Monday, December 21, 2015

Roberto Suspended

Nick Roberto has 11 goals and 19
assists in 74 games played with BU,
in two season.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Today, forward Nick Roberto was suspended for the remainder of the year for his involvement in a possible gambling situation. Roberto was originally suspended at the start of the year for a "team rules violation."

College Hockey News first broke the story this afternoon amid some pretty obscure rumors. They included, "BU threw the National Championship Game" as well as a point shaving scheme were tossed around on Twitter (be careful what you read, people), this afternoon prior to the CHN report.

The report also stated that "Roberto was not the only BU player involved, though those players are no longer with the hockey program. The identity of those players could not be confirmed. Other sources have indicated that players from other teams were involved, too"

"According to NCAA by-laws, a player who is found gambling on any sporting event, amateur or pro in any sport, via a “bookie” or the Internet, faces a minimum one-year suspension."

Boston University also released a statement this afternoon:

"Beyond confirming that Mr. Roberto will not play for the Boston University hockey team this season, federal privacy laws prevent us from discussing his status owever can say that several months ago, we heard rumors that a BU hockey player had engaged in gambling. Although the rumors did not involve gambling on either college or professional hockey games, we nonetheless immediately conducted a thorough investigation and turned the results over to the appropriate authorities at the NCAA. Based on that investigation, the NCAA made its own findings and took remedial action, and we would refer you to that organization for further information.”

Furthermore, BU Athletic Director added "the investigation that took place was focused on Roberto. Any involvement of any other former players is speculation at this point."

Just speculating here, but AJ Greer, who departed the team earlier this week was one player who was mentioned to be involved. This would clear up a lot of mystery as to why he left for the QMJHL on Thursday. Again, just speculating here.

I have heard rumors about others and their involvement the gambling issue. In the interest of not spreading any more rumors than have already been spread today, I don't really want to name names and I will leave it at that.

No one really knows exactly what was bet on, but sources indicate that it was not college hockey games, nor was it games involving Roberto.

More on this later when we all know more about the incident. I'm not trying to spread the fire here.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The AJ Greer Saga Timeline

So if you haven't heard, multiple reports came out today saying BU forward AJ Greer was leaving school and had signed with the Rouyn Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. Then, a few hours later, more reports came out denying that Greer ever did sign and only his family had talked to the Huskies.

Here's a timeline from Twitter this afternoon of what unfolded:

11:13am

If you don't know French, here's the translation: "Here is the scoop - AJ Greer choice #Avalanche second round leaves and Boston University joins HuskiesRn more details to come #RDS"

Heres the link to the full RDS article: Link


"The negotiations with the Huskies and Greer began late last night. Everything took shape around 23:30."
12:00pm


12:03pm



12:09pm


12:13pm

12:28pm

1:42pm
"AJ Greer (@ ajgreer_10 ) denies rumors that send to #Huskies . Discussions with his agent and his family, but nothing more. #LHJMQ"

1:44pm

1:55pm

So we went from "he's 100% gone and playing with the Huskies this weekend" to "he's still taking finals at BU and isn't leaving"

It's been a strange afternoon. More to come as this whole thing continues to play out. Remember that there were similar rumors involving Jack Eichel last year and Adam Clendening a few years back. Charlie Coyle did in fact leave for the Q in 2012, so we have seen both sides of this. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Top Five Pictures From Semester One

All photos taken by Matt Dresens
5
This was from the first ever game I got to shoot from ice level
4
Sean Maguire during introductions.
3
Brandon Fortunato and the BU crowd celebrate Matt Lane's
goals vs Michigan

2
Doyle Somerby and Matt Lane celebrate
after the first goal of the season is scored
at Union.
1
Bobo Carpenter celebrates after scoring against Yale, last
weekend. This picture was the inspiration for the ranking.   

Weekend Lookback: Solid

Even though BU split two games in Connecticut between Yale and Quinnipiac, to say the weekend wasn't a success would be utterly wrong.

Player of the Week
Jordan Greenway: No goals, two assists
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
On Saturday night, BU out played Quinnipiac in pretty much all aspects of the game, but non more prevalent than goaltending. Sean Maguire, who had a sub .900 save percentage for the majority of the year was far better than Qpac goalie Michael Garteig, who was in the .950 range before the game. 

Maguire backstopped the Terriers with 17 third period saves, including a number of big stops on the PK, late. Maguire's play resembled his performance stretch in 2013 on the way to the Hockey East Championship game. What makes his effort all the more impressive is that he did it without arguably the team's best two defenseman on the ice against the best team in the country.

I'm not the only one to notice his standout play on Saturday as Maguire was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week, earlier today. This one game, has reopened the goalie competition between Mags and Connor LaCouvee. 

The Greenway
Jordan Greenway was, without a doubt, BU's best player of the weekend. Although he didn't score, he did register two assists that set up two pretty big goals. On Friday at Yale, he used his strength to ward off a Yale defender before hitting Ahti Oksanen in the slot for a one touch goal. "Using his strength" seems to come up again and again when talking abut the 6-5 winger, but it is easily the strongest part of his game. 

The amount of times this year he has won a battle in the corner and then protected the puck and set up a play in front, is astounding. That second line of Oksanen-Lane-Greenway was a force all weekend long. They bullied Yale with their size and tripped up QU with skill. 

Greenway set up Matt Lane to tie the QU game 1-1 with a sexy pass from behind the goal-line. He won a battle in the corner then skated behind the net, drawing a defender and taking Garteig off the post. From the middle post behind the goal, he rolled his wrists and found Lane uncovered in the low circle. It was an incredibly skilled play yes, but to have the presence of mind to throw it back against the grain was another thing all together. 

A Big Boost
Following the loss to Yale, BU dropped to 18th in the PairWise Rankings. After they dropped Qunnipiac from the ranks of the unbeaten, they moved all the way up to 12th. That is what happens when you play a strong schedule: A loss to high ranking opponent doesn't drop you all that far and a win against a high ranked team, in their barn, can catapult you. Currently, BU has the 8th hardest schedule in the nation.

BU faces Harvard at Harvard, who is ranked sixth in the PWR in their first game back from break.

At The Polls
BU jumped up from 12th to 11th in the USCHO poll. Providence was again number one, North Dakota slid up from fourth to second, with Quinnpiac, Boston College and St Cloud rounding out the top five in that order.

Around Hockey East
Thursday: Notre Dame handed BC their first conference loss, 4-3 at Conte… Providence topped Brown 4-1 at home to reclaim the Mayor's Cup.

Friday: Merrimack and UConn skated to a 3-3 tie in Hartford… Union took down UMass 4-3 in overtime at the Mullins Center… Vermont blanked St. Lawrence 4-0 at the Gutt… UNH doubled up Dartmouth 6-3 at the Whitt… BU fell to Yale 3-2 at the Whale.

Saturday: St Lawrence rebound to roll UVM 4-1… BU handed Quinnipiac their first loss, 4-1 in Hamden.

In Other News
- Brandon Hickey made it past the first round of cuts at the Canadian World Junior Camp.

- USA WJC camp takes place this week at BU and then Team USA will play against UMass at the Mullins Center on Friday night.

- This will be my last post for a while, probably before the Harvard game. I have to wrap up my own finals and everything at school.   

Saturday, December 12, 2015

15-BU-2

Terriers Hand Bobcats First Loss 

Well, that was fun.

Tonight, BU handed Quinnipiac their first loss of the season with a 4-1 at TD Bank Arena in Hamden. That leaves just Providence as the only unbeaten team in the nation and BU tied them twice. So, against the last two unbeaten teams in the nation, BU is 1-0-2.

In a game where BU was without arguably their best two defenseman, their goaltender had to be their best player and Sean Maguire did not disappoint. He made 36 saves, including 17 in the third frame to preserve the BU win.

We will get back to Maguire in a second…

Quinnipiac opened the scoring 6:22 into the game on one of the prettiest goals you will see all year. Sam Anas was able to corral a hot pass from Landon Smith that was a bit behind him. Instead of using his stick, he caught the pass on his right skate, settled it and brought it to his forehand. In the high slot, he slipped through a BU defender and then shelfed a backhander by Maguire, who was sprawled out.

BU steadily worked their way back to tie things up later in the frame. Jordan Greenway won a battle in the near corner and skated in behind the net with the puck. When he got to the middle post of the goal, he through a pass back against the grain to an uncover Matt Lane in the low circle. Lane one touched the pass into the top corner, over the shoulder of QU goalie Michael Garteig, who had left the post to protect against the Greenway wraparound the other way.

Following a strong penalty kill, BU took the lead 2:56 into the second period. Charlie MacAvoy hit Robbie Baillargeon at the far blue line with a pass and Robbie fought his way through a defender. From the low circle, Baillargeon threw, what looked to be, a harmless shot on goal looking for a rebound. Instead of getting that rebound, the shot slipped through Garteig on the short side. It was a very weak goal to allow from a goaltending point of view.

QU had a few chances to level the game, but Bobo Carpenter separated the Terriers from the Bobcats and gave BU a two goal lead with more than 10 minted to play. Carpenter picked up a loose puck on the far wall, turned around and all in one motion, tossed a rising shot on goal. It somehow got through traffic in front and picked the top corner over the blocker of Garteig.

The Terriers had to kill off two late John MacLoud penalties to hold on to that two goal lead. Sean Maguire made one big save after another with his glove to stymie the Bobcat attack.

Matt Lane added an empty net goal with less than  minute left to round out the scoring.

On a night that had so much positive, there was a downside, too. Ahti Oksanen fell awkwardly into the end-boards and then was crunched from behind. He stayed down for a while and eventually was helped off the ice by both BU and Quinnipiac's trainers. He was holding his right arm, but I don't want to speculate on what exactly the injury was.

BU is off until January 7th, when they take on Harvard at the Bright Center in Cambridge.

Battle With An Unbeaten

Well here comes a test. Tonight, BU plays their last game before semester break against the best team in the nation, in their barn, nonetheless. The Terriers take on Quinnipiac for the first ever match up between the two schools.

Coming into the weekend, if the NCAA tournament was to have been selected this past week, BU and QU would have been a first round matchup. That has since gone by the wayside after the BU loss last night dropped them out of the top 16 in the PWR.

Qpac is not only undefeated, but they have played and beaten some of the best teams in the nation. They swept St. Cloud State at home (5-2 and 4-1), dropped Harvard 4-1 at home, and blanked Yale 3-0 at the whale last weekend. QU is hot, but they are also rested. They did not have to travel and play a game last night, but instead were idle. BU is banged up, missing two players to injury and one to WJC camp and had to play last night. It's not a good combination when having to face the top team in the county.

Quinnipiac is trying to become the second team this year to go into the holiday break with an undefeated record. Providence has already accomplished the feat, going 12-0-3 and becoming the first team since Colorado College in 1996. CC lost the national title game in overtime to Michigan, that year.

Scouting the Bobcats
The Q is led by Sam Anas, who has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 17 games played. Travis St. Denis is right behind him with 17 points. Honestly, I haven't seen Quinnipiac play nearly enough games to say who is a standout player on their roster. I know Anas is a skilled forward, but they also have eight other players who have double digit point totals. It seems that depth has been their greatest strength, so far.

I have watched two QU hockey games in my life: the 2013 national championship game and last year's regional semi with North Dakota. Not much to go off of there.

In goal, Michael Garteig has been out of his mind good this year. He is 15-0-2 with a .952 save percentage and a 1.13 goals against average. He has only allowed 19 goals total on the season.

Friday, December 11, 2015

BU Falls to Yale at the Whale

Brian Diffley and Chris Izmirlian get
into a shoving match along the boards
in the second period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Tonight was battle from start to finish. Both teams played a very physical contest and that led to many little scrums after the whistle. Jordan Greenway was at the center of practically all of those scrums.

It was a strange game, too. There were only two power plays the entire night. BU had one late and Yale had a five minute major on a Ryan Cloonan boarding call at the end of the second period. There were certainly calls, on both teams, that could have been made throughout the game and were not.

After a scoreless first period, BU jumped out to a 1-0 lead just under seven minutes into the second frame on Ahti Oksanen's ninth goal of the year. Jordan Greenway set the whole play with a strong rush up the ice that started deep in his own end. Inside the Yale zone, he made another impressive play to protect the puck and then find Oksanen in the slot. Ahti one-timmed the pass by Yale goalie Alex Lyon to his low blocker side.

Greenway and the second line were a force all night. They out worked Yale and used their size to their advantage. In the physical nature of this game, they were definitely BU's strongest line.

Yale struck twice in the closing minutes of the period. Before the Cloonan major and game misconduct, Ryan Hitchcock banged home a rebound goal to Connor LaCouvee's left side. It was his fifth goal of the year from Mitch Witek and Stu Willson at 18:13.

Cloonan was called for the major penalty at 19:03 of the second period. 37 seconds later, Yale had the lead. John Hayden scored his first of two on the evening off a similar onetime shot to the Oksanen goal.  Ryan Hitchcock and Joe Snively picked up the assists.

BU killed off the remaining 4:04 of the penally that overlapped into the third period and then controlled the play following the kill. They put two strong shifts together that generated several scoring opportunities, but nothing found the back of the net.

Mike Moran goes hard to the net in the third period. This was
just another example of how physical this game was.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Yale weathered the storm and caught a break on a defensive breakdown by the Terriers. John Hayden led an oddman rush the other way, chose not to pass and slipped a shot in five-hole on LaCouvee with 13:29 to play.

BU fought back, though. They were finally given a power play with under five minutes to play when Brandon Fortunato drew a tripping call. Coach Quinn rolled the dice and pulled LaCouvee with will over three minutes left to make it six on four.  Fortunato and Charlie McAvoy both set up Bobo Carpenter for a onetimer from the near circle. Carpenter drilled the shot pass Lyon with 2:42 to play.

BU almost tied things on the next shift, but Lyon stood tall to a well setup onetimer from Oksanen on the far side. Yale was able to close out the game from there and won 3-2.

Tomorrow night, BU head over to face undefeated Quinnipiac.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This Week In '06: Splitsville

BU wrapped up the first semester with two games in two different states in three nights as they travelled to Providence on Thursday night and then up to Dartmouth on Saturday.

Thursday December 8, 2005 @ Providence
Despite outshooting the Friars 41-26, BU fell 4-1 at Schneider Arena. Torry Gajda got PC on the board late in the first period. They added to the lead behind two second period goals, one by Jon Rheault and another by Gajda.

Brad Zancanaro finally got BU on the board in the third, before his brother Tony, scored an empty net goal for the PC.

John Curry made 25 saves.

Saturday December 10, 2005 @ Dartmouth
On this night, BU flipped the scrip from Thursday. The were outshot 41-22, but trounced the Big Green behind three third period goals.

Zancanaro struck first for the Terriers on power play and Brandon Yip scored midway through the second.

Jason Lawrence, Brain McGuirk, and Yip all scored in the first half of the third period. McGuirk's goal was a shorthanded tally assisted by Zancanaro. Zancanaro also had an assist on the Lawrence goal to give him a three point night.

Tanner Glass netted a power play goal in the closing minutes for Dartmouth. BU backup goalie Karson Gillespie turned aside 40 of 41 shots faced.

"Between us not defending well in front and turning the puck over in the attacking zone when we didn’t have to, we gave them a lot of chances, and Karson had to come up big,” Boston University coach Jack Parker said. “If we don’t get great goaltending in the first period, it’s a completely different game.” -From USCHO



Monday, December 7, 2015

Weekend Lookback and WJC Camps

Player of the Week
Matt Lane, 2 goals, 2 assists
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Well, that was one ugly weekend of hockey.

Thankfully, BU rallied in the third period of Saturday's game with Vermont to salvage a weekend split with the Catamounts.

Friday saw the Terriers essentially handing the Cats three goals off turnovers and the theme continued the following night. I can count at least four UVM goals that came due to inexcusable turnovers in the BU zone.

Let's look at Friday first. Doyle Somerby committed the first miscue and he was tripped off the puck at his own blue line, creating a 2 on 1 bid for UVM that Jarrid Privitera scored on.

UVM's third goal on Friday was not solely one person's fault, but a collection of laziness by all five of the BU skaters on the ice. I think I said it looked like five trees were playing defense in the recap. It was bad.

Saturday didn't yield anything much better, other than the fact BU won. There were two more awful (I'm running out of negative words here) turnovers that led directly to UVM goals. John MacLoud and Charlie MacAvoy both coughed the puck up right in front of their own goal and UVM cashed in both times.

Overall, the team just played lazy on Friday and most of Saturday's game. UVM scored seven goals on the weekend and not one of them was either Connor LaCouvee or Sean Maguire's fault.

Some positives were the development of Jordan Greenway over the past month. It has been astounding. He's not nearly the fastest guy on the ice, but man is it tough to get the puck away from him. He almost single handedly set up BU's tying goal on Saturday. He battled through a few checks and then patiently found Matt Lane in the low circle for a onetimer.

Speaking of Lane, he was far and away BU's best player of the weekend. Yes, he scored two game tying goals and had two other assists on the weekend, but he provided more than that. He was a force on the penally kill, blocking shots all over the place and really adding some leadership to a very young team. Granted, that's what a captain is supposed to do, but he is doing it perfectly. There is nothing more this team could ask from Lane.

Lane does not lead the team in any statistical category, but practically all of his goals have been "big" or "clutch" goals. Lets just take a look at the goals he has scored this year:

vs Union, first BU goal of the game
vs Wisconsin, first BU goal of the game
vs Merrimack, tied the game 2-2 in the second period
vs Michigan, BU's first goal of the game
vs Vermont (Fri), tied the game 2-2 in the third period
vs Vermont (Sat), tied the game 2-2 in the third period.

Not bad, eh?

Gone Camping
A week or so ago, Hockey Canada released their preliminary World Junior camp roster. Terrier defenseman Brandon Hickey is among the 29 other Canucks who were invited.

Today, USA Hockey came out with their WJC eval camp roster and both Brandon Fortunato and Charlie MacAvoy were on the list. In addition to the two defenseman, 2016 BU recruits Kieffer Bellows and Clayton Keller of the USA U18 Team were also invited to camp.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson was invited to the Swedish WJC camp.

At The Polls
BU dropped one slot from 11th to 12th in the USCHO poll this afternoon. Undefeated Providence was once again number one. 15-0-2 Quinnipiac moved up one notch from 3rd to 2nd, while Boston College dropped a peg to third. North Dakota was 4th and Nebraska Omaha rounded out the top five.

BU is 15th in the Pairwise. What is slightly interesting here is that Quinnipiac is number one by a good margin in the PWR. If the NCAA brackets came out out today, BU and Qpac would be a first round matchup, probably held in Worcester. Well, we get to see that matchup anyway this weeked as BU makes their first ever trip down to the TD Bank Center in Hamden.

Around Hockey East
Friday: Providence edged Merrimack 2-1 at Lawler… Maine and New Hampshire skated to a 3-3 draw at the Whitt… Notre Dame dumped UMass 3-1 at home… Vermont doubled up BU 4-2 at Agganis.

Saturday: UConn took down Lowell 4-3 in Hartford… Notre Dame ran over UMass 5-1 to complete the weekend sweep… Providence shutout Merrimack at home… New Hampshire drubbed Maine 5-2 at the Whitt… Northeastern and Boston College tied 3-3 at Conte… BU comeback to beat Vermont 5-3 at home.
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Sunday: UConn finished the weekend sweep of Lowell, 2-1 at Tsongas… Boston College rallied past Northeastern 4-3 at Matthews.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Terriers Steal One From Vermont

Despite outshooting Vermont 51-27, last night, BU still needed another third period comeback to over come some pretty horrendous mistakes earlier in the game.

Matt Lane tied the game 3-3 with 3:29 remaining on a onetimer. He was set up by Ahti Oksasen and Jordan Greenway for his sixth goal of the year. Greenway did a great job not rushing the play and just throwing the puck on net. He patiently walked out of the corner and found Lane practically uncovered in the circle. Lane riffled a shot over the shoulder of UVM goalie Mike Santaguida, who had lost his stick in the play. Santaguida also injured and left the game following the goal and did not return.

Just over a minute later, with UVM backup goalie Pat Feeley in the game and the Terriers on a 5:00 power play for the remainder of the game, Brandon Hickey drilled home the game winner from the far side. Brandon Fortunato and Ahti Oksanen both had assists on the goal.

The 5:00 minute major was a strange call. Doyle Somerby was drilled in the head by Brady Shaw, but the play continued. Eventually, the whistle blew because Somerby was slow to get up. The refs then huddled and retroactively called the penalty. I had never seen that before.

In the first period, Vermont sprung out to a 2-0 lead behind some really bad hockey by BU. UVM's first goal came off a four on two rush that saw Conor O'Neil fly by John MacLoud and absolutely toast Connor LaCouvee on a wicked shot off the bottom of the cross bar and in. It was his first goal of the year.

A few minutes later, MacLoud committed a brutal turnover in front of his own goal and Brendan Bradley was there to cash in. It was a similar play that led to UVM's third goal. Charlie McAvoy skated right through his own slot and was stripped of the puck and Anthony Petruzzelli beat LaCouvee five hole to make it 3-2 with less than 10:00 to play in the third.

BU got on the board in first on Ahti Oksanen's eighth goal of the year from Greenway and Lane. Lane tried his spin around shot from the near low circle, hit Greenway's stick in the crease and the puck went to Oksanen back door. That made it 2-1 after BU played some of their worst hockey since the second semester of 2014.

32 seconds into the second period, Danny O'Regan tied the game 2-2 on a rebound. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and AJ Greer (who was shifted up to the first line for the afternoon) both picked up assists on the goal. It was O'Regan's 5th of the year.

Brandon Fortunato scored on the empty net with .3 seconds left.

Connor LaCouvee made 24 saves on the afternoon.

Friday, December 4, 2015

BU Upended by Catamounts

BU might have played their worst game of season tonight. They looked uninterested at times and really disjointed. The top line was completely inept and the defense was really no better. Without the play of Sean Maguire, Vermont could have could easily ran away with this one.
Chase Phelps gets sent for a ride by Rob Hamilton in the first
period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
You have to give credit where credit is due, though. UVM did a marvelous job of trapping the Terriers in the neutral zone. This gave BU all sorts of fits as the Cats forced them to skate through three, four and sometimes even five players to just get the puck over the redline.

UVM was opportunistic, as well. With BU up 1-0 on Tommy Kelley's first goal in almost two years, Vermont tied things back up on the power play. Anthony Petruzzelli fired off a seeing eye, warm-burner of a shot that slipped by Maguire low to his blocker side. Maguire never saw the shot though a sea of traffic out front.

Less than two minutes later, UVM had the lead. Doyle Somerby made a horrendous turnover at his own blue line allowing Kevin Irwin to swoop in and steal the puck. Irwin slipped a pass over to former Terrier commit Jarrid Privitera and he beat Maguire five hole on a backhand shot on a essentially a breakaway.

It looked like once again that BU was going to get their ___ together in the third period as they have so many times this year. A hard working shift by Jordan Greenway, Matt Lane and Ryan Cloonan produced a goal with 12:48 to play. Lane had the puck facing center ice in high slot. All in one motion, he spun around on his forehand side and released a shot. It looked like he was going for a redirection, but the shot cleanly found it's way through, off the post and in behind UVM goalie Mike Santaguida. It was post redemption for Lane, who rang the iron on power play, earlier in the second period.


Matt Lane gets off a shot on an
odd man rush in the the third
period. UVM's Chris Muscoby
lays out to try and block.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
That's as close as BU got.

With less than 9:00 to play, BU's first line got caught out a little too long and the opportunistic Catamounts took full advantage. Liam Coughlin (another former Terrier commit) and Alexx Privitera, a former BU player, both set up Brendan Bradley for a tap-in goal. One person in the stands behind me said the BU defense looked like five trees trying to defend a hockey team.

I don't know if it was that bad, but Maguire was hung out to dry. No one picked up Bradley, who was all alone at the top of the crease and all he had to do was shovel the pass home.

UVM added an empty net goal with less than a second left to round out the scoring, 4-2.

BU has to find a way to beat the trap and really just come to play, tomorrow night. Nothing about their game (other than Sean Maguire and Matt Lane) looked sharp tonight. Passes were wildly inaccurate and some times it looked like guys didn't even want the puck. They would get and immediately just turn and throw it somewhere. Overall, it was just a very disappointing game.

Weekend With The Catamounts

This weekend, BU hosts Vermont in the final home series of the calendar year at Agganis. Last year, Vermont was a scrappy, better than average team that made it through the octofinals in the Hockey East playoffs and beat Boston College at the Heights in the quarterfinals, before falling to Lowell at the Garden.
From the Vault
BU celebrates Jake Eichel's game winner in overtime last year
at Gutterson Field House.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
This year, the Cat's are not faring so well. They are 3-9-2 (2-4-2, HE) on the year and are coming off three straight loses, including being swept at Maine. Those two wins for Maine were their first of the year. UVM did shutout Minnesota 3-0 in Minnesota and the Gophers were, at the time, ranked ninth in the nation. They have since fallen out of the rankings and have just four wins on the season. As for other action in Hockey East, the Catamounts were swept by Lowell in early November, at home nevertheless.

Scouting the Catamounts 
Mario Puskarich has a commanding lead on the points race up in Burlington. In 14 games played, the junior has five goals and seven assists for twelve points, nearly double anyone else on the roster. Former Terrier Alexx Privitera and his brother Jarrid are second and third, respectively. Alexx has two goals and five assists and Jarrid is tied with Puskarich with a team leading five goals.

In net, Mike Santaduida is the only goalie to take the crease for UVM. He holds a .908 save percentage and a 2.72 goals against average. In three career games played against BU, he is 1-1-0 with a no-decision mixed in there, as well.

The Last Time They Met...
was in January in a two game set up in Burlington. BU doubled up the Cats 4-2 in game one, behind two-point games form Robbie Baillargeon, Brandon Fortunato and Evan Rodrigues. The following night, Rodrigues tied the game 1-1 with just 3:18 left. Jack Eichel won the game in overtime off a deflection from a Rodrigues shot from the point.

BU Notes
- Matt Grzelcyk is unlikely to play this weekend as he is still recovering from a left knee injury suffered in the second Michigan game.

- Sean Maguire will get the start in net tonight, with (presumably) Connor LaCouvee in goal on Saturday.

Common Opponents
Northeastern:

BU 5, NU 4 (November 6)
BU 4, @ NU 1 (November 7)

UVM 3, @ NU 2 (October 29)
UVM 3, NU 3 (October 30)

Connecticut:

BU 3, UConn 2 (October 24)
BU 2, @ UConn 5 (October 27)

UVM 3, UConn 2 (November 13)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

This Week In '06: Mixed Bag

Last week I was a little busy over Thanksgiving, so I give you the last two weeks in the 2006 season. 

BU was about to enter one of the toughest stretches on their schedule. They would be facing four ranked in five games: #14 Harvard, #13 Denver, #3 Colorado College, and #6 Boston College (twice) in a two week span.

Tuesday November 22, 2005 @ #14 Harvard
The Terriers and Crimson played in their usual Tuesday before Thanksgiving game at the Bright Center. This was my first time seeing a game at Harvard and the game did not disappoint.

Harvard stormed out of the gate, scoring just 3:09 into the contest on a 5 on 3 goal from Dan Murphy. Midway through the first, Harvard extended that lead on a Dave Watters goal. John Curry made 18 saves in the first period as the Terriers were outshot 20-7.

“John Curry played great,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “They could have had three or four goals in the first period." - From USCHO
BU cut the lead in half in the closing minutes of the second period when Brian McGuirk potted a goal. Just as the game was about to slip away and it looked as if it was going to be another disappointing L in the loss column, Kevin Schaeffer scored with just 1:40 left. The game ended in a 2-2 tie, and BU nearly won it in overtime as John Laliberte rang the post. I still can see the puck cleanly beating Harvard goalie John Daigneau and just drilling the iron.

Friday November 25, 2005 vs #13 Denver
I have zero recollection of this game, which means I probably was not there, but I don't remember. Anyway, BU won the game 1-0 behind Karson Gillespie's first shutout of the year. Dan Spang scored the lone goal of the game 12:34 into the game. Gillespie stopped all 24 Denver shots he faced.

Saturday November 26, 2005 vs #3 Colorado College 
This was CC's first and only trip to date to Agganis and boy was this a wild game. The Tigers scored 1:31 into the game on a 5 on 3 goal. Brett Sterling scored later in the frame for CC and just 2:36 into the second, it was 3-0 Colorado College on the back of Jack Hillen's goal.

BU got back in the game with two power play goals. Jason Lawrence scored at 11:02 and Peter MacArthur netted a man advantage goal with just 17 seconds left in the second.

The momentum did not cary over to the third period though as CC scored two goals in the first 3:25 of the final stanza to make it 5-2. Boomer Ewing slashed the lead to 5-3 with a little less than 15miutes to play and then things got weird.

With the goalie pulled, Kenny Roche scored a 6 on 4 goal with 1:30 left with assists going to John Laliberte and Sean Sullivan. 30 seconds later, the game game was tied. Brad Zancanarao found the back of the net with a minute left to force an improbable overtime.

52 seconds into the overtime period, Brett Sterling scored his second goal of the game and CC walked off with a 6-5 OT win. CC went 2-8 on the power play with two 5 on 3's. BU was 3-11.

“There were two things that were bizarre-absolutely bizarre-in that game that have to be stopped,” Terrier coach Jack Parker said in closing his general comments. “The first is our team’s play in the first period. Any questions?"
“Like I say, there were two things that had to be stopped and one of them is we have to stop our play in the first period,” Parker said. “And something else has to be stopped. The referee gave my assistant coach a bench minor for clapping his hands and smiling at him. That’s what he told me. He told me ‘That is a travesty.’
“After they disallowed the goal because of a penalty, my assistant coach was standing in his normal spot and looked at him and caught his eye and clapped his hands and smiled at him. And the referee-that’s exactly what he said he did and what my assistant coach told me he did-and I asked him, I said ‘You gave him a bench minor for that?’ And he said, ‘Yes: That’s a travesty.” Well, he’s correct: It was a travesty out there, but he didn’t get the right one.” - From USCHO
December 2, 2005 @ #6Boston College 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Weekend Lookback: No Quit

Player of the Week
AJ Greer, 1 goal, 1 assist.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Three third period goals powered two Terrier comebacks in the third period at Madison Square Garden, Saturday night to once again deny Cornell their first win in the Red Hot Hockey series. Bobo Carpenter, AJ Greer and Jordan Greenway all scored in the final 15 minutes. Greer and Greenway both scored their first first goals of the season in the game.

Line Shuffle Provides Spark
Going into Saturday night's tilt, coach Quinn shuffled up the "bottom two lines". The third line had been for the last few games Bobo Carpenter, Robbie Baillargeon and AJ Greer. Saturday night, Quinn healthy scratched Chase Phelps (a fourth line regular) and placed Nick Olsson back on the third line, a line he played well on for stretches last year. Olsson had been out of the two Michigan games and the Bentley game with an upper body injury he suffered back in the weekend series with Providence. Baillargeon was demoted to the fourth line, while Greer and Carpenter remained on the third line.

The moved had to have stemmed from what took place in the Bentley game. Tommy Kelley and Mike Moran both played a strong game vs the Falcons and created a few scoring chances. So the lines going into MSG looked as follows:

AJ Greer - Bobo Carpenter - Nick Olsson
Tommy Kelley - Mike Moran - Robbie Baillargeon

The shake up more than ruffled a few feathers, it produced points. Greer and Carpenter both scored and Olsson had an assist on both of their goals.

No Quit
BU has trailed entering the third period this year seven times and has come away with at least a tie in five of those games. They have won two of them. The Terriers were behind Providence, Michigan and Cornell 2-0 after two and did not lose any those games. BU is once again a third period team and that's not necessarily the worst thing, but production in the first two periods needs to pick up for this team to do some real damage.

The Terriers have a -3 and -4 scoring diferencial in the first two periods of games this season. In the third period and in overtime, they are +13. Last year, they were +5 and +13 in the first two periods, respectively. They were a ridiculous +45 in OT and the third frame.

At The Polls 
This is getting a little repetitive, but Providence was once again the nation's number one ranked team. BC was two, 13-0-2 Quinnipiac (how they are not number one, I don't know... polls are dumb) was once again three. North Dakota leapfrogged Lowell to move into 4th and the River Hawks took 5th. BU was 11, again.

It's late November and far to early to look at the PairWise, but here as a quick peak: BU is 17th and I will say no more than that this early.

Around Hockey East
Friday: Lowell took out Northeastern in overtime of the semi finals of the Bellpot in Belfast, Ireland... Maine won their third straight game with a 5-3 win over Princeton at home... UMass lost 4-1 at the Mullins Center to undefeated Quinnipiac... Harvard rolled Notre Dame in the semis of the Shillelagh tournament in South Bend, 4-1.

Saturday: Boston College downed RIT at Conte 6-2... Qunnipiac finished off the sweep of UMass with a 1-0 win... NU trounced Colgate 7-1 in the Bellpot consolation game... Union shutout Merrimack at Lawler 4-0... Maine swept Princeton with a 3-2 overtime win... New Hampshire one upped Bentley 5-4 at the Whitt... Lowell and Brown tied 5-5 in the Bellpot Final, Lowell won the shootout... Notre
Dame beat Western Michigan in the consolation game of the Shillelagh tourney 3-1... BU came back to tie Cornell at MSG, 3-3.

Sunday: Penn State blanked Vermont 4-0 in Philadelphia.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another Thriller

Red Hot Hockey never seems to disappoint. The games are always close and action filled with a spirited crowed and two competitive teams. Tonight was no different. BU clawed their way out of an 0-2 hole entering the third period and then fought back again late in the period to retie things 3-3.

After a scoreless first period that saw both teams generate a number of chances, Cornell took the lead just 2:16 into the second frame on the power play. Anthony Angello redirected a shot from up top over Connor LaCouvee (22 saves) and in for his team leading fifth goal of the season.

The Big Red extended their lead a few minutes later on a total Terrier breakdown. Doyle Somerby went to step-up on Teemu Tiitinen at his own blue line, but Tiitinen got around him and was in alone. His shot missed wide to LaCouvee's blocker side and kicked off end boards right back to the goalie. LaCouvee then had the puck jared loose from his possession at the side of the net. The puck pinballed around before Trevor Yates roofed a shot over LaCouvee, who was all sprawled out.

The Terriers had no finish in the first two periods. Danny O'Regan was denied by the post on a grade-A chance off a Brandon Fortunato rebound. Bobo Carpenter also sent a shot that cleanly beat CU goalie Mitch Gillam off the crossbar in the first period. Gillam made some big saves to stymie the Terriers early and really played well all night, making 40 saves, including 6 in overtime.

Carpenter did capitalize later and got BU on the board 5:36 into the third. Nick Olsson, AJ Greer and Carpenter lead a three on two rush out of the BU zone. Olsson gave way to Greer, before AJ fed to Carpenter from the slot to the far side. Carpenter got just enough on his shot to muscle it past Gillam and put BU back in the game.

That line was not done, though. Less than two minutes later Olsson found Greer in the low circle on the far side, near the dot. From there, Greer wristed home his first of the year over the right shoulder of Gillam.

BU almost took the lead just a bit later on a crazy bank shot from center ice. Ahti Oksanen sent in a long wrister from basically the red line that caromed off the kick plate and got behind Gillam, who almost kicked it back in his own net.

Cornell settled down and regained the lead with 8:58 left on a Holden Anderson tip in goal. Patrick McCarron sent a low wrister toward the Terrier goal from the point and Anderson redirected it through LaCouvee's legs and in for just his second of the season.

The Terriers were not done, though. Jordan Greenway jammed home his first collegiate goal with just 3:55 left to retie the game. I really didn't get a good look at how the whole play developed, I just kinda went crazy when the red light came on. Anyway, Matt Lane and Ryan Cloonan picked up the assists.

The game went 3-3 to overtime, where BU completely controlled the play thanks in large part to a Chris Hillbrich boarding penalty 1:03 into the extra session. BU had a complete set up for the power play, but nothing got past Gillam and the the game ended in a 3-3 draw.

There was, however, a shootout to see who would take home the Kelley-Harkness trophy.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson was stopped on his attempted to open the shootout. LaCouvee made a save on his first shot faced before five straight goals were scored.

Danny O'Regan scored on a nice backhand shot and then Jeff Kubiak shelffed one home. Oksanen regained the lead before Tiitinen tied things up again. Matt Lane scored to give BU a 3-2 lead in round four and LaCouvee made a save to close out the shootout and give BU the trophy once again. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Red Hot Hockey Round 5

Tonight it's BU and Cornell at Madison Square Garden for the fifth round of Red Hot Hockey. The Terriers are undefeated (3-0-1) in the RHH series dating back to 2007.

Cornell comes into this game with a 6-1-1 record and currently sit at 10th in the PairWise rankings. The Big Red began the season with home and home sweep of Niagara before dropping Princeton the following weekend. Cornell then battled to a 5-4 overtime loss at home to undefeated Quinnipiac. Since the loss, CU has swept Colgate, beat Brown 1-0 and a tied Yale 0-0. Cornell is winless against ranked teams at 0-1-1.

Scouting The Big Red
Jeff Kubiak leads the team in overall points at nine. In eight games played, the junior from Tinley Park, Illinois has 3 goals and 6 assists. The leading goal scorer on the team is freshman Anthony Angello, who in eight games has found the back of the net 4 times.

In goal Mitch Gillam is the only goalie to take the crease this year for Cornell. He is 6-1-1 with a 1.59 goals against and a .938 save percentage. Gillam is currently riding a two game shutout streak that dates back to November 14 vs Colgate. He allowed a 5 on 3 goal at the 17:29 marker of the second period and then blanked Yale and Brown back to back. So, that's 143:31 of games time since he he last allowed a goal.

Wait I've heard this story before... Going into the 2011 RHH game, Cornell goalie Andy Iles had a three game shutout streak coming into the Garden.

Red Hot Hockey Recap
It was said before but it's always fun to repeat it, BU is undefeated in the four previous Red Hot Hockey games.

2007 saw BU run away with the game, winning by a lopsided 6-3 score. They got goals from Luke Popko, Joe Pereira, Brandon Yip, Peter McArthur, Colin Wilson and Boomer Ewing.

Both the 2009 and 2011 games needed overtime. BU fell behind in '09 2-0 early, but battled back and tied the game by pulling goalie Kieran Millian and playing 6 on 3. Chris Connolly forced home a rebound with :51 seconds left to tie the game 3-3.

In 2011, it was Cornell that fought back from an 0-2 hole to force overtime. That's where Ross Gaudet tipped home the game winner off a Max Nicastro shot from the point.

The last time the two teams played was 2013. BU jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind goals from Mike Moran, Robbie Baillargeon and Nick Roberto. Cornell scored twice in the third, but BU hung on to win 3-2 despite only taking 11 shots. Matt O'Connor made 37 saves.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weekend Lookback: Ups and Downs

This weekend was a lot like the previous one: fall behind early and come back late. It worked Friday night as BU stormed back for three goals to overcome a 2-0 deficit to Michigan, but that was not the case Saturday. BU played an uninspired game vs the Wolverines and Michigan really dictated the play .
Player of the Week: Doyle Somerby
2 goals, game winning goal on Friday night.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
In fact, Michigan really had their way with BU for the whole series other than the last 10 minutes of Friday's game. The penalty kill was a real issue in the two Michigan games. UM scored three of their six goals on the power play. Connor LaCouvee did stop a penalty shot late in the third on a rather weak attempt by Tyler Motte, Friday night.

The penalty kill hasn't been great all year. They are currently killing at just 81%, good for 33rd best in the country. For comparative's sake, Princeton has the nation's best PK at 95%.

In the Bentley game, the penalty kill was perfect. They were only tested once, but it was an extended 5 on 3. BU limited the Falcons to mostly parameter shots and not a lot of second chance opportunities. I'm not going to put a lot of stock in the Bentley game, because BU was clearly a better team. It was nice to see them come out an dominate the game, though. We have all seen the other side of games like this, i.e the Dartmouth game last year and the loss to Holy Cross and Bentley a few years back.  

Coach Quinn added that the Bentley game "was a really good win for us and we played with passion and pace. I'm really proud of our guys for bouncing back."

Somerby Coming into his own
Doyle Somerby continued to be a force this weekend. He scored twice, including the eventual game winner on Friday night, but was also strong defensively. "Doyle's had a great year so far. He continues to improve, he's been a big part of our success," added Quinn.

Both of his goals on the weekend came from point shots that found their way through traffic out in front. Friday night's goal deflected off a Michigan stick in the slot and last night vs Bentley, Jordan Greenway supplied a blinding screen. That traffic out front has not been over looked by Somerby and said last night that "it's a testament to how we are playing as a team, props to the guys out front."

At The Polls
Providence was once again the nation's number one team, getting 36 of a possible 50 first place votes. Boston College was second. Quinnipiac, who is still undefeated at 11-0-2 was once again third. Lowell hopped over North Dakota for fourth and the newly named Fighting Hawks of North Dakota took fifth. BU slipped down a slot from 10 to 11.

Around Hockey East
Friday: Providence cruised past Northeastern 5-2 at home... UMass and New Hampshire skated to a 2-2 draw at the Whitt... Lowell and Notre Dame also tied 2-2 at Tsongas Center... Maine picked up their first win of the season, 3-2 at home vs Vermont... BU came back from 0-2 down to drop Michigan 3-2 at home.

Saturday: Maine finished off the sweep of UVM with a 4-1 win... Lowell took down Notre Dame 3-1... BC doubled up UNH 6-3 in Durham... Merrimack and UMass tied 1-1 at Lawler... Providence shutout NU at Matthews 3-0... Michigan avoided the sweep at BU with a 4-2 win.

Tuesday: BC torched UConn 5-1 in Hartford... UNH lost at RPI 4-3... BU blanked Bentley at Agganis 3-0.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BU, Maguire Shutdown and Shutout Bentley

Tonight was not even a contest. BU dominated Bentley from start to finish in all aspects of the game. They outshot the Falcons 47-15 and Danny O'Regan put them in the lead just 3:01 into the game. Ahti Oksanen sprung O'Regan in alone on a high lofted flip pass from deep in his own end. The puck landed at Danny's feet near the blue line. He then skated in wide before cutting to the middle and shelfing a backhanded shot from in tight over a sprawled out Gabe Antoni, who made 44 saves.
Tommy Kelley goes hard to a rebound off a Mike Moran (not
pictured) shot in the first period. It was one of many strong shifts 
for the fourth line, tonight.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Bentley struggled making breakout passes and that led to several BU chances. Both teams were relatively sloppy, though. At times it looked like the two teams were playing with a hot potato out there. No one could possess the puck and passes on both sides were not sharp.

The sloppiness led to a one-on-three shot for Robbie Baillargeon that slipped through Antoni and dribbled off the far post in the closing seconds of the period. BU dominated the period shots-wise, posting 15 to Bentley's 3.

Bentley got the first real chance of the second frame on a two-on-one bid by Andrew McDonald. He redirected a centering pass from Max French just wide of Sean Maguire and then barreled into Sean Maguire after the play. There was no call (and there should't have been one), but he did take off Maguire's mask.

The Terriers' fourth line created some serious havoc in the second period. Although neither Tommy Kelley, Mike Moran nor Chase Phelps scored, their play did lead directly to a goal. Moran tipped a Brandon Hickey shot right on goal and continued to drive the net. In the process, he drew a crosschecking call. BU scored on the ensuing man advantage.

Ryan Cloonan worked the puck up to Brandon Hickey at the far point and from there, Hickey dished over to Doyle Somerby on the near point. Somerby let go a wrister that found its way though a crowd in front of Antoni. He never saw the shot. It beat him blocker side and the goal was Somerby's third of the season.

Coach Quinn added this about the fourth line: "they all played well, all three guys were impact full. Moran seemed to have a nose for the net." Moran did have a team high six shots on goal.

Bentley again only managed three shots in the period. They had no extended zone time whatsoever in the first two periods. All of their chances were one and done.

BU wasted no time in the third in distancing themselves from the Falcons. Danny O'Regan slid a nifty pass through a defender's legs just inside the Bentley blue line over to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson in the far side circle. JFK torched Antoni high glove for his fourth of the year.

The Falcons had an extended 5 on 3 chance midway though the third, but sent all their setup shots off the glass. Maguire did make a ridiculous sprawling save prior to the power play on a backdoor chance to deny Alexey Solovyev.

Sean Maguire stopped all 15 shots he faced and picked up the first shutout for a BU goalie on the year.

BU will head to New York City for the fifth installment of Red Hot Hockey on Saturday night vs Cornell.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Bentley Preview

Tonight, BU faces Bentley in their last home game of the month, a month that has only seen the Terriers lose once.

Bentley is 5-4-1 on the year and actually did sweep Northeastern in the second weekend of the season in a home an home series. Just this past weekend, the Falcons fell to RPI at home 3-2. Bentley is 3-2-1 in Atlantic Hockey action with wins over Army and a sweep at RIT.

Scouting The Falcons
Bentley is lead by Max French, who has 7 goals and 4 assists in just six games played. Kyle Schmidt also has 11 points on the year, but he has played in all ten of Bentley's games.

In goal, Jason Argue has seen action in seven games thus far. He is 3-2-1 with a 2.38 goals against and a .941 save percentage.

Common Opponents:
Northeastern:
BU 5, NU 4 (November 6)
BU 4, @ NU 1 (November 7)
Bentley 3, @ NU 2 (October 16)
Bentley 4, NU 1 (October 17)

Merrimack:
BU 3, @ MC 4 (October 30)
Bentley 1, @ MC 5 (November 4)

BU Notes
Would not be surprised to see Sean Maguire in goal tonight. Connor LaCouvee has played the last eight games and is coming off back to back starts from last weekend. Nothing is official yet, though.

I will be in the press box tonight with full updates.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Michigan Rolls In Game Two

Tonight, BU played one of, if not their worst game of the year. They managed just 11 shots in the first two periods and were thoroughly out played pretty much the entire game except for a small stint in the second period following Matt Lane's goal.
Connor LaCouvee sticks aside a shot in the second period. One
of 43 saves he made on the afternoon.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Michigan's defense was relentless and they played very well with the lead, a lead that got early in the first period, once again.

Cooper Marody scored his second power play goal of the weekend just 3:50 into the game. Not five minutes later, it was 2-0 Wolverines. Brendan Warren picked up his third goal of the year from Tony Calderone and Nolan De Jong at 8:08 of the first.

UM notched yet another power play goal at the 17:07 mark. Alex Kile slammed home a rebound off a Tyler Motte shot from in tight. It was his second goal of the weekend and fourth on the year.

BU got back in the game late in the second period on a Matt Lane goal, as mentioned before. Connor LaCouvee kicked out a Michigan shot and Ahit Oksanen picked up the rebound and found Lane on the far side for a breakout pass. Lane took the puck all the way into the UM end and stuffed home his 4th of the year to cut the Wolverine lead to 3-1.

Matt Lane's goal came with less than three minutes to play in
the second period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU played slightly better in the third, managing 10 shots, but a defensive breakdown lead to an odd man rush where Michigan put the game away. Max Shuart beat LaCouvee blocker side for his first of the year with just 3:38 left to make it 4-1.

Ahti Oksanen scored with 4 seconds left to round out the scoring.

LaCouvee made 34 saves in the losing effort and really none of the goals where his fault. He made a number of saves on point-blank shots and one timers.

It was BU's first loss at home all season. It is a quick turnaround for the Terriers as the host Bentley on Tuesday. Game time: 7:00pm

More to come Monday.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Three Goal Third Period Outburst Puts BU Past Michigan

For about fifty minutes last night,  Michigan controlled most of the play and limited BU's scoring chances to a minimum. The Wolverines lead 2-0 on two first period goals and carried that lead deep into the third period. Then in a blink of an eye the game was tied.

BU cut the lead in half on a power play goal from Danny O'Regan at the 10:44 marker of the third period. The play started back in the BU zone, where Brandon Fortunato went back to restart the Terrier attack after Michigan cleared right off the faceoff to start the power play. Fortunato took a few strides in his own end, before hitting Matt Grzelcyk inside the redline with a long pass. Grzelcyk wasted no time and made a heads-up one touch pass to O'Regan, who entered the zone with speed. After getting over the blue line, O'Regan used a Michigan defender a screen and riffled off a beautiful rising shot that nicked the bottom of the crossbar, before exploding the net. Michigan goalie Steve Racine had no idea where the puck was until it was already behind him.

Just twelve seconds later, the game was tied. Bobo Carpenter broke up a Michigan regroup at about the top of the circle in the Wolverine end. The puck pinballed around and found the stick of AJ Greer in the slot, where he ripped a shot that got redirected wide off a Michigan defender. From behind the net, Robbie Baillargeon picked up the miss-fire and wrapped it on goal. The shot got through and crammed off a Michigan skate at the top of the crease and bounced into the goal.

Not even a minute after Baillargeon tied the game, Michigan had a golden chance to regain the lead. Tyler Motte was in on a breakaway and Doyle Somerby did, what looked like very good a legal play to break up the chance, but that's not what the official saw. With one hand on his stick, he dislodged the puck from Motte, but he was not only called for a penalty, but it was a penally-shot for slashing. On the shot, Motte tried to beat Connor LaCouvee five hole, but was having none of that.

BU continued to dominated the third period, a period in which they outshot Michigan 14-4 and eventually scored the go-ahead-goal with less than three minutes to play.

Somerby got his revenge for the soft penalty-shot call. From the top of the near circle, he wristed home his second goal and his second game winner of the year, a unassisted strike. He got the puck at the middle point off a failed Michigan clear and then moved to his left, before letting go a shot that hit a Michigan stick on it's way toward goal. Racine, again, never saw the shot and did not even move until Somerby was back in the neutral zone on one knee celebrating.

Michigan got on the board early in this one. A spin around shot by Tyler Motte got LaCouvee to the leave the post for just a second. The puck was sitting by his right leg, but somehow there was enough room for Alex Kile to bang home his third of the year and give Michigan a 1-0 lead just 6:06 into the game.

Four and a half minutes later, UM doubled their lead on the power play. Cooper Marody roofed a shot from in tight and it looked like Michigan was going to run away with this one. They nearly extended their lead several times, but no chance was more prevalent than a power play bomb from up top that cleanly beat LaCouvee and rang off the post, but deflected into the corner.

BU had their chances before the third period eruption, too. They had almost half a minute of 5 on 3 in the second frame that saw two Ahti Oksanen one-timers miss the net. In the first period, Matt Lane slipped a shot through Racine, but it squibbed through the crease and out the other side. Lane also rang the crossbar in the closing minutes of the first.

Michigan had their chance late to tie it on the power play and with the goalie pulled, but BU's PK was stingy and LaCouvee slammed the door when called upon. For the third straight game, BU was trailing entering the third and came back to at least tie. It looks like they have once again established themselves as a dominate third period team, something that they were well known for a year ago.

The two teams will again do battle today at 4:00.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend With The Wolverines

This weekend, BU hosts the 12th ranked Michigan Wolverines at Agganis for the second straight year. Michigan is 5-1-1 on the year, but has played a rather weak schedule to date. BU is the first top 10 team they will have faced and other than this weekend, they have only played one other ranked team. That was #18 Union in Schenectady and it resulted in a 5-5 tie.
From the Vault
Danny O'Regan fires off a shot on a breakaway in an October
2013 contest at Michigan. The shot hit the post and did not go in
and Michigan won the game 2-1 on a late penally-shot goal from
Alex Guptill.
Photo by Matt Dresens
Rankings usually mean jack, but they do indicate who is a decent opponent. Going off the current rankings, following this weekend, Michigan will play none, zero, not one more ranked team all season. That is a testament to just how weak the Big 10 really is.

Anyway, UM swept Merceyhurst (6-4, 3-2) at home on opening weekend and then tripped to New York to play Union and RPI. As mentioned before, they tied Union 5-5 and beat the Engineers 5-2. Michigan then split a home series with Robert Morris (5-3, 0-4), before dumping Niagara 7-3, also at home. Yes, that's five games against Atlantic Hockey teams for anyone who is keeping track.

Scouting the Wolverines
Michigan is lead in scoring by a trio of freshman. Kyle Connor has five goals and four assists for nine points, while Cooper Marody has four goals and five assists. One point behind those two is Brendan Warren, who has posted two goals and six assists for eight points.

Other players to watch include one of the top defenseman in the country in Zach Werenski, along with Tyler Motte and JT Compher.

In goal, Michigan has seen three different netminders take the crease this fall. Senior Steve Racine is 2-0-1 in four appearances with a 3.37 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Junior Zach Nagelvoort is 3-1-0 in his four appearances and has posted a 3.00 goals against and a .878 save percentage. Chad Catt, a freshman, has allowed one goal on two shots faced.

Common Opponents 
Union.
Union 5, BU 3 (October 10th)
Michigan 5, Union 5 (October 23rd)

The Last Time They Met...
was October 25th, 2014. BU won the game late on a Matt Lane tip in goal, 3-2. Going back to 2002, the two teams have played eight times and the head to had record is dead even at 4-4-0.

BU Notes
- Connor LaCouvee is back in goal for his fifth straight start, tonight.

- According to WTBU, Nick Olsson is out with the ever specific "upper body injury". Defenseman Brian Diffley will slide up to forward and take Olsson's place on the fourth line.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This Week In '06: Tie Game

The Terriers played just one game this week as the travelled to Providence to face the Friars. A year before, BU had to battle back from being down 1-0 in the Hockey East Quarterfinals to win the series two games to one.

Friday November 18, 2005... @ Providence 
Providence took a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game on a Torry Gajda goal from Bryan Horan. The Friars extended their lead less than three minutes into the second period as Kyle Laughlin scored.

BU etched the lead back to one,  just a few minutes later. Boomer Ewing found the back of the net from Peter MacArthur and Chris Higgins and the Terriers tied things up midway through the third on a Dan Spang goal. MacArthur again had an assist and so did Kevin Schaeffer.

The game would go to overtime with that 2-2 score and no one would find the back of the nat again. It was the first tie of the year.

John Curry made 26 saves in the non-decision.

“It was a real solid game by us, I was really pleased with how hard we played and how thorough we were in our own zone,” said Terriers coach Jack Parker. “The only that really bothered me is how we reverted back a little bit on our power play but that was a slight negative in a 60-minute game that we played extremely well in all three zones and all three periods.

“The most important thing we needed to get out of this game was to get our defense back in order again, and we played very well defensively,” continued Parker. “The six defensemen and the four centers played real well in our own zone they limited the shots and played hard.” - From USCHO

Current Record: 3-4-1
Current Ranking: 20th, down two slots from 18th.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend Lookback: I missed It

Player of the Week
Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson
2 goals, 2 Assists, 4 points... had a
hand in all four BU goals this weekend
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
This weekend I saw none of the two games other than the first period on friday night. I was in New Hampshire for two of my own hockey games so I really don't have much to say on this past weekend's games and I'll leave it at that. I will, however, be at both Michigan games next weekend.

Honored
Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week.

Connor LaCouvee was named co-defenseive player of the week along with Lowell goalie Kevin Boyle. LaCouvee had a 1.87 goals against average and a .941 save percentage on the weekend.

At the Polls 
BU slid up one slot from 11 to 10. Providence was once again the top team in the Nation, getting 17 first place votes. BC was again 2nd. 10-0-0 Quinnipiac jumped up one spot to 3rd and North Dakota and Lowell rounded out the top five.

Around Hockey East
Tuesday: Army shutout UConn 2-0 in Hartford.

Thursday: Notre Dame one upped Northeastern 3-2 at home.

Friday: Merrimack doubled up UMass at the Mullins Center 4-2... Vermont edged UConn 2-1 at home... Lowell skated past Maine 2-1 at Tsongas... Northeastern and Notre Dame played to a 2-2 draw in South Bend... BC staved off a late Michigan State charge to win 6-4 at Conte. BU and Providence tied 1-1 in Providence.

Saturday: New Hampshire and Merrimack were tangled in knots, 3-3 at Lawler... BU battled back to tie Providence again, this time at home, 3-3.

Sunday: Lowell shelled Maine 6-0 at the Alfond. Vermont and UMass also tied 3-3.



Friday, November 13, 2015

Rematch

Yeah... We all know what happened last time.

From the Vault
Alex Chaisson and Matt Nieto celebrate a BU goal in a 2-1
win against Providence in October of 2010.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
Providence comes into tonight's game as the number one ranked team in the county and are off to a fast start. The Friars are undefeated on the year coming in with a 6-0-1 record. They took three points from Miami in Oxford on opening weekend and have since beat Holy Cross, Ohio State(2x) and Colgate(2x).

Providence has the number one scoring offense in the conference with 32 goals in 7 games (4.57per game). That's more than half a goal better than second place Boston College.

Scouting the Friars
Sophomore defenseman Jake Walman leads the team in goals scored with 7, which is good for third best in the nation. He also has added 5 assists for 12 points in 7 games played. Seniors Mark Jankowski and Trevor Mingoia both have 10 points.

Other players to keep an eye on include Nick Saracino, Anthony Florentino and Tom Parisi.

In goal, Nick Ellis has done a pretty darn good job of replacing John Gillies, so far. In 6 appearances, he is 5-0-1 with a .920 save percentage and 2.18 goals against average.

BU Notes
- Connor LaCouvee will once again be in goal on Friday as expected.

The Last Time They Met...
We are not getting into this...

Unfortunately I will not be at either game this weekend because I have two of my own games this weekend in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This Week In '06: PK Kills Terriers

BU's topsy-turvy start continued this week. A week ago they came away with four points in two games. This week was the exact opposite. Friday saw the team fall in close game 3-2 at home against UNH and then get doubled up 4-2 at UMass the next night.  

Friday, November 11, 2005... BU vs UNH 

Jakob Micflikier got the Wildcats on the board in the first with a power play goal and Brett Hemingway tacked on another man advantage goal midway through the second frame. BU would battle back, though with two third period goals to tie the game.

Brad Zancanaro scored just 20 seconds into the stanza and Bryan Ewing knotted the game with less than 10 minutes to play, but, UNH again found pay dirt on the power play with a little over five minutes to play. The Wildcats went 3-7 on the power play.

John Curry again played well, making 34 saves.

“We were back on our heels and played a horrible first period-got outshot badly-but got out-chanced badly as well,” Terrier Coach Jack Parker said. “As the game progressed, we played better, but they get three power-play goals, and we go oh-for-three, so that’s obviously the difference in the game.

“You’re not going to beat UNH with two goals, and I think we had five two-on-ones: four of them we shot wide, and one we shot right into his chest. We had some good looks on the power play but didn’t bury them when we were down in the four-foot area. And Pietrasiak played very, very well. Curry played great too. It was a really well-played game by both teams.” - From USCHO

Saturday, November 12, 2005... BU @ UMass

BU once again fell behind 2-0 and had to fight back in the game. Chris Capraro notched yet another power play goal against the Terriers just five minutes into the game. To make the special teams play look even worse, Stephen Werner scored an unassisted shorthanded goal just eight minutes later. 

Brian McGuirk got the train back on the tracks midway through the second with a BU power play goal. Kenny Roche and Dan Spang picked up the assists. Just as BU was getting back in the game, they allowed they only 5x5 goal against of the weekend, when Scott Crowder scored the eventual game winner at the 15:37 mark of the second period.

John Laliberte scored BU's second power play goal and the UMass lead was 3-2 with more than half a period play. UMass goalie John Quick would not yield another goal, though. Werner added an empty net goal in the closing minute to seal the deal.

"For starters, it was a real good performance by UMass Amherst and it was a real good performance by John Curry, said BU Head Coach Jack Parker. And then the rest of the players that were out there on my club gave us absolutely nothing. Maybe a couple of guys played pretty hard but in general as a team there was no sense of urgency, there was no effort." - From Go Terriers

Current Record: 3-4-0
Current Ranking: 18th, down 4 slots from 14 last week. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Lookback: The First Sweep

Player of the Week
Matt Grzelcyk
2 goals, 1 assist. Also was
named Hockey East
Defenseman of the Week.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
This weekend was a strong case of one game leading to another. After Northeastern scored three goals in a 1:15 (with a Ryan Cloonan goal mixed in there) span on Friday night, coach David Quinn took a critical timeout to gather his team and reset them. Boy did it ever work.

The Terriers would not allow another goal until the last minute of the third period... of Saturday's game. BU scored twice in the third period Friday night to overcome a 4-3 deficit and win 5-4. Saturday was probably their best all around game of the year. They dominated the Huskies from start to finish, other than a garbage time goal that happened after Ahti Oksanen had already sealed the game with an empty netter.

So, after the timeout at 15:05 of the second period Friday night, BU out scored NU 6-1. Because of how the game went Friday, BU had all the momentum going into Saturday. They didn't disappoint, as they took it to the Huskies, outshooting them 18-2 in the first period.

Welcome Back Captain
To say the return of Captain Matt Grzelcyk was impactful is a complete understatement. Grzelcyk instantly made this team much stronger not only with his play, but with his leadership. Yes, the team had Eichel last year, but they also had great leadership, something that was lacking a bit to start the year.

Oh yeah, he also scored twice and added an assist on the game winner by Oksanen on Friday night. Not a bad first weekend back.

Goalie Situation Solved?
Connor LaCouvee has seen action in the last four games and has a 3-0-0 record with a .927 save percentage. I don't think we have seen the last of Sean Maguire, but I think he could be on a short leash. It will be interesting to see if they split this weekend with #1 Providence on the schedule. My guess is that will be determined based on how Friday night's game goes. If LaCouvee gets hosed, or lets in some soft goals, Maguire could very well start game two.

At the Polls
BU was once again number 11 in this weeks USCHO poll. North Dakota lost to Wisconsin, unseating them from the #1 slot. Providence slid up from 2nd to take the number one spot. Boston College was two, North Dakota fell to 3rd. Quinnipiac moved up one slot to 4th and Lowell was 5th.
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There are four undefeated teams left in college hockey: Providence (6-0-1), Quinnipiac (8-0-0), Harvard (3-0-1), and Yale (3-0-1).

Around Hockey East
Tuesday: BC destroyed UMass 7-0 at home.

Wednesday: Merrimack rolled past Bentley 5-1 at the John Ryan Rink in Watertown.

Friday:
BC blanked Maine 3-0 at Conte... UMass doubled up UConn 4-2 in Hartford... Lowell dropped Vermont 5-3 in Burlington... New Hampshire was shutout by Michigan State in Lancing... Notre Dame snuck past Minnesota 4-3 in South Bend. BU came back to beat Northeastern at home 5-4.

Saturday: UMass completed the sweep of UConn with a 4-3 win at the Mullins Center... Lowell shutout Vermont to finish off the road sweep... Merrimack topped Canisius 3-2 in Buffalo... Minnesota avoided the sweep with a 4-1 win at Notre Dame... Michigan State beat New Hampshire again at home.

Sunday: BC again shutout Maine at home.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

BU Pulls Out A Crazy Game

Tonight was one of the strangest most entertaining and nerve-racking games that I have seen in a while.  The teams combined to score nine goals, four of which came just a minute and fifteen seconds apart from each other in the second period. 

NU almost scored in the opening minutes of the game on a jam shot in tight on Connor LaCouvee (26 saves). The puck popped up behind him, off the cross bar and out. 

Matt Grzelcyk made his presence known right away, when he scored the game's opening goal ten minutes into the game. Ryan Cloonan worked the puck up the Charlie McAvoy at the blue line before he slid it over to Grzelcyk at the near side point. From the top of the circle, Grzelcyk ripped off a wrister through a crowd, off the post and in behind NU goalie Ryan Ruck (24 saves) for his first goal of the year on his first shot of the year. 

BU expanded the lead just over five minutes into the second period. Ahti Oksanen got a shot off from a Danny O'Regan pass in the slot and drove the net hard. He created a rebound that Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson picked up and then dished to Brandon Fortunato, who was wide open back door. The pass left the goal wide open and Ruck could not recover to make the sprawling save as Fortunato roofed a shot from the bottom of the circle. 

The Huskies got back in the game less than two minutes later on Adam Gaudette's second goal of the year.  Matt Benning threw a knuckleball shot toward the goal from the far point and on it's way to the net, Gaudette tipped it down through LaCouvee's legs and in. It was reviewed for a while to see if it was played down with a high stick, but in the end, the goals stood.  

Then, things got weird. 

Garret Cockerill picked up a power play goal at 13:50 of the second to tie things up 2-2.

34 seconds later, BU was back on top. Ryan Cloonan scooped up a tough turnover by Trevor Owens at the BU blue line and skated in alone from there on Ruck. Cloonan made shifty forehand-backhand move and tucked the puck behind Ruck's outstretched right leg for his fourth goal of the year.

12 seconds after the Cloonan goal, Dylan Sikura batted home a rebound for NU. I saw none of the play. I was still typing the Cloonan goal into twitter. 

29 seconds after the Sikura goal, NU struck again when Eric Williams blasted a slapper up over LaCouvee's left shoulder and in. This one I actually did see.   

After all of that, BU took a time out and everyone had a moment to realize what the hell just happened. I honestly don't remember seeing anything like that before. Not four goals that quick. 

Three goals? Yes.

Not four, though.

The madness settled down, but the game was far from over. BU killed off a lengthy 5 on 3 early in the third and then retied the game shortly after that on a pretty passing play. Danny O'Regan had the puck poked away from him in the low circle, but it went right to Oksanen, who found Brandon Hickey all alone and looking at a wide open net right in front. Hickey didn't miss. 

Oksanen helped set up his own goal just a few minutes later. From the far wall, he sauced a backhand pass across to Matt Grzelcyk at the near point. After making the pass, Ahti broke free and drove to the net. Grzelcyk found him in the low circle, pretty much uncovered, and fed him with with a nice pass through a tight window. Oksanen caught the pass and shot all in one monition leaving Ruck with no chance. It would turn out to be his second game winner in as many games. 

The game saw no more goals, but was still back and forth the remainder of the way. NU pulled the goalie with 2:10 left and with 1:28 on the clock, JFK was sent to the box for delay of game. He covered the puck up along the far wall in a scrum with his hand. It was the right call.

NU threw everything on goal, but somehow did not score on the 6 on 4. One chance got in behind LaCouvee and was practically sitting on the goal line, but never crossed.

BU escaped with the 5-4 win and the two teams get to do it all over again tomorrow night at Matthews.