After a four week-hiatus, the Boston Hockey Blog is returning with some off season updates from both the Boston University Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams.
In the world of coaching, both the men’s and women’s teams have seen changes behind the bench. At Walter Brown, the Terriers will say goodbye to assistant coach Tara Watchorn who will be taking over as the first women’s hockey head coach at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. Watchorn managed the Terrier defense alongside her former coach Brian Durocher for four years, and helped improve the team’s penalty kill to .921 for the fourth highest in the country.
Also saying goodbye to Comm Ave is associate head coach Liz Keady Norton. Keady Norton will return to the ECAC and the Ivy League as the 11th head coach of Dartmouth Women’s Hockey following three years with the Terriers. While Keady Norton and Watchorn were with the Terriers, seven forwards were named Hockey East All Stars and two were named Top-10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
With big shoes to fill, Durocher invited Kerstin Matthews and Mollie Fitzpatrick to the program. Matthews served as Durocher’s assistant and helped transition the team from a club sport to the varsity level in 2005. Matthews served as the head coach at Saint Anselm College recording a .745 win percentage during her 14 years with the Hawks, and will replace Keady Norton as Associate Head Coach.
Fitzpatrick will take over for Watchorn as an assistant coach coming from Norwich University in Northfield, VT. As a student and a coach at NU, Fitzpatrick won two national championships with her DIII squad, and looks to bring that experience to this Terrier team.
Over at Agganis, associate head coach Paul Pearl will be leaving the Terriers to take over as the head coach at Cushing Academy. Pearl joined the BU staff alongside Head Coach Albie O’Connell in June of 2018.
With Pearl’s absence comes the exciting addition of two former Terrier captains and teammates of O’Connell in Jay Pandolfo and Doug Friedman. Pandolfo, a 1996 graduate played on the 1995 championship team before his nearly 900 game stretch in the NHL with New Jersey, the New York Islanders, and Boston, where he won two Stanley Cups with the Devils. After retiring, Pandolfo worked as a player development coach, the team’s director of player development, and eventually as assistant coach for five years.
Friedman, who graduated just before the Terriers fourth national title, will take over as the director of hockey operations. Friedman had an impressive four year campaign in scarlet and white with appearances in three frozen fours, two title games, two Beanpots, and two Hockey East Championships. After BU, he played professionally with the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators, and later served as the head coach of the Twin City Thunder in the USPHL.
On the ice, incoming defenseman Roman Schmidt has decommitted from BU, opting to play with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. Despite the loss of Schmidt, the Terriers will be adding another right-handed defenseman in Ty Gallagher. Gallagher, originally set for Notre Dame, will likely add some depth to the Terrier blue line. In the U18 World Junior tournament, the Clarkston, Michigan native led all defenseman in goals with three and holds the record for most goals scored by a defenseman in the National Team Development Program with 25.
Lastly, after a year of uncertainty, we finally have a home schedule for both the men’s and women’s teams. The women will face the University of New Hampshire Wildcats at Walter Brown on October 2, and the puck will drop at Agganis for the 100th season of BU Hockey on October 9 against the University of Connecticut Huskies.