Incoming freshman Clendening named to U-18 all-tournament team

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

Incoming freshman defenseman Adam Clendening was named to the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship all-tournament team.

The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native — who was also named one of Team USA’s top three players — ranked first among defensemen and tied for sixth overall with 10 points (3g, 7a) in the tournament. He tied for the team lead in points on the gold-medal winning US squad and tied for the tournament lead in plus/minus (+9).

Clendening notched an assist on the third goal of the Americans’ 3-1 win over Sweden in the gold medal game. He fired a shot from the point that forward Rocco Grimaldi tipped home to give the US a 3-0 lead.

Incoming freshman forward Matt Nieto also donned the red, white and blue in the tournament. The Long Beach, Calif., native finished with four points on one goal and three assists.

It was the second U-18 gold for Clendening and Nieto, who were both on the US squad that won it all in 2009 as well.

The U-18 gold marks the third gold the US has won in a major international competition this year. The U-20 squad (which included rising junior defenseman and 2010-11 assistant captain David Warsofsky) and the U-17 squad (which included 2011 defense recruit Alexx Privitera) also came out on top in their respective tournaments.

Bruins take commanding 3-1 series lead on Sabres with thrilling double-overtime win

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

Despite having a 36-save performance in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Wednesday night, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller wanted to be left alone. He didn’t want to be consoled by his teammates. He didn’t want to talk to the media. Sprawled on a bench in the corner of the visiting team’s locker room, Miller could only mutter expletive after expletive after expletive to himself.

A few minutes prior, Boston Bruins forward Miroslav Satan received a beautiful pass from teammate Michael Ryder in the slot, deked Miller and backhanded the puck into the back of the net, giving the Bruins the thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory over the Sabres at the TD Garden to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

“I saw [Miller] coming out and made a move to the side and then I had an empty net,” Satan said of his game-winning overtime goal.

Before a raucous crowd of 17,565, the Bruins came back from a two-goal deficit and netted three unanswered goals, culminating in Satan’s power play tally at the 7:41 mark of the second overtime.

“I think we showed a lot of character tonight and it’s a huge win, but it’s only one win,” said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron. “We need one more. I thought the way we came back showed a lot from our team and everyone stepped up and it was really a team effort tonight.”

For the fourth time in as many games, the Sabres found the back of the net first when forward Tim Kennedy beat Tuukka Rask (35 saves) from the slot at the 2:12 mark of the first period to give Buffalo the early 1-0 advantage.

With 13:01 to play in the second frame, defenseman Steve Montador added to Buffalo’s cushion after his slap shot from just inside the right faceoff circle deflected off defenseman Dennis Wideman’s stick and trickled past a screened Rask.

“I thought I didn’t have a chance on those goals,” Rask said. “No matter if I did or not, you just keep focusing on the next shot and try not to give them that third one because that would have been deadly.”

For the first two periods, Ryan Miller played like Vezina Trophy candidate and Olympian Ryan Miller, stopping all 16 shots he faced in the first 40 minutes of play.

But the Bruins would have their way with Miller in the final frame.

A little more than two minutes into the third period, defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot from the point bounced off Miller’s chest, and center David Krejci collected the loose puck and put it home, cutting the Sabres’ lead in half.

Four and a half minutes later, Bergeron knotted the contest at two goals apiece when he slipped the puck through Miller’s five-hole, sending the home crowd into euphoria.

“That’s the second time this year and we have been fortunate to do it twice,” said Bruins forward Mark Recchi of coming back from down 2-0. “We don’t want to get in the habit, that’s for sure, but guys showed a lot of character. I don’t think we were that great early and they played hard, but we got better as it went on and showed a lot of desperation and we needed it.”

Rask and Miller stole the show in the overtime sessions, standing on their heads and making saves worthy of Top 10 spots on Thursday’s SportsCenter.

“He has been awesome,” Bergeron said of Rask. “He has been awesome all year. Him and Timmy [Thomas] have been giving us a chance to win every time that we are stepping on the ice and he just carries that with him. In the playoffs he has been great also, and great tonight.”

Recchi couldn’t stop raving about Miller, who stopped forward Blake Wheeler on a 1-on-1 opportunity in the final minutes of regulation and then came up with, perhaps, the save of the year, when he glove-saved a Satan shot in front of an empty net in the first OT that would have given the B’s the win.

“He was outstanding,” Recchi said. “Tuukka was great too, but Miller made some saves that were just tremendous. I’m sure in quality chances, we probably had the better quality, but he is a terrific goalie and we are finding ways to get that extra one that we need and we have to continue if we want to win the series.”

With Game 5 at Buffalo, the Bruins know they’ll face their toughest test yet Friday night.

“It’s going to be the toughest game we’ve had to play,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “This is a team that had a great year. This a team that has a lot of character and that’s why they’re in the playoffs. We’ve had to battle for every inch. There’s going to be some desperation, probably even more than there was tonight.

“They certainly don’t want to lose at home, and we’re going to have to be that much better and that much smarter.”

Notes from the Friends of Hockey Banquet

Let’s start with what everyone cares about most — captains. Breaking from tradition, Jack Parker picked the captains himself this year. Usually, the players vote on the captains for the next season. Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

Captains — senior forward Joe Pereira and junior forward Chris Connolly
Assistant captain — junior defenseman David Warsofsky

Onto the awards:

Clifford P. Fitzgerald Scholarship Award (given to the most outstanding junior or senior defenseman) — David Warsofsky

Regina Eilberg Scholarship (given to the player who best combines athletics and academics) — Ryan Ruikka (3.89 GPA)

Bennett McInnes Award for Spirit — Joe Pereira

Most Improved Player — Ross Gaudet

Friends of Hockey Albert Sidd Unsung Hero Award — Zach Cohen

Ed Carpenter Award (given to the leading scorer) — Nick Bonino

George V. Brown Most Valuable Player Award — Nick Bonino

Parker said his goodbyes to the three seniors as well as the three juniors who have already signed pro contracts. Here’s one interesting note from each of his goodbyes.

Colby Cohen — Parker said he was the player who was closest to his grandchildren.

Nick Bonino — Parker pointed out that his points per game and plus/minus per game were almost identical to last season.

Kevin Shattenkirk — Parker said he would go down as “one of the best players in BU history.”

Luke Popko — Parker talked about his willingness to take on an unheralded role since the day he arrived.

Zach Cohen — Parker said he got better and better as his career went on, and that his best days are still ahead of him.

Eric Gryba — Parker said he would’ve been the MVP if it wasn’t for Bonino.

Parker then had Gryba give a brief speech on behalf of the seniors and captains. Gryba said that he expects to see a banner for his all-time penalty minutes record go up next to John Cullen’s banner for the all-time points record.

Note: Colby Cohen was not in attendance. He was in Arizona for a family fundraiser.

From the FreeP: No more tunnel vision for Ross Gaudet

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

When then-sophomore defensemen Colby Cohen scored the game-winning goal of the 2009 NCAA National Championship game, Ross Gaudet was standing at ice level in a suit, watching from the tunnel. Gaudet was well-versed in watching games that season—he was one of two players on the 2008-09 Boston University men’s hockey team to never dress for a game. He was the only player on the team who missed the entire season without suffering a season-ending injury.

But if Gaudet, now a rising junior, had the chance to redo the 2008-09 season, he would do everything the exact same way.

“Overall, I would say it was a great learning experience.” Gaudet said. “If I could do it again, I would. I learned a lot from it so I don’t really have any regrets about it.”

Read more at www.dailyfreepress.com.

Coyle to be honored at tonight’s Bruins game

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

Incoming freshman forward Charlie Coyle will be honored with the John Carlton Award during the second intermission of Thursday’s Bruins-Sabres game at the TD Garden.

The award is given annually to the high school senior who combines exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence while competing for an Eastern Massachusetts high school or junior team.

Coyle, who will have the award presented to him by Hockey Hall of Famer and Bruins legend Cam Neely, is a senior at Weymouth High School. He played for the South Shore Kings of the Eastern Junior Hockey League, earning EJHL rookie of the year honors after finishing fifth in the league in scoring with 21 goals and 42 assists for 63 points in 42 games.

It’s been a good week for Coyle, whose uncle is former Terrier Tony Amonte. On Wednesday, he was ranked 24th in NHL Central Scouting’s final 2010 draft rankings. That was first among incoming freshman forwards and third among all incoming rookies behind only North Dakota’s Derek Forbort and Michigan’s Jonathon Merrill.

Report: Terriers land defenseman Patrick MacGregor for upcoming season

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

Jack Parker said he “had a couple guys on the line” that he could get if and when Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen decided to go pro. We now know who one of those guys is.

The Terriers have landed Avon Old Farms defenseman Patrick MacGregor for the upcoming season, according to US Hockey Report.

MacGregor, who will be 20 when the 2010-11 season commences, is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound right shot from Hamden, Conn.

Heralded for his size, strength and defensive-zone awareness, MacGregor had three goals and 18 assists this season to help lead Avon to its eighth New England Prep championship.

If Avon Old Farms sounds familiar, that’s because former Terrier turned Anaheim Duck Nick Bonino went there. Boston College’s Cam Atkinson, Tommy Atkinson and Pat Mullane all attended Avon as well.

Wasted: The inside story of what went wrong for the 2009-10 Terriers

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

As far as Boston University men’s hockey coach Jack Parker is concerned, the 2009-10 Terriers weren’t hungover the season after winning the national championship. They were still drunk.

“The parade never ended,” Parker said. “The party and the parade from last April never ended as far as the mindset.”

Junior defenseman and captain Kevin Shattenkirk, who will forgo his senior season after signing with the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, didn’t go so far as to say the party never ended, but he did admit that the team at least had a hangover all year.

“We really struggled all year to get over the hangover, I guess you could call it, after winning the national championship,” he said. “We struggled to stay focused or find any sort of consistency.”

Read more at www.dailyfreepress.com.

C. Cohen and Shattenkirk both sign with Avalanche

Junior defensemen Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk have both signed with the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche on entry-level contracts, according to the Av’s website.

Both players will report to the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters, where they will be re-united with former Terrier assistant coach David Quinn, as well as recently signed former teammate, Zach Cohen.

Shattenkirk served as the sole captain on the 2009-10 Terriers, registering 7 goals and 22 points on the season with a minus-2 rating. The New Rochelle, NY native was a first round (14th overall) pick by Colorado in 2007.

“We’re excited that Kevin has signed with the organization,” Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman said on the team’s website. “He has a bright future ahead and we look forward to seeing him start his professional career.”

Cohen, meanwhile, was second on the Terriers with 14 goals last season, and also added 16 assists. The junior was a plus-3 and was second on the team with 31 penalty minutes.

“Colby is a young defenseman with a bright future ahead of him,” Sherman said. “We are excited to have him signed and look forward to him beginning his professional career.”