Garrett Noonan signs with Nashville Predators

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

A team source confirmed Friday that senior captain Garrett Noonan has signed with the Nashville Predators.

Congrats to one of my best friends @GarrettNoonan13 for signing with the Nashville Predators. #welldeserved
— Patrick MacGregor (@Patmacc4) April 18, 2014

The 6-foot-1 defenseman scored four goals and had 16 assists in in 34 games for the Terriers during the 2013-14 season and finished the year at a minues-12. Over the course of his four-year career at BU, Noonan had a total of 30 goals and 51 assists and was a plus-19 in 145 games.

The Predators drafted the Norfolk native in the fourth round, 112th overall, of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

A stark contrast: Garrett Noonan out hurt while Merrimack’s Mike Collins nets game-winner

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

NORTH ANDOVER — Moments before its matchup with Merrimack College on Friday, the Boston University men’s hockey team faced an unfamiliar scenario, an ever-so-slight deviation from the standard operating procedure.

Senior captain Patrick MacGregor huddled the team around the net and did all of the talking in the pregame chat — just as he usually does. But this time, he did it as the lone dressed captain.

Defenseman Garrett Noonan was out of the lineup with what the team called a “minor upper-body injury,” which when coupled with the return of Merrimack star forward Mike Collins after a four-game reprieve helped lead to the Warriors’ 3-2 win at Lawler Arena.

“In college hockey, you’re going to have injuries,” said Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy. “We just came off not having Mikey and not having [senior defenseman] Brendan Ellis. You manage it. Obviously for our league you want the best players to be healthy. You want to see their best, and hopefully put forth your best against theirs.”

Noonan could return as soon as Saturday — MC will visit Agganis Arena for the 7 p.m. contest — but Friday the impact of his absence was immediate and significant.

Less than three minutes into the first period, Warrior freshman Jonathan Lashyn tossed a shot on net from the blue line. Freshman defenseman Dalton MacAfee, paired with sophomore Matt Grzelcyk with Noonan out, was all alone in the slot when the puck deflected off of his stick and through sophomore goaltender Matt O’Connor’s legs.

It was “a freak reaction,” as MacGregor put it, but it was also a Warrior lead.

The teams found themselves deadlocked at two goals apiece in the final 10 minutes when Collins, a Boston native who played with Noonan at Catholic Memorial in high school and with the Vernon Vipers in the BCHL, struck for his 10th point in as many games this season.

Collins held the puck at the point before skating into the circle, then cutting to his left into the slot. He had beaten four of the five Terriers on the ice by the time he whipped a wrister on net, a wrister that beat O’Connor stick-side to put Merrimack on top for good.

It was the most dramatic of several examples of Collins seemingly taking over at will a game in which he finished with seven shots, more than double than any of his teammates.

The tally wasn’t exactly a surprise coming from Collins, who put together a 38-point season in 2012-13, but that doesn’t make it any easier for Quinn to swallow.

“He’s a great player. He’s a great player,” Quinn reiterated. “When you stand around and let somebody skate around like that, they’re going to be an even better player than they normally are, and that’s what happened tonight. We stood around and no urgency and just got exactly what we deserved.”

Dennehy was more complimentary of his senior assistant captain.

“He has been doing that since he was a freshman,” Dennehy said. “He’s a special player. I’ve learned a lot more from him than he’s learned from me. It’s good to have him back. He’s the type of difference-maker that can change a game, and he did so tonight.

“To have a player like Mike back in the lineup, you have somebody to look to. And when things aren’t going well, you’re looking for a difference maker, and he’s ours.”

Garrett Noonan impressing two games into senior season

By Conor Ryan/DFP Staff
At the end of the 2012-13 season, many wondered if then-junior defenseman Garrett Noonanwould join teammate Matt Nieto and make the jump from the collegiate ranks up to a potential spot on an NHL roster.
Drafted in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators, Noonan had already built an impressive resume during his first three years at BU (2-0, 1-0 Hockey East), with 61 points in 110 games and a spot on the All-Hockey East Second Team squad in 2011-12.
Despite the pressure to move on to the NHL, Noonan chose to remain at BU for his senior year, eventually earning the title of captain, along with senior defenseman Patrick MacGregor, of the current 2013-14 team.
Now, just two games into the early season, it seems like Noonan’s decision to stay is paying off for both the Terriers and the Norfolk native, as Noonan has made a huge impact both on and off the ice for BU so far this year.
The Terriers got off to a good start under new head coach David Quinn, as they defeated both the University of Massachusetts and College of the Holy Cross during weekend tilts at Agganis Arena. Noonan made his presence felt in both contests, as he scored a goal in the season-opening win against the Minutemen (0-2, 0-1 Hockey East) and racked up two assists in BU’s 3-2 win over the Crusaders (0-1) Saturday night.

Noonan is already making a difference on offense, as he is second on the team and tied for fifth in Hockey East with three points in two games.
“He’s really had a great start to the season, not only what you’re seeing on the ice, but away from the rink,” Quinn said Saturday. “He’s in great shape — he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. He physically looks different.”
Junior forward Cason Hohmann, whose second-period goal against Holy Cross was assisted by Noonan, shared Quinn’s sentiments in that Noonan has really stepped his game up far this season.
“You can tell he’s definitely gotten better over the summer. He’s way faster than he was last year, he’s got more jump, he’s all over the place,” Hohmann said.  “When we score goals, he’s all around it, so everything pretty much goes through him at some point. So on the power play, he’s a threat anytime he gets the puck, so I think he’s come back even better than last year.”
While Noonan has made an impact on the stat sheet this season, Hohmann noted that 22-year-old Noonan has also had a huge impact on the team in other areas, as he’s taken up the mantle as one of the leaders for the Terriers this season.
“Yeah, I think he’s really come to his leadership role very well,” Hohmann said. “He’s a quiet leader at times, and other times he’s very vocal. He leads by example on the ice very well. When he says something in the locker room, everyone pays attention. I think he’s a great leader for this team.”
It would be an understatement to say that the 2013-14 Terriers are a young squad, with 18 of the 25 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores. Given that ratio, Noonan has made it a priority to help out these unseasoned players, both on and off the ice.
“From the freshmen standpoint, he’s been great to us,” said freshman forward Nick Roberto. “Really helping us, especially in the weight room, like telling us what to do and then on ice, he’s teaching us like the little things to help our games, so it’s been beneficial for us.”
There are a lot of games to be played in the 2013-14 campaign, but if the Terriers are going to make some noise in Hockey East this year, odds are that Noonan will be one of the chief factors.
“He’s been a great leader from the first minute I got here,” Quinn said. “We’re going to need him to do the things he did this weekend if we’re going to have success.”

2013-14 men’s hockey preview issue

Thursday brought the annual hockey preview edition of The Daily Free Press, and this year all eight pages of the issue were dedicated to men’s and women’s hockey.

Be sure to grab a copy and share it with your friends if you’re on campus, but if you are not, here is a look at all of the content the issue features.

The season preview, which details what to expect from David Quinn’s first year as coach, is the first story of the issue.

Here is more background on Quinn and the path he took to go from BU hockey player to head coach of his alma mater.

Jake Moscatel dreamed of playing for BU his entire life, but getting there was not easy.

Garrett Noonan is back, he is captain, and he has business to take care of.

Sophomore year was a chance for Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann to break out. Now, they have a chance to lead.

Hockey East is only getting tougher with the arrival of Notre Dame and the emergence of UMass-Lowell and Providence. Where does BU fit in? Check out our power rankings.

On the women’s front, take a look at the season preview as Brian Durocher’s squad tries to get back to the national championship, and a profile of Kerrin Sperry, who is a leader both between the pipes and with ROTC.

What is Patrick MacGregor’s favorite pregame music? Find out in our lighthearted “Seven Questions” Q&A.

You can find the digital copy of the issue here.

Garrett Noonan, Patrick MacGregor named 2013-14 co-captains

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Sports

The wait is finally over, and senior defensemen Garrett Noonan and Patrick MacGregor have been named co-captains of the 2013-14 Boston University men’s hockey team. Noonan and MacGregor are the first co-captains of the Terriers since Chris Connolly and Joe Pereira shared the ‘C’ in 2010-11.

“Over the last six months I’ve been really impressed by the senior leadership on this team both on and off the ice,” BU coach David Quinn said in a team release. “Garrett and Patrick were selected following a team vote and they both have what it takes to be a great leader. They’ll have the help of their fellow seniors as well, which will be very important with 10 newcomers this year.”

Noonan, who was named an assistant captain on Dec. 14 last season, returned to the Terriers despite speculation that he may forgo his senior year and sign a pro contract with the Nashville Predators. The Norfolk native was named a 2012 Hockey East Second Team All-Star.

“I wanted to be here,” Noonan told the Daily Free Press at Hockey East media day on Sept. 24. “[The Predators] were happy with my development here, I was happy and it was kind of one of those things where it kind of fit that I would stay here, finish my degree, come back and be a leader on the team.”

MacGregor, who appeared in 30 games for the Terriers last season, is expected to provide some experience among a defensive group that features four underclassmen. He has seven assists in 79 career games with the Terriers.

The captains are often announced at the team banquet after the season, but with the head coaching change from Jack Parker to Quinn, the captains spots were not officially assigned until one day before the team’s first preseason game.

“This year I think it was very important to wait because number one, new coach. Number two, nine freshmen,” Quinn told the Daily Free Press on Monday. “For me, it was a great opportunity to kind of see how they handled the freshmen in the early part of the season and let the freshmen have the say. Those are the guys that are leading them as well.

“Last year’s team may vote and then all of a sudden something may change over the summer or you don’t know how they’re going to handle freshmen. I think this was the right way to do it. Jack actually suggested it to me after I got the job and I think it was a great idea because I think it kind of worked out well.”

Video: Quinn, Noonan and MacGregor discuss team leadership

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff 

Thursday afternoon, members of the media met with coaches and players during the annual Hockey East Media Day at TD Garden. First-year Boston University men’s hockey coach David Quinn stressed the leadership he has seen from his senior class, and senior defensemen Garrett Noonan and Patrick MacGregor followed suit by discussing how they have developed as mentors to a large freshmen class. 

Watch the videos below to hear more from Quinn, Noonan and MacGregor:

With win over BC behind them, Terriers look ahead to Lowell

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

The Boston University men’s hockey team didn’t do a whole lot of celebrating at TD Garden Friday night.

Yes, the third-seeded Terriers came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat second-seeded Boston College, 6-3, in the Hockey East semifinals. Yes, they have won five in a row and seven of their last eight. And yes, they have extended Jack Parker’s career by at least one more game.

But the Terriers (21-15-2) still have a tall task in front of them — and they know it.

That tall task is in the form of top seed University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the only team in the conference to sweep BU in the regular season. The Terriers and River Hawks (25-10-2), who beat Providence College 2-1 Friday night, will square off at the Garden 7 p.m. Saturday night with the Hockey East championship on the line.

“We haven’t beaten them yet,” said freshman forward Matt Lane. “But it’s tough to beat any team four times in this league, so hopefully it will be a different outcome.”

A different outcome, the Terriers hope, than the aggregate 10-4 edge the River Hawks held in the three regular-season game. In two of those games — a home-and-home series Feb. 22-23 — BU’s offensive effort was particularly futile, getting outscored 6-1 and collecting just 41 shots in the two games.

That weekend, Lowell’s trap defense gave BU fits. It had a hard time breaking in UML’s defensive zone, and when it did it often had to settle for shots from the perimeter.

When those shots did get through — and the River Hawks are in the habit of blocking a ton of shots — the last line of defense for Lowell, freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, was more often than not up to the challenge.

Hellebuyck, who Friday was named to the All-Hockey East Second Team, has played in just 20 games after battling first for playing time early in the season and then injuries later on.

Still, his save percentage (.946) and goals-against average (1.46) are tops in the league.

“They’re tenacious defensively. They don’t spend a lot of time in their zone,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “They block a lot of shots in front of their goaltender, they really pack it in, and they play a little different style of d-zone coverage than most other teams do. We’re going to have to adjust from what we saw tonight [vs. BC] to what they play.”

But here’s the thing about Lowell: They do that to everyone. Widely considered one of the best and hottest teams in the country, UML is 21-3-1 since Dec. 8.

Saturday’s matchup will be a rematch of the 2009 Hockey East championship game, a 1-0 Terrier win. It was also the last time either team made the finals.

There are a number of similarities between that game and Saturday’s, notably that BU is starting a freshman goaltender who has caught fire since his classmate went down with an injury.

Last time around, Kieran Millan took over the starting job in November when Grant Rollheiser got hurt in November 2008. This time, Sean Maguire has turned it on the last five games since Matt O’Connor was officially out for the rest of the season after suffering a collapsed lung.

There are many differences between those seasons — namely, BU was the best team in the country from start to finish in 2008-09, while this year’s team has taken more than its fair share of lumps — but the goal remains the same: Take home the trophy.

That sure is on junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan’s mind after scoring a power-play goal in his first game back from a separated shoulder.

Questioned on what it meant to hand rival BC its first loss at TD Garden after 14 straight wins, it didn’t take long for Noonan to change the subject.

“It’s obviously good to beat BC in the Garden — I don’t know if we have yet in my career here,” Noonan said. “I don’t know.

“The job’s not done yet. We need to win tomorrow.”