Live blog: No. 1 BC and No. 9 BU clash at Agganis

Time/location: 7:30 p.m., Agganis Arena


BU lines:

Wade Megan – Cason Hohmann – Yasin Cissé
Matt Nieto – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Sahir Gill – Wes Myron – Sam Kurker
Matt Lane – Ben Rosen – Ryan Santana

Sean Escobedo – Alexx Privitera
Garrett Noonan – Patrick MacGregor
Matt Grzelcyk – Ahti Oksanen

Matt O’Connor
Sean Maguire
Anthony Moccia


BC lines: 

Johnny Gaudreau – Pat Mullane – Steven Whitney
Kevin Hayes – Bill Arnold – Danny Linell
Quinn Smith – Patrick Brown – Brooks Dyroff
Cam Spiro – Michael Sit – Brendan Silk

Teddy Doherty – Patrick Wey
Michael Matheson – Patch Alber
Isaac MacLeod – Colin Sullivan

Parker Milner
Brian Billett
Brad Barone


RefereesTim Benedetto, Tim Low
Assistant referees: Matt Riegert, Joe Ross


Live blog:

From the FreeP: No. 9 Terriers ready for home-and-home with No. 1 Boston College

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

A young Boston University men’s hockey team has had a few big tests during the first two months of the 2012-13 season, but none will compare to what it’ll face this weekend.
The No. 9 Terriers (7–4, 5–3 Hockey East) will host Boston College, which has topped the national polls all season, at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Agganis Arena before visiting the Eagles at Conte Forum at the same time Saturday night.
But even with the weekend’s magnitude, rivalry and conference implications, it doesn’t mean the players won’t just enjoy it.
[It’s a] a fun weekend too, I might add,” said associate head coach Mike Bavis. “This is why our kids and their kids for the most part choose these schools, for a chance to play a big game against your biggest rival. The fans focus on how big it is, and that is the easy part, but it is fun for our guys to play in these games.”
It may be fun, but it’ll also be difficult. BC (10–1, 8–1 Hockey East) has reeled off 10 straight after dropping its season opener to Northeastern University.

For more, and projected lines, visit dailyfreepress.com.

From the FreeP: Third, fourth lines push Terriers past SLU

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

The St. Lawrence University men’s hockey team has relied on star players, namely forwards Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey, to create most of its offense during the 2012–13 season. When the Saints marched into Agganis Arena Saturday night, it was only fitting that it was No. 10 Boston University’s depth forwards that propelled the Terriers to a 4–0 victory.

BU’s (7–4–0, 5–3–0 Hockey East) third and fourth lines matched up against Flanagan and Carey frequently because of the way St. Lawrence (6–4–2) sent out its four lines. SLU coach Greg Carvel played his top three lines in order and mixed in his fourth line every other time through the cycle, creating some tough matchups for BU.

“Our third and fourth lines were out there against their top two lines a lot, and they played extremely well defensively,” said BU coach Jack Parker.

Flanagan and Carey were limited to a combined four shots on goal and a minus-4 rating in the contest, in part thanks to the efforts of the bottom two lines. Senior forward Ben Rosen said the team’s communication and awareness was key to holding the dynamic duo without a point.

“Coach [Parker] looks to our line always as a big defensive line with [senior forward Ryan] Santana and I,” Rosen said. “We know as a fourth line that we have to be responsible and play defensive and we have to shut down their line.

“We were doing it and doing it, and I think Coach kept responding to that so it worked out well for us.”

For more, visit dailyfreepress.com.

UPDATED: No. 10 Boston University shuts out St. Lawrence, 4-0


By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

Saturday night at Agganis Arena, Wade Megan won some bragging rights.

Facing his hometown team captained by a childhood friend, the senior captain scored the 40th goal of his collegiate career in the No. 10 Boston University men’s hockey team’s 4–0 win over St. Lawrence University.

The Canton, N.Y., native tallied the game’s first goal against the Canton-based Saints (6–4–2), while BU held SLU captain Kyle Flanagan — also a Canton native — to a minus-3 rating and one shot on goal in a game that saw the Terriers (7–4, 5–3 Hockey East) outshoot the visitors, 47–21.

It was a full-circle sort of moment for Megan, who said he went to all of the Saints’ home games at Appleton Arena as a kid.

“It was weird,” Megan said of playing SLU all these years later. “It was a little strange. But it was a lot of fun … The rink is about a minute and a half from my house, so I grew up around [the Saints] and watching them play.”

As strong as Megan was Saturday, his former high school teammate, Flanagan, was much less so. Flanagan centers the Saints’ first line and entered the night as the nation’s leading point-getter, but a well-rounded Terrier defensive effort stifled him all night.

By all accounts, the Terriers didn’t do anything special to limit Flanagan and his offensive prowess.

“We were just aware,” said senior forward Ben Rosen, whose fourth line often matched up against Flanagan’s. “Every time he was out there, we were talking to each other. ‘Hey’ — before a faceoff — ‘Hey, this guy is out there. This is their first line, this is their first line, have a look, be defensive, be responsible.’”

Megan got the Terriers on the board early with a goal at 11:15 in the first. The first-line winger took the puck up the left side, faked a slap shot to deke around a Saint defenseman and beat SLU goalie Matt Weninger near side. The puck ricocheted out of the goal after hitting the back crossbar, but a replay confirmed the goal was good.

“I’m not sure where it went,” Megan said. “I just shot it up high and I didn’t think it went in to be honest with you. But the ref was right on the goal line and … he seemed like he saw it go in.”

Freshman forward Sam Kurker extended the BU lead to 2–0 at 18:54, right at the end of a period that featured BU outshooting the Saints 22–7. Junior forward Sahir Gill took the puck up the length of the ice on the left side before passing to Kurker, who put it through Weninger’s five-hole for his first collegiate goal.

“That was a big one,” said St. Lawrence Greg Carvel. “I thought finally for a about a five-minute stretch to started to create some offense … Every goal at the end of a period always takes a little wind out of your sails, and it took away a little bit of momentum that we thought we had going.”

Rosen added an insurance tally at 13:05 in the third. Sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera’s slap shot from the blue line bounced off Weninger’s chest, allowing Rosen to skate in and poke the rebound by the netminder to finish the job.

Junior forward Matt Nieto took a pass at center ice from classmate Garrett Noonan and carried it up the left wing at 19:21.1 in the third. He beat Weninger to account for the 4-0 final.

“I have been working hard, so hopefully that goal tonight strings a streak together and I can get going,” Nieto said.

Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire — making his first start at Agganis – made 21 saves to post the shutout, the first BU has gotten all season.

Parker said freshman Matt O’Connor would get at least one start in net during a home-and-home with No. 1 Boston College next weekend, but added he wouldn’t be surprised if the goalies played a game apiece.

“Sean played extremely well tonight,” Parker said. “We know we have two solid goaltenders … Matt set the bar pretty high and now Sean’s caught up to the bar.”

Despite the scoreboard, it wasn’t all pretty for the Terriers. They went 0-6 on the power play, running their streak of failed power-play chances streak to 17. The streak dates back to the second period of the Nov. 16 game against the University of Vermont.

Parker said he wasn’t worried about the team’s man-advantage ­— the chances BU got Saturday even represented an improvement ­­– but Megan noted the need for improvement.

“It hasn’t come along for us, and it is a bit frustrating at times, but we have got the skill on this team that that is something that is going to work itself out,” Megan said.

“We try not to get too hung up on it because eventually it is going to come together,” Megan continued. “It is going to start clicking for us, and when it does we are going to be that much more dangerous. So we are going to wait for that.”

Live blog: No. 10 BU hosts St. Lawrence

Time/location: 7 p.m., Agganis Arena


BU lines:

Wade Megan – Cason Hohmann – Yasin Cissé
Matt Nieto – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Sahir Gill – Wes Myron – Sam Kurker
Matt Lane – Ben Rosen – Ryan Santana

Garrett Noonan – Ryan Ruikka
Sean Escobedo – Alexx Privitera
Matt Grzelcyk – Ahti Oksanen

Sean Maguire
Matt O’Connor
Anthony Moccia


St. Lawrence lines:
Gunnar Hughes – Kyle Flanagan – Patrick Doherty
Greg Carey – Kyle Essery – Jeremy Wick
Chris Martin – Sean McGovern – Alex Hagen
Mac Stratford – (none) – Matt Dyer

George Hughes – Jordan Dewey
Riley Austin – Justin Baker
Nelson Armstrong – Pat Raley
Ross McMullen

Matt Weninger
Kyle MacDonald
David Grilk


Referees: Tim Benedetto, Dave Hansen
Linesmen: Bob Bernard, Chris Leavitt

Live blog:

November Mailbag: We want your questions

It’s that time of the month again — mailbag time!

This will be our second installment of the season for this monthly feature, and with the season progressing and more and more storylines playing out, we hope it’ll be a lot more fun and useful for everyone involved. We did a mailbag last month, in case you want to take a look.

You can send us your questions about BU hockey, Hockey East, BU athletics or anything else related to those topics via email at [email protected], on Twitter @BOShockeyblog or in the comments section.

We only ask that you submit your questions by 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29. Thanks!

Maguire to make first home start as Terriers take on St. Lawrence

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

Agganis Arena will almost surely not be filled to capacity with students still home for Thanksgiving break, but Boston University men’s hockey freshman goaltender Sean Maguire will get his first chance to start at home Saturday night in a non-conference game against St. Lawrence University.

Maguire earned his first win of his career in his last start, when he stopped 29 shots against the University of Vermont to help the No. 10 Terriers (6–4–0, 5–3–0 Hockey East) to a 6–2 win.

After a tough first start for Maguire, in which he allowed four goals before getting pulled halfway through a loss to the University of New Hampshire, the Powell River, British Columbia native has steadily improved his statistics. He now has a 3.58 goals-against average and an .886 save percentage through three starts.

“This isn’t a matter of, ‘Hey, we will play anybody just because they are nice kids,’” said BU coach Jack Parker. “He has gotten himself back in the lineup because he has played well.”

However, his improvement has been somewhat overshadowed by the consistent excellence of fellow freshman goalie Matt O’Connor, who has a 1.90 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in eight appearances.

“OC has set quite a bar … but Sean is certainly approaching that bar,” Parker said. “We want to keep them both there. We don’t want Matt to take a drop down, but we certainly don’t want Sean to feel like he is on the outside looking in because Matt is playing so well.”

The Terriers lost to UNH in their last time out in part thanks to a dismal 0-for-7 power play showing. Parker said that it was not necessarily that the team’s setup on the power play was what went wrong in that game, but rather the team’s execution of the plays it was trying to run.

“It’s not what we are doing, it is how we are doing it,” Parker said. “The speed of the puck is not there. Shooting one-timers is not there. We are not screening goalies as well as we should … Those things are more important than whether we are in an umbrella, or a 2–3, or an overload or all of the other different looks you can give people on a power play.”

BU has already lost twice to UNH on the season, which is a team that Parker said is comparable to St. Lawrence (5–3–2, 0–2–2 ECAC) this year.

“They are a real physical team, they do a great job killing penalties, they have got a great first line that scores a lot of goals for them,” Parker said. “We are going to have a tough battle on our hands, obviously, but at least we just saw that last week.”

One of the members of that top line for St. Lawrence is senior Kyle Flanigan, who is tied for the NCAA lead in points this season with 19 (8g, 11a). Flanigan and junior Greg Carey (8g, 10a) are only joined by Bentley University forward Brett Gensler as Division I players who have recorded 18 points or more this season.

“We will make sure we have got one of our better defensive lines against that line,” Parker said. “But in general you have got to make sure you are aware of [Flanigan].”

The pair of scorers has also been strong on the power play, as each of them has netted four goals with the man-advantage.

St. Lawrence boasts the No. 11 power play in the nation with a 21.82 percent success rate, which is significantly better than BU’s 33rd ranked power play (15.91 percent success rate).

Junior goalie Matt Weninger has played every minute for the Saints, and holds a 2.36 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

While St. Lawrence is not the brand-name non-conference opponent BU faced earlier in the season at the University of North Dakota, the Saints have proven they can compete with Hockey East-caliber teams. In a two-game series at the University of Maine on earlier in the season, St. Lawrence swept the Black Bears and outscored them 10–1 on the weekend.

“That was scary,” Parker said. “They played so well in those games.”

Projected BU lines:
Wade Megan – Cason Hohmann – Yasin Cissé
Matt Nieto – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Sahir Gill – Wesley Myron – Sam Kurker
Matt Lane – Ben Rosen – Ryan Santana

Sean Escobedo – Alexx Privitera
Garrett Noonan – Ryan Ruikka
Matt Grzelcyk – Ahti Oksanen

Sean Maguire
Matt O’Connor
Anthony Moccia

Grading the Terriers: Special Teams fails as Terriers lose 3–1 to UNH

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

Offense: C–
The Terriers piled up 46 shots on goal in the game, but a lot of those came from outside of good scoring areas. Part of that was due to the strong defensive play by UNH, but senior captain Wade Megan said that the team was not doing a good enough job of getting forwards in close to the goal.

The only goal that BU scored came from freshman forward Danny O’Regan, but it was more a result of a nice play by freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. The young blueliner weaved through the UNH defense before firing a low shot to DeSmith’s right pad, where it kicked out to O’Regan’s stick and up an easy goal.

Not all of the forwards had bad games though, including sophomore right wings Yasin Cissé and Evan Rodrigues. The two combined for seven shots and a plus-1 rating on the game and created several scoring chances for themselves.

Defense: C
BU’s defense struggled to break the puck out of the zone in the affair, and two defensive zone turnovers led to the first two goals. UNH’s offense had an aggressive forecheck on the defense, which led to several takeaways, especially in the first period. BU allowed a season-high 20 shots in the first period, two of which went past freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor.

The defense settled down as the game went on, but a lot of that had to do with how often the Wildcats were on the penalty kill. Still, there were far fewer Grade-A chances in the second and third periods than there were in the first period.

Goaltending: B+
While O’Connor allowed two goals in the first period for the first time this season, the freshman stood out again as a strong final line of defense for the Terriers. The Toronto, Ontario native held the Wildcats to only two goals in 20 shots in the first period before making 15 saves over the next two periods.

Neither goal he allowed was particularly O’Connor’s fault. The first one was on an open shot from the slot after a turnover on a breakout. The second was jammed through his five-hole after another defensive-zone turnover, with no defenseman clearing UNH forward Maxim Gaudreault away from the goal.

Fellow freshman Sean Maguire played well in his first win of his career on Friday, but O’Connor remains the No. 1 option with another good performance on Sunday.

Special Teams: D–
Special teams killed the Terriers’ opportunity to win the game Sunday, as the team went 0-for-7 on its power-play opportunities. The power play did not even make scoring chances on its opportunities, struggling to hold onto the puck when it was pressured and consistently losing the puck in its own zone. In fact, UNH spent a lot of time with the puck in BU’s defensive zone and had a few scoring chances of its own during BU’s power plays.

The only reason why the Terriers did not get a failing grade for its special teams is that it killed off both of the Wildcats’ power plays. Still, this was the worst special teams performance of the season by the Terriers, and it cost the team a chance at tying the game or even winning it.

X-Factor: Sluggish start
BU came out of the locker room without any tenacity or focus to start the game, and UNH jumped on the early opportunities. The two early goals were a result of mental mistakes, as BU players either waited too long to make a decision or immediately made the wrong one. These types of mistakes are due to not being prepared for the game according to BU coach Jack Parker.

“When we’re hanging on a little too long it’s because we’re not ready to play,” Parker said. “We got the puck on our power play I betcha ten times with complete control in the half and just turned it over. Just let them come up and bump us off the puck while we were hanging on and dusting pucks.”