On Wednesday afternoon at Agganis Arena, The Daily Free Press and WTBU Sports sat down with head coach David Quinn for about half an hour.
In a far-reaching interview that covered everything from high and low moments of the 2016-17 season to thoughts on roster construction moving forward, Quinn did not hold back. In fact, this 30-minute conversation was the most honest and candid I remember Quinn ever being about BU hockey.
First off, we have two stories on the FreeP. The first looks back at the year that was, while the second talks about the future. I strongly encourage you, Terrier hockey fans, to check them both out and then share your thoughts below.
Also, we have a flurry of tweets with in-depth quotes from Quinn. In other words, a lot to digest.
The Charlie McAvoy era is over for the Boston University men’s hockey team.
The 19-year-old defenseman has signed an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with the Providence Bruins, the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins. Across his Terrier career, Charlie McAvoy earned a Hockey East First-Team nod after his sophomore season and recorded 51 points in 75 games.
Perhaps McAvoy’s biggest moment, though, was winning a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 World Junior Championships. He was an assistant captain for the red, white and blue, starring in the title game against Team Canada.
Upon signing, McAvoy becomes the second Terrier to pro early following the 2016-17 season. Forward Clayton Keller signed on Sunday with the Arizona Coyotes, making his debut one day later against the St. Louis Blues.
In connection with the Bruins, early reports indicate that sophomore forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Boston’s second-round pick in 2015, is undecided on whether to turn pro or not.
Lastly, McAvoy was Boston’s first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, always placing him on a fast track to the big show.
Don Sweeney addressing media; said Charlie McAvoy has decided to forego the rest of his college career & will be signing an ATO w/Providence
Clayton Keller, Boston University’s star freshman forward, has made his NHL dreams come true. On Sunday morning, the seventh overall pick of the 2016 Entry Draft signed with the Arizona Coyotes, marking BU’s first early departure of the offseason.
The 18-year-old penned a three-year, entry-level deal and will play on Monday night against the St. Louis Blues.
With the move, Keller closes the book on a scarlet-and-white career that included a Hockey East Rookie of the Year award, 45 total points, a 15-game point streak and a gold medal with Team USA at the World Junior Championships.
Suffice it say that head coach David Quinn won’t easily replace Keller. We’ll keep you update as more Terriers head to the NHL early, as Charlie McAvoy, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Jordan Greenway are all strong candidates.
Doyle Somerby has heard the message loud and clear: He and his teammates are underdogs on Friday.
The senior defenseman and captain of the No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team doesn’t like it one bit.
“In our locker room we’ve seen a lot of people picking North Dakota,” Somerby said of Friday’s West Regional semifinal against the No. 10 Fighting Hawks at Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota. “A lot of people don’t really give us the respect that we should get. Going out there, it’ll be pretty interesting and really loud. I think we’re just using that to fuel ourselves.”
Kindling the flames even further will be 5,000-plus North Dakota (21-15-3) fans, all hoping for the program’s ninth national title. The Terriers (23-11-3), however, aren’t letting the noise — Fargo is 80 miles south of North Dakota’s campus in Grand Forks — muddy their hopes for the sixth national title.
“If you’re an elite athlete and you’re an elite hockey player, this is a game you want to play in,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “ … If I’m a player, I think it’d be pretty cool to go play North Dakota in Fargo in front of a packed house with that type of atmosphere. That’s why you come to places like BU — to play in games like this.”
While the noise is guaranteed to be stifling, fans in Fargo and those watching on ESPN2 will be treated to 21 NHL draft picks — 11 from BU and 10 from the Fighting Hawks.
The player to watch from BU, the youngest team in college hockey, is freshman forward Clayton Keller. The Hockey East Rookie of the Year — also an Arizona Coyotes first-rounder — has 42 points on the year and is seventh in the nation with 1.45 points per game.
He’ll be aided by other stars ranging from sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins) to freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger (a likely first-rounder in 2017) to freshman forward Patrick Harper (Nashville Predators) and more. The key for BU, though, Quinn said, will be turning all its talent into a 60-minute performance.
“Right now we’re playing pretty good hockey,” Quinn said. “The last few weekends I think we’ve played well. A couple of times we haven’t gotten the results we wanted, but we’ve played a much smarter brand of hockey.”
Quinn was referring to BU’s slow starts, as the scarlet and white have allowed the first goal in each of their last nine games.
Sophomore forward Jordan Greenway, however, doesn’t feel that’ll be a problem, especially with a Frozen Four berth on the line.
“This weekend we obviously need to win,” Greenway said. “If you lose you’re done, so we’re really desperate. We want to make it to Chicago and move on forward.”
Obstructing that path will be head coach Brad Berry’s squad, one that allows the nation’s second-fewest shots per game (24.7) and can score in bunches (3.18 goals per game).
Leading their charge up top will be Brock Boeser, Tyson Jost and Shane Gersich, all of whom have surpassed the 30-point mark. Then on defense, keep an eye out for Tucker Poolman (30 points) and Gage Ausmus, as well as goaltender Cam Johnson, a finalist for the Mike Richter Award in 2016.
For junior defenseman Brandon Hickey, the myriad of challenges NoDak poses are all welcomed with open arms.
“As an athlete, you want to go into hostile buildings and be able to go there and say you beat a team on their home ice,” Hickey said. “It’s basically a home game for them being so close to where they play. It’s nothing but excitement out of me. I’m ready to go in there and play in front of a loud crowd and a packed house.”
Whichever way Friday’s game is spliced, the fact remains: the winner will advance to Saturday’s West Regional final, also held at Scheels Arena. They’ll take on whoever emerges from the other semifinal between No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth and No. 14 Ohio State University.
Before then, Somerby said BU has adopted an “us against the world” mentality, and Quinn harped on several coaching points when previewing the encounter.
He highlighted winning puck battles, creating havoc in front of Johnson and making mature decisions with the puck.
And, if all goes to plan, BU will return to Boston with a Frozen Four to prepare for, instead of the end of the 2016-17 season.
“We want to go in there and make sure that we’re going to do whatever it takes to extend the season,” Hickey said. “We don’t it to be our last weekend as a team.”
Slated against the University of North Dakota, the Boston University men’s hockey team is a part of the NCAA Tournament’s West Regional. The two sides, which met in the 2015 Frozen Four, will clash on Friday night at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
UPDATE:Click here for our story over on The Daily Free Press. Upon first glance, BU isn’t all too worried about the hostile crowd out in Fargo.
What’s your reaction to BU’s destination and matchup? Feel free to share below!
The Hockey East semifinals are here at long last, with an extra does of rivalry.
Starting at 8 p.m., the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team will do battle with No. 14 Boston College, all with a berth in Saturday’s title game on the line. The game, held at TD Garden, will be broadcast on NESN and ESPN3.
BU has beaten BC three times already this season, and an Eagle loss practically guarantees their NCAA Tournament dreams are squashed. As for BU, there’s all to play for ahead of what’s a guaranteed spot in the NCAA Tournament.
We’ll be live all night at the Garden, so follow along below!
On Thursday night at the Royal Sonesta hotel in Cambridge, Hockey East held its annual year-end banquet.
The event, which was hosted by emcee Dan Roche, included awards for the 2016-17 season, and several BU players earned plaudits.
Namely, Clayton Keller was named Hockey East’s Rookie of the Year, marking the ninth time a Terrier earned the distinction. Keller, also the recipient of an Army ROTC “Three Stars” Award, earned a spot on the Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team alongside goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper.
Keller’s night continued to get better, as he and Oettinger were also named Second Team All-Stars. Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy, meanwhile, was named a First Team All-Star.
What a weekend it was for the No. 8 Boston University men’s hockey team.
Pegged against Northeastern University in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament, the Terriers had quite the task before them. The Huskies were 11-3 in their last 14 contests heading into the weekend and boasted two of the nation’s top-five scorers in forwards Dylan Sikura and Zach Aston-Reese.
By Saturday night’s end, however, none of that mattered. Head coach David Quinn’s side dug deep in game one and game two, producing virtually identical performances to upend their cross-city foes.
On both occasions, head coach Jim Madigan’s team jumped out to 2-0 leads in the first period, only for BU to turn into The Comeback Kids. Friday’s encounter went into overtime, while Saturday’s was decided with 24.9 seconds left – and each time a 3-2 scoreline in favor of BU stood tall.
Looking ahead, BU now plays next Friday at TD Garden in the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament against a to-be-determined opponent. Early indicators are it’ll face either Boston College or the University of New Hampshire, though.
Now that the dust has settled, let’s reflect on the series that was against Northeastern.
Friday’s recap, with a game-winning goal by Jordan Greenway.
“You lose one of your top players in [sophomore forward] Bobo Carpenter and one of your top [junior] defenseman in Johnny MacLeod, two heavy players that are really good players and to be able to dust yourself off. Being down 2-0 and losing two players in the same period says an awful lot about our mental toughness.” – David Quinn
“It’s never easy to end somebody’s season. That’s a heck of a hockey team we just played. I don’t think there’s a team in the country that you’re playing like that in the second round of your playoffs. We may move forward and not see teams as good as them.” – David Quinn
“We just have to play a full 60. You don’t always have to be on your best every single shift, but we have to limit our worst when we’re coming out of the gates and take that never-die approach to the Garden.” – Doyle Somerby
“We can’t keep playing with fire the way we have been the last few weeks. But like I said before, I certainly like some of the characteristics we’ve shown over the last few weeks in being mentally tough and playing well in crucial and critical times.” – David Quinn
When Boston University and Northeastern square off on Saturday night, both will have high stakes on the line.
The Terriers, fresh off a 3-2 overtime victory in game one of the Hockey East quarterfinals, will be playing for a berth in the semifinals next weekend at TD Garden. Meanwhile, the Huskies’ season will be on the line, as a loss guarantees their exit from postseason play.
With those plotlines, puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. at Agganis Arena, and the clash will be streamed on NESN and the American Sports Network.
We’ll also be at Agganis all evening, so follow along on our live blog below!
Live Blog BU vs. Northeastern – Hockey East quarterfinals game two