Friday, January 31, 2014

Terriers Travel to UMass

Tonight, BU will head out to Amherst and try and get back on track and also attempt to pick up their first road win of the year. The Terriers are 0-8-0 in opponents' barns this year. The one time they have won in Red was facing Cornell at Madison Square Garden in the Red Hot Hockey Game. Lucky (looking ahead a bit here) BU won the draw and will be the home team in Monday’s Beanpot game vs. Boston College.
Evan Rodrigues scores against UMass in the season's first
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Onto tonight’s matchup… UMass (7-16-3, 3-8-2) finds themselves ahead of BU by just one point in the Hockey East standings with 8. BU won the first game of the season series back on opening night at Agganis 3-1. Matt O’Connor will be in net for BU tonight; Sean Maguire was between the pipes the last time the two teams met.

Scouting the Minutemen
UMass is led in total points by Conor Sheary, who in 26 games has posted a 4-16-20 line. The team’s leading goal scorer is a dead heat right now between freshman Steven Iacobellis and Brandon Gracel, who both have ten. Iacobellis has one more point than Gracel at 17.

In goal, UMass has seen Steve Mastalerz play the bulk of the time. In 23 appearances, the junior from North Andover has a 7-13-2 record to go along with a .913 save percentage and a 2.70 goals against average. Two freshmen, Max Haight and Alex Wakaluk have both seen time as well. Haight has a 0-1-1 record in four appearances, while Wakaluk is 0-2-0 in his two times in the cage.

BU has traditionally dominated the Minutemen since UMass brought back their program in the mid '90s. Overall dating back to 1920, BU leads the series 53-11-3. Since 2010 the series has been much closer, at least at the Mullens Center where the teams are 4-4-1 against each other.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ups and Downs

Finally this weekend BU got off the mat and was able to win a hockey game for the first time since November 30th, a 4-2 win over UVM. A night later, Vermont took it to the Terriers and handed them a 6-2 loss.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get to any of this weekends action so I really don't have much to say. Hopefully I can get out to UMass on friday night, but if not I will 100% be at the Beanpot on Monday night.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Same Old Story

Stop me if this sounds familiar: BU gets horribly out shot, goalie stands on his head, lose close game they were never really in. Without mentioning any specific player on either team, that is exactly how the game went.
Sean Maguire battled though another tough night in goal
(Photo by Matt Dresens)

Sean Maguire made 39 saves, again standing on his head to give his team a chance. He is doing all anyone can ask if a goalie and more, just simply not getting the run support. He is now 1-8-0.

Lowell struck first at 12:09 of period one. Scott Wilson skated in over the line and let go a shot that made its way past Maguire's blocker side just inside the right post. It was Wilson's fifth of the year from Josh Holmstrom and Adam Chapie.

BU was out-shot 19-2 in the first and did not get one on goal in the first 17 minutes of the period. That was by Garrett Noonan.

Lowell doubled their lead at 7:41 of period two. A long stretch pass from Michael Kapel sprang Terrence Wallin in alone from the Terrier blue line. From there he broke in and snapped off a quick wrister from inside the dots to beat Maguire low.

BU got on the board less than two minutes into the third. Kevin Duane was able to go upstairs on Connor Hellebuyck for BU's lone goal of the game. It was Duane's fourth of the year, unassisted.

Joe Pendenza added an empty net goal inside two minutes to play to cap it.

BU's winless streak is now at 8 games. They will play Vermont in a two game series next weekend at home.

A Good Fight Falls Short

Sean Maguire made 38 saves last
night and if not for his stellar play
this game could have been 9-1.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
To say BC was the better team would be a total understatement. For stretches in last night's 6-4 loss at Conte Forum, it felt like watching the Soviets run circles around Denmark. But at other points, specifically the end, BU showed some real fight and comeback, as they made things far more intense.

Robbie Baillargeon got the scoring started in the first and gave BU their only lead of the game, roughly 10 minutes in. Brendan Collier and Doyle Somerby picked the assists on the play.

BC struck back on the power play with less than a minute left in the frame. Adam Gilmour slipped one through Sean Maguire's legs for his first of two on the night.

BC dominated the second period. This was the height of that Soviet-Denmark game referred to earlier. Maguire absolutely stood on his head in the stanza and despite allowing two goals, he stopped 17 shots, 7 of which were (as Jack Edwards would put it) "10 bell" saves. One that really stood out was a sprawling glove save that he gave the old Patrick Roy windmill to on a point blank shot from the slot.

BC's first goal of the second period came just after that spectacular save. Danny Linell tossed a shot on goal that Maguire handled but could not control the rebound and Quinn Smith was able to bury it, giving BC a lead they would never relinquish.

John Gaudreau increased the lead on the power play midway through the frame. Graudreau drew a holding called after falling down in the corner. On the resulting man advantage, BC's clockwork power play set up the junior standout for his 20th goal of the year. Passing from Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes resulted in the assists.

The third period saw six goals scored, three by each team. It seemed like every time BU could inch back in the game, BC was there to quickly extinguish the threat with a quick goal.

TJ Ryan gave BU fans something to cheer for just 2:50 into the stanza. Kevin Duane slipped a pass through a crowd from the far corner to Ryan, who was stationed at the top of the crease. Ryan got a lot on his shot from close in and beat Brian Billett, who had no chance. It was Ryan's first collegiate goal.

Chris Calnan and Adam Gilmour both scored, three minutes apart to give BC their biggest lead of the game and it looked like BC was going to run away with it.

Mike Moran changed all of that with just under 10 minutes left. He threw a "what the hell" shot on goal from a bad angle in the far circle. The shot somehow snuck through Billett's pads and dropped into the goal behind him to make it a two goal game. The goal was very similar to Zach Cohen's goal in the 2009 Hockey East Semis vs BC. That was the first of BU's three goals in 45 seconds.

BU found themselves on a five on three power play with less than five minutes to play. BC killed off the two man advantage, but the Terriers scored on the leftover time on the second penalty. Baillargeon and Ahti Oksanen set up Cason Hohmann for something I have never seen Hohmann take: a one timer. Hohmann drilled it and the puck flew into the top corner.

About 30 seconds after the goal, a shot from the point was tipped in front and Billett never saw it until it just hit him.

Oksanen also had a golden chance to tie the game with the extra attacker, but his rocket soared just a few inches over the net.

Gaudreau added an empty netter to seal the deal at 6-4.

The ending was very exciting and for the first time since probably the Cornell game, it really felt like there was something to root for. At this point in the year, I really think that's all we can ask for especially considering all the injuries.

The Terriers are back at it tonight as they trek up to Lowell in the snow.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Battle of Comm Ave (Part Two)

For the second time this year BU and BC will face off, this time at the Heights. Boston College took the first meeting 5-1 in a game where the score didn't accurately depict how close the game really was.

Nick Roberto celebrates after scoring BU's lone goal against
BC in the game back in November.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
BU comes into the game banged up. They will be with out injured forwards Jake Moscatel and Evan Rodrigues. Worst of all, Matt Grzelyk is done for the year after suffering a separated shoulder injury in practice. BU will have just 16 skaters dressed for the game tonight.

Sean Maguire is in goal.

Scouting the Eagles
BC comes into this game with a 14-4-3 record and in first place in the Hockey East standings. John Gaudreau not only leads Boston College in points, but the entire nation. The junior from Carneys Point, New Jersey has 40 points (19g, 21a) in just 21 games played. Not too far behind is senior Kevin Hayes; in 21 games, Hayes has 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points. BC's best defenseman is probably Michael Matheson who has notched 13 points from the blue line.

In goal BC will start junior Brian Billett. Billett is 1-0-0 in his BU-BC rivalry career with his lone start coming in 2012. This year he has a 10-3-1 record in 13 games, and in that time has posted a .925 save percentage and a 2.27 goals against average.

 Clearly is not the favorite to win the game but if you want beSo You're Say'n There's a Chance
optimistic, read my post from earlier in the week:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So You're Say'n There's A Chance...

Sean Fields makes a save in Game 3
 vs Boston College in the 2004
Hockey East Playoffs.
(photo bPhoebe Sexton, BU Bridge)
After another tough weekend in which BU was run over by Maine at Fenway 7-3, it's time to look forward. BU is staring down the barrel of their toughest weekend on the schedule to date. Friday night, the Terriers will take the Green Line up Comm Ave. and face off with Boston College. Saturday night sees BU head to Lowell.

BU is just 3 points behind Lowell in the Hockey East standings, but the River Hawks have played one less game in league play.

Playing as the underdog
Clearly BU is not the favorite heading into this game with Boston College (and if you think they are, you are on crack), but not all is lost.

Remember 2004?

BU was the 8th seed in the Hockey East playoffs, far and away the lowest they have ever finished in the league. The team had a dismal 12-17-9 record and had to beat UNH in overtime on the last day of the schedule just make the HE tournament. They were to play Boston College at Conte Forum best two out of three, and no one gave them any chance. BU lost all four regular season matchups with the Eagles that year… BU stole Game 1 before getting badly out-played in Game 2 and seeing BC even the series.

In Game 3 BU got on the board late in the first on a power play goal by Brad Zancanaro. BC tied things shortly into the second, before BU scored three goals in less than five minutes midway through the second. Kenny Roche, Brian Miller and Eric Thomassian all found the back of the net to give BU a shocking 4-1 lead going into the third period. Sean Fields, who stood on his head that entire season despite the win/loss record, allowed a late power play goal, but his 35 save effort was more than enough to propel the Terriers to one of the biggest upsets in Hockey East history.

What does this all have to do with this weekend? Nothing really, all I'm saying is there is a chance Friday night. I just hope it's close and from there who knows? Maybe we get a strange bounce, a fortunate call, great goaltending and BU can steal their first road win of the season.... At Boston College of all places.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Big Green Roll Over Terriers

Tonight was another tough night to be a Terrier hockey fan, as two win Dartmouth had their way with the sinking Terriers down the stretch.

Cason Hohmann put the Terriers on the board less than halfway through the first. Garrett Noonan took a shot that pin-balled around the crease and eventually made it's way over to Hohmann who had practically the entire net to hit in his fifth goal of the year. It was Hohmann's second goal in as many games. In the last three games the Texas native has played, he has scored that night's game's first goal.

BU's penalty kill was strong in the first frame. They were called to the task three times and other than a few long shots that Sean Maguire easily handled, Dartmouth never was able to really set up.

Dartmouth evened the game in the dying minutes of the stanza. Ahti Oksanan got caught trying to be a little too cute and payed for it. He had his pocket picked by Jack Barre at the BU blue line. The Big Green's Charlie Mosey jumped on the loose puck, burned Tommy Kelly through the neutral zone, and then solved Maguire, blocker side high. It was Mosey's fourth goal of the season.

BU regained their lead midway through the second. Dartmouth's Taylor Boldt and Rick Pinkston were both in the box and the Terriers (all-of-a-sudden) red hot power play took over. Robbie Baillargeon and Ahti Oksanen worked it to Matt Grzelcyk in the middle of the slot. Grzelcyk's made it through some traffic and it looked to have been tipped by Danny O'Regan. After a second look, it was in fact Grzelcyk's goal, his third of the year. It's good to see he's picking up where he left off in Malö at the World Juniors.

Less than two minutes later, Dartmouth tied the game again. Brad Schierhorn banged home his third of the year on a rebound to Maguire's left. Andy Simpson and Rick Pinkston picked up the assists on the play.

Before the period ended, Nick Lovejoy potted a loose rebound, again to Maguire's left. It was his first collegiate goal with just 1:29 left in the frame.

Dartmouth added a shorthanded tally in the third to round out the scoring. A costly turnover at the blue line allowed the Big Green's leading scorer to walk in alone from the the red line. Eric Neiley beat Maguire with a forehand/backhand move just outside the crease and slid it five hole for his 10th of the year.

Dartmouth looked to have scored a fifth goal on a two on one, but it was taken back after review. Maguire was slightly interfered with, at least enough to have the goal called back.

BU had a few chances to net an extra attacker goal, but it was not to be and the Terriers remained winless in the second semester. Their next game is Saturday night at Fenway Park against Maine.

Dartmouth Preview

Tonight BU will play its last non-conference game until the Beanpot, as they host Dartmouth at Agganis for just the second time in the building’s history. The game tonight is a story of two struggling teams. Dartmouth is just 2-11-12, after starting the year a miserable 0-8-0, before finally beating Harvard 2-1 on November 30th. Their other win was at Yale the next weekend 4-1. BU on the other hand has not won a game since beating Cornell at MSG ironically on November 30th.

Scouting the Big Green
Junior Eric Neiley is far and away the team leader in goals and points. In 15 games the Warminster, Pennsylvania native has nine goals, 4 assists for 13 points. The next closest point-getter is Brandon McNally who has nine (2g, 7a).

In goal, Dartmouth has seen three different netminders man the crease. Sophomore Charles Grant has seen the bulk of the time, appearing in 10 games with a 2-6-2 record. Grant has posted a .895 save percentage and a 3.60 goals against average. Senior Cab Morris has seen time in 5 games with a 0-4-0 record, and in that time is the owner of a 4.74 GAA and a .826sv%. James Kruger has seen time in one game and has a 0-1-0 record.

The Last Time They Met…
January 15, 2008: The Big Green won their first-ever game at Agganis 3-2 with just 1:42 left in the third period on a last second goal by J.T. Wyman. Jason Lawrence and Bryan Ewing picked up the goals for BU that night.

- Evan Rodrigues and Jake Moscatel are both out tonight due to injury.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Harvard Preview

And we're back.

It been nearly a month from the time BU last set foot on the ice to play another school's hockey team. That was a rather disappointing 4-1 loss to Bentley.  Since that game, two players almost (maybe?) left to go to the USHL in Brandon Coiler and Sam Kurker. Neither actually left and and both will be in the lineup tonight.

Matt Grzelcyk and Danny O'Regan both headed to Sweden for the World Juniors. Grzelcyk was a standout on the US team and was named the squad's MVP. It is unknown still if the two will be in tonight's lineup.

Tonight the Terriers will take on Harvard at the Bright Center in Cambridge.  Harvard on the year is 4-7-2 with notable wins over UNH (6-3) and RPI (2-0).

Scouting Harvard
Jim Vesey, a former standout member on the USA WJC Team, leads the Crimson in scoring. In 13 games played, Vesey has posted 8 goals and 3 assists. Right behind him is fellow sophomore Kyle Criscuolo, who in 13 games has 10 points (7g 3a).

In goal, senior Raphael Girard and junior Steve Michalek have split time. Girard has a 3-4-1 record in 480 minutes played. He has posted a .948 save percentage and a 1.88 goals against average to this point. On the other hand, Michalek has a 3.17 GAA and a .908 GAA.

The Last Time The Met...
was in the Beanpot Consolation Game. Harvard won that game 7-4.