Monday, March 24, 2014

Rink Tour

I know I said I was done here, but as a final wrap up, I leave you with a visual of every rink I've ever seen BU play at, in chronological order.
Section 9, Row T, Seats 1 and 2 at Walter Brown
the place where I saw my first hockey game
The Garden, fitting I ended high school hockey career
on the same bench Jack Parker did 
Tsongas Arena, my first road game (2001)
Matthews Arena (2002)
BU played at DCU in 2002, '03, '05, and '06 in the NCAA
Tournament.
Conte Forum, Boston College (2003) 
Schneider Arena, Providence. First Time I went was in 2003 in
the Hockey East Quarterfinals.  
Agganis Arena opened it's doors in January of 2005, I was
at Opening Night, a 2-1 win over Minnesota. This is the view
from my season tickets in second 114 
Bright Center, Harvard. (2006). Harvard is one of two rinks
on this list that I have actually played a hockey game on.
The other is Boston Garden
Lawler Rink, Merrimack (2007)
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester NH (2009 NCAA Regionals) 
Verizon Center, Washington DC (2009 Frozen Four). My first
and only Frozen Four.
Mullins Center, UMass (2010)
Madison Square Garden, New York City.
Been here for three of the four Red Hot Hockey
games with Cornell, the first of which I saw in
November 2009.  
Scott Trade Center, St. Louis, Missouri (Icebreaker 2011) 
Gutterson Field-House, Vermont (2012)
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota (2012 West Regional)
The Wittemore Center, New Hampshire (2013)
Yost Ice Arena, Michigan (2014)
Munn Arena, Michigan State (2014)
Alfond Arena, Maine (2014)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So This Is The End

By now I'm sure anyone who reads this blog knows that BU's season came to an end last Saturday night with a 3-2 loss at Notre Dame in round one of the Hockey East playoffs. For the first time since 1992, BU failed to win at least one game in the HE tournament. That year (as the 4 seed) they lost to (5) Boston College 4-2 in the one game, single elimination quarterfinal format used that year.

As I said at the start of the year, this would be the last year of the blog and the last year I could cover the team. It is sad to see it go, but it may be back in a few years. Hopefully if everything works out I will actually attend BU as a student and not just an avid hockey fan. As a lot of you know I play hockey myself, and next year I am going to prep school in Maine (Bridgton Academy) to further my hockey career. Where that takes me, right now, I don't know. But I do hope I have the chance to come to BU for school (and maybe hockey, eh, coach Quinn? haha) but for now I really just don't know.

So this is the last post. Never did I think I would do this for five seasons when I started back in 8th grade. Back then I didn't even really know how to type and I actually made the site completely by accident. I was attempting to post a comment on a post on the Terrier Hockey Fan Blog when I clicked this big orange button saying "Create your own Blog" and thought to myself,  "What the hell, why not?" From there it took off and I never thought I would actually cover the games, but I stuck with it. The first year I would wake up before school to write about the team.  Five years later as a senior in high school, I have a class in school (independent study) solely devoted to the blog and covering my high school's sport teams.

Looking Toward Next Year
I don't know when the next game I will be able to go to is and it's a strange feeling because for the last whatever amount of years I always have gone to opening night. As for next year's team, it will definitely  be one to watch.

Granted this year's squad didn't win a great deal of games, but all of them (with the exception of the Maine games) were very close, at least scoreboard wise. Next year the team returns a ton of talent and also sees one of the most highly regarded recruit classes to pull on the scarlet and white. Jack Eichel headlines the class with other notable recruits including A.J. Greer and John MacLeod. Here's the complete class: Link.

I never imagined that I would stick with it that long but I'm really glad I did. It never has seemed like "work" to me, it was always something I truly enjoyed and I'm going to miss it. So I leave you with the inspiration for starting this whole thing back in the summer of 2009...


)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Hockey East Round One: Notre Dame

With a four point weekend, the first of its kind this year, BU pulled themselves out of a potential last place finish in the league standings. As it is, this year is the worst finish for BU ever in Hockey East. Thankfully with Notre Dame joining the league this season, the playoff format was changed from the top 8 teams, to all 11 making the tournament.
From the Vault
BU celebrates Sean Escobeo's game winning goal with 1:07
left in the 2010 Icebreaker Championship game vs Notre Dame
in St. Louis. 

Obviously, in past years, BU would not have qualified for the league tournament. That is something that has never happened. 2004 was about as close as you could possibly imagine to not making it. BU needed a win in UNH (who finished 4th) on the last day of the season to finish 8th and just sneak in; otherwise they would have finished last and Merrimack would have taken the 8 seed. In that must win with UNH, the Terriers took a 2-0 lead before the 'Cats scored two of their own to tie things up in the third. The teams traded goals midway through period three and the game went to overtime tied 3-3. Almost halfway through the extra session, BU's David  Van der Gulik got off a shot from the circle, crashed the net and took about four whacks at the rebound before finally forcing the puck past Mike Ayers and into the goal sending BU to Hockey East Playoffs.

In the tournament, BU played number one seed Boston College and to everyone's surprise, won Game One 3-2 despite getting out shot 28-7. BC blanked BU 4-0 the next night, before BU pulled off one of, if not the biggest upsets in the HE tournament with a 4-2 win in Game Three. The Terriers advanced to the Garden to play Maine, where one last third period goal ended the 2004 BU hockey season. Sean Fields made 31 saves in the 1-0 loss, his last game as a Terrier.

So enough with the history lesson and onto this weekend....

Tomorrow BU will play league newcomer, Notre Dame in a one game playoff to advance to the quarterfinals, where (if all the higher seeds win out, except BU) , the Terriers will once again face Boston College. There are a lot of comparisons with 2004, hence why they have been brought up all year.

Two weeks ago, these two teams played in South Bend, seeing Notre Dame win a pair of 2-0 games. BU was plagued with some unfortunate travel struggles as their flight out to Indiana was re-routed and grounded twice before landing in South Bend.

Notre Dame is led offensively by TJ Tynan, who has 8 goals, 23 assists for 31 points in 34 games. Behind him is Mario Lucia (son of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia) who leads the team in goals with 15 and also has 13 assists for 28 points. WJC standout Vince Hinostroza also has 28 points with 7-21-28 line.

In goal, BU will again see Steven Summerhays. The senior from Anchorage, Alaska is the owner of an 18-11-2 record. In his time in goal, Summerhays has posted a .929 save percentage and a 1.87 goals against average, along with a stunning seven shutouts.

Unfortunately the game will not be on TV, but those interested can buy that game though the ND Athletics website.

I will not be able to make it out to Indiana because my high school team is still in the playoffs and I have a game on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Catching Up

It's been a few weeks since I posted and that has nothing to do with how the team is playing. Personally it's been a really busy time of year and I have only been able to make it to one game since the Beanpot, so it's been a little difficult to keep up with things on the blog.
Friday night, Jack Parker's number

That being said, I was at the game Friday night. That was a different team that has played in the second semester. It has seemed since the Beanpot that things have slowly been progressing. The team played UNH pretty tough and despite getting shutout two nights in a row by Notre Dame, they hung right with the Irish.

Speaking of the Irish, with the sweep of Northeastern last weekend and Notre Dame's overtime win against Boston College, the Terriers and Irish will meet in the first round of the Hockey East tournament. The new format this year sees the bottom six teams play a one game playoff to get the field of 11 down to 8.

Sixth seeded Maine will host Merrimack, 7th place Vermont have a date with 10th seeded UMass in Burlington and BU will travel back out to South Bend to face Notre Dame. UVM and UMass play Friday night on NESN and the other two games are on Saturday.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekend With the Wildcats

Danny O'Regan and BU will look for
their first road win of the year tonight
in Durham.
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
Coming off a disappointing fourth place finish in the Beanpot and a 6-2 loss to Harvard in the consolation game, BU will look to get back on track in a tough weekend series with New Hampshire. The ‘Cats come into this weekend tied with Maine for fourth place in the Hockey East Standings. BU is in 10th with just 9 points.

This weekend is not only critical for the league standing, but it will also see the formal retirement of former Jack Parker’s number 6 to the rafters. The ceremony will take place prior to Saturday’s game at Agganis.

Scouting the Wildcats
Last weekend UNH was swept at home by Vermont by scores of 5-2 and 2-1. The weekend before they swept Notre Dame, again at the Whitt. 

Offensively New Hampshire is led by senior Kevin Goumas with 37 points, 13 goals and 24 assists. Right behind him is fellow senior Nick Sorkin, who has posted a team leading 16 goals along with 16 assists for 32 points in 32 games.

In goal junior Casey DeSmith is 14-13-0 in 28 appearances with a .920 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average. Senior Jeff Wyer has seen action in 7 games with a 2-2-1 record.


Unfortunately I can’t make it to either game this weekend due to my own hockey conflicts. Hopefully I will get to both Northeastern games and the first round of the Hockey East tournament, but right now I really don’t know. This year there have been a lot more conflicts that in past years for whatever reason but I’m going to try and keep up the sight as much I can.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

They Deserved Better

Last night was a lot closer than most people ever thought it would have been. BU was in the game all night but there is a certainly a difference between being in the game and actually winning.

BU never caught a break last night. They never got a bounce. They simply had no luck. One play in the third period perfectly sums this all up. A pass came from the corner by (I believe) Cason Hohmann to Matt Lane who was all alone in front of the BC goal. The puck somehow got deflected and went straight up. At this point, BC goalie Thatcher Demko was sprawled out and the entire net was open. The puck continued the pinball around the crease, hitting off of everything but somehow staying out of the net. It was just one of those nights.

BU played well out of the gate, but it was BC who struck early and looked like they would run away with the game. Pat MacGregor was in the box for tripping just 3:50 into the game, 15 seconds later the Eagles had a 1-0 lead. Teddy Doherty and Scott Savage helped set up Ryan Fitzgerald in the low right circle and from there, Fitzgerald beat Matt O'Connor (29 saves) top left up under the bar. It was a nice setup and a better shot.

From this point on, BU actually had some of the better chances in the frame, but again just couldn't get a break... and BC did.

On a John Gaudreau rush into the zone, BU defenseman Garrett Noonan lost an edge, falling down and allowing Gaudreau to walk right into the slot. There, he was cleaned out by another BU skater but the puck went right to Bill Arnold. Arnold wasted no time sliding a pass over to Kevin Hayes who was wide open at the top of the crease and staring at an empty net. Needless to say he didn't miss, and despite how well BU had played to that point, all they had to show for their efforts was a 2-0 deficit, 1:20 into the second period. 

Things went from bad to worse around halfway through the period. Doyle Somerby laid a solid check on Kevin Hayes at his own blue line. Hayes turned towards the boards in the middle of the hit and fell awkwardly. At first glance, it looked like a pretty bad hit, but after seeing a replay there is no reason Somerby should have been thrown out for the hit. 



The five minute power play for BC could have buried the Terriers, but honestly they had the best scoring chance. A shorthanded break saw Danny O'Regan and Nick Roberto get in behind the D deep in the BC zone. O'Regan made a cut back move that opened up Demko but yet again somehow did not find the back of the net. 

Finally after everything, every close call, every almost goal, BU finally broke though with 13:17 left. Danny O'Regan created the whole play after he got into the zone. The sophomore forward carried the puck all the way behind the net and created a passing lane to a streaking Robbie Bailargeon in the slot. Robbie caught the pass and ripped one past Demko glove side.

The Terriers continued to press and had some opportunities to tie things up, but much as the game played out all along, BU was unable to get a bounce.

Gaudreau put the final dagger in the Terrier's side by adding an empty net goal with 33 seconds left.

It was one hell of a hockey game and it was much more than anyone expected. If BU plays that way down the stretch, they will win hockey games which is all we can ask for at this point.

BU will face Harvard in the consolation game next Monday.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Beanpot Monday

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it's time to focus on the real sports entertainment for the week: the Beanpot. Yup, believe it or not, it's that time of year again. BU faces Boston College in the late game tonight, while Harvard and Northeastern square off in game one.
2012 BU-BC Final
(Photo by Matt Dresens)
 BC has taken the first two meetings this season, 5-1, 6-4 and since losing to Holy Cross back on November 29, BC is 11-0-1. Johnny Gaudreau continues to lead Boston College (and the nation) in scoring. In 26 games, the junior from Carneys Point, New Jersey has 23 goals, 28 assists for 51 points... He had 51 points all of last season. The last time Gaudreau was held pointless in game was October 27th at Minnesota.

Tonight, BC will start Thatcher Demko in goal. Demko backstopped the Eagles in the first Battle for Comm Ave this year. On the year, Demko has an 8-1-2 record in 11 appearances with a .927 save percentage and a 1.98 goals against average.

Matt O'Connor will be in net for BU after his impressive performance at UMass on Friday night. He was also the goalie in the first matchup with BC.

History
Since 1999, BU and BC have met five times on the first night of the Beanpot. BU won the first three, BC the last two. In '99 Russ Bartlett scored in overtime for the Terriers on a diving play on a two on one (video). 2002 was the most convincing win of the five games played, as BU topped the Eagles 5-3. The 2005 meeting was definitely the improbable win for the Terriers. Starting goalie (and now BU Hall of Famer) John Curry was out with an injury and so long time backup Sephan Siwiec got the start. Siwiec made 36 saves as BU stole a 3-1 win...they were out shot 37-18. John Laliberte scored two goals for BU that night.

2008 saw BC win their first semi final matchup with BU since 1981. Nathan Gerbe netted the overtime winner to give BC a 4-3 victory. BC beat Harvard 6-5 in overtime in the championship game to win their first title since 2004. The most recent First Round meeting was 2011 and once again it went to overtime. BU's Ryan Ruikka took a penalty less than three minutes into overtime to put BC on the power play. Tommy Cross stuck from the point to send BC to the final.

The last six meetings (both rounds included) between the two schools have been one goal games. The last multi-goal decision was 2005.

Predictions
BC 4, BU 2
NU 5, Harvard 2

Final: BC 3, NU 1