Postseason Notebook: Shattenkirk expected to sign within the next week

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

Junior defenseman and captain Kevin Shattenkirk is expected to sign with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche within the next week, according to BU coach Jack Parker.

Shattenkirk finished this season with career highs in assists (22) and points (29). Those totals were good for second and fifth, respectively, on the team. However, Shattenkirk’s defense regressed. Last season, he placed second in the country with a plus-28 rating, but that number dropped to minus-2 this season.

Shattenkirk finishes his BU career with 18 goals and 60 assists for 78 points. He was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team in 2007-08 and the Hockey East Second Team and East Second Team All-America in 2008-09. He was drafted in the first round (14th overall) by Colorado in the 2007 NHL draft.

The Colby Cohen Dilemma

Parker said that junior defenseman Colby Cohen will “probably” sign with the Avalanche as well, but that there’s a chance he’ll return for his senior season “because of his hip and because of other things that play into his signing.”

Cohen had surgery on his hip last summer, but it bothered him throughout the season. He went home for a shot to help ease the pain in November, and although that helped for a little while, the pain came back in the second half.

“It really bothered him the last month,” Parker said. “I don’t think he’s going to need surgery for it, but we don’t know that for sure. What should’ve happened is we should’ve kept him out longer, and maybe it would’ve healed better. He felt so good in September, and he wanted to get back in the lineup. We should’ve been much more cautious.

“It was all too good. It held up for a while, but then it started to go downhill. If we held him out until November or something, it might’ve been completely healed, and it might not have been re-aggravated.”

If Cohen, who was drafted in the second round (45th overall) by Colorado in 2007, does leave, BU would be left with just six defensemen on the roster for next season.

“We weren’t quite sure we’d lose both Shattenkirk and Cohen,” Parker said. “We have a contingency plan for one, but if we lose both, we’re still looking to figure out how we’re going to do that. We have a couple guys on the line that we can get that are good players. It’s not as if we’ll be left holding the bag if Colby leaves.”

One possibility would be bumping Alexx Privitera, a 2011 defense recruit, up to 2010, but that isn’t very likely considering that he won’t turn 18 until January. There are no age restrictions regarding incoming freshmen, but Privitera would have to complete his remaining high-school work and SATs this summer.

Cohen finished this season second on the Terriers with 14 goals and tied for third with 30 points. His awards include Hockey East First Team honors this season and Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player honors last season after he scored the national championship-winning goal.

Yasin Cisse not coming next season

Forward Yasin Cisse will be coming to BU in 2011, not 2010 as originally planned, because of an ankle injury, Parker said. Cisse recorded 13 goals and 19 points in 18 games this season with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL before having his season ended when an opponent’s skate blade cut his ankle.

“We want to make sure that he’s completely healthy,” Parker said. “We don’t want him to rehab it here and lose half a year here, so it was a pretty easy decision.”

Forward Charlie Coyle, who was originally scheduled to come in 2011, is expected to come in 2010 instead.

Parker expects to land a goalie for 2011

With backup goalie Adam Kraus set to graduate after next season, Parker said he expects to bring in at least one goalie for 2011. Netminders Kieran Millan and Grant Rollheiser would both be seniors then.

“We have a couple guys we’re talking to already,” Parker said. “We have a long list of guys we kind of have to sift through. Starting in August, we’ll probably have a better idea of the two guys we’re really going to hone in on.”

Players won’t get to pick next year’s captains

After being disappointed with his team’s attitude and leadership both on and off the ice all season, Parker said the players will not get to choose next year’s captains like they usually do.

“It doesn’t mean that next year’s team won’t pick the captains for the year after, or the two of us might do it together,” Parker said. “This year’s team usually votes for next year’s captains, but that’s not going to happen this year.”

The captains for the next season are usually announced at the Friends of Hockey Banquet in April, but Parker said that might not happen this year.

From the FreeP: Luke a little deeper

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

In many ways, Luke Popko is a man of contrast. The senior forward often goes unnoticed by fans and media because of his unglamorous role as a defensive specialist, but his teammates recognize his importance to the team and look to him for guidance and leadership.

Off the ice, he’s incredibly relaxed, almost to the point of being lazy, but in practice, he’s one the most active and most vocal guys out there.

On the bench, he can appear totally uninterested in the game playing out in front of him, but once he hops over the boards, he flips on the intensity switch and goes full-bore until he returns to the bench 40 or 50 seconds later.


From the FreeP: Gryba signs with Ottawa; Bonino scores first NHL goal

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

Boston University senior defenseman Eric Gryba signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators on Monday and has been assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League, according to The Ottawa Citizen.

Gryba served as an assistant captain for the Terriers this season and finished the year with a career-high four goals and 10 points and a program record-tying 118 penalty minutes. The bruising blue-liner ended his college career with 22 points and a program record 354 penalty minutes.


Zach Cohen signs with Avalanche

By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff

Zach Cohen, who just wrapped up his senior year with the Boston University men’s hockey team, has signed an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, according to Colorado’s team web site.

Cohen will report to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, where he’ll be reunited with former BU associate head coach David Quinn.

Cohen led the Terriers this year with 15 goals, while also adding 10 assists for a total of 25 points. A year ago, Cohen broke out with 13 goals and five assists as BU skated to a national championship.

From the FreeP: BU’s season ends with 5-2 loss to Maine in HE semis

By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff

Well, that seems about right.

After a season marred by inconsistent play and disappointing results, the No. 20 Boston University men’s hockey team saw that season end Friday night by the No. 19 University of Maine in a 5-2 final.

The loss ousted the Terriers and sent Maine to the Hockey East Championship game Saturday night, where it lost to No. 4 Boston College, 7-6, in an overtime thriller.


From the FreeP: Slow start dooms Terriers in season-ending loss

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

“We weren’t ready to play.” “We weren’t hungry enough.” “We didn’t want it.”

Those were three of No. 20 Boston University men’s hockey coach Jack Parker’s most-used phrases in postgame press conferences this season. On any given night, there was a chance the Terriers were going to come out totally flat and have their opponent skate circles around them for 10, 20, maybe even a full 60 minutes.

It was only fitting that a molasses-slow start was exactly what doomed BU in its final game of the season, a 5-2 loss to the No. 19 University of Maine on Friday night in the Hockey East semifinals. At the end of the first period, the scoreboard read 2-0 Maine with shots favoring the Black Bears 18-5.


BREAKING NEWS: Bonino will sign with Ducks, forgo final year of eligibility

By Scott McLaughlin

Junior forward Nick Bonino is expected to sign with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks and forgo his final year of eligibility, according to a source close to the team. He left for Anaheim on Saturday, the source said.

Bonino led the Terriers in points (38), assists (27) and plus/minus (+18) this season while serving as an assistant captain. His best season came as a sophomore when he registered 50 points on 18 goals and 32 assists to help lead BU to the 2009 national championship.

Bonino was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the sixth round (173rd overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft and had his rights traded to Anaheim in March 2009 as part of a deadline deal.

Projected NCAA Tournament Field

With all the games completed, we now know the 16 teams that will make the NCAA Tournament. Every other college hockey web site is attempting to predict what the bracket will look like, so I figured I’d take a stab at it myself. Here’s what I have:

Ft. Wayne, Ind.
(1) Miami vs. (16) Alabama-Huntsville
(8) Bemidji State vs. (9) Yale

Albany, N.Y.
(2) Denver vs. (15) RIT
(7) Cornell vs. (10) Northern Michigan

St. Paul, Minn.
(3) Wisconsin vs. (14) Vermont
(6) St. Cloud State vs. (12) Michigan

Worcester, Mass.
(4) Boston College vs. (13) Alaska
(5) North Dakota vs. (11) New Hampshire

We’ll see how close I come tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. when the field is announced on ESPN2.

Terriers on 5-on-3s

Couple quick updates before we get to the juicy stuff:

-I’ll be posting postgame videos from last night as soon as I wrap up this post. Sorry to be a bit behind schedule on that.

-We’ll have a full recap with a pair of siders for you in the FreeP Monday morning, so be sure to look out for those.

-Lastly, just want to thank everybody for your readership all year. I know I speak for Scott and Cary when I say that we’ve had a blast getting you guys all the info we can. The live blogs have been a big success, and that’s just as much a credit to you guys who flip to the page and follow along as it is to us. The best part of those things are the discussions we get to have, and I already can’t wait for October to roll around to get back in The Greek and bring you guys the best coverage we’re capable of.

Now, as a reward for your readership, I spent some time this afternoon going back over the box scores from this season. We’ve had a lot of people ask about BU on 5-on-3s this year, and especially in light of how last night’s second period went against Maine, decided to go through and check out the Terriers’ success rate.

Now, before I post everything, keep in mind that BU’s power-play conversion rate for the season was a respectable 19.1 percent (42-of-220).

Below is a list of all the 5-on-3 chances BU compiled this year, along with the opponent they got the chance against, the length of the 5-on-3, and a Y or an N signifying whether BU converted on the two-man advantage. If BU got more than one chance in the same game, each individual 5-on-3 is separated by a dash.

Notre Dame, 1:03, N
Michigan, :08, N
Northeastern, :38, N
Merrimack, 3:36, N – :20, N
Merrimack, :29, N – :54, Y
Harvard, :56, N
Cornell, :38, N
Boston College, 1:08, N
UNH, 2:00, N
Northeastern, :09, N
UMass-Amherst, :10, N
Providence, :59, N
Merrimack, 1:13, Y
BC, :31, N
Providence, :45, N
Vermont, :07, N
Northeastern, 1:17, N
Northeastern, :07, N
Merrimack, :12, N – :1:01, N – :08, N
Maine, :54, N

If you go on those totals, BU got 24 5-on-3 chances, averaging 50.1 seconds per chance, and converted just twice –– both times against Merrimack. That 2-for-24 mark is an 8.3 percent conversion rate.

If you take out the five instances where BU’s 5-on-3s were less than 10 seconds, BU was 2-for-19 on the 5-on-3, or a 10.5 percent conversion rate.

Among the kills that stand out are the 3:36 of consecutive 5-on-3 time BU had against Merrimack on Nov. 13. You might recall that was the game at Merrimack where their scoreboard had a major malfunction and the clocks stopped working. The players were being directed when to leave the box by somebody at ice level, and we –– being the media and the players on the benches –– had no idea how much time was left on the run of penalties Merrimack had taken.

For some perspective, BU allowed 6 5-on-3 goals for the season, though I haven’t counted up the chances or minutes for their opponents. We have remarked all year about how strong the BU 5-on-3 PK has been, so it wouldn’t surprise me if their opponents’ conversion rate is rather low, as well. If there’s some real interest out there, I’ll go through and try to count up those minutes at some point.

Last fun thing to keep in mind –– BU scored a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal on Jan. 2 against UMass when Eric Gryba flipped a puck from behind the BU goal line all the way to the other end and into an empty net near the end of the game. So BU scored half as many goals two (and really, three with the goalie pulled) men down as they did two men up.