BU opens Hockey East tournament at UMass Lowell

The Boston University men’s hockey team had a golden opportunity to finish in the top four of the Hockey East heading into last weekend.

Maine had other plans, silencing the Terriers (14-16-4, 12-9-3) in a 6-0 shutout that bounced BU into the Hockey East tournament with a sour taste in its mouth.

The Terriers had the chance to eclipse UMass Lowell in the standings with a win against the Black Bears. The result was far from satisfactory, however, forcing BU to make the trek to Lowell for the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East tournament this weekend.

The best-of-three series will begin on Friday night at Tsongas Center, extend into Saturday night and conclude with a Sunday afternoon Game 3 if necessary.

“Lowell is a pretty good hockey team,” BU head coach Albie O”Connell said. “They are well-balanced. They have a lot of go-to guys, a lot of guys with good experience. A highly-competitive team.”

This should be an entertaining affair as these two teams split the season series with each team taking care of business on the road. In the first meeting on December 7, the Riverhawks (18-11-5, 12-7-5) continued the Terriers rough beginning to the season with a 5-3 win at Agganis Arena.

“It’s been a challenge with the group this year,” O’Connell said. “There have been some ups and downs.”

UMass Lowell scored twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead, but goals by sophomore forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Cam Crotty and senior forward Bobo Carpenter evened it up at 3-3 early in the third stanza.

The Riverhawks took control from there, however. Freshman defenseman Seth Barton scored his first career goal 7:45 into the third period to give his team a lead they would not relinquish.

“It’s a team that is very impressionable,” UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin said. “They are going to rely on the experience of some of our seniors who have been there before and have gotten to the championship game.”

The series moved north to Tsongas the following night and that result should give the Terriers confidence they can go to Lowell and win this playoff series.

BU responded well from its defeat the previous night. The Terriers scored three times in a four-minute stretch in the first period to take a 3-0 lead. Carpenter accounted for two of those tallies with sophomore forward Shane Bowers chipping in the other one.

“It’s really about getting off to a good start and having a good first period,” O’Connell said. “There have been times where we have gotten down and we have had to chase the game.”

Sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo assisted on the first two goals and BU continued its offensive dominance in the third period. Junior forward Patrick Curry extended a one-goal lead to 4-2 five minutes into the last frame before putting the game out of reach by assisting on Bowers’ second score of the night with three minutes remaining.

“Guys know their role and understand how we have to play to be successful,” O’Connell said.

That win signaled a massive swing of momentum for BU. This game kicked off a five-game streak without a loss, a stretch which included crucial Hockey East wins over New Hampshire and Providence.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster,” O’Connell said. “We started out slow. Then we got going a little bit. Towards the end of the first semester, we had some big games. As we went into the second half, we had a pretty good stretch there. Right now, we are relatively healthy for the first time in awhile.”

Do you think BU can advance to TD Garden? Let us know below! 

 

BU rolls into Providence on win streak

It took a while, but the Boston University men’s hockey team is back to its winning ways.

After securing two victories in Vermont last weekend, the Terriers have won three consecutive contests heading into their final matchup against a ranked opponent.

“It was a good sweep,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said. “It’s huge. We battled hard.”

Playing on a Thursday for the first time this season, BU will head down to Rhode Island to take on eighth-ranked Providence College.

BU has experience going down to Schneider Rink and emerging victorious, handling the Friars 4-3 during a five-game stretch without a loss last month. In order to win their second straight against Providence, the Terriers will need to bring the intensity they have sported over their most recent streak.

After shutting out UConn on February 16 behind a perfect night from junior goaltender Jake Oettinger and goals from sophomore forward Ty Amonte and freshman forward Joel Farabee, BU rolled over the cellar-dwelling Catamounts to leap into a tie for fifth place in the Hockey East standings

The Vermont students brought the ruckus both nights, with over 3,500 fans piling into Gutterson Fieldhouse each game. However, the Terriers handled the situation with ease. The first night, Oettinger was impeccable yet again, stopping 12 shots in the third period to preserve a scoreless tie and send the tilt to overtime.

“Our defense played hard,” O’Connell said. “We gave up one goal on the weekend so it was positive. [Oettinger] was dynamite. He didn’t make a mistake all weekend so that is a great sign for BU hockey.”

The Dallas Stars draftee finished with 29 saves and junior defenseman Chad Krys finished off the Catamounts with an unassisted game-winner 4:44 into the extra frame. The following night, Vermont got on the board first with a power play score in the opening eight minutes.

The Terriers are used to playing from behind and they were not fazed by this one-goal deficit. BU garnered the equalizer at the end of the second period as junior forward Patrick Harper scored his fourth goal of the season off assists from classmate Patrick Curry and sophomore defenseman Cam Crotty.

Oettinger was able to keep the Catamounts at bay throughout the third period, opening the door for Farabee’s game-winner with 57 seconds remaining off helpers from sophomore forward Logan Cockerill and sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo.

“The guys battled hard,” O’Connell said. “It was a really good showing. Just to get a sweep on the road, it’s not easy. We made two really nice plays that ended up winning us the game.”

It was one of the Terriers most successful weekends of the year, a nice breath of fresh air in which the team realized its potential against an inferior opponent.

You certainly can’t say the same about Providence, a team with a freshman defenseman, Jay O’Brien, who will be playing alongside Farabee on the Philadelphia Flyers one day.

The Friars have won three consecutive games against ranked opponents. 14th-ranked UMass Lowell was no match for them two weekends ago, as Providence swept the home-and-home series by a combined score of 7-1.

Last Saturday, the Friars hosted the hottest team on the East Coast, UMass Amherst. After falling behind the nation’s second-ranked team in the first period, Providence outscored the Minutemen 3-1 over the final two periods to garner its best win of season.

Senior forward Scott Conway scored the go-ahead goal for the victors in the third period, and he has produced plenty of tallies this year. The England native is tied for the team lead with 13 goals.

The other scorer on the team with 13 goals this year is junior forward Kasper Bjorkqvist, whose hometown of Espoo, Finland is shared by Kotkansalo. Bjorkqvist registered two goals in Providence’s 6-1 win over UMass Lowell on February 15.

Notes: No need to pull out your computer for this one. This game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Boston at 7 PM on Thursday…Do you think BU can win the season series against the Friars? Let us know below!

BU looking to climb up Hockey East standings with two-game set in VT

After six tumultuous games without a win, the Boston University men’s hockey team finally jumped back into the “W” column last Saturday night at Agganis Arena.

With a 2-0 shutout of University of Connecticut, the Terriers moved into No. 6 in the Hockey East heading into the stretch run of the regular season. BU is just one point behind No. 5 Boston College, and it will have the chance to eclipse the crosstown rival with two games against No. 9 Vermont this weekend.

“We looked at the records and said, ‘Look, everything’s up for grabs,’” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said.

The Catamounts (12-16-2, 5-13-2 HEA) have accrued 12 points in conference play, the same amount as the UConn Huskies unit BU faced off against last weekend. The Terriers will have time to get familiar with their surroundings in Burlington, Vermont, as both Friday and Saturday will be played at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

“There’s a lot of hockey left to be played,” O’Connell said ahead of the series with Vermont.

Vermont has lost three of its last four games, but the team is solid at home with a 7-6-1 record. Since Jan. 4, the Catamounts have hosted and handled Sacred Heart, Merrimack, Providence and New Hampshire. They also took Clarkson to overtime at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Last season, Vermont came to Agganis Arena for two games and was outscored by a combined 3-1. BU pitched a 2-0 shutout in the series opener with graduate forward Drew Melanson, who graduated last year from the Metropolitan College, and current sophomore defenseman David Farrance scoring goals. The following night, the units played to a 1-1 tie with graduate forward Jordan Greenway, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences last year, scoring the lone Terrier goal.

Forward Alex Esposito netted the Catamounts goal in that game, and he has done plenty of scoring in his second season as a sophomore with the team. Esposito is third on the team with seven goals and 16 total points.

The Connecticut native has a penchant for playing well against premium opponents, as he opened the season with a two-goal game against Michigan.

Esposito is not the only Catamount who can score. Forwards Max Kaufman and Joey Cipollone lead the squad with eight goals each. Kaufman, who pilots the team with 18 total points, has had a few games to remember this season with two goals against both RPI and Sacred Heart.

For Vermont, goalie Stefanos Lekkas has been working hard, logging almost 2,000 minutes so far this season. The Illinois native ranks first out of 12 qualified goaltenders in the conference with a 93 percent save percentage.

His win percentage leaves something to be desired, as he is No. 9 in the league with a 43.3 winning percentage. Lekkas ranks in the middle of the conference at No. 7 in goals allowed per game with 2.28.

On the Terriers side, junior goaltender Jake Oettinger ranks No. 9 in the Hockey East with 2.65 goals allowed per appearance. Despite this underwhelming note, Oettinger will be riding up north with some confidence this weekend.

“I think we’ve been competing real hard,” Oettinger said.

The Dallas Stars prospect had perhaps one of his best games of the season last Saturday night, stopping all 26 of the Huskies’ shots.

“It was important to bounce back,” Oettinger said after posting a shut-out to end BU’s six-game losing streak.

He will attempt to replicate this performance against Vermont, a team that averages 2.27 goals per game. In comparison, conference-leading UMass Amherst scores 3.79 times per night, and BU nets 2.69 tallies per outing on average.

The Minnesota native will also look to improve some of his other stats. He enters the weekend No. 9 in the conference in goals against average and No. 8 in winning percentage.
As they make the business trip north, the Terriers and Oettinger will see the opportunity to gain four crucial points Hockey East play.

“They see hope,” O’Connell said.

The two-game set will be played on Friday and Saturday, both set to start at 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Both games will be streamed online…Big shoutout to our guy Brady Gardner for contributing to this report as well…Do you think the Terriers will sweep the Catamounts? Let us know!

 

Terriers limp into weekend series with UConn

Over the last few weeks, the Boston University men’s hockey team has learned just how far it is from the top of the Hockey East conference.

Terriers fans knew how tough the previous four-game stretch, which included a home-and-home series with UMass Amherst and the Beanpot, would be. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a BU loyalist who thought the team would lose all four tilts.

Mired in a five-game losing slump, BU limps into this weekend’s matchup against UConn in the bottom half of the league. The Terriers are eight points behind the first-place Minutemen and in danger of falling to eighth in the conference with a poor weekend.

After defeating Arizona State on January 25, BU was 10-9-3 and inching closer to the USCHO Top 20 rankings. The Terriers suffered a shutout loss to the Sun Devils the following night and the slide ensued. This skid has included a pair of Beanpot losses, the first time the team has lost in both the tournament semifinal and consolation round since the forgettable 2013-14 season.

BU will bus down to Hartford for Friday night’s contest before hosting the Huskies on Saturday night at Agganis Arena. After this weekend, the Terriers will have just one home game left in the regular season. The silver lining is only one of those meetings is against a team with a winning record, so the squad has a chance to piece its season back together after this head-scratching stretch.

This weekend is a great opportunity for BU to begin its climb back to relevance in the college hockey landscape. The Terriers have had success against this UConn before, beating them 3-2 in the Friendship Four a few months ago. In that game, BU fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 before goals by sophomore forwards Logan Cockerill and Ty Amonte lifted them to a victory.

Junior forward Patrick Curry also scored in that tilt. That game was part of a seven-game losing streak for the Huskies that put them in a deep hole before 2019 even began. UConn recently endured a six-game winless streak from January 5-February 7, but the group has looked better as of late.

The Huskies have won their last two games, including a shocking 3-2 upset win over Northeastern last Thursday. Senior forward Karl El-Amir assisted on each of his unit’s goals in the triumph, adding to his team-high of 25 points. The Montreal native has done it by himself and used his teammates to compile points this year, scoring 12 times and assisting on 13 goals. He did both against the Terriers in Ireland, garnering a goal and an assist with four shots.

BU also has to worry about fellow Montrealer Alexander Payusov. The junior leads the Huskies with 14 goals and has four assists for good measure. Payusov has scored twice in a game on three occasions this year, including a pair of goals in contests against conference foes Maine and New Hampshire.

Game Notes: This weekend’s games will not be televised on local cable but can be streamed online here. You can also listen online to the Terriers radio broadcast. Do you think BU can break its skid this weekend? Let us know in the comment section!

Terriers head to the Zoo for second crack at UMass Amherst

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for the Boston University men’s hockey team.

Somehow, the Terriers biggest challenge is still ahead of the them.

Last Friday night, BU welcomed the No. 2 team in the country, UMass Amherst, to town in front of a packed crowd at Agganis Arena. The Terriers put up a valiant effort, but it was to no avail as the Minutemen dropped seven goals on BU’s head en route to a 5-7 defeat.

On Monday, BU came up short in a barnburner once again, this time under the bright lights of the 67th Beanpot at TD Garden. The Terriers traded goals with Northeastern before the Huskies staged a repeat of last year’s tournament finale and skated off the ice with a victory, this time in overtime by a score of 2-1.

BU has little time to dwell on this early ejection from the Beanpot, however. The going only gets tougher on Friday as they venture out to one of the most raucous atmospheres in college hockey, the Mullins Center in Amherst, for their second crack at the formidable Minutemen.

UMass remains at No. 2 in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll heading into this tilt, not having dropped a slot since last week. This team has been lethal all season, boasting five players with at least 20 points.

The Terriers learned about the firepower of this group in their most recent appearance at Agganis Arena. UMass is led in the scoring department by senior Jacob Pritchard, who made his presence felt 46 seconds into the game on Friday with his 13th goal of the season.

Despite his tally on Friday, Pritchard is not the top goal scorer on the squad. That title belongs to sophomore forward Mitchell Chaffee, who has a team-best 15 goals to go along with 14 assists. The Michigan native added to his dime total last week against the Terriers, helping out on freshman Ty Farmer’s go-ahead goal 8:49 into the third quarter which snapped a 4-4 tie.

Farmer has come on strong for UMass as of late. BU fans heard his name called two times too many on Friday as he scored an unassisted goal to increase the Minutemen lead to 6-4 late in the third period.

He has notched at least one point in five of his last six games and multiple points in two of those games. Although he is just seventh on the team in total points, Farmer has been getting the job done heading into the final few weeks of the season.

The Terriers have been fighting a bug in the first period. In order to upset UMass, they’re going to have to come with some firepower at the outset of the game, something they have been struggling with in the second semester.

BU has not scored first in a game since January 11 against New Hampshire, a span of seven games. They have done an adequate job of battling back from these slow beginnings, but UMass is a nearly impossible team to climb out of a hole against.

Game Notes: We don’t know how BU is going to start out the game, but we do know this: the atmosphere is going to be lit on Friday night. The Mullins Center has announced a sellout for what should be one of the most fun games the Terriers play in this season…This game will be broadcasted regionally on NESNplus…Follow along with live game coverage here!

Terriers begin tough stretch with home series against Arizona State

Having lost just once in the last seven games, the Boston University hockey team has merely started its climb back into the national polls.

Despite not having to leave Massachusetts until February 15, the Terriers (9-9-3, 8-5-2 Hockey East) will be tested sufficiently over the next few weeks. A Beanpot rematch with eighth-ranked Northeastern University is sandwiched by a home-and-home series against second-ranked UMass Amherst in the first eight days of February.

But, BU can’t afford to peek past this weekend. The squad will have its hands full with two home contests against 17th-ranked Arizona State University on Friday and Saturday night at Agganis Arena.

This Sun Devils team is a lot different than the one the Terriers swept with ease a year ago.

Last January, BU clobbered Arizona State by a combined 12-3 in two games in the desert. The Sun Devils won just one of their subsequent six games after enduring the sweep to finish the season with an 8-21-5 record.

This year, Arizona State has turned it around. They boast a stout defense, ranking 16th with 2.65 goals yielded per game. It’s nearly impossible to score against its penalty kill. The Sun Devils penalty killing unit leaves the ice without allowing a goal 85.34 percent of the time, the 10th-best mark in the country.

Considering BU scored three power play goals in a 7-2 home win over Merrimack College on Monday afternoon, this should make for an enticing affair.

“Special teams is a huge factor so it was big to get our power play going,” senior forward Ryan Cloonan said. “Especially conference-wise. Hopefully, we can carry that into the future.”

It’s going to be difficult to transfer Monday’s success into these two tilts against Arizona State. They head to Agganis Arena sporting a 16-9-1 mark and have managed to come to the east coast and defeat some respectable hockey clubs. In November, they shocked Penn State University, currently the 15th-ranked team in the country, with a 4-3 overtime triumph in State College, PA.

Two weeks later, they traveled to Allston and escaped Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center with a 3-2 overtime win over the Crimson in the second game of a two-night series. A few weeks later, they ventured east yet again and swept Princeton University in New Jersey.

Arizona State’s journeys eastward have not been perfect, as they are coming off a pair of losses at 12th-ranked Cornell University two weekends ago. However, this a dangerous unit.

The Sun Devils rank 17th in the country with 3.12 goals per game. The team is also 21st in the nation with 18 power play goals.

Terriers fans will need to watch out for sophomore forward Johnny Walker. Walker’s father, Jeff, was a goaltender for Boston College in the late 1980s and his son will look to continue his legacy and inflict some harm on BU this weekend.

Walker is the primary source of offense for the Sun Devils. He finished 2017-18 second in the country in freshman goal scoring with 17 tallies and he has already eclipsed that mark in his second season in college. Walker leads the country with 19 goals and is the only player on his team with more than 10.

He is also 10th in the country with 27 points and the only Sun Devil with more than 16 points. If you are going to the game, Walker is the guy to keep your eye on.

The Terriers will seek to limit Walker and build on the momentum they garnered in Monday’s bashing of Merrimack.

“It was a good win,” BU head coach Albie O’Connell said. “We picked it up and got better and better.”

Terriers rolling into home game against Quinnipiac on Saturday night

This season is looking eerily similar to the 2017-18 campaign for the Boston University men’s hockey team.

Last year, the Terriers were underwhelming before the holiday break after receiving a top ten ranking in the preseason polls. BU then picked up steam at the beginning of the new year with sound performances in games against New Hampshire and Providence before rattling off six straight wins and eventually winning the Hockey East Tournament.

2018-19’s version of the Terriers is following a similar path. BU was subpar in the first half of the season as new head coach Albie O’Connell got accustomed to his fresh role.

On the morning of December 8, BU was just 4-8-2 and fans were wondering if O’Connell’s tenure would begin with a losing season. Since, the Terriers are 4-0-1 and they are heading into the second semester with consecutive wins against the aforementioned Wildcats and Friars.

BU will kick off a five-game homestand this Saturday night against sixth-ranked Quinnipiac. The Bobcats have already matched last year’s win total as they have soared to the top ten of the USCHO.com rankings. However, Quinnipiac has won just once in their last four games despite this stretch including just one ranked opponent.

The Bobcats split their ECAC back-to-back this past weekend, handling Dartmouth 5-1 before losing 2-1 to Harvard. Quinnipiac fell behind the Big Green by a goal at the end of the first period before throttling the visitors over the final two frames.

Five different players scored goals for the victors including senior defenseman Chase Priskie, who leads the team with 13 goals. Sophomore forward Odeen Tufto registered an assist, pushing his team-best point total to 29.

The following night, the Crimson did a good job of holding the Bobcats to just one score despite facing an onslaught of shots. Quinnipiac recorded 47 shots, including five from Tufto and four from Priskie. Somehow, the Bobcats failed to score until the final minute of the game and by that point it was too late.

Terriers junior goalie Jake Oettinger needs to be prepared for a busy night at Agganis Arena on Saturday. The Bobcats take 31.0 shots per game and are outscoring opponents by an average of 1.9 goals per night.

Notes: BU received good news on Monday morning as freshman forward Joel Farabee was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week. The Flyers prospect scored twice and notched three assists in the first week of 2019…This is the Terriers lone matchup against the Bobcats this season…BU beat Quinnipiac 3-2 on the road in overtime in their only meeting in 2017-18. Junior forward Patrick Harper had two goals and a helper and sophomore forward Shane Bowers netted the game-winner…You can watch or listen to this game via GoTerriers.com. 

Can BU win their third game in a row? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Paul Pearl named associate head coach of men’s hockey

It looks like BU men’s hockey has filled its coaching vacancy.

Paul Pearl has been named the new associate head coach of the Terriers and the rest of last year’s staff will return. Read Liam’s story here.

 

NHL draft preview: What BU men’s hockey fans can expect

Boston University hockey fans have reason to tune into the NHL Draft when it begins on June 22 in Dallas.

After a successful freshman campaign with the Terriers, forward Brady Tkachuk is expected to go as high as third overall and is the second-ranked North American skater in the draft according to NHL.com.

Tkachuk has not ruled out returning to the Agganis Arena ice for another go-round in Hockey East, but being a top-five selection would make it difficult for the physical winger to return to college.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 197-pounder was one of the Terriers’ most active contributors on the offensive end all season. He led the team with 23 assists and 131 shots, the most of any freshman in the country. His +15 plus-minus was the second-best on the squad and his 31 points were the fourth-most.

His performance on the ice was rewarded following the season, as he was named a member of the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Tkachuk was a prime example of former head coach David Quinn’s recruiting prowess. Quinn had seven players selected in the 2017 NHL Draft after seeing four of his pupils selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

 

Tkachuk serves as one of the final gems of Quinn’s recruiting legacy, one which concluded when he accepted the head coaching job with the New York Rangers last month. Quinn’s new hockey club holds the ninth pick, but Tkachuk will likely be swiped off the board by then.

The two-time Hockey East Top Performer could join former Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien in Montreal. The Canadiens have expressed interest and Tkachuk’s NHL-ready body provides him with the ability to assist a talent-depleted Montreal roster sooner rather than later.

Another potential landing spot for Tkachuk is Arizona. The Coyotes are another team in need of a boost, as they have not made the playoffs since 2012. Multiple Phoenix media outlets have conveyed general manager John Chayka’s interest in selecting Tkachuk, who would be joining former Terrier Clayton Keller on a club which accumulated the fewest points in the Western Conference in 2017-18.

Unlike past seasons, BU will not have a collection of players waiting to hear their name called on draft night. Funny enough, the majority of the Terriers front-line performers have already been selected in previous years.

In 2017, Cam Crotty was picked by the Coyotes, Kasper Kotkansalo was selected by the Detroit Red Wings, David Farrance by the Nashville Predators, Logan Cockerill by the New York Islanders, Shane Bowers by the Ottawa Senators and Jake Oettinger by the Dallas Stars.

A year prior, Chad Krys went to the Chicago Blackhawks while Dante Fabbro and Patrick Harper both landed with the Predators. Take away Tkachuk, and the Terriers still have loads of NHL-level talent projected to be on the 2018-19 roster.

In terms of the players who have not been drafted, there is not too much chatter surrounding Beanpot hero Ty Amonte despite his name being floated around in draft speculation last summer.

Future Terriers:

Joel Farabee:

BU will likely have another first round pick in addition to Tkachuk. Incoming freshman forward Joel Farabee is listed as a likely first-round pick. The Cicero, New York native is ranked number 12 among North American skaters and mock drafts have him within the first 15 picks.

 

Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Top 10-15 pick.

Jake Wise:

Farabee won’t have to look too far to see another future Terrier being drafted, all he really needs to do is look to his right as his linemate with the USDP Jake Wise. Wise is expected to be the second future Terrier and third Terrier overall being drafted this season.

Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Late first round

Jack Deboer:

BU has one other incoming freshman who might hear his name called. Ranked number 166 among North American Skaters is Jack DeBoer. Although he is the son of the head coach of the San Jose Sharks, he is not a lock to be drafted. For a point of reference, current Terrier senior forward and captain Bobo Carpenter was ranked 119 among North American skaters for the 2014 draft and went undrafted.

Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Undrafted

 

Culver Academy’s Dominic Vidoli commits to BU

The Boston University men’s hockey team just added a stellar find to their 2018 recruiting class as Culver Military Academy Prep defenseman Dominic Vidoli announced his commitment to join the Terrier family.

Vidoli is a grinder in a 6’0”, 170-pound frame, a force when it comes to corralling loose pucks and a terror on the boards. The Strongsville, Ohio native is willing to put his body on the line to stop a puck from sailing towards the net and should be someone Terriers head coach David Quinn can rely on to make sound decisions in the defensive zone.

In his first full season with Culver Academy in 2016-17, Vidoli logged four goals and four assists while compiling a +16 plus-minus rating in his time on the ice.

Vidoli improved his puck-handling and passing skills over the summer, and it has showed in the first 26 games of this season. The left-hander has poured in nine goals and 25 assists, becoming a staple of the Culver offensive attack.

With the likes of defenseman Brien Diffley and John MacLeod graduating, expect Vidoli to get a chance at filling in the minutes that these two will void. Should he impress over the summer and gel with his fellow defenseman, Vidoli could become a common member of the defensive third line in 2018-19.