Friday, December 8, 2017

Lowell Powers Past BU

Photos from tonight's 3-2 loss at Lowell

Men's Hockey at Lowell (12/9/17)

Weekend With The Riverhawks, A Look at World Juniors

BU looks to wrap up the semester on a high note as they play a home and home with the Lowell Riverhawks this weekend. The two teams will be at Tsongas Center tonight, while the series concludes back on Comm Ave Saturday night at Agganis. 

From The Vault
Former Terrier goalie Sean Maguire stops Lowell's CJ Smith
on a breakaway in the 2016 Hockey East Quarterfinals. Lowell
won the game 3-2 and the series 2-0.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Lowell’s 0-3-0 start to the season surprised a lot of folks. For the last five years, Lowell has been in the conference championship game, winning three times (2013, 2014 and 2017) and have been at the top of the league standings year in and year out. 

The Riverhawks currently sit in sole position of sixth place in Hockey East with a 5-5-0 league record. All five of those league wins came in the month of November, where Lowell went 5-1-0. Last weekend, the strong run came to a screeching halt as Bentley bucked the Riverhawks 3-2 (OT), despite getting outshot 27-13.  

A year ago, BU and Lowell split their season series. BU won the first game 4-2 at home at the end of January and Lowell rebound for a 3-2 win at Tsongas in mid-February. 

Scouting the Riverhawks
Sophomore Ryan Lohin has paced the Lowell offensive attack thus far. In 15 games played, the Tampa Bay draft pick has registered five goals and nine assists for 14 points. Kenny Hausinger is second with 12 points by way of five goals and seven assists. Senior John Edwardh is arguable Lowell’s most potent scorer and has five goals and nine assists this year. Last season, Edwardh notched 39 points and is Lowell’s top returning scorer from a year ago. 

In goal, Christoffer Hernberg has stolen the starting job from Tyler Wall. Hernberg is 8-2-0 on the year and holds a .939 save percentage and a 1.64 goals against average. He was recently named Hockey East goalie of the month for November. 

World Junior Prelim Rosters Announced
Over the course of last week, several countries started releasing their preliminary World Junior rosters invitations. All in all, BU had five players selected from three different countries. Patrick Harper, Jake Oettinger, and Brady Tkachuk all received invites from USA Hockey. Dante Fabbro was selected by team Canada and Kasper Kotkansalo for Finland. 

One surprising name left off the US roster was Chad Krys, who played in the tournament as 17-year-old in 2016 and was on the preliminary roster last year. Krys is arguably playing the best hockey of his career right now, with four goals and ten assists thus far. 

“You feel like its one of your children,” mentioned coach Quinn. “Obviously you’re always hopeful and you always think very highly of them. Its disappointing for Chad, but one thing that him and I have talked about is you just move past it, and he gets to spend Christmas at home. There's always a silver lining there.” 

The final rosters will be released in the coming weeks after each team holds their evaluation camp prior to the tournament in Buffalo, starting on December 26th.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Woll, BC Force Series Split

BC's Joe Woll made 36 saves in a 4-1 win at Agganis Arena in front of 6115 to push the Eagles past the Terriers in game two of the Battle of Comm Ave.

BC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on goals from Connor Moore and David Cotten. Shane Bowers added the lone  BU goal midway through the second frame off a tip from a Kasper Kotkansalo point shot.

Men's Hockey vs Boston College (12/2/17)

Ron Greco added some insurance with less than five minutes to play and Graham McPhee notched an empty net goal to round out the scoring.

Jake Oettinger made 23 saves in the loss.

Friday, December 1, 2017

BU Takes Round One

In a back and forth, high scoring affair, BU walked out of Conte Forum with a 7-4 win over the Eagles.

Men's Hockey at Boston College (12/1/17)

After seeing BC strike twice in the first 2:16, BU rallied back on goals from Brandon Hickey, Logan Cockerill and a shorthanded tally from Brady Tkachuk to take a 3-2 lead after one.

BC's Ron Greco scored 2:41 into the second to tie things up, but BU countered with three goals in less than three minutes to blow the game open. First, Chad Krys put home a power-play goal from Bobo Carpenter and Pat Harper. Roughly two minutes later, Brandon Hickey scored the eventual game-winner and minute after. Fifty seconds later, Carpenter notched his ninth of the year.

BC would cut it to a two-goal game off a Julius Mattila power-play goal with 50 seconds left, but that would be the closest the Eagles would get.

Shane Bowers added an empty-netter to round out the scoring.

Jake Oettinger was fabulous in the third period, making nine saves, including one to rob JD Dudek on a breakaway. All in all, Oettinger turned aside 29 shots for his sixth win of the season.

While Pat Harper didn't find the back of the net, he did add four assists tonight.

The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night at Agganis.

Weekend With The Eagles

*Article first published on WTBU*

BOSTON PROPER — This weekend, Boston University and No. 15 Boston College will renew the Greenline Rivalry, a clash between the two Boston based schools that dates back to the 1917-18 season. The Terriers and the Eagles will rehash the rivalry in back-to-back games, starting on Friday at 7 p.m. in Chestnut Hill before returning to Agganis Arena on Saturday night.

From The Vault
Brandon Hickey snows BC Goalie Joe Woll in a 3-0 win at Conte
last January.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
“There’s always a little extra buzz when you’re playing BC,” said Terrier Head Coach David Quinn, who squared off with the Eagles (8-5-2, 8-1-0 Hockey East) 16 times during his playing days at BU (6-8-1, 4-4-1 Hockey East) in the mid-1980s.

Sophomore Dante Fabbro, whose four goals paces all Terrier defenseman, echoed Quinn’s thoughts.

“Obviously with us being big rivals and there’s lots of history there, I think we’re definitely pretty excited coming into this one,” Fabbro said.”It’s going to be a pretty crazy atmosphere both nights and this week you could definitely feel the excitement with our team.”

A year ago, BU took three of four games from the Eagles, including the opening round of the Beanpot. But, it was Boston College who won the series’ biggest matchup of 2017, taking the Hockey East Semifinal, 3-2.

Since starting 1-5-2, BC has turned things around considerably. Starting on November 5th, the Eagles ran off seven wins in a row, and are 7-0-1 in that stretch after their most recent draw with Harvard. The most impressive win for the Eagles came on November 18 at Northeastern, a 4-1 win. BC picked up 14 of their league-leading 16 Hockey East points in the month of November.

The Eagles have been a strong defensive team in conference, allowing just 1.67 goals-per-game. A huge reason for this is their penalty kill, which is currently running at conference-best 91.4 percent (32-for-35). By contrast, BU is eighth in Hockey East at 78.4 percent (29-of-37).

Traditionally, Jerry York’s BC team run a very aggressive penalty kill. Last weekend, BU had a glimpse of that aggressive style against Cornell, and cashed in not once, but twice on the man advantage.

“When your power play matches the penalty kill’s effort and work ethic, you’re going to have a chance to have a good power play,” mentioned Quinn. “I thought there was a lot more pace to our power play against Cornell. We are trying a few different things, but I thought it was pretty good against Cornell after a sluggish stretch.”

A lot of BU’s success on the man-advantage this season has come from the defense. Fabbro and Chad Krys both netted power-play goals over the weekend, and have been a main source of special teams production all season.

“I think before when we weren’t really clicking we were hanging on to pucks too long and not moving it quick enough,” Fabbro added. “In practice, we addressed a few things and have tried to get pucks to the net as much as possible and retrieve them. It seems to be working so far and we are trying to build off that.”

Scouting the Eagles
Unlike years past, Boston College doesn’t have one dominant line or player like Johny Gaudreau. Instead, the 2017-18 Eagles are scoring by committee. Ten skaters have at least eight points, but no one has more than eleven.

Sitting atop the charts is Julius Mattila, a sophomore who was on the Finnish World Junior team last winter. Mattila, whose fellow sophomore brother is also on the roster, has amassed eleven points via four goals and seven assists. Freshman Chris Grando leads the team in goals scored with five and has also added five assists. Other players to watch include Cassy Fitzgerald, David Cotton, JD Dudek and Graham McPhee.

“You can be good in different ways,” Quinn remarked. “Sometimes you have a horse and a top line, sometimes you got a bunch of good lines; and they have a bunch of good lines. That’s not easy to prepare for either. There are all different ways to win, and they have done a good job digging themselves out of a hole they were in early from playing a very difficult schedule.”

Between the pipes, Joe Woll holds a 6-4-2 record with a .905 save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against-average. A year ago, Woll posted a 9.19 save percentage against BU in four games, with a 1-3-0 record.

This weekend’s clash with cross-town rival Boston College marks the 100th anniversary that the two Comm Ave based schools have done battle. In fact, BU’s first ever game was against Boston College on February 6, 1918. The Eagles skated away with a 3-1 win at Boston Arena – now known as Matthews Arena – in what was BU’s lone game of their inaugural 1917-18 campaign.

The Terriers did not play a single game in 1919, lost both their games in 1920 (one to BC, 9-0) and didn’t field a team for the 1921 and 1922 seasons. Finally, the program stabilized itself under head coach George Gaw in 1925 after going 1-8-0 in 1924. The ’25 season was the first winning season in BU hockey history and it also marked the first time the Terriers beat the Eagles, a 1-0 win at Boston Arena on December 23, 1924.

Overall coming into this weekend, BU holds a 133-123-18 record in the series, thanks in large part to a 16 game unbeaten streak from December 9, 1992 to February 5, 1996 when the Terriers went 14-0-2 against BC. In 2017, the teams squared off four times, with BU emerging victorious three times; however, the Eagles have won the most recent contest.