like wrist shot. He took a pass from Mike Parks and from the middle of the circle broke up O'Connor's shutout bid. In one motion, Grimaldi corralled the pass and with no stick handling, let the shot go. It's a very high skilled play that only a few guys can pull off.

With the goalie pulled, ND created a few good chances, but in the end BU came away with a much needed two points.

The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night. Game time: 7:00pm.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Siouxper Series Take Two

There are few games I look forward to more than the ones played against North Dakota. When the schedule came out, of course I looked forward to games like BC and the Beanpot, but right behind that was this weekend's series. The Sioux are easily my second favorite team and I follow the team pretty close because I get most of their games on TV. Last year, I was unable to get out to Grand Forks and when I saw on the broadcast last November that UND was coming out here, I got pretty excited. Anyway, on to the game...

Photo by Matt Dresens
Scouting The Sioux
ND comes into this weekend with a 4-5-1 record. They started off the year hot, as NoDak went 3-1-1 in their first five games. In those five games, they came back to down Vermont 5-3 before losing the next night. The Sioux's most impressive win of the year comes at Miami, a 4-2 decision in Oxford, Ohio. After getting swept by St. Cloud at home, North Dakota split their next two series against Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota-Duluth.

Rocco Grimaldi, who scored the game winning goal in last year's World Junior Championship Game vs Sweden is the Fighting Sioux's leading scorer with 10 points. The Rossmoor, California native has three goals and 7 assists in 10 games played. Fellow sophomore Drake Caggiula is second with a 4-4-8 line in 10 games. The teams's best defenseman is easily Dillon Simpson. The senior has a goal and 5 assists through 10 games.

In goal, Bruins prospect Zane Gothberg and former Alabama Huntsville tendie Clarke Saunders have split time. Gothberg has a 2-5-1 record in 8 appearances with a .906 save percentage and a 2.86 goals against average. Saunders on the other hand has posted a 2-0-0 record in 5 appearances. He is the holder of a .907sv% and a 3.62 GAA in 199 minutes played.

Beat up
According to an article in today's  Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota could be down to just 11 forwards this weekend.

"Mark MacMillan, Brendan O’Donnell, Colten St. Clair and Derek Rodwell have all been ruled out for UND’s nonconference series at Boston University, leaving the team with 11 available forwards."
More from the article:
In order to get more depth up front, the team has moved junior defenseman Andrew Panzarella and freshman defenseman Gage Ausmus to wing this week. At least one of them will play there Friday night.
“(They’ve) played right wing and left wing all week in practice and done a great job,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “I would expect that (they will stay there this weekend). I wouldn’t guess that might be happening. I would expect that.” 

UND and BU have met in some pretty meaningful games over the years, none bigger than the 1997 NCAA National Championship Game. After leading 2-0, BU watched a high powered (then accurately named) Sioux squad comeback and claim their 6th title 6-4. In 1990, UND had to travel to Walter Brown Arena and face the Terriers in a best two out of three series in the first round of the NCAA tournament. BU swept the visiting Sioux in two games by scores of 5-3 and 5-0. BU went all the way to the frozen four that year, losing to Colgate 3-2 in the semis. The two met again in the regionals in 2005. North Dakota blanked BU 4-0 at the DCU Center in Worcester. That year, ND lost the National Championship game 4-1 to Denver.

ND has come to Agganis once before. That was in 2009 as part of the Icebreaker Invitational. BU made quick work of the Sioux in round one 5-1 and then beat Michigan State in the tournament championship game 2-1 the next night. Last year, BU and ND split a series at the Ralph with both teams picking up 4-2 wins.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Freshman Lead the Way Past UConn

Nick Roberto was the game's number
 one star.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Last night, BU got back on track and finally scored more than one goal for the first time since November 1st. BU dominated most of the contest, but some of the play was still really sloppy.

After a scoreless first period, the Terriers got on the board less than thirty seconds into the second. It was kind of a broken play that allowed Danny O’Regan to pick up a loose puck in the far left circle. From there, he cut all the way to the near post and tucked the puck behind UConn goalie Matt Grogan. It was a pretty sweet goal for the sophomore, his 4th of the year.

Five minutes later, Nick Roberto doubled the Terriers’ lead. He took a pass from Robbie Baillargoen in the neutral zone and skated all the way into the low circle in the UConn zone. From almost where the hash mark touches the boards, Roberto whipped a wrist shot off the far post that banked into the goal. It was a very precise shot, good for Roberto’s third of the year.

With a little over five minutes to play in the frame, BU tacked on a power play goal. Evan Rodrigues set up Matt Grzelcyk for a one-timer at the top of the circle. Grzelcyk did not get all of it and the knuckling shot deflected off of Kevin Duane in front of the net. The deflection did enough to elude Grogan, and the puck bounced into the net. It was Duane’s second goal of the year.

UCconn notched their lone goal of the contest at 3:52 of the third period. Co-Captain of the Huskies Brent Harris found twine with a top shelf wrist shot over Matt O’Connor’s (20 saves) right shoulder.
Baillargeon tacked on the obligatory empty net goal with 47 seconds left to seal BU’s first win in four games.

BU will host North Dakota in a two game series next weekend. 

UConn Preview

This afternoon, BU and UConn will face off in the first ever matchup between the two schools. Next year, the Huskies will be a member of Hockey East.

Scouting the Huskies
UConn is 3-3-1 on the year and all three wins came in a three game win streak over Army (4-2) Sacred Heart (4-2) and Holy Cross (4-3). They were swept by Minnesota State at the start of the year and lost to Bentley on Friday night. The lone tie is against Union.

Seniors Billy Latta and Jordan Sims lead the teams in scoring with 6 points each. Latta has a team leading 4 goals with 2 assists in 6 games played. Sims on the other hand has posted a 2-4-6 line in 7 games. Junior Trevor Gerling has 5 points on the year (2g, 3a).

In net, senior Matt Grogan has seen the majority of time. In 6 games played, he has a 2-3-1 record with a .916 save percentage and a 2.98 goals against average. He has allowed 18 goals on 214 shots in 363 minutes played.

Recapping Maine

Friday night, BU was steamrolled 7-0 in their worst loss since... February 17th, 1995. That was an 8-1 trouncing by Providence, but that was their only loss in a 16 game stretch on the way to the National Championship. Before that, the program's worst defeat was in the 1994 National Championship game, when they fell 9-1 to Lake State.

I have little motivation to write about the shellacking so, here are a few pictures my friend and I took at the game that will visually show how bad it was...

All photos by Matt Dresens and Robert Treiber

Thursday, November 14, 2013

HighwayTo Maine

Finally, I get the chance to go up to Orono. Tomorrow night will be my first trip to Alfond Arena,  completing all (at least the pre Notre Dame era) Hockey East rinks. Matthews was my first away game way back before I could even tell you the year and finally I get to say I've been to all of the HE arenas after Friday night.
From The Vault
Former Maine goalie Scott Darling makes a glove save
on BU's Wade Megan in the 2010 season. BU went on to win 
this game 7-4.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
- I believe Sean Maguire will be in net.

Scouting Maine
The Black Bears are .500 on the year, with a 4-4-1 record. Maine swept UMass in the last weekend of October and split with Vermont last weekend. UM has been swept twice, once by St. Lawrence in the opening weekend of the year and again by Lowell in early November.

Mark Anthoine leads the Black Bears in goals with five goals in nine games played. Add his two assists and he is tied for the team lead in total points at seven with freshman Cam Brown (1g, 6a). The other freshman who has racked up the points early on this year is Blaine Byron. Byron, a native of Ottawa, Ontario has notched three assists and three goals for six points in nine games. Other players to look-out for are the Swavely brothers, Jon and Steven, along with Devin Shore.

In goal, Maine has only played one goalie: Martin Ouellette. The senior from St. Hippolyte, Quebec  has a 4-4-1 record in nine appearances with a .921 save percentage and  2.31 goals against average. He has one shutout and has allowed 21 goals on 267 shots in 545 minutes played. 

The Last Time The Met...
February 16, 2013... BU 5, Maine 4 (to). Evan Rodrigues scored with 3 seconds left in overtime on a centering feed from Matt Nieto to put the Terrier past Maine in Orono. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gaudreau, BC Torch BU

For the first time all year, BU gave up more than three goals in a game and they picked a bad night to do it. Besides the first 5/10 minutes, BC dominated last night's game and cruised to a 5-1 smoking of the Terriers at Agganis.

BC got on the board halfway through the first and never looked back. John Gaudreau and Danny Linell help set up Austin Cangelosi right in front. After a few quick stick handle moves, Cangelosi tucked the puck between Matt O'Connor's (35 saves) legs for his third goal of the year.

Less than five minutes later, Gaudreau struck himself. BU was caught with the fourth line on the ice against BC's most explosive line of Gaudreau, Bill Arnold and Congelosi. Arnold and Linell setup Gaudreau right in the slot and he didn't miss, picking top right on O'Connor for his 7th tally of the year.

The score would remain 2-0 after one.

BU came out with some jump in the second, cutting the lead in half just two minutes into the frame on the power play. Nick Roberto got the last touch on a strange deflection play. Robbie Baillargeon's shot came in from the top off the circle, hit off a BC defender in front, before hitting Roberto and going up over Thatcher Demko's (22 saves) shoulder and into the net. Evan Rodrigues also picked up an assist on Roberto's second of the year.

BC took over after their third goal. That goal was a result of one of the most skilled hockey plays I've ever seen.  Gaudreau walked right down broadway and stick-handled between two or three guys. He then took the puck behind the net, before dumping off a behind the back no-look pass right on the tape of Bill Arnold at the post. Arnold slammed home his second of the season and essentially ended the game. The play by Gaudreau completely fooled O'Connor and he had no clue where the puck was and no one picked up Arnold.

BC added two third period goals. Kevin Hayes at 7:35 and Destry Straight at 8:27 only added salt to an already painful wound.

BU will look to get back on track next weekend in Maine on Friday night, before welcoming UConn to the Greek for the first time on Sunday.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Key Point

BU faces BC tonight and if you didn't know that already, then what are you doing here? Anyway, the lone game this weekend could be a critical point in the year.

BC's Stevan Whitney attempts to hit the puck in with his
hand vs BU in lat year's Hockey East Semi Finals. The puck
never actually went in on this play and BU won 6-3.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
These types of games have a way of shaping a season. Take 2012 for example. BU was a middle of the road team before steam-rolling BC 5-0 in mid-November. After that game the team reeled off an impressive 7-1-0 streak to close out the first semester.

This year, BU has a chance to do something similar. After BC, the schedule softens up for a weekend before North Dakota comes to town for a pair of games the following weekend.

A win Friday night should act as a spring-board for the 2014 Terriers. They are a team that has proven they can hang (at least scoreboard wise) with the best teams in the nation. The Michigan game proves that. They also have shown the ability to struggle with lesser teams, i.e Michigan State.

BU is a classic case of a young team looking for an identity. Eight games through the year with a 4-4-0 record, a win over Boston College would go a hell of a long way in proving this team can compete with top level teams.

They beat #3 Providence in the first come-from-behind win of the year, last Friday night. Is PC really a top tier team?

Who knows, but from what I saw on Saturday night, BU hung right with them and that game was very evenly matched.

So, say PC is a top five team this year... Does that make BU a contender? Again, who knows, but this weekend will be a key point in proving that question, win or lose.

Scouting Boston College
BC is 4-2-1 on the year and have notable wins over RPI (7-2) and Wisconsin (9-2) and a tie against number one Minnesota. They have lost to Michigan (3-1) and Minnesota (6-1).

The Eagles are led offensively by standout junior Johnny Gaudreau. In 7 games played, Gaudreau has 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points. Kevin Hayes is second with a 3-6-9 line in seven games, and Bill Arnold is one point behind him with 8.

In goal, both junior Brian Billett and  freshman Thatcher Demko have split time in the cage this year. Billett is 2-2-0 in four starts with a 3.63 goals against average and a .887 save percentage. Demko is 2-0-1 in three starts, posting a 2.27 goals against and a .920 save percentage.

The Last Time They Met...
March 22, 2013... BU 6, BC 3 in the Hockey East Semis.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another Blown Lead

Providence Battles Back To Top Terriers

From the drop of the puck this game was incurably even. Scoring chances, penalties and shots where all very close and with out the empty net goal, so was the actual score.

After a scoreless first period that saw both teams hit multiple pipes, BU got on the board at the 15:08 marker of the second on the power play. Nick Roberto and Danny O'Regan set up Ahti Oksenen for a one-timer that the Finn ripped past Providence goalie John Gillies glove side high. It was Oksanen's second goal of the year.

The lead did not last long, as Sam Kurker and Mike Moran found themselves in the box for tripping and crosschecking respectively. Six seconds after the Moran penalty, Derek Army slammed home a rebound goal to Sean Maguire's (33 saves) right side. It was Army's second of the year from Anthony Florentino and Ross Mauermann at 18:03, a 5 on 3 power play goal.

3:28 into the third, Mauermann found the back of the net on his own. He tucked a back hander though Maguire's legs to give the Friars a lead they would never relinquish. From where I was (right behind the net) it was a petty soft goal and a tough one to give up at that point in the game.

Gillies stood tall the rest off the way, making a cupel key saves to preserve the lead. Mauermann iced the game with an empty net goal with just 46 seconds left.

BU will face Boston College in their lone game next weekend at home. Thankfully that game is at home... BU has yet to win in the scarlet sweaters this year.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Did I Miss This?

Usually I wont write a recap if I don't go to the game, so here are a few video highlights from last night's comeback win over Providence.

I unfortunately had to cover my high school's football playoff game in Easton instead of going to Agganis. They lost 49-14...

I will be down in Providence tonight.