Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Third Period Surge Pushes BU Past Harvard

In yet another back and forth, blow for blow BU-Harvard game, the Terriers came out on top with a 5-3 win at Agganis in front of 4,556, thanks in large part to two timely third period goals.

Patrick Curry celebrates with Nick Roberto after scoring with
less than two minutes left in regulation.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
With the game tied after two frames, Nick Roberto netted the eventual game-winner 3:07 into the final stanza. It was a broken play that saw John MacLoud fire a shot wide off the end boards. Roberto corralled the puck and looked to make a centering pass to Gabriel Chabot, but the puck hit off Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen’s stick and into the back of the net. It was Roberto’s third goal of the season.

With the game still very much still in the balance and the potential for Harvard to pull the goalie, Patrik Curry all but sealed the deal with a strike with 1:30 left.

“Bobo [Carpenter] made a nice play off the wall and I had some speed coming through the middle. I was in on the goalie so fast, I just tried to put it low blocker and luckily it went in. It was nice to get the assurance goal,” said Curry about his goal.

Coach Quinn was generally pleased with his team, saying, “I thought we did a pretty good job taking away their forwards, I’m really proud of our guys. It’s a great way to go into a little break. We got the [next] weekend off and we knew we were gonna have to live with this result for 10 days. It’s a lot easier to live with a win.”

Harvard's Sean Malone got the scoring started back in the first period. It came just minutes after Doyle Somberly had a goal disallowed for goalie interference. Similar to Roberto’s goal, Malone attempted a centering pass that never found its intended target. Instead, his pass banked off a BU defender out in front and went through Connor LaCouvee’s legs.

Kieffer Bellows knotted the game less than four minutes later on a rebound goal from Patrick Curry and Charlie McAvoy.

BU had a chance to break open the period with an extended five on three at the end of the frame, but it was the Crimson who cashed in. Bellows attempted to walk the blue line and dump off a backhanded, no-look pass, but Alexander Kerfoot read the play and jumped the route. He walked in alone from the Terrier blue line and beat LaCouvee upstairs for a 3 on 5 shorthanded goal.

The game’s number one star, Patrick Harper leveled the game 23 seconds later on the power play. Dante Fabbro worked the puck down to Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson at the side of the cage. From there, Karlsson slipped a pass through the crease over to Harper, who had the whole net to shoot at. It was his 6th goal of the season.

“That was a huge goal. You didn’t want to live with a 5 on 3 shorthanded goal. That’s tough to swallow, but to be able to get it right back was huge,” added Quinn

BU took their first lead of the game 3:49 into the second. Dante Fabbro wristed home a power play goal from the left point, beating Madsen for his third goal of the year.

30 seconds later, Malone struck again, wristing home a shot from the right wing dot over LaCouvee’s shoulder and in the far side. It was a rather weak moment for LaCouvee, in an otherwise strong game from the junior netminder.

This was a strong bounce back win for the team after a 4-0 blanking by UConn on Saturday. It will certainly go a long way in the PairWise rankings come tournament time.

BU is now off ten days. Their next game is Friday, December 2nd at Providence.

Harvard Preview

BU looks to bounce back from a disappointing 4-0 shutout against UConn on Saturday night when the host the Harvard Crimson at Agganis at 7:00 tonight. It will be the final game of the month of November for the Terriers, as they are off next weekend.
From The Vault
BU's Chris Connolly and Harvard's Connor Morrison
battle for a loose puck at center ice in a 5-2 BU win on
 January 15, 2011. Connolly had two goals in this game.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)   

Connor LaCouvee, who picked up his first win of the season in his first start on Friday night at Uconn will be in net for BU. He made 28 saves and allowed just one goal in his first start since February 20th.

Harvard comes into this game on a tear. They are 5-1-1 on the year and last weekend snapped Boston College’s 10 game win streak with a dominating 5-2 victory over the Eagles at home. Harvard’s only loss came at the hands of the Quinnipiac Bobcats two weeks ago in Hamden.

Last year, the BU-Harvard game in early January at the Bright Center was easily the most entertaining game of the season. Harvard had a 5-3 lead with less than four minutes left in the third, only to see Matt Grzelcyk, Danny O’Regan, and Ahti Oksanen all score in just over two minutes for BU to steal a 6-5 win.

Scouting the Crimson
Harvard is led offensively by Tyler Moy. The senior forward from San Diego has five goals and six assists for eleven points in seven games played. Fellow senior Sean Malone has chipped in with four goals and five assists. Harvard has averaged 4.13 goals per game. Not bad for a team that lost Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey and Kyle Criscuolo off their roster from a year ago. Alex Kerfoot, who was their second leading scorer with 34 points (four goals, 34 assists) last year. has eight points on the year, good for third on the team.

In goal, Merrick Madsen is the only netminder to see time. He is 5-1-1, with one shutout (against Arizona State) with a .924 save percentage and a 1.85 goals against average.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekend With The Huskies

This weekend, BU get’s back into league play with a home and home series with UConn. Tonight’s game will be in Hartford at the XL Center and Saturday will be back on Comm Ave at Agannis.

UConn has had an up and down start to the season, coming in at 3-3-5. Yes, the Huskies already have five ties on the year. They opened the season with back to back home shutouts against Alabama Huntsville, but have only found the win column one other time. That was a 4-2 win at Notre Dame in the last weekend of October. Last weekend, UConn fell 7-4 at Ohio State on Friday and tied the Buckeyes 3-3 the following night.

Last season, BU and UConn played two games at the end of October. The Terriers battled to a 4-2 win at home on October 24th, thanks in large part to two third period goals, one by Brandon Fortunato and the other by Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. Three days later, in a rare Tuesday night tilt in Hartford, UConn’s Tage Thompson went off, posting a hat-trick in a 5-2 Huskies route. It is the only UConn win against BU in five all time meetings.

Scouting The Huskies

Tage Thompson has picked up where he left off last year, leading UConn with 14 points. In 11 games played, the St. Louis Blues draft pick has seven goals and seven assists. Behind him is former BU commit Max Letunov, who has racked up four goals and seven assists in ten games played.

In goal, senior Rob Nichols and freshman Adam Huska have split time between the pipes. Nichols is 2-1-3 and has a .915 save percentage to go along with a 2.40 goals against average. Huska on the other hand, is 1-2-2 with a .916 save percentage and a 3.11 GAA.

BU Notes
- According to the Daily Free Press, Connor LaCouvee will get the start on Friday night in the BU net.

- No word on some of the injuries reported last week.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Michigan Lookback

Player of the Week
Jordan Greenway, 1 goal, 2 assists
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Unfortunately, I was not able to make the trip out to Ann Arbor this weekend as I was on my own hockey road trip in New Hampshire. I was, however, able to watch most of Friday’s game and the third period of Saturday’s game, so I have a few thoughts on the weekend.

Game one was a disaster. In the first period, Michigan capitalized on both of their power play chances to get off and running. The BU penalty kill that looked solid against Northeastern just a week ago was anything but on Friday night.

Unlike Michigan, the Terriers were unable to get anything going on their own power play, despite getting six opportunities on the man advantage. Jake Oettinger allowed three goals on 20 shots, and overall the team just didn’t have the spark they have shown in games earlier this season, as they dropped game one 4-0.

Saturday saw a huge shake up to the lineup. Two defensemen, Shane Switzer and Brian Diffley were slotted in as forwards. Switzer played right wing alongside Patrick Curry at center and Tommy Kelley on the left side, while Diffley played left wing on the fourth line with Gabriel Chabot in the middle and Oskar Andrén on the right. It was a much-needed shuffle for a team that hadn’t scored a goal in four periods going into game two.
Like I said before, I was only able to see the third period of this game. With the score tied 1-1 midway through the final frame, the two teams scored four goals in less than six minutes. Charlie McAvoy gave BU their first lead of the series, only to see Dexter Dancs score a weak angle goal less than two minutes later.

Finally, BU got their offense into gear, in large part to Jordan Greenway, who tipped in a JFK shot to regain the BU lead before adding an assist on Patrick Harper’s insurance goal a couple shifts later.

It was encouraging to see them finally take off in the third, but injuries are starting to mount up. Clayton Keller, Ryan Cloonan, and Nik Olsson can't come back soon enough. BU is lucky in the sense that they have two “extra” offensive defenseman who can slide in and play forward in a pinch.

Clearly, the team is better off with Cloonan, Keller, and Olsson up front. BU essentially played this weekend with two viable lines and the offensive productions shows that. They picked up two goals from defenseman, one on the power play by Dante Fabbro and the other by McAvoy when he pinched down and slammed home a centering pass from Greenway. BU scored four goals this weekend and only six players had points; two defenseman and four forwards, all from the top two lines.

Harper Named Rookie of the Week
Patrick Harper was named Hockey East Rookie of the week. He scored a goal and added two assists in Saturday's 4-2 win. He now has a team-leading 14 points in nine games played by way of five goals and nine assists.

At The Polls
BU fell down one peg in the USCHO rankings from 4th to 5th. For the first time this year, someone other than Minnesota Duluth or North Dakota sits atop the rankings. Denver leapfrogged Duluth to take the number one spot, picking up 28 first place votes. Duluth slid down to second, but still picked up 18 first place votes, while Boston college received the final six first place votes and is ranked third. Quinnipiac and BU rounded out the top five.

Hockey East Scoreboard
New Hampshire 3, at Boston College 5
Lowell 2, at Maine 5
Mass 3 at Merrimack 1
UConn 4, at Ohio State 7
BU 0, at Michigan 4

Notre Dame 5, at Northeastern 2
Vermont 2, at UMass 1
UConn 3, at Ohio State 3 (OT)
Arizona State 5, at New Hampshire 4 (OT)
BU 4, at Michigan 2

Maine 1, at Lowell 4
Merrimack 3, at New Hampshire 3 (OT)
Arizona State 1, at Boston College 3
Notre Dame 0, Northeastern 0 (postponed after two periods due to Zamboni failure/poor ice conditions)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Weekend With The Wolverines

From The Vault
Nick Roberto leads a rush up ice in a 2-1 loss at
Michigan in October of 2013.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
A week after opening their Hockey East schedule with a three point effort against Northeastern, BU heads back on the non-conference trail, traveling to Michigan for a pair of games with the 18th ranked Wolverines.

Michigan has been disappointing so far this year. They are 4-3-1 and have yet to play a ranked opponent. UM opened their schedule with a split against Union at home, before picking up five of a possible six points against Ferris State and Michigan Tech in a three game span. Then things went downhill with two games out east. In the last weekend of October, Michigan traveled to Vermont and was blanked 3-0. The next night, they lost 3-2 at Dartmouth in just the second game of the year for the Big Green. Last weekend, they topped Arizona State 4-1 in Glendale.

BU and Michigan met last year in a two game set at Agganis. BU won game one in dramatic fashion, erasing a 2-0 third period deficit with goals from Danny O’Regan, Robbie Baillargeon and Doyle Somerby, who scored the game winner with five minutes left. The next night, Michigan rolled to 4-2 win.

Scouting The Wolverines
There are no runaway scoring leaders on Michigan's roster and the top two point getters are freshmen. Will Lookwood has eight points in eight games, scoring five goals and adding three assists. Jake Slaker has notched three goals and four assists for seven points. Luke Martin is certainly another player to keep an eye on. He was ranked #1 on the NHL Central Scouting preliminary list prior to the season, but has since fallen to #20 on ISS Hockey’s top 31 prospects. Needless to say, wherever he is ranked, the kid can play. The 6’2 defenseman from St. Louis, Missouri has one point, an assist vs ASU last weekend, in eight games played.

Michigan has had a revolving door of sorts in net. Three goalies, including two freshmen have all seen time this year. Jack LaFontaine is 1-1-1 in three appearances with a 2.28 goals against and a .936 save percentage. Hayden Lavigne is statistically the Wolverines’ best goalie, posting a .944 sv% and a 2.00 GAA. Finally, we get to Zach Nagelvoort, who is 1-1-0 in his career against BU. This year the senior from Holland, Michigan has seen time in two games and has allowed 5 goals on 72 shots.

BU Notes
-Earlier this week, the Boston Hockey Blog reported a slew of injuries for the Terriers. First, Clayton Keller is listed day to day with a lower-body injury (probably a knee) and is likely out this weekend. Nik Olsson will be available for Friday’s game and his injury is not shoulder related. He missed most of the second half of last year due to a separated shoulder. Ryan Cloonan is also “day to day” and coach Quinn is “not sure when he will be ready.”

- There was no update on Chase Phelps

- One would have to think Oskar Andrén will stay in the lineup along with Johnny McDermott and Gabriel Chabot. It will be all hands on deck this weekend with the forwards.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday Lookback: Discipline

Player of the Week
Clayton Keller, 2g 2a
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Friday night was the definition of a tie feeling like a loss. The Terriers had three one goal leads in the third period, but could never find a way to close out Northeastern, who always had an answer. Saturday was a bit different. BU’s penalty kill and goaltending were able to keep the game scoreless, despite taking four penalties in the opening frame. Eventually, BU scored two quick goals in the second period and unlike the night before, NU never answered.

In three home games so far, BU has yet to allow a goal at home.

Discipline was a big issue this weekend and played a huge role in the outcome of each game. As stated previously, BU took four penalties in the first period of game two, but only wound up in the box one more time for the remaining 40 minutes of the game.

While that may seem like an improvement from the night before when BU took nine penalties, coach Quinn was still not thrilled. “Five penalties is still too many. You want to stay under four and we just weren't able to do it, but the last 40 minutes we did a pretty good job staying out of the box,” said Quinn.

Let's go back to the third period of Friday’s game. With 11:05 left, Jordan Greenway scored to give BU a 3-2 lead. It was the last time Greenway was seen on the ice until the second period of Saturday’s game. He picked up a 10-minute misconduct after taunting the NU bench and sat the remainder of the game and the first period of Saturday’s contest.

It was a move that may well have cost BU a point in the standings on Saturday, but hopefully taught Greenway a valuable lesson, which will pay off down the line. Greenway is a force when he is out there. There are certain situations where his size makes him almost indefensible in the college game. He is able to create so much room for his linemates Clayton Keller and Patrick Harper that gives the trio a dynamic look when they are together.

The line showed their ability to shape the outcome of the game on Saturday night when Greenway returned and picked up assists on both goals scored by his linemates in the second period. Quinn sent a message not only to Greenway, but to the entire team. "It was addressed and people won't see that out of our team again," he added

It’s plain and simple: BU is better with Greenway on the ice and not in the box/on the bench.

Clayton Keller
Clayton Keller has done something in each game that stands out. It doesn’t always end up on the score sheet, but there is always something that shows why he was taken 7th overall in the NHL draft. This weekend, it just so happened to be on the score sheet.

Saturday night was Keller’s first of (probably) many multi-goal games. Both goals were incredibly highly skilled plays. The first, his second shorthanded goal of the season, was the most impressive of the two from a highlight reel standpoint. His second, a power play goal late in the third that at the time gave BU a 4-3 lead is what sets him apart. From the high slot, he made a quick stick handle move to gather a pass from Bobo Carpenter. All in one motion, he corralled the puck, drew a defender out of the shooting lane, and released a wrister labeled for the top corner.

It was a move that happened so fast the defender didn’t even have time to turn around before the puck was in the back of the net. NU coach Jim Madigan put it simply saying, “19’s a pretty good hockey player.”

Staying on Keller, he recorded two assists on Saturday to bring him to nine points on the year. Unfortunately, he went down late in the third period and looked to be having trouble putting weight on his leg. He did not finish the game and there were no real comments on his injury afterward.

At The Polls
For the second straight week, BU was slotted fourth in the USCHO rankings. Minnesota-Duluth was once again the unanimous number one ranked team, picking up all 50 first place votes. Denver was second, BC jumped up to third from the fifth slot and Lowell rounded out the top five.

Yes, that means Hockey East has three of the top five teams in the nation for those scoring at home or even if you’re alone.

Hockey East Scoreboard

Boston College 6, at Maine 1
UConn 2, at UMass 2 (OT)
Vermont 1, at Lowell 3
Sacred Heart 2, at New Hampshire 2 (OT)
Mercyhurst 1, at Merrimack 5
BU 4, at Northeastern 4 (OT)

Vermont 2, at Lowell 4
Merrimack 2, at Providence 2 (OT)
Boston College 3, at Maine 2
Mercyhurst 0 at New Hampshire 3
Northeastern 0, at BU 3.

Blog News
I would like to announce that I have added an editor to the site. Dan Graham, a high school friend, and former teammate will be joining the staff. Dan is a junior at UMass-Amherst and is a double major in History and English. 

Photos From Saturday

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Second Period Explosion Pushes BU Past NU

It took BU a little while to get going, but after killing off four penalties, including a 48 second five on three in the first period, the Terriers erupted for three second period goals on their way to dropping Northeastern 3-0 in front of 5,562 at Agganis Arena.

Jake Oettinger was spectacular in the opening frame, stopping 13 shots. In total, he made 24 saves.

Patrick Harper celebrates after scoring his first of two goals
in the second period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
He, along with strong penalty killing, allowed BU to get their feet under them before taking off in the second period.

Coach Quinn added, “I thought our penalty kill was very good again, obviously a big part of that is your goalie.”

The Terriers took four penalties in the opening period, but managed to only end up in the box one more time the rest of the night.

Jake Oettinger makes one of
13 saves in the first period.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Patrick Harper got BU on the board halfway through the second period when he finished off a two on one rush with Clayton Keller. Keller set the enter play up with a patient move to draw a defenseman towards him before dropping off a pass to Harper on the far side. Harper was staring at a wide-open net and didn’t miss.

32 seconds later, Kieffer Bellows made it 2-0 on a rebound goal. Bellows noted after the game, “I tried to screen the goalie and saw Charlie [McAvoy] walking across the ice, maybe he was gonna shoot, maybe not. He got it over to JFK and as soon as he shot the puck, it was just lying there and I happened to tap it in.”

Later in the frame, Harper found the back of the net for a rebound goal of his own to make it 3-0 Terriers.

Overall, Coach Quinn was pretty impressed with his team’s effort tonight; “Getting three points on the week in our league is certainly an accomplishment. I thought we overcame a lot of adversity in the first period with the penalties. It has been a continuing theme all year long. To take four in the first period, overcome it and settle it down and not take another one until the third is certainly a positive note.”

In the third, Oettinger had a skate malfunction and actually had to come out of the game for a short period of time. Connor LaCouvee made three saves in 4:12 of relief appearance.

BU heads to Michigan next weekend for a two game set with the Wolverines at Yost in Ann Arbor.

Photos From NU

Here are a few of the 500+ pictures I took last night at Matthews.

Friday, November 4, 2016

BU-NU Efforts Go For Knot

It was a classic back and forth battle between the two teams picked to finish one, two in the Hockey East standings that saw BU and Northeastern combine to score five goals in the third period. The most dramatic of course was NU forward Zach Aston-Reese’s game-tying tally with 55 seconds left in regulation.

Patrick Curry celebrates after scoring his first goal as a
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
NU goalie Ryan Ruck had been pulled for an extra attacker with 1:30 left in the third period. NU threw everything they had at BU, and the Terriers struggled to get the puck out of the defensive zone. Eventually, the puck made its way to the point where Ryan Shea let a low shot go. Aston-Reese was able to get just enough of a tip on the shot to redirect it past BU goalie Jake Oettinger to tie the game.

BU was sitting pretty with less than 5:00 to go, when Clayton Keller ripped home his second goal of the game on the power play from the mid slot to give the Terriers a 4-3 lead.

Coach Quinn noted, “we were up 4-3 with three minutes to go and we give up that goal with less than a minute to go. We just weren’t disciplined enough."

It was BU’s inability to put NU away and immaturity allowed NU to come back time and time again. Three separate times in the third period BU had a one goal lead and could not close out the Huskies. Each time NU had an answer

Quinn added, “our number one weakness is immaturity and that cost us tonight. We have to have a better understanding of certain situations.”

The Huskies opened the scoring back in the first period on the first of two power play goals on the night. Garret Cockerill snapped off a quick wrister that beat Oettinger blocker-side high for his second goal of the year on a five on three man advantage.
Tonight was Clayton Keller's first multi-
goal game in a Terrier uniform. Here, he
scores a shorthanded goal in the first.
(Photo by Matt Dresens) 

Seconds later, on the remaining five on four power play, Clayton Keller scored an absolute highlight reel goal. He caused a turnover at the side of the NU net and was able to corral the puck before out waiting for Ruck, who was flopping to get back in position. Keller tucked in his first of two on the far side for BU’s fifth shorthanded goal of the year. The goal came just 17 seconds after Cockerill’s strike.

BU got their first lead minutes before the end of the opening frame on Patrick Curry’s first collegiate goal. Following a large scrum in front of the net, the puck came loose to the point where Brandon Hickey was able to find the stick of Curry for a redirection past Ruck.

Adam Gaudette scored a very similar goal to Cockerill’s from the first period to tie it 2-2, 2:22 into the third.

Jordan Greenway then regained the one goal lead halfway through the frame. Dante Fabbro sent in a shot for the point that Greenway was just able to get a piece of to redirect it past Ruck. Following the goal, Greenway celebrated just a little too much as he went over to the NU bench and started taunting the Huskies. He picked up a 10-minute misconduct and missed the remainder of the game.

Needless to say, Quinn was not too pleased, saying “we lost one of our best players tonight because he wanted to celebrate. I know that's the generation we live in, but that’s not what BU hockey is about.”

Less than five minutes later, Dylan Sikura once again tied the game. It was the only NU goal all night that came at even strength.

In overtime, Kieffer Bellows took a two minute slashing penalty that led to an NU shooting gallery. The Huskies teed-off on Oettinger, throwing six shots his way in the overtime period. BU did not record a shot in extra time and the game ended in a 4-4 draw.

Oettinger may not have had his best stuff tonight, but in overtime he was solid. “He’s a heck of a goalie. I’m sure he would liked to have two of those goals back, but he’s a guy we have a lot of trust in and a lot of confidence in,” said Quinn.

The two teams will do it all over again tomorrow night down at Agganis. Game time, 7pm

Weekend With The Huskies

After a scheduling quirk that saw BU have a vacant weekend to close out October, the Terriers open Hockey East play in a home and home series with the defending league champion Northeastern Huskies, tonight.
From The Vault
Former Terrier Matt Nieto rips off a shot at Matthews in March
of 2013. BU won this game 4-2.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Last season, the two teams squared off in two of the more entertaining games of the year. BU slugged out a back and forth come-from-behind 5-4 win at Agganis in Matt Grzelcyk’s first game back from offseason knee surgery. The next night, BU completed the sweep with a 4-1 win at Matthews.

NU is 3-2-2 on the year and was picked to finish second in the league standings by the Hockey East coaches, prior to the year.  The Huskies opened their season rather sluggish. They picked up just one point on opening weekend at Quinnipiac and skated to a 1-1 tie at Bentley the following weekend. Finally, NU found the win column against those same Falcons the next night with a resounding 7-3 win. From there, NU rolled over Arizona State in a two-game set and then fell to Vermont last weekend 3-2.

Scouting the Huskies
Dylan Sikura is once again off to a hot start, leading the team in scoring with 11 points (2g, 9 a). Sophomore Adam Gaudette, who played a major role in NU’s run to the Hockey East title last year, currently leads the Huskies in goals scored with five in just seven games. Gaudette has also has added five assists for ten points on the year. Zach Aston-Reese, who also has ten points, and Lincoln Griffin are other players to watch.

In goal, Ryan Ruck is the lone Husky goalie to see time in net. In seven games, he has a .904 save percentage and a 2.25 goals against. A year ago, Ruck allowed nine goals in three games against the Terriers and never found the win column.

BU Notes
- The Daily Free Press reported earlier this week that Nik Olsson will be out for tonight’s game with an upper body injury.

- Oettinger likely in net.

- I will be down at the glass taking pictures for tonight’s game. I hope to have some of the good ones up by the end of the night.