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.

Grading the Terriers: Scoring depth helps Terriers to 4-2 win over Huskies

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

Offense: A-
The key to the BU offense Friday night was its scoring depth, which is something new for the Terriers. The last time a forward on BU’s third or fourth line scored an even-strength point was Feb. 11 against Harvard, when freshman forward Mike Moran scored.

However, the Terriers got goals from bottom-six forwards senior Jake Moscatel and freshman Matt Lane Friday night, Those, coupled with goals from usual suspects — senior Wade Megan and freshman Danny O’Regan — helped the offense to a four-goal night.

It was not just that the Terriers were scoring, but they were creating good scoring chances. BU had 37 shots on the night and seemed to carry the pace of the game through the first and third periods.

Defense: B
It was a much better night for the Terriers defensively in terms of keeping the Huskies away from the front of the goal. BU coach Jack Parker pointed to that area as a weak point in BU’s 5-6 loss to Northeastern in the first round of the Beanpot and praised his team’s effort at keeping the Huskies away from grade A scoring chances Friday night.

Senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka was beaten cleanly by the speed of Northeastern forward Cody Ferriero on the Huskies’ first goal, but BU’s defense was overall strong for the circumstances it went through in the game. Junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan left the game early in the second period when he separated his shoulder and will likely be out for the rest of the season. Junior defenseman/forward Matt Ronan will have to step into the lineup in Saturday night’s season finale.

Goaltending: B+
With fellow freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor out for the rest of the season, Sean Maguire is in a position to step up and make a name for himself as BU’s goaltender. With his 31-save performance Friday night, he has now made 117 saves in his past three starts, which is good for a .944 save percentage.

The key to his performance Friday night was his rebound control, as he had one of his better games of the season at holding onto the puck. The Terriers will rely on Maguire to be at the top of his game in the final game of the season in search of a top-four seed in the Hockey East tournament. The Powell River, British Columbia native has performed better at Agganis Arena this season, recording a .937 save percentage at home with only a .912 save percentage on the road.

Special Teams: B-
Neither team took many penalties in the game, but neither team scored with any of their man advantages. Northeastern’s power play looked better than the Terriers’ did though, as the Huskies moved the puck well and got several scoring chances on the power play.

After a strong weekend on the power play against the University of Vermont, BU was relatively unsuccessful at creating scoring chances Friday night. However, its perfect 3-for-3 penalty kill performance helps the Terriers to a B- rating.

X-Factor: Start of the third period
The Terriers carried a slim 2-1 lead into the third period and had almost let Northeastern tie it several times to finish the second period. However, a strong start to the third period — including goals from O’Regan and Lane in the first six minutes of the frame — gave BU the insurance it needed to hold its lead.

Scoring late in games is nothing new for O’Regan, who leads the team with seven goals in the third period. Lane’s goals have tended to come late in games as well this year, as two of his three goals have come in the final frame of regulation.

Moscatel’s first career goal years in the making

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

Senior forward Jake Moscatel figured he was due for a goal, but when he finally scored the first of his Boston University men’s hockey career on Friday, he found it didn’t measure up to the satisfaction of throwing someone into the boards.

“I still think I’d rather have a big hit out there, but anything to help the team,” Moscatel joked.

Moscatel hadn’t recorded a point in any of his nine games before Friday’s 4-2 win over Northeastern. As part of a fourth line – along with freshman Mike Moran and senior Ryan Santana – that doesn’t generate many scoring chances, he had just five shots in those nine games.

When a rebound bounced to him near the crease in the first period, though, Moscatel knew what to do, flipping it past Northeastern University goalie Chris Rawlings to give BU a 1-0 lead.

“To be honest with you, I thought that goal would come a long time ago,” Moscatel said. “I’ve been dreaming of being a BU hockey player my entire life and I think this was my 10th or 11th game, and it’s a pretty big scoring drought for me in my long hockey career, so I knew one was going to come, I guess.”

Before last year, Moscatel’s “long hockey career” at the collegiate level consisted of three semesters playing Division III at the University of New England, and one semester with the BU club team before joining the Terriers as a walk-on last year.

Despite his detour to UNE, in Maine, Moscatel said he always envisioned himself playing for BU. His grandfather worked for the university, and he grew up in Lexington, barely a half-hour drive from Agganis Arena.

At the beginning of this season, the chances of the 24-year-old Moscatel ever playing a game for the Terriers were slim. But when departures and injuries began to reshape BU’s lineup, Moscatel found himself making the first start of his career against Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute on Jan. 4.

He’s now played in BU’s last six games, previously accompanying junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor as the only other player in the lineup without a goal in his career.

When Moscatel came back to the bench after scoring, his teammates and coaches went out of their way to congratulate him. When he returned to the locker room after speaking to CBS Sports about his game, he was met with cheers that echoed down the hallway, even with the door closed.

Moscatel said senior forward Ben Rosen, whom he knew from juniors before coming to BU, was the first one leaning over the boards to congratulate him. He added, though, that the entire bench – plus junior defenseman Matt Ronan, his fellow healthy scratch for most of the year – was excited for him.

“We always get fired up,” Moscatel said. “We love goals.”

Parker said the team is hoping to see Moscatel, who will turn 25 in December, play one more year as a Terrier.

“We called him up from the BU club team, and now he’s a regular and he’s one of our most improved players, to the point that – he could have another year of eligibility and we are going to bring him back next year,” Parker said.

Moscatel said he wants to return next year, although there’s been a slight complication: BU’s records say he dressed for a game last year and used up that year of eligibility. He said he expects that to be worked out, though, and credited Parker for making his BU career possible.

“He knows how hard I’ve worked to get in the lineup and just prove myself and get a shot, and I owe a lot to him,” Moscatel said. “He’s been the best to me.”

That appreciation is mutual.

“We are very, very happy to have him, and we are happy it is working out for him, because obviously, it is working out for us,” Parker said.

UPDATED: BU loses Garrett Noonan, likely for season, in 4-2 win over Northeastern

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff 

Amidst all the scoreboard watching and formula tinkering marking the final weekend of the regular season, the No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team did the only thing it could have to help its cause Friday night: It won.

The Terriers (17-15-2, 14-10-2 Hockey East) beat Northeastern University, 4-2, on the hosts’ senior night at Matthews Arena to stay within striking distance of a home-ice spot in the conference quarterfinals with one game to play.

Four different Terriers scored against the Huskies (9-20-4, 5-17-4 Hockey East) for BU’s third win in four games.

“Hats off to Northeastern for how hard they worked,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “They didn’t have anything to go for and we are still looking to get home ice. It was a good college hockey game to watch, I thought, and a good college hockey game to win.

“Both teams are missing a lot of bodies. But the guys that are out on the ice are working like heck.”

During the game Parker added another name to BU’s list of missing bodies: junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan.

Noonan got hit hard — but cleanly, the coach insisted — by Northeastern forward Josh Manson early in the second period.

According to Parker, the defenseman has a severely separated right shoulder and is likely out for the season. Noonan may need surgery.

“It was an absolutely clean hit,” Parker said. “Northeastern kid just caught him coming on to the net and just caught him shoulder to shoulder. It was an absolutely clean hit. There was no problem with that. He just caught him the wrong way.”

The Terriers didn’t miss a beat, though, even without one of their top defenseman and even after losing to the Huskies twice earlier this semester.

BU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first before forward Cody Ferreiro cut the lead in half with 1.2 second left in the period.

For BU, senior forward Jake Moscatel – a walk-on who joined the team for the second half of last season after going to the University of New England for two years — scored his first goal in the scarlet and white at the 12:19 mark.

Junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor sent a pass to sophomore defenseman Ahti Oksanen, whose shot from the point got kicked away by senior Chris Rawlings. Moscatel was on the right side of the crease, however, to bang home the rebound.

It was his first point for the 24-year-old Lexington native and former BU club team member since the 2009-10 season with UNE. 

“The boys were pretty fired up. Everybody’s been pulling for me I guess,” said Moscatel, who has dressed for 10 games this season. “It was definitely good to help the team win and anything I can do.”

Senior captain Wade Megan netted his 15th goal of the season less than five minutes later off a pass from junior forward Sahir Gill. From the left circle Megan ripped a wrister, which initially looked like it got trapped by Rawlings but ended up trickling through his legs and into the net.

Neither team scored in the second, although the Huskies controlled play for much of the frame.

Junior forward Matt Nieto and his linemate, center Danny O’Regan, connected on a give-and-go at 2:14 in the third to give BU a 3-1 lead.

O’Regan started the play, sending Nieto down the left wing. Nieto centered from the circle and O’Regan, his fellow San Jose Sharks draft pick, tipped it past Rawlings.

O’Regan leads the team with 31 points on the season, and in Parker’s eyes is a top-three pick for Hockey East rookie of the year with Providence College goalie Jon Gillies and Northeastern forward Kevin Roy, who was out hurt for Friday’s game.

“He’s certainly had a terrific freshman year,” Parker said of his second-line center. “There’s a lot of good freshmen in this league. Danny’s certainly one of the best if not the best.”

At the 5:28 mark in the third, freshman forward Matt Lane gave BU some more insurance — insurance it would later need — when he took a pass from sophomore forward Cason Hohmann, cut toward the net from the bottom of the left circle and roofed it by Rawlings.

Lane’s goal completed the BU quadfecta — it got a goal from each of its four forward lines.

The Terriers got a bit unlucky at 7:28 when junior Cody Ferriero shot wide of BU’s not, only to have the puck bounce hard off the end boards and back near the crease for sophomore Adam Reid to tap it in.

Reid’s goal cut BU’s lead to 4-2, but the Terrier defense held the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way to cement the win.

Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire made 30 saves for the win in his first game since Matt O’Connor was ruled done for the season with a collapsed lung.

“Sean Maguire had a heck of a night,” Parker said. “Northeastern really moved the puck. They only had three power plays but they really moved the puck well and had some good looks on it. Sean had a couple of big saves there.”

BU has its final game of the regular season 7 p.m. Saturday at Agganis Arena against Northeastern.

Sitting in fifth place, the Terriers need a win as well as a loss from one of Boston College, New Hampshire of Providence College to get home ice for the conference quarterfinals.

Three up, three down: Megan impresses, but oft-penalized defensemen continue to hurt BU

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff
The Boston University men’s hockey team lost its second straight game Saturday to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 4-3, the Terriers’ fourth loss in six games. Although the team’s play was tighter than the night before against Northeastern University, there were still a number of problems that kept them from catching up with the surging River Hawks.

Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong for BU.

Three up
Captain continues to battle
In the waning minutes of Saturday’s game, as the Terriers killed a five-minute major penalty, senior captain Wade Megan stood out.

Earlier in the period, Megan had converted a well-placed pass from sophomore center Cason Hohmann to bring the Terriers within a goal of the River Hawks. Then, during the penalty kill, he and Hohmann maintained pressure on UML and kept the puck in the offensive zone for much of the kill. They couldn’t score, but they didn’t let the River Hawks walk away without a fight.

With junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan ejected for a spearing penalty and senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka a healthy scratch, Megan was the only BU player left on the ice with a letter on his jersey. His one-goal, four-shot effort was one of the few clear positives for a team that looked out of control and distracted at times this weekend.

“A few guys really showed a lot of character with how hard they played tonight,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “Certainly, one of them is the captain.”

Despite overall issues, offense intact
Since Christmas break, BU’s defense has been inconsistent enough that its offense hasn’t been a focal point. But the Terriers did score three times against UML on 32 shots, and since their 6-0 loss to the University of Denver on Dec. 29, they have 20 goals in five games.

Parker said Friday that he wasn’t likely to rave about the offense when the defense was essentially losing BU games. It was at least somewhat encouraging, though, to see sophomore wing Evan Rodrigues pick up his third goal of the weekend on Saturday with a clean wrister in the third, and to see Danny O’Regan get back to his playmaking game with two assists and a goal on Friday.

Moscatel earning time
On a positive note for senior forward Jake Moscatel, Parker said he’ll stay in the lineup next Friday against Providence College. Parker said he didn’t know yet whether freshman Wes Myron would remain on the bench or rotate in for someone else, but that Moscatel would definitely play Friday.

Saturday was the second start of Moscatel’s collegiate career. He didn’t record a shot but fit into the fourth line on center Ryan Santana’s wing.

“I thought Jake Moscatel gave us some minutes when he got out there,” Parker said. “I was happy for him. He banged some guys, got the puck out of the zone and made some plays. He wasn’t worried.”

Three down
Repeat offenders in the box
Noonan and sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera have been taking turns as the team leader in penalty minutes for most of the year. Noonan moved into the lead on Saturday with 62 minutes on the year, but both led the parade of Terrier defensemen to the box that hurt the team in that game.

Privitera took two stick penalties, a cross-check and a trip, in the second period. While he was in the box for the latter, Noonan and UML captain Riley Wetmore received matching penalties for slashing, and then senior defenseman Sean Escobedo went off for a high-stick. With three BU defensemen in the box, UML scored a 5-on-3 goal to take the lead.

Although it didn’t directly lead to a River Hawk goal, Noonan’s spearing penalty at the end of the third was even worse: as he skated towards UML goalie Doug Carr in search of a rebound that didn’t come, he jabbed Carr and knocked him to the ice when the puck was nowhere nearby. He received a five-minute major and a game disqualification.

“I just told my team, I can’t explain to them how disappointed I am that we could revert back to being selfish and stupid with those type of penalties,” Parker said.

Defensive lapses continue
While they weren’t always as glaring as the ones on Friday, the Terriers still made a number of defensive mistakes. Some cost them on the scoresheet, while others only seemed to rattle them, but all were part of a continuing pattern of issues.

The River Hawks’ third goal, early in the third period, came immediately after a defensive-zone turnover by BU. And their fourth, the eventual winner, was a shorthanded 2-on-1 where freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk defended the pass and UML forward Adam Chapie had ample time to snap a wrist shot over O’Connor.

The problem wasn’t so much Grzelcyk’s decision to let O’Connor take the shooter (although he could have put a bit more pressure on Chapie) as it was the fact that, despite the man advantage, nobody else was back there with Grzelcyk.

O’Connor better, but not enough
Although Parker said freshman goalie Matt O’Connor “took a stride back to where we want him to be” on Saturday, and O’Connor certainly has been the victim of bad defensive plays, he wasn’t at his best against UML either.

O’Connor stopped 28 shots but appeared to struggle with the high ones, going down early and making it harder for himself to be in position. The recent problems of the defensemen in front of him cannot be overstated, but with that in mind, O’Connor still has allowed 15 goals in his last three starts.

From the FreeP: Megan likely out as men’s hockey plays RPI for first time in two years

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

When the No. 9 Boston University men’s hockey team hosts Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Agganis Arena Friday night, it may have more on its mind than just another non-conference January matchup. Some Terriers — the upperclassmen — will be thinking about last time.

The Engineers downed the visiting Terriers 4-1 on Dec. 11, 2010 in a game marked by BU getting “jobbed so bad by the referees it was unbelievable,” as BU head coach Jack Parker put it, and a third-period free-for-all that resulted in several ejections.

Parker said his players probably wouldn’t remember specifics from the game.

Senior defenseman Sean Escobedo indicated otherwise.

For more, including projected lines, visit dailyfreepress.com.

Injuries to Wade Megan, Ben Rosen may leave Terriers shorthanded

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

DENVER — There was a lot of room to move around on the Boston University men’s hockey team’s bench late in the third period of BU’s 6–0 loss Saturday night at the University of Denver. With a man in the penalty box and a whole lot more sent back to the locker room thanks to penalties and injuries, BU did not have a lot of options in terms of personnel.

The Terriers (10–6, 8–4 Hockey East) began sending their players back to the locker room starting in the first period when senior forward Ben Rosen was elbowed in the head by Denver (10–6–3, 7–4–3 WCHA) defenseman Scott Mayfield. Rosen glided to the bench in apparent pain while Mayfield was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Rosen, who was sick last night according to BU coach Jack Parker, did not return to the game. Parker said the fourth-line center is under evaluation for a concussion.

“He may or may not have a concussion so we’ll have to check him out tomorrow,” Parker said. “So it was definitely a precaution, but also might’ve been something to do with what happened with the food poisoning.”

Rosen was one of two seniors to go to the locker room with an injury in the contest, as senior captain Wade Megan left the ice holding his shoulder in the final three minutes after being tripped up on a rush. Megan did not have ice on his shoulder after the game and “should be fine” according to senior assistant captain Ryan Ruikka.

With former Terrier Yasin Cissé gone for the QMJHL, and Justin Courtnall leaving the team shortly before the season’s start, the team has a limited number of forward options to turn to should Rosen or Megan miss any games.

The only other two options left at the forward position are senior Jake Moscatel and junior Matt Ronan, who have combined for one game played. That game was last year against Merrimack College on Feb. 3, when Ronan earned a spot in the lineup.

Moscatel, who played for BU’s club team in the fall of 2011, joined the Terriers that December as a walk-on. He is yet to see any playing time for the Terriers, but Ruikka said he thinks Parker would not hesitate to insert either him or Ronan into the lineup should Megan or Rosen be forced to miss any games.

“I think coach would give them a shot,” Ruikka said. “They have been working hard in practice and looking pretty good out there. If someone can’t play, they are the next ones in.”

Another option would be for the team to dress seven defensemen and only 11 forwards, but that is not an option for the next game thanks to sophomore Alexx Privitera’s game disqualification penalty he earned Saturday night.

Privitera, who had already been penalized on the night, jumped into a scrum in front of freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor in the second period and earned a matching roughing penalty with Denver forward Ty Loney. However, on his way up from the scrum, Privitera kicked Loney earned a suspension for BU’s next game.

Freshman blueliner Matt Grzelcyk has returned from Ufa, Russia after being the final player cut from the U.S. National Junior squad and should be ready for Friday’s game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. BU has also had a competition for the final defenseman spot going on all season between Ruikka and junior defenseman Patrick MacGregor, so finding a sixth defenseman to play is not a problem.

However, not having the seventh defenseman available could leave BU down to their last few options before playing a full game with fewer than 18 skaters.

“Yeah we are short kind of in numbers,” Ruikka said. “But we have got a lot of really good players. So if we just stick together and keep playing, we can play a few men down if we need to. We have got enough good players to get the job done I think.”