Friday, February 05, 2016

Game Day: Terriers visit UMass

#9 Terriers head West to take on UMass in Amherst with puck drop at the Mullins Center set for 7 p.m. BU will seek to gain an important two points in the Hockey East race and to extend its winning streak to five games. TerrierTV subscribers will be able to watch the UMass live stream of the game.

After starting the season with a 6-2-1 mark, the Minutemen have won just once in their past 18 games, which included a 7-2 defeat last month at the hands of the Terriers with Captain Matt Grzelcyk contributing a hat trick. Senior Shane Walsh and sophomore Ray Pigozzi lead UMass with 23 points apiece and Walsh is the top goal-scorer with 15. Freshman Nic Renyard has a 3.70 GAA in 18 games.

With 45 goals scored in the last 11 games, BU is getting contributions from all four lines and the defense corps. Seniors Matt Lane and Ahti Oksanen (photo) lead with 14 goals each and classmate Danny O’Regan is the top point-getter with 30. BU’s 25 goals from the defense—led by Grzelcyk’s eight—is second in the nation, just one behind Providence.

Freshman Charlie McAvoy will sit out tonight’s game with a lower body injury. Replacing him in the line-up is sophomore John MacLeod.  Sophomore Nikolas Olsson, bitten by the injury bug again this year, has been shut down for the season, needing shoulder surgery.  

Tonight's BU line-up
● Boston Hockey Blog live in-game blog
● Daily Free Press preview; LaCouvee trusts the process
● WTBU Sports game preview
● College Hockey News Tale of the Tape 
● HockeyEastOnline weekend preview
● SB Nation preview

► O’Regan, with 140 career points, is eight away from surpassing Peter MacArthur to become the highest scoring Terrier since 2000 and 10 away from becoming just the 18th BU skater to reach 150 career points.

► McAvoy, who scored the game-winner Monday in the Beanpot semifinal vs. Northeastern, is featured on the cover of the February issue of New York Hockey Journal and in a profile article (pgs. 34 & 35). The 6-1 defenseman from Long Beach is projected by many to be picked in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, including International Scouting Services, which has McAvoy at #19 in its February rankings. 
NHL Central Scouting ranked him #9 among North American skaters in its midterm rankings.

Episode 3 of BU Terriers All Access premiers tonight at 6:30 p.m. on NESN. When a link to watch the program online becomes available, we'll post it on the blog.

The cover article of the 2016 Beanpot Tournament program, titled “Patriarchs of the Beanpot,” has been added to our list of Terrier Tales in the sidebar. Written by longtime hockey writer and public address announcer at Conte Forum Tom Burke, it tracks the careers of four legendary coaches at Beanpot schools: BU’s Jack Kelley (photo), BC’s Snooks Kelley, Harvard’s Cooney Weiland and Northeastern’s Fernie Flaman. All four are members of the Beanpot Hall of Fame, which former BU netminder Terry Taillefer joins this year.

Looking back
Matt Nieto scored his seventh of the season, unassisted, in San Jose’s 3-1 win against St. Louis. Kevin Shattenkirk, who is one point shy of 200 as a Blue, rang a shot off the post during a power play.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

IBUH #15: Quinn, McAvoy, O'Connell

Episode 15 of Inside BU Hockey features Bernie Corbett's interviews with Coach David Quinn, freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Dennis O'Connell, captain of the 1965-66 Terriers. The youngest of the Terriers also is the youngest player in Division 1 this season, McAvoy has 13 points (2G, 11A) this season including his game-winning goal (video) in Monday's Beanpot opener. The Long Beach, N.Y., native was the top-scoring defenseman for the NTDP U18s last season with 40 points and, along with fellow freshman Jordan Greenway, won a gold medal in the IIHF World U18 Championships.  Last month, McAvoy and sophomore Brandon Fortunato skated for the U.S. bronze medal winning team at the World Junior Championships.

BU captain Dennis O'Connell with BC standout John Cunniff at the 1966 Beanpot
A native of South Boston and a member of Jack Kelley's first recruiting class, O'Connell scored 94 points in three varsity seasons. Fifty years ago, he helped lead BU to the first Beanpot championship and first NCAA tournament of the Kelley era and a 27-8-0 record.  It was following the 9-2 win over Harvard in the Beanpot final that a winning team first skated the Beanpot Trophy around the Boston Garden ice.

More Beanpot
BU Hockey historian Sean Pickett has updated his data bases of BU Beanpot records and Terrier records for games at TD Garden .

Among the former Terriers who attended Monday’s Beanpot semi-final were Matt O’Connor, former All-American, co-captain of the 1978 national championship team and 1980 Olympic gold medalist Jack O’Callahan (photo), and high-scoring defenseman Gary Fay who flew in from Switzerland. 

Four 2016 recruits from the NTDP U18s--Kieffer Bellows, Clayton Keller, Chad Krys and Jake Oettinger--along with 2017 recruit and Avon Old Farms top scorer Patrick Harper,, were in the TD Garden stands for Monday's game.  [Note: If you spotted other former at the Garden, let us know with a comment.]

Looking back
Jack Eichel guested on NHL Live (audio) to talk about his rookie season as well as the Beanpot Tournament. Eichel recorded his 35th point of the season, assisting on a goal in Buffalo’s 4-2 win over Montreal. 

Eric Gryba (photo) scored his first goal of the season in the Oilers’ 5-1 win against Columbus. Adam Clendening, in his first start since being acquired by Edmonton, contributed an assist, a block and three shots on goal. recap and video

Colin Wilson returned to Predators’ practice for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury in January.

Chris Bourque, who scored the game-winning goal in the 2005 Beanpot championship game (video), fired two goals to lead Team Atlantic to the finals of the AHL All-Star Classic.

Looking ahead

The duo of Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows has been unstoppable, and that’s good news for both NTDP and Boston University. The two Terrier commits are both well over a point-per-game pace with Keller averaging 2.00 Pt/G and Bellows at 1.59 Pt/G. Bellows capped off his weekend with four goals, and two game-winning goals in a back-to-back set. Just as impressive has been the play of 2017 NHL Draft eligible goaltender Jake Oettinger. The Lakeville, MN native is chasing every Team USA USHL goaltending single season record including John Gibson’s 2010-11 USHL season record for save percentage (.926%), Thatcher Demko and Jack Campell’s GAA record (2.21) and Demko’s 2012-13 record for most wins (15). With seven games remaining Oettinger is 10-1-0-0 with a 2.16 GAA and .925 SV%.

USA Hockey spoke with 2017 recruit Brady Tkachuk about how father, former Terrier, NHL standout and US Olympian Keith Tkachuk, and brother Matthew Tkachuk helped the NTDP U17 power forward develop his game.

2018 recruit and Tkachuk’s teammate on the U17s Logan Cockerill is featured in the current edition of MIHockeyNow Magazine.

2018 recruit Tyler Weiss scored twice in the Don Mills Flyers 5-2 win over the Junior Canadians in game four of their GTHL playoff series. The speedy forward from Raleigh, N.C., scored the Flyers’ first goal on a power play and provided the game-winner on a penalty shot. Weiss, who has been named to Team USA for this month’s Youth Olympics in Norway, has scored 21 goals and 18 assists in 29 games.

Women’s Team
Terriers dropped a 3-2 decision to Northeastern in the Women’s Beanpot opener on Tuesday at Walter Brown Arena. Rebecca Russo gave BU a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, assisted by Rebecca Leslie and Alexis Crossley. However the Huskies scored twice in the second and once in the third period for a 3-1 lead. Crossley scored an extra-attacker goal, assisted by Leslie, with two minutes left in the period, but that was as close as the Terriers could get. Erin O’Neil stopped 27 Northeastern shots. BU will play Harvard in next Tuesday’s consolation game.
● recap and comprehensive box score
● Post-game press conference
● Daily Free Press recap

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Beanpot: Terriers defeat NU, will face BC in final--UPDATED

#9 BU earned the right to defend its Beanpot title with a 3-1 victory over Northeastern at TD Garden. The Terriers, who will face BC in next Monday’s final, received first-period goals from junior Robbie Baillargeon and freshman Charlie McAvoy, an empty-netter from junior Doyle Somerby and another extremely sharp effort in goal by senior Sean Maguire .

In addition to propelling BU into next week’s final, the victory—the Terriers’ 15th of the season—achieve a program milestone: 1,500 wins since the Terriers first took to the ice in 1917. BU will play in the Beanpot championship game for the 28th time in the past 33 seasons.

BU got on the board at 13:14 of the first when freshman Ryan Cloonan kept a puck alive in the Huskies zone, leading to two shots by freshman Bobo Carpenter. The second deflected into the air to goalie Ryan Ruck’s right and Baillargeon batted it home. Three-and-a-half minutes later, freshman Oskar Andrén’s pass sent senior Danny O’Regan into the NU zone, where he dropped the puck to McAvoy, who blasted a shot into the top left corner past a partially screened goalie. 

Maguire, coming off last Friday’s 4-0 shutout of Merrimack, held Northeastern at bay until late in the third period, stopping 24 shots, including a Mike McMurtry  breakaway in the first period. The Huskies finally broke through after pulling Ruck for an extra attacker. Maguire made a pad stop on a shot from the point, but an unchecked John Stevens slid the rebound under him. Two minutes later, with NU pressing for the equalizer, Somerby cleared the puck with a 180-foot shot that went dead-center into the empty net.

Ruck was immense in goal for Northeastern keeping BU from extending its lead on breakaways by O’Regan and freshman Jordan Greenway and denying a Matt Lane one-timer from the right circle on a power play that seemed labeled. Cloonan nearly added to the lead in the third period when his backhander rang off the crossbar.

BU coach David Quinn was pleased with his team’s performance:                                    
“Just a really good team effort — from start to finish, we were ready to play. I thought our forwards had a good night, our ‘D’ corps had a good night, our goalie had a good night.”
McAvoy, whose goal proved to be the game-winner, reflected on his first Beanpot experience:
“Coming in, you choose to go to a school like BU to play in the Beanpot and it was everything that it was hyped up to be.”
● recap and comprehensive box score
● Post-game comment: Quinn and O’Regan
● Daily Free Press recap ; McAvoy’s growth; Andrén shines
● College Hockey News recap
● Boston Globe recap

►O’Regan and captain Matt Grzelcyk are on the list of 23 finalists for the Walter Brown Award, which recognizes the top American-born college hockey player in New England.

Women’s Team
Terriers host Northeastern at Walter Brown Arena in the opening round of the 38th Women’s Beanpot Tournament. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m.
● preview, game notes, game tracker, TerrierTV, @BUGameDay
Daily Free Press preview
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