Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pio's Provide Tough Test

Tonight, BU welcomes 5th ranked Denver to Agganis. DU is undoubtably the best team BU has faced to date and they will provide a huge test for a struggling Terrier team. A win tonight could really spring-board the team. In addition, this is a an important game for both schools when it comes to PairWise. It's a bit early to start looking at that stuff, but DU will be in it all year. Two points against them would be nice.
From The Vault
Ross Guadet and Adam Clendening fight for position in front
of the Denver net the last time DU came to Agganis. BU won
that 4-3 game behind two shorthanded goals on the same DU
power play. (10/15/11)
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Last night, Denver and BC played a wild back and forth game that saw the Eagles pull out the win, 4-3, with just 36 seconds left. So far on the year, Denver is 3-2-0, but last night was the first time they played a ranked opponent. On opening weekend, the Pioneers split with Air Force in a home and home  and the following weekend swept Michigan State at home.

Scouting The Pioneers
Currently, Danton Heinen, Trevor Moore and Dylan Gambrell all have five points on the year. Moore and Gambrell both have five assists, which leads the team and Heinen has 3 goals and 2 assists. Matt Marcinew also is tied with Heinen with 3 goals. Quentin Shore is another player to watch, but he been held in check so far this year.

In goal, Evan Cowley has seen the majority of the time. He holds a 2-1-0 record, .920 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average. Tanner Jaillet has also seen time. He has one win in two appearances with a 2.47  GAA and a .886 sv%.

The Last Time They Met...
was December 29, 2012 in Denver. The Pioneers took BU to the woodshed that night, winning 6-0.

Shaky Goaltending Plagues Terriers as Merrimack Wins 4-3

Twice BU fell behind by two goals, tonight. They dug themselves out of the hole once, but the second time was too much.

Merrimack scored on the game's first shot, just 48 seconds into period one. Brett Seney had the puck on the far side and looked to be defended well, but got off a shot that rang the post to Sean Maguire's left and banked in. It was a goal Maguire should have had. It was not a hard shot. Seney must have just caught him off angle a bit.

Merrimack added to the lead later in the frame on another weak goal. From where I was it was tough to see what really happened, but it looked as if Ben Bahe's shot from the side of the net just snuck though Maguire on the short side. Brain Christie and Marc Biega picked up assists on the play.

The score remained 2-0 until about five minutes into the second period, when John McCloud got BU on the board with his first goal of the year. It was a perfectly placed point shot that got though all the traffic in front and beat MC goalie Collin Delia (34 saves) upstairs.

Just a few minutes later, Matt Lane tied the game on one of the prettiest goals so far this year. Jordan Greenway made a hell of a pass to Lane on the near side in the slot. From there, Lane drove the net hard and shelfed a backhander from in tight. Greenway's assists was his first collegiate point. It was easily his best game of the year. He looked more involved and had a spark to his game that had been lacking. He needs to get going because he can be a huge piece to the offense if he does.

BU was dominating the frame until a four on four situation with about five minutes to play in the period. That's Merrimack exploded for two quick goals to put BU back on their heals. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson attempted a drop pass when entering the Merrimack zone and it completely backfired. It turned into a quick two on two rush the other way for Merrimack and from the top of the far circle, Bahe fed a pass to Hampus Gustafsson. Gustafsson wasted no time as he one touched the pass behind Maguire and into the goal.

Less than a minute later, Ethan Spaxman extended the MC lead back to two. It was another breakdown that allowed him to walk in from basically the point and rip off a shot in the mid slot. He beat Maguire blocker side for his first collegiate goal.

Maguire was taken out after the goal and Connor LaCouvee came in relief. Maguire made 10 saves on 14 shots. LaCouvee pitched a shutout out of the bullpen, stopping all 8 shots he faced.

A second comeback looked quite possible when Brandon Hickey scored early in the third. After a mad scramble in front of Delia that saw Ahti Oksanen get denied on rebound chance, the puck moved up to the near point where Hickey was stationed. He quickly gathered it and threw a rising shot on goal that whistled over Delia's right shoulder and clanged off the inside crossbar. It was Hickey's first of the year.

BU certainly had their chances later in the game, but could not cash in again. They outshot Merrimack 37-26.

Tonight's loss combined with Tuesday's marks the first time since February 2014 that BU lost back to back games.

Tomorrow night will be a very tough test against Denver at home at 4.

Friday, October 30, 2015

BU at Merrimack Preview

Tonight, BU looks to get back on track in Hockey East when they trip to North Andover and take on the 17th ranked Merrimack College Warriors.
From The Vault
Ben Rosen cuts behind the net vs MC in the 2013 Hockey East
Quarterfinals. BU won the game 5-3 and the series in a two game
sweep. It was also Jack Parker's last home game as coach
of the Terriers.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 

Merrimack is undefeated on the year coming in with a 2-0-2 record. They smoked Clarkson on opening night 7-1 and followed that up with a 3-1 win against St. Lawrence the next night. Last weekend, they played Lowell twice and tied both games 1-1. 

Scouting The Warriors
Brian Christie leads the team in points with 6 after racking up 2 goals and 4 assists in four games played. Ben Bahe is the team leader in in goals scored with three. He has also has added an assist to get to four points on the year. Justin Hussar and Aaron Titcomb also has 4 points on the year.

In goal, Collin Delia has been solid to stay the least. In four games, he has a 0.973 goals against average and a .953 save percentage.

BU Notes
- Sean Maguire will get the nod in net tonight for his third start of the season. The first line will have a different look to it as Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will center Danny O'Regan and Ahti Oksanen. Matt Lane will move down to the second line with Jordan Greenway and Ryan Cloonan. This is all coming from a Boston Hockey Blog tweet from yesterday.

It is interesting to see Quinn move down Lane. I thought he has been the team's best forward so far this year.

- Still no word on Nick Roberto.

The Last Time They Met...
was in the Hockey East Quarterfinals in March. BU dismantled the Warriors with a 6-2 win in Game One and followed that up with a 5-0 blanking the next night. BU has not lost to Merrimack since December of 2013. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

This Week In '06

This year marks the 10th anniversary of BU's first complete season at Agganis Arena. It was a year that had some absolutely thrilling highs from winning the Beanpot, Hockey East Regular Season and Tournament titles to heartbreaking lows such as losing in the NCAA regional final to Boston College.

I have been going to games basically since I was born and the first game I can really remember was in 2002. By 2006, I knew the team pretty well. I actually understood the game and it's the really the season that I fell in love with the team. 

I thought it would be cool this year look back to that year and go week by week. So, here's this week in the 05-06 season:

October 21 - October 29, 2005

The 21st was a Friday and the Terriers hosted RPI at Agganis for the first time. BU had a 2-0 lead midway though the second frame on goals from John Laliberte and Brandon Yip. The lead didn't hold up though, as RPI scored three unanswered goals, including two in the third. John Curry did not have his best game in net as he made just 10 saves on 13 shots. 

A week later, BU headed up to Lowell for their first road-trip of he season. Lowell at one point had a 6-1 lead on the Terriers in the third period, before BU stormed back. Sean Sullivan, Brandon Yip and John Laliberte all scored to make it 6-4 with around 8 minutes left. The comeback was a little to late, though. Lowell added an empty net goal in the final seconds to close out the scoring for a 7-4 win. Curry again was fighting the puck and was pulled halfway through the game for Stephan Siwic, who was actually credited with the loss.

A night later, the USA U18's were in town and they gave BU all they could handle. A kid named Patrick Kane - you might have heard of him before - picked up two early assists and the U18s were up 2-0 well into the second period. Yip finally got the Terriers on the board with a power play goal. Chris Higgins tied the game with less than two minutes to play, before Kevin Schaeffer potted the game winner in overtime on the power play. BU threw 46 shots on the USA goal that night.

Current Record: 1-2-0, ranked 19th in the nation, down from 16th a week ago.

At this point in the year, it didn't look very good. Curry was shaky at best and the team just wasn't scoring. David Van der Gulik was still out with an injury and the team had not gelled yet. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Snakebitten Terriers Stymied By UConn

BU threw everything including the kitchen sink, dishwasher and probably even the microwave at the UConn goal tonight.... They managed to score just twice and one came in garbage time. Husky goalie Rob Nichols turned aside 36 shots including 14 in the third period.

There were chances... Oh, were there chances. The Terriers had several power plays in the third period that looked promising, but nothing could find the back of the net. Matt Lane found Ahti Oksanen on great feed from behind the net. Ahti was all alone in front and slammed a shot right into Nichols with no rebound. That was one example of many that didn't end up in the UConn net.

Rebounds were there, though. Oksanen had another chance in the third that pinball around the crease, but was somehow cleared after three Terriers failed to throw it in the net. There was another chance that went through the crease all together on a delayed penally and Danny O'Regan opened the second frame by ringing the crossbar.

It was one of those games that nothing was going to go right.

BU controlled the play early and the theme of not finishing started in the first five minutes. Frustration set in right away, as well. UConn took advantage of their first power play opportunity of the night right after BU had extended zone time. Tage Thompson knocked in a rebound off a point shot from Spencer Nass.

In the closing minute of the period, BU capitalized on a power play of their own. Jakob Forsbaka Karlsson fed Charlie McAvoy in the far circle. From there, McAvoy made a brilliant pass through traffic to find Danny O'Regan backdoor, who blasted home his first of the year with just 33 seconds left in the period.  

BU's defense broke down in the second period. There were long stretches of time that they could just not get the puck out their own end. It lead directly to both UConn goals in the second period.

After getting hemmed in, Chase Phelps took an interference call in the offensive zone. Evan Richardson was set up by both Shawn Pauly and Patrick Kirtland for a shot at the far dot. He snuck it over Conor LaCouvee's shoulder off the bar and in. It was a well placed shot.

The real breakdown came a bit later.

Joey Ferriss was left all alone and when I saw all alone, I mean literally no one noticed he was on the ice. Max Kalter had the puck, broke away from a Terrier and him Ferriss walked in untouched two on none from basically the dot on in. One quick pass from Kalter to Ferriss was all it took. LaCouvee was completely hung out to dry and couldn't make the diving save.

Right after BU failed to capitalize on a late third period power play, Thompson put the game completely away for the Huskies with not one, but two power play goals.

With less than a minute left, Chase Phelps finally put home a BU goal.

LaCouvee finished with 19 saves in his second game of the year. The game was in no way his fault at all. He made some key saves in the second period when his defense was doing nothing to help him out.

Overall it was extremely frustrating, but they did not deserve to win. Not even close. They played poor in the D zone five on five and the penally kill was was equally as brutal. UConn went 4-7 on the man advantage tonight. Discipline was also another obvious issue, but you can't expect to win and allow four power play goals.

The offense needs to start to click. Not counting Phelps' garbage time goal, BU scored one (1) five on five goal in two games vs UConn. That's just not good enough.

Next weekend the team takes on Merrimack Friday night at Lawler, before hosting Denver at home Saturday afternoon.

Monday, October 26, 2015

BU-Uconn, A Closer Look

BU and UConn go back at it on Tuesday
night in Hartford.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Saturday afternoon's game against UConn was a bit of a strange one. The teams never really got into gear and the first period and the game lacked flow. Ryan Cloonan's goal was the lone tally of the period and really was the only talking point of the first frame outside of a strong BU power play that just missed. 

The second period saw UConn's Max Letunov tie the game on sweet backhand shelf shot from in tight on Sean Maguire. The Huskies also had a few odd man breaks that never really materialized. BU defenders did a solid job of forcing the shots from the outside and Maguire controlled the rebounds to negate second chance opportunities. 

BU's power play took over in the third. Jakob Forsbaka Karlsson scored on a shot from the high slot that beat Rob Nichols glove side. It looks like JFK is playing a similar role to what Jack Eichel did on the power play a year ago. He is up top, but not at the point. In a way though, he acts like a third point man at certain times. He is the most crafty hands wise on that unit with Danny O'Regan down low and Ahti Oksanen on the far side. O'Regan and Karlsson act more as setup-men and on this goal, O'Regan dished to him from down low allowing JFK to receive the pass on his forehand and step into the shot all in one motion.  

Brandon Fortunato tallied the third Terrier goal, again on the power play. This was more of a scramble play that brought him all the way down from the point to the goal mouth. After a few jabs, Fortunato was able to lift it over Nichols' leg for his second goal in as many games. 

At this point, the game was basically over. Max Letunov added an extra attacker goal and for about fifteen seconds everyone was on edge in the stands. Brandon Hickey ended that real quick with about a 175ft empty night goal that he banked off the glass in the D zone and rolled in all the way down the ice.

It is really is too bad Max Letunov didn't clear admissions because the kid can really play. He would have been a really nice piece on an already strong recruiting class this year.

At The Polls
BU locked up the 8th slot in the USCHO poll for the second straight week. North Dakota was once again number one and the only change from the top five from last week was Denver leapfrogging Duluth from 6th to 5th. Omaha, Providence and BC were once again 2,3,4 in that order.

Around Hockey East 
Tuesday: Maine was blanked by Qunnipiac in Hamden 4-0.

Friday: UMass battled back from 6-2 down to tie UNH 6-6 at home... Merrimack and Lowell were tangled in knots 1-1 at Lawler... Minnesota- Duluth and Notre Dame also skated to a tie, 3-3 in South Bend... Providence doubled up Ohio State 2-1 at home... Vermont was shutout 2-0 at home by #1 North Dakota at Gutterson... Minnesota blanked Northeastern 4-0 in Bloomington... Boston College travailed to Colorado Springs and also shutout Colorado College... Maine fell 5-1 to New Brunswick at the Alfond in an exhibition game.

Saturday: Lowell and Merrimack again skated to a 1-1 draw... Same story with Duluth and Notre Dame as they tied 3-3 again... Providence finished off the sweep of Ohio State with a 6-4 win... North Dakota ran over Vermont 5-2 to also finish their sweep... New Hampshire trumped Union 5-2 at Messa... Despite a late comeback, Minnesota edged NU 4-3... Boston College again shutout Colorado College, this time 5-0... BU took down UConn 4-2 at home.        

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Power Play Pushes BU Past UConn

For the first time I was down at ice level taking pictures for this game. That made actually following the game a bit challenging. So, I offer you the first ever BU Hockey Blog picture book:

Ryan Cloonan scored for BU in the first, before Jakob Forsbaka Karlsson and Brandon Fortunato both scored in the third period on the power play. 

Check Back Tuesday for a look ahead to that night's game against the Huskies. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekend Preview: Terriers, Huskies Open Hockey East Play

Danny O'Regan posted three goals and
an assist in two meetings with the
Huskies last season.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
BU got in the win column last weekend with a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin and tomorrow night open up a split home and home series with the Uconn Huskies. Saturday's game at Agganis also marks the first Hockey East game for both the Terriers and Huskies.

The series warps up Tuesday night in Hartford and it will be my first trip to the XL-Center, the former home of the Hartford Whalers.

UConn is 2-1-0 on the year, but they haven't exactly played the top teams in college hockey. They opened up at Alabama Hunstville and split the series with both games ending in 5-2 scores. UConn won the first night before the Chargers rebounded on Saturday. Last weekend, the Huskies handled NCAA newcomer Arizona State 5-1 at home.

Scouting the Huskies

Former Terrier recruit Max Letunov, who shipped to UConn after an admittance issue currently leads UConn in scoring. The freshman has 3 goals (all of which came against UAH game 1) and has since added 3 assists for 6 points. Sophomore Spencer Nass is second with four points, two goals and two assists.

In goal, Rob Nichols is certainly a top tier goalie. He burst onto the scene last year when he blanked Boston College and made 35 saves in a 1-0 win. He added three more shutouts later in the year. This season, he has continued his strong play. In two games, he holds both the Huskies wins along with a .925 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against. He might not win every night, but he certainly keeps UConn in game.

Other Notes
According to the Boston Hockey Blog, Matt Lane is said to be listed at questionable for Saturday by coach Quinn with an ever descriptive "lower body injury".

Still no word on whether Nick Roberto will be back in the line up the weekend.

In goal, I'm pretty confident that both goalies will see time in the series. Who starts Saturday is unknown, but probably Sean Maguire. It would only make sense with the current rotation.

The Last Time They Met...
was last November in a similar split series. Game one ended in a 4-4 tie at Agganis before BU rolled to a 5-2 win at the XL-Center in the second game.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

BU Dominates Wisconsin

After a Wisconsin goal by Adam Rockwood just 1:22 into the game, BU took over and rolled to a 4-1 win.

They were down 1-0 after one, but controlled much of the play and outshot the Badgers 16-5. Matt Lane tied things up early in the second on a backhand goal. It was his second of the year from Doyle Somerby and Ryan Cloonan.

Brandon Fortunato gave the Terriers the lead halfway through the frame on a bar-down shot from the the top of the circle.

Fortunato had a hand in the third Terrier goal that came at 11:59 of the third period. His shot from the side of the net tipped off Chase Phelps stick and redirected into the net.

Bobo Carpenter added some insurance less than five minutes later on a rebound goal. Mike Moran and Charlie McAvoy picked up the assists.

Connor LaCouvee made 17 saves on 18 shots. BU outshot Wisconsin 40-17.

More to come Tuesday.  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Onto Wisconsin

Last night, BU lost 7-4 to the USA U18 team and I saw not one shift of the game, so there is no sense in putting up a recap. Anyway, the Terriers take on Wisconsin tonight in their first regular season home game of the year.  They will be dropping the 2015 Beanpot, Hockey East Regular Season, Frozen Four and Hockey East Tournament championship banners tonight before the game.

From The Vault
Dave Warsofsky and Joe Pereira celebrate Charlie Coyle's goal
against Wisconsin in St. Louis in the 2010 Icebreaker Invitational.
BU won the game 4-3 and won the tournament the following
night with a 5-4 win over Notre Dame.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)    
The Badgers are 0-1-2 on the season so far. Last night, they were blanked 6-0 at Boston College and trailed for essentially the entire game. BC struck just 12 seconds in and never looked back. A week ago, Wisconsin played two games at home against Northern Michigan. Both of which ended in ties, 2-2 and 3-3 respectively.

Scouting the Badgers
Freshman Seamus Malone is the current team leader in points with 3, all of which are assists. Grant Besse, Adam Rockwood and Kevin Schulze all have two points. No one on the Badgers has more than one goal.

In net, Matt Jurusik and Adam Miller have both seen action. Juruisk has played in 120 minutes, allowed 7 goals and holds a 3.49 goals against with a .854 save percentage. Miller, in 69 minutes has posted a .895 save percentage and a 3.46 goals against average.

The Last Time They Met... 
was last season in Madison. BU struck with .2 seconds left in game one to tie it 3-3. The next night, the Terriers rolled to a 6-1 win.

BU and Wisconsin have met 18 times with the Terriers holding an 11-6-1 record vs the Badgers, all-time.

Friday, October 16, 2015

BU-USA U18 Preview

Tonight, BU will play their final exhibition game of the season as they host the USA U18 team.

The NTDP has played a slew of other college teams this year and they have certainly held their own. After falling 4-0 to Northern Michigan, the US beat Lake State 2-1 in overtime the next night. Last weekend, they tied Notre Dame 2-2. The Terriers faced the NTDP last year, winning 6-4.

The U18's have a few future Terriers on their roster. Clayton Keller leads the team with 13 points, 4 goals 9 assists. Kieffer Bellows is second on the team in points with 9, but leads USA in goals with 7. The third Terrier commit, defenseman Chad Krys has 5 assists on the year. BU also has a goalie commit in Jake Oettinger. In 7 games this year, Oettinger in 4-3-0 with a 2.72 save percentage and an .880 save percentage.

You will probably see Connor LaCouvee in net for the Terriers and Max Prawdzik see some action, too. Sean Maguire will likely start Saturday vs Wisconsin.

According to the Boston Hockey Blog Brandon Fortunato will be back this weekend. Nick Roberto will still be out due to a "coaches decision".

I will not be at the game tonight, as I have my own hockey commitment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday Lookback: Stay Out of the Box

Player of the Week
Sean Maguire
26 saves on 30 shots. 
It was not exactly what the Terriers were looking for in game one of the season at Union on Saturday night. Discipline and  "trying to do too much" doomed BU in the end. Granted, Union only scored once on the power play and it was their first goal of the game, but penalties were a real issue and there were some stupid ones at that. Here's three that stood out:

- Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson took an interference call in the second period while BU was on one of their few power play opportunities of the night. This really seemed to give Union momentum in the second as they started to dominate following the power play.

- Bryan Diffley's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty mentioned in the recap

- Nick Olsson, kneeing. Another very avoidable penalty. It's so obvious when a player sticks out his leg and goes for the leg check. You're going to get called on that every time. Just stupid.

Sean Maguire was outstanding even though he allowed four goals, none of them were really his fault. He looks to be back 100% from his injury that held him out all of last season.

The BU power play, although they were held off the board, looked a lot more fluid than the Acadia game. The freshman seemed much more confident as of where to go with the puck and the overall make up of the man advantage just looked better. They were getting shots through and passes were crisp. Plenty of goals will come if they keep that up.

In a week that saw numbers 1,2,3,5,6 and 9 in the USCHO poll all lose to unranked teams one thing is for sure in college hockey: parody. It also proves how incredibly stupid polls are and how off pre-season rankings can be.

Anyway, North Dakota is your new number one after a tie against Maine and a win vs Lake State in the Icebraeker. Providence is up from 7th to 2nd. Omaha is 3rd, up seven slots from 10. Boston College dropped from number one to 4th and still got 7 first play votes even though they lost at RPI. Finally, Denver rounds out the top 5. BU is down three slots from 3 to 6.

Around Hockey East
Friday: BC trumped Army 5-1 at West Point... Maine and Michigan State skated to a 3-3 tie in Portland as part of the Icebreaker... Providence ran over Miami 7-3 in Oxford... UConn took down Alabama Huntsville in Alabama... UMass doubled up Colorado College 6-3 in Colorado Springs... Lowell blanked RPI at home.. Notre Dame topped Guelph 7-5 in a exhibition game.

Saturday: New Hampshire rolled past America International 7-3 at the Whitt... Northeastern snuck buy Colgate 2-1 at Matthews... Providence and Miami played to a 2-2 tie... UMass completed the sweep of CC with a 4-3 come from behind win... Maine and North Dakota tied 1-1... Vermont shutout Minnesota in Minnesota 3-0... BU fell to Union 5-3.

Sunday: RPI took out BC 2-1 at home... Notre Dame and the USA U18 team tied 2-2.

Looking Ahead
This upcoming weekend BU hosts the NTDP on Friday, before opening their home schedule on Saturday vs Wisconsin.

BU Commits Fabbro
Dante Fabbro, a top end defenseman prospect from the Penticton Vees of the BCHL has committed to BU for next fall. He is ranked 8th on the International Scouting Service October draft board for the 2016 draft.

Photos from Union

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Undisciplined Terriers Fall at Union

Tonight, BU got exactly what they deserved: an L on the schedule. Union had 6 power plays, all of which probably could have been avoided. The most glaring example of this came in the third period when BU was trying to make a comeback. Brian Diffley fired a dropped Union stick out the zone, resulting in a two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Granted, Union did not score on the power play, but it was just a dumb play.

Spencer Foo rips off a shot that Sean Maguire was able to control
on a 2 on 1 in the second period. Brandon Hickey is down to
prevent the cross ice pass.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 
BU came out strong, outshooting the Dutchman 16-10 in the first, but it was Union who struck first on their first power play attempt of the game. Nick DeSimone rifled off a shot on the rush from the top of the near circle. Sean Maguire kicked out the shot, but the rebound landed right on the stick Ryan Scarfo who slammed home his first goal of the year. 

Matt Lane celebrates after
his goal in the first period
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The Terriers answered about 10 minutes later. Bobo Carpenter blew up a play on the far wall and forced the puck up top to Doyle Somerby at the point. The whole play was sliding to the left when Somerby fed to an uncovered Matt Lane at the right post. Lane had the entire net as Union goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos never saw the pass and was caught going one way and the puck was going the other. 

Not long after, BU grabbed the lead. Somerby threw a shot on net that created a rebound that looked to get behind Sakellaropoulos. The whole play was really hard to follow and it was difficult to see exactly who hit the puck in. Mike Moran got one touch and was originally given credit for the goal, but it was later changed and given to Ryan Cloonan. I thought it was Cloonan from the start because of his reaction. It was his first collegiate goal. 

BU took the 2-1 lead into the second period and held onto it for a while. The only reason they got out of the second not down by four goals was Sean Maguire. He stopped two 2 on 1's and one semi breakaway and that doesn't even include the potential save of the year he made. A play out the far corner set up a one-timer right in the slot that looked like a sure goal. Maguire threw his glove up and absolutely robbed Union. The goal judge even turned on the red light thinking there was no way he could have made the save. And then there was a pause where everyone thought it was in fact a goal before Maguire casually opened his gloved and dropped the puck after the whistle.

Finally, Union cracked the Maguire code in the closing minutes of the second. Sebastian Vidmar set up Michael Pontarelli in the low circle for a one-timer. Maguire got a good piece of it, but it did sneak through and fell in the net to tie things up 2-2.

Union didn't waste any time in taking the lead in the third. Brendan Taylor was left all alone in front of the Terrier goal and from the near corner Connor Light hit him with a pass. Taylor was stuffed by Maguire, but the rebound was never cleared and Eli Lichtenwald was there to deposit the puck in the open goal. 

BU had a few chances to re-tie the game. Most notable was an odd-man rush where Jordan Greenway was denied, went throttling into the goal, dislodged the frame and then crashed into the boards. A little later, Robbie Baillargeon picked up a turnover in the slot, made a move to get around one man, and then slid a pass over to AJ Greer. From where I was, it looked like Greer had a wide open net, but he
was stopped by Sakellaropoulos point blank.

With 4:36 left, BU cashed in on a far lower percent scoring chance compared to the two just mentioned. Nick Olsson dished the puck to Charlie McAvoy in the neutral. From there, McAvoy carried in and let go a shot from the mid slot, continued to drive the net, got his own rebound and slammed it home. It was also his first collegiate goal.

At this point, it was looking better. The feeling was that BU was going to force OT or maybe get a go-ahead goal with the time remaining.


Union went right back down the other way and scored again to regain the lead less than two minutes after the McAvoy goal. Matt Wilkins was Johnny on the spot to bang home a rebound after another Maguire save. He finished with 26 but it seemed more like 56.

Spencer Foo added an empty netter to round out the scoring.

More to come on this game in the Tuesday look back. Next weekend, BU plays their final exhibition game against the US U18 team on Friday and then Wisconsin on Saturday.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Starting At Union

BU opens their regular season schedule tonight at Union College. The Dutchman are not projected to be quite the team they were a few years back when they took down Minnesota in the National Championship game, but they will still be a tough opener.

Last night, Union kicked off their season with a 1-1 tie against Sacred Heart at home. The Dutchman were slotted to finish sixth in both the ECAC coaches poll and media poll.

Scouting the Dutchman
Union lost their starting goalie Colin Stevens and leading scorer Daniel Champini (this sounds familiar) from a year ago. Mike Vecchione is back, through. The junior from Saugus, Massachusetts racked up 50 points a year ago, with 19 goals and 31 assists in 39 games. Vecchione didn't take long to find the score sheet this season, as he posted an assist on freshman Cole Maier goal last night vs SHU.

Alex Sakellaropoulos got the start in net against Sacred Heart. He made 17 saves on 18 shots in the 65 minute game. Last year in a backup roll to Stevens, he saw action in 14 games and held a 3-3-2 record with an .894 save percentage and 3.07 goals against average. Union's other goalie this year is freshman Jake Kupsky, a San Jose draft pick.

Other Players to Watch
Matt Wilkins, Spencer Foo, Jeff Taylor, Sebastien Gingras.

The Last Time They Met
Union visited Agganis last season in early January. BU was without Jack Eichel and played to a 3-3 tie. AJ Greer, Nick Olsson and Evan Rodrigues scored the Terrier goals. Sakellaropoulos was in net for Union that night, making 33 saves on 36 shots.

- Brandon Fortunato and Nick Roberto will both be held of the game for disciplinary issues. Nothing major, just a team rules violation.

- No word on the starting goalie, but I would assume it's Maguire.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday Look back, Maguire Starts Strong

Sean Maguire sizes up a
play by Jonny Gaudreau in
the 2013 Hockey East Semis
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
The sexy thing to write about here probably would be Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson penalty shot goal, but there was far more to Saturday's exhibition win against Acadia and that's where Sean Maguire comes in.

It was his first appearance in a real hockey game since the 2014 season, after redshirting least year due to injury. He came back and played solid on Saturday, stopping all 15 shots he faced. Maguire did not look slow, his positional game was on point and he came up big down the stretch when the team was on the penalty kill for a almost four straight minutes.

Conor LaCouvee played the first half and looked just ok. He did not make any flashy saves and the two goals he allowed were tough saves, but still Maguire was more impressive. The first was a deflection and the second was on a breakaway due to a defensive breakdown. Still, I never really felt all that confident when he was in.

It will be interesting to see who gets the nod in Saturday night's season opener at Union.

UCSHO did not release  updated rankings thins week, so BU remains third in that. The Terriers are slotted number two overall in the USA Today rankings

Around Hockey East
Saturday: UConn came away with a 3-1 win vs Queen's University... Merrimack skated past St. Francis Xavier  4-1... Providence easily handled Simon Fraser 9-1... UMass blanked Dalhousie... New Brunswick scored five unanswered goals to take down Boston College 5-2... BU dropped Acadia 4-2.

Sunday: Northeastern picked up where PC left off in the beat-down of Simon Frasier, winning 10-2... Lowell edged New Brunswick 3-2... New Hampshire got by St. Francis Xavier 6-4... Acadia handed Vermont a 2-1 loss.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

BU Axes Acadia

It was your typical exhibition style hockey game: sloppy, with many mistakes and plenty of penalties. In the end, despite being shorthanded for eight minutes including 3:57 of the final 4:00 minutes of the third, BU came from behind to beat Acadia University 4-2.

The Terriers had the game's first real scoring chance when Nick Olsson fed a pass through an Acadia defender's stick right onto the tape of freshman Bobo Carpenter. Carpenter took one stride before releasing a shot labeled for the back of the net. Only problem was Acadia goalie Brandon Glover was there to make a phenomenal save to keep the game scoreless.

Glover made another strong save on a BU power play just minutes later. That was the only decent chance the Terriers had on the man advantage. The set up was in full preseason form: sloppy.

BU eventually broke though just before the midpoint of the first period. Ahti Oksanen stripped the puck from an Axemen defender along the far wall and then shoveled it behind the net to Danny O'Regan. O'Regan was able to bank it in off a defender in the crease and pinball the puck between Glover's legs. Danny scored from practically behind the goal.

When asked whether he was trying to play the bank, he smiled and jokingly said yes. He then went onto say "I was trying to hit Ahti on a backhand, I don't know what it hit. I don't know how it went in."

Acadia struck back to level the game at the 12:06 marker of the period. Remy Giftopoulos got a tip on a Tyler Ferry point shot and deflected it pass Conor LaCouvee glove side.

Two minutes later, the Axemen jumped ahead on a Zach Franko breakaway goal. Mike Cazzola hit Franko with along stretch pass that sprung him in-behind the BU defense. Franko made a strong forehand-backhand move and and beat LaCouve up over his glove to make it 2-1.

BU answered back just two minutes into the second frame. Bobo Carpenter made a forceful rush up the far side after getting the puck from Nick Olsson in the neutral zone. At the bottom of the circle, Carpenter threaded a pass through a defender and found Shane Switzer backdoor. All Switzer had to do was get a stick on the pass because the net was wide open.

Carpenter's net drive created the whole play and the pass was perfect. It also helped that no one on Acadia picked up Switzer.

Sean Maguire entered the game at the mid point of the second. He played well and was key down the stretch on the penalty kill. In 30:36 of ice time, he made 15 saves and allowed zero goals. LaCouvee allowed two goals on 14 shots.

Acadia almost got the lead back early in the third. Charlie McAovy was burned on a play and the subsequent shot beat Maguire high, but hit off the bar and landed safely in the crowd.

BU regained the lead with just under 15 minutes left in the third. Maguire played the puck off the near side glass and it landed in the neutral zone for AJ Greer. The play turned into a three on two into the Acadia zone. Greer made a centering pass from about the top of the circle, through traffic, to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, who redirected it through Glover's legs and into the net.

The Terriers extended their lead after killing off a Forsbacka Karlsson elbowing penalty. Right as time expired on the man advantage, Ahti Oksanen fired the puck in an attempted clear and in the process hit Forsbacka Karlsson coming out of the box at center ice. Once in the slot, JFK was hooked, but he was well in the clear and was awarded a penalty shot.

On the shot, he came in right down center, pump faked with his leg to get Glover going one way and then pulled it back to the other side and tucked it into the open net. "It was a heck of a move on a pretty good goalie" added Coach Quinn after the game.

BU killed off two late penalties to put ice on the exhibition win. Quinn said that he was almost happy they were shorthanded at the end. He wanted to get a few different looks on the PK and with limited practices so far the more reps the better.  

Next week the Terrier will open the regular season at Union College on Saturday night.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Acadia Preview

Tomorrow night, BU finally kicks off the 2015/16 season with an exhibition game against Acadia University. Acadia is located in Woleville, Nova Scotia home and the campus is about and hour and ten minutes from Halifax. It's just up the 101 for anyone who cares about Canadian geography.

Anyway, back to hockey... It is always tough to scout these Canadian schools, seeing how they only come down once a year and no one really follows Canadian college hockey... But here goes nothing.

Acadia was ranked 3rd in the final CIS rankings for 2015, behind Alberta and the University of New Brunswick. So far this season, the Axemen have played three exhibition games against fellow Canadian school and have gone 3-0-0. They beat Moncton 6-3 and Brock University twice, 4-3 and 3-1.

Last season Mike Cazzola and Liam Heelis lead the team in points with 42 each. Cazzola posted 11 goals and 31 assists, while Heelis scored 24 goals and 18 assists. Heelis' 24 goals was the most on the Acadia squad. In goal, Evan Mosher played the bulk of the time holding a 2.12 goals against average and a .919 save percentage on way to a 17-5-0 record.

BU Notes
- Expect Sean Maguire and Conor LaCouvee both to get time in net this game.

- The Boston Hockey Blog put out a tweet the other day stating that the first line will be Ahti Oksanen and Jordan Greenway with Danny O'Regan in the middle. No other news on the lines as of now.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Look at 2016

It's been a few months since the debacle in the third period of the National Championship and a lot has changed. For one, the most obvious, Jack Eichel is gone and so is Even Rodrigues. That's a combined 132 points for anyone keeping track. Matt O'Connor has also departed, leaving a hole in net (more on this later).
Matt Grzelcyk, Matt Lane, and Danny O'Regan are the 2016
Terrier Captains.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Not all is lost, though.

Dave Quinn has once again recruited a rock solid class of freshman. There is no stand alone phenom like Eichel last year, but come on. We all know that was a one time deal. That's not to dump on these new guys.

Jordan Greenway, #18
Greenway played 53 games for the USA-U18 team last season and posted 9 goals and 35 assists. He is an enormous 6-5, 223lb left hand shot left wing from Canton, New York. This past June he was a second round pick (50th overall) by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL Entry Draft.

Shane Switzer, #2
Last year the 6-2 defenseman split time between the Brooks Bandits and the Lloydminster Bobcats which are in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 52 games he racked up 8 goals and 26 points. Switzer was born on November 13, 1995 and calls Bloomfield Hills, Michigan home.

Ryan Cloonan, #8
Cloonan was a member of the dominate Boston Jr Bruins in the USPHL Premier division. In 50 games last year, he put up 20 goals to go along with 45 assists for 65 points, good for 5th in the USPHL. In 2014 he played nine games for Waterloo in the USHL, but returned to the Bruins later that season. Cloonan is from East Longmedow and is a July 1995 birthday.

Charlie McAvoy, #7
The Long Beach, New York native is widely considered one of the top prospects in the 2016 NHL Draft. He was ranked 6th overall by Hockey Last year with the USA NTDP, the defenseman recorded 7 goals and 33 assists in 63 games played.

Bobo Carpenter, #14
Robert the son of long time NHL standout Bobby Carpenter, played for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. In 60 games, Bobo notched 35 goals and 28 assists for 63 points. For both the 2013 and 2014 season, Carpenter played at Austin Prep.

Jakob Forsbaka-Karlsson, #23
JFK for short (still wondering how they are going to fit his name on the back of a jersey) played two years in the USHL with Omaha after coming over from his native land of Sweden. Last year in 50 games with the Lancers, he scored 15 goals and added 38 assists for 53 points. Forsbaka-Karlsson was a member of the Swedish U17 and U 18 National Teams in 2013. This past June he was selected 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in the NHL (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that was one of the Doug Hamilton picks). According to Elite Hockey Prospects JFK "can be an offensively effective center; possesses a high level of hockey intelligence and plays with intensity. A smooth, yet not dynamic skater. An excellent passer; can turn a "nothing doing" play into a scoring chance"

Max Prawdzik, #1
A lanky 6-2 goaltender rounds out this year's recruiting class. Prawdzik played at the Brooks School, a member NEPSAC, where during his senior year they won the Large School league championship. He had a 1.39 goals against average and a strong .943 save percentage to go along with a 19-5-4 record.

And Starting In Goal For the Terriers...
Gone are they days of seeing John Curry and Kieran Millan and even Matt O'Connor last year play night in and night out. This year there will certainly be a goalie rotation between Sean Maguire, who is back after taking all of last year off due to injury and Connor LaCouvee. LaCouvee saw action in eight games and posted a solid 2.58 GAA and .913 sv%. Maguire last saw action in an NCAA on February 28th, 2014 against Northeastern, but was arguably equal if not better than Matt O'Connor. Lets not forget in 2013 he carried the team through the end of the year and into the Hockey East playoffs all the way to the finals before losing to Lowell 1-0. O'Connor suffered a season ending injury in middle of the 2013 season and once Maguire was the full time goalie he was locked in. He won 5 games in a row twice that year and in the middle of both of those streaks he recorded back to back shutouts.
Sean Maguire squares up a shot in a game at Michigan State 
in october of 2013.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
To start the 2016 season I fully believe there will be a goalie rotation between Maguire and LaCouvee, but I would not be surprised in the least if Maguire takes over and runs with the starting job come Beanpot time and into the playoffs. I just don't see Prawdzik in the mix this year. He is young (97 birth year) and has to fill into his frame at 6-2, 165. Could he jump out of no where like Curry did in in 2005? Sure. I don't see why not, but I just think there are two guys much more established that are in front of him.

Matt Grzelcyk
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Matt Lane, Danny O'Regan and Matt Grzeclyk are your captains this season. Grzeclyk will be out for sometime to start the year due to ACL surgery that he underwent during the offseason. There is no set timetable for his return and he was unable to skate all summer. He has since been on the ice, but in a limited manner.

"We’re going to take our time with it, though. There’s certainly no rush getting him back. We’re going to err on the side of caution. When they think he’s ready, I want to wait another few weeks", said coach Quinn in recent article from College Hockey SB Nation.

As for the rest of the defense, the team should be fine. Assuming everyone makes the natural progression from one year to the next guys like Brandon Fortunato, John MacLeod and Brandon Hickey will all be impact players. The Terriers lost not one (zero) member from one of the best defensive corps in the country, last year. Until Grzeclyk returns, Doyle Somerby will be the senior member of the back end. Freshman Shane Switzer and Charlie McAvoy will certainly will be in the mix, too. Brian Diffley could be the odd man out this year, but much like the goalie situation, there could be a rotation of sorts, at least until Grzelcyk comes back. Diffley did have a strong finish to last season and it will very interesting to see who gets the ice time night in and night out. It's a nice problem for Quinn to have, considering everyone of the eight defenseman on the roster can play at a high level.


The offense is a little more fuzzy than the D. It was said before and if anyone needs a reminder, Jack Eichel and Even Rodrigues are in Buffalo now. Guys are going to need to need to step up to even attempt to make up the points those two put up a year ago. The offense is going to run through Danny O'Regan and Lane, Mike Moran and Nick Roberto will play their same type of role and that' fine. It's the now sophomores that need to come up big such as Nick Olsson and Chase Phelps. I would not be surprised in the least bit to see Ahti Oksanen back on the top line like he was to start last year. He will be the finisher on the team because that is the only thing he knows how to do. Also, it doesn't hurt that he can shoot the puck a billion miles an hour. AJ Greer was mentioned in USCHO's Top 10 Forwards to Watch This Year article and I can' disagree. His goal against North Dakota in the Frozen Four was unreal and he really looks like he could break through and have a huge this year. The freshman will work their way in and I fully expect all of them, especially JFK and Greenway to have an immediate impact. Also, don't sleep on Robbie Baillargeon, the kid quietly just puts up points. Nothing too flashy, but gets the job done.