From the Freep: Terriers hunt for redemption in Beanpot final

Photo by Junhee Chung/DFP Staff

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

The No. 1/ 2 Boston University men’s ice hockey entered this season’s Beanpot tournament looking to prove itself after an embarrassing fourth-place finish in last season’s tournament. The Terriers took care of business in last Monday’s Beanpot semifinal via their 3-1 win over Harvard, but the journey for revenge is not yet complete, as a berth in the Beanpot title game does not win any trophies.

So on Monday night, BU will look to finish the job when it takes the ice against No. 4/5 Boston College at TD Garden in a game that will not only determine this season’s Beanpot champion, but also partly determine the legacy of this season’s BU team.

“You judge a team at the end of the year by what they’ve accomplished and by what they’ve won,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “BU teams aren’t real good teams unless they win some championships. You could be No. 1 in the nation or the No. 1 seed in your league. You can get to the Beanpot final. You can do all those things that make you look like you’re about to win a championship, but if you don’t win something, it’s just an okay year no matter what the record is.

“This team will be judged on what happens from now until March and April. We’ll see who is going to get a chance to win championships in March and April. This is the first one that is available.”

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Projected lines (changes are bolded):
Matt Nieto – Chris Connolly – Alex Chiasson
Wade Megan – Ben RosenSahir Gill
Justin Courtnall – Cason HohmannEvan Rodrigues
Ross Gaudet – Ryan Santana – Kevin Gilroy

Garrett Noonan – Patrick MacGregor
Sean Escobedo – Adam Clendening
Max Nicastro – Ryan Ruikka

Kieran Millan
Grant Rollheiser

More on the lineup beyond the jump.
Notes: Yasin Cissé finds himself as the odd man out of the lineup yet again for BU. Cissé has struggled to return to the player he had been before ankle injuries and a concussion kept him off the ice for a little more than two full seasons, but it seems BU is starting to lose patience in Cissé’s long recovery.

His lack of playing time became most pronounced after Parker had Cissé suit up for a Jan. 28 game against Maine, but Parker did not play him. Cissé left the arena after the second period of that game per his own choice. Parker said after speaking with Cissé, the Quebec native would suffer no lasting consequences for his actions that night. Still, Cissé continues to see minimal playing time. On Friday, Cissé returned to the lineup for the first time since the game against Maine, but he apparently did not play well enough to convince the coaches to keep him in the lineup for Monday night’s Beanpot game.

The following is a transcript of Parker’s reasoning for keeping Cissé out of the Beanpot final:

On why Cissé was the odd man out: 

I think he played better the other night. I thought he gave us some physical play. I had a hard time deciding between a couple of guys down the lineup. I decided to go with Gilroy. They both played okay the other night. Gilroy’s a senior. It’s his last Beanpot. But Cissé will be back in the lineup next week for sure. There’s a confidence level that he has to get to because he has a lot of skill that we can use. He has to have some good reps of shift after shift of feeling pretty good about himself. Then he’ll be fine. We believe he’s going to be a very good hockey player for us.

On how to get him those reps if he’s not in the lineup:

It’s hard to get him those reps even if he’s in the lineup because if you’re not on the first two lines you don’t get as much ice time and if you’re not on the power play or the penalty kill, you sit a lot. So that interferes with his confidence level and it interferes with his legs. So I think some of that stuff has a lot to do with holding somebody back from getting confident and in a flow. I think he’s still worried about “Where do they want me to play? How do they want me to …” checking in on what we want. He’s got to, within him, figure that out and then go play.

But there’s a lot of guys in that boat. Hohmann is in and out of the lineup. Rodrigues is in and out of the lineup. Kevin Gilroy has been in and out of the lineup. In reality, we have 13 forwards and we want to keep them all alive, too. We don’t want to have somebody go down and all of the sudden, Cissé hasn’t played in a month and a half and he’s not ready to play. Kevin hasn’t played or Hohmann hasn’t played or Rodrigues hasn’t played or Santana hasn’t played. We have a bunch of guys who can fill in a bunch of different roles on those third and fourth lines and we’ll keep rotating them around.

From the FreeP: Megan nets two, leads BU to Beanpot final

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

Junior forward Wade Megan scored a combined 13 goals in his first two years on the Boston University men’s hockey team. In 25 games this season, he’s eclipsed what he achieved in his first 74 games as a Terrier, taking over the team lead in goals with his 13th and 14th tallies in Monday’s 3-1 Beanpot semifinals win over Harvard University.

Megan ranks fourth on the team with 20 points – quite a jump up from finishing 11th last year – but he’s found the back of the net more than anyone else, including junior assistant captain Alex Chiasson, senior captain Chris Connolly and sophomore forward Matt Nieto, all of whom scored more goals than Megan last year and had more experience playing on top lines before this year.

“I don’t really try to think about that stuff,” Megan said. “I don’t think a lot of guys on the team think about that stuff, and maybe that’s why we’ve been so successful.”

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From the FreeP: Men’s hockey heads to Beanpot championship

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

In a rematch of last year’s Beanpot consolation game, the No. 1/2 Boston University men’s hockey team exacted revenge on Harvard University, earning a trip to the title game via a 3-1 victory. The Terriers will fight for their 30th Beanpot championship against the Boston College next Monday.

Junior forward Wade Megan scored twice and senior goaltender Kieran Millan made 29 saves in the win.

Despite the victory, BU coach Jack Parker was not especially pleased with the level of play from either side.

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Terriers get revenge on Crimson, earn berth in Beanpot title game

In a rematch of last year’s Beanpot consolation game, the No. 1/2 Boston University Terriers exacted revenge on the Harvard Crimson, earning a trip to the title game via a 3-1 victory. The Terriers will fight for their 30th Beanpot championship against the winner of the Northeastern/Boston College semifinal.

Junior forward Wade Megan scored twice and senior goaltender Kieran Millan made 29 saves in the win.

Sophomore forward Matt Nieto gave BU an early lead when, at 8:14 in the first period, he tucked a wrap-around bid in between Crimson goaltender Steve Michalek and the right post.

The goal stood as the lone tally in the first period despite nearly four consecutive minutes of power-play time for the Terriers due to back-to-back penalties on Harvard junior Marshall Everson.

BU struggled to find urgency on those power plays as they failed to connect on passes and were constantly regrouping after Harvard clears. Crimson freshman Colin Blackwell earned a short-handed breakaway bid on the second Everson penalty, but Millan was there to make the pad save.

In the second period, BU doubled its lead when sophomore forward Sahir Gill made a heads-up play on the power play. Gill picked off a Harvard clearing pass and dished it over to junior defenseman Sean Escobedo, who found Megan camped out on Michalek’s left. Megan slipped the puck through to give BU a 2-0 lead.

Megan recorded his second goal of the night and the period with 5:58 left in the frame. The Harvard defense allowed Megan to walk in front of Michalek and Megan lifted it on the backhand over the handcuffed goaltender for the score.

Harvard responded a little over a minute later. The Crimson were on the power play thanks to a cross-checking penalty against junior forward Ryan Santana. BU’s defense left the entire slot open in front of Millan, and Harvard senior Alex Killorn jumped into the open space and beat Millan to make it a 3-1 game.

After the Harvard goal, the Crimson pulled Michalek in favor of sophomore Raphael Girard.

Senior forward Kevin Gilroy almost put one past Girard in the third period, but a review reversed the goal call on the ice. Gilroy’s shot hit the post but never crossed the line.

From the Freep: Short-handed Terriers set for Beanpot

By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff

One year ago, the Boston University men’s hockey team left a blemish on its Beanpot legacy by finishing in last place for the first time since 1980. The loss was an embarrassing one for a BU team that has been so successful historically in the Beanpot that, at times, it has been dubbed the “BU Invitational.” BU has won almost half (29) of the previous 59 Beanpot tournaments.

In recent years, however, the Beanpot has belonged more to rival Boston College than to the Terriers. BC has won the coveted trophy in three of the past four seasons. Even worse, the Terriers enter the tournament this year at the risk of going three straight seasons without a Beanpot championship for the first time since 1983-85.

And so on Monday, the No. 3 Terriers (16-8-1, 13-6-1 Hockey East) will begin their quest to restore Terrier glory in the 60th edition of the tournament. They will begin that journey by facing the opponent who embarrassed them last season: Harvard University.

“Obviously finishing last last year really puts a lot of pressure on us to perform this year, and I think we’re up for the challenge,” said senior goaltender Kieran Millan. “I think that everybody on the team is pretty excited. It’s an unbelievable tournament. It’s a great opportunity to win a championship. I know it [stinks] being my last one, but hopefully it will be a good one.”