Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eichel and MacLeod begin World U18 Championships in Finland tomorrow

2014 recruits Jack Eichel and Johnathan MacLeod are in Finland with Team USA for the IIHF World U18 Championships, which begin tomorrow. Eichel (photo) has been named an assistant captain by USA Hockey. The 6-2 right-shot center, who is the only returnee from last year’s silver-medal winning team, discussed how he’ll use his experience to lead and motivate his teammates in this year’s tournament. 

Yesterday, Eichel answered questions for fans via the USA Hockey twitter account :

I decided between BU and BC. BU just felt like the perfect fit for me. I always wanted to play in hockey east and the Beanpot.

can't wait for to apart of @TerrierHockey next season. I have talked to a few guys already. @Matt_Grzelcyk5 & @DannyORegan15

►Team USA’s games at the World U18s will be streamed live by Fast Hockey. The first preliminary round game is Thursday, April 17, versus Switzerland with puck drop set for 8 a.m. EDT.

United States of Hockey preview of Team USA

Looking forward
The Sherwood Park News, reporting on Sean MacTavish’s commitment to BU for 2015, spoke with Crusaders coach Tim Fragile, who said:

 “Sean has developed over the course of two seasons in all areas of his game. He is an elite level thinker and is offensively gifted. He had a really good season, especially from November on. Getting 72 points was a big jump from his first season totals. It was just an exceptional year.”

MacTavish, a  right-shot forward, had previously played for the Shattuck St. Mary’s U16 where he was a linemate of Colorado Avalanche forward Nate McKinnon, who became the first overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

The season continues for 2014 recruit Brandon Hickey (photo) and the Spruce Grove Saints, who swept Drumheller, 4-0, to win the 2014 AJHL Gas Drive Championship Cup. The 6-2 defenseman, who contributed 22 regular-season points, added five assists in 13 playoff games for the Saints who move on to the Western Canada Cup tournament in Dauphin, Manitoba.

For fellow 2014 recruit Liam Coughlin, the season is over, as the Vernon Vipers were swept in the BCHL Fred Page Cup finals.  Coughlin, a 6-3 left wing from South Boston, had given the Vipers a 2-0 lead in game three with his seventh playoff goal, but the Express stormed back to win in overtime and then completed the sweep the next night. Coughlin, who previously played for Catholic Memorial, scored 13 points in the playoffs to go with his 45 regular-season points.

USA Hockey announced eleven commitments for the 2014-15 NTDP U17s, including 2016 recruit Clayton Keller, who led Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep to a national U18 championship with a team best scoring line of 36-41-77.

Looking back
USA Hockey has named Joe Sacco an assistant coach for the upcoming Men’s World Championships. The former Terrier and long-time NHLer was head coach a year ago for Team USA’s bronze-medal winning squad. Sacco is currently an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres.

Former Terrier Sahir Gill (photo) leads  the ECHL Wheeling Nailers into the playoffs against first-round opponent South Carolina. Gill, who ended the regular season on a ten-game scoring streak, was the Nailers’ top point scorer with 54 points. Former BU netminder Kieran Millan joined Wheeling late in the season and appeared in five games. The Nailers are coached by former Terrier forward and U.S. Olympian Clark Donatelli.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Frozen Four Linkorama--UPDATED

Congratulations to Union College on its first-ever NCAA hockey championship, earned with wins against Boston College (semifinal, 5-4) and Minnesota (championship, 7-4) at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia. With the Dutchmen’s victory on Saturday, the ECAC has claimed back-to-back titles for the first time since BU repeated at NCAA champions in 1971 and 1972. [Note: prior to the formation of Hockey East, BU was a member of the ECAC].

Eastern teams have now claimed six of the past seven Divison 1 national championships. Western teams had dominated the first 25 years of the tournament, winning 21 times.

Former BU netminder Jason Tapp has been an assistant coach to Union’s Rick Bennett since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, after having served as the team’s volunteer goalie coach.

Union’s 12 goals in two Frozen Four games, matched North Dakota dozen in 1997 and BC’s 12 in 2010 as the most goals tallied in two games since BU racked up 13 scores en route to the 1995 NCAA title. That year, the Terriers swamped Minnesota, 7-3, and then defeated Maine, 6-2, in the title game, led by Chris O’Sullivan’s pair of goals.

Looking ahead
2014 recruit Johnathan MacLeod’s wrist shot from the left face off circle gave Team USA a 1-0 lead midway through the first period and the Americans cruised to a 9-1 win over Germany in a pre-tourney game at the IIHF World U18 Championships. Fellow 2014 recruit Jack Eichel assisted on two goals as Team USA prepped for its preliminary round game against Switzerland on Thursday.
● USA Hockey recap and box score

2014 recruit Brandon Hickey’s wrist shot on a power play led to the game-winning goal for Spruce Grove in a 5-3 Saints win against Drumheller. Spruce Grove leads the best-of-seven AJHL Gas Drive Cup  League final, two games to none.  The 6-2 left-shot defenseman has four assists in eleven playoff games, after posting a 4-18-22 line in 49 regular season games for Spruce Grove. Hickey was the highest-ranked AJHL player (#63) in the recent 2014 NHL Central Scouting final rankings and second highest for all Canadian Junior A leagues.

2014 recruit Liam Coughlin assisted on Vernon’s third goal, but Coquitlam came away with a 4-3 overtime win over the Vipers and have a 2-0 league in the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup championship round.  The rugged left wing from South Boston, who scored 45 points in the regular season, has six goals and six assists in 17 playoff games thus far.

Looking back
Nick Bonino, who has scored more than a few memorable goals in his college and pro career added another Saturday night in Anaheim’s 4-3 shootout win against the Kings. The former BU captain, who earned second-star honors, stole the puck from a defender and whipped it home from his knees with his back to the net. It was his 21st goal of the season. 

Last night, he scored in overtime, giving the Ducks a 3-2 win against Colorado. In a breakout season for Bonino, the Connecticut native set new career highs in goals, assists and points with a 22-27-49 scoring line.  Bonino helped led Anaheim to a Western Conference best 116 points this season and its best regular season record in franschise history. They’ll meet Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.

Just before his standout weekend, Bonino talked with Puck Daddy's Jen Neale about college hockey at BU, his breakout year with the Ducks and the upcoming playofffs. 

San Jose, which finished five points behind the Ducks, announced that Matt Nieto, along with Tomas Hertl, were named co-rookies of the year for the club in a vote of Bay Area media. Nieto scored 24 points (10G, 14A) in 66 games for the Sharks.

Colin Wilson wristed home his 11th goal of the season for Nashville in the Predators’ 7-5 win against Chicago. The former Terrier All-American finished the season with 33 points.

Former Terrier and NHL forward Dan LaCouture talked with the New York Times about the lawsuit against the NHL he and eight other former players have brought related to brain injuries. LaCouture, who played for the Terriers’ 1997 team that reached the NCAA finals, discussion the multiple concussions that he contends cut his career short.

Women’s Team
The Terriers held their post-season awards banquet and celebrated their 24-13-1 season, highlighted by a third consecutive Hockey East championship and another trip to the NCAA tournament. Team captain Louis Warren (photo), who scored 27 goals and 19 assists, was named Most Valuable Player.  She concludes her BU career with 108 total points. Other award winners:
  Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year – Sarah Bayersdorfer
  Academic Honors Award – Meghan Riggs and Kerrin Sperry
  Friends of Hockey Unsung Hero Award – Dakota Woodworth
  Caroline Bourdeau Spirit Award – Braly Hiller
  Most Improved Player – Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga

Marie-Philip Poulin, who returns to BU next season after leading Team Canada to the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal, was selected as the 2014-15 captain.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recruiting beat goes on; recalling BU's D.C. Miracle--UPDATED

Terrier have added more firepower to its 2015 recruit class with the commitment of Sherwood Park Crusaders right wing Sean MacTavish. The 6-0, 180 lb., native of Edmonton was third in regular-season scoring in the AJHL with a 28-44-72 scoring line and was named the league’s player-of-the-month for December with 16 points.

MacTavish, who is the son of former NHLer and current Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish, added another seven points in ten playoff games before Sherwood Park was eliminated by Spruce Grove and 2014 BU recruit Brandon Hickey.

During his first season with the Crusaders, he was named to the AJHL North Division all-rookie team and played in the CJHL Prospect Games, scoring a pair of goals in Team West’s 5-0 win against Team East. Video interview.

Before joining the Crusaders, MacTavish played for The Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., teaming with BU freshman Kevin Duane for a combined 102 points.

According to one of THFBlog’s sources, a coach from another school termed the MacTavish verbal “a total steal for BU."

● HockeyNow: Genetics propel Crusaders 
Sherwood Park Crusader announcement

This Day in Terrier Hockey History: April 11, 2009--The D.C. Miracle.

Down two goals in the NCAA championship game against Miami with less than a minute-and-half left in regulation, Terriers put on a rally for the ages. With the BU net empty, Zach Cohen’s backhander from in tight found space between the Redhawks goalie’s pad and the post. Then, with the clock running down, Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Gilroy backhanded a pass to Nick Bonino in the right circle for the one-timer that knotted the score with 17.4 seconds left as ESPN's Gary Thorne exclaimed, “Unbelievable!” and the BU bench erupted.  And, 11:47 into overtime, Colby Cohen’s deflected slapper floated over Cody Reichard’s shoulder to give BU its fifth NCAA championship and the third of Coach Jack Parker’s career.
● Video: Last 3 minutes of regulation; overtime winner
● Video: Full game highlights 
● Terrier Tale: INSTANT CLASSIC—The Drive for Five 
● Game coverage links 

Looking back 
John Curry’s first NHL start in four seasons was a successful one as he turned aside 43 shots in Minnesota’s 4-2 win against St. Louis and earned first-star honors.  The first of the two goals he gave came off the stick of Kevin Shattenkirk, who fired home a wrister from the high slot on a power play.

Earlier this year, Curry was named to the 50th anniversary BU Athletics Hall of Fame class that will be inducted on May 31. 

● recap 
The Hockey News recap and video
Pioneer Press recap
● Post-game interview (video)
Star-Tribune recap
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