From the FreeP: Noonan, men’s hockey team set for crucial home-and-home with UMass-Lowell

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

With seven games remaining in the regular season, this weekend’s matchups against No. 12 University of Massachusetts-Lowell are crucial to the No. 13/15 Boston University men’s hockey team. Against the surging River Hawks (16-9-2, 10-8-2 Hockey East), everything must go right — including junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan avoiding the costly mistake he made last time.

“I expect I won’t spear anybody,” the defenseman said.

On Jan. 19, when UML beat BU (14-12-2, 11-7-2 Hockey East) 4-3, Noonan collided with River Hawk goalie Doug Carr late in the game and was called for spearing. He was suspended for two games by Hockey East for the incident.

Noonan said Carr is a good friend of his, and that they laughed about the incident after the fact. With that suspension behind him and just six penalty minutes in five games since, Noonan said he is ready for another chance at the River Hawks.

“They’re in your face,” Noonan said of UML. “We need to play the body. We need to be physical right back at them. We need to be ourselves.”

After a loss to Harvard University in the Beanpot consolation game that may have marked the low point of a six-week-long skid, BU took three of four possible points last weekend from the University of Maine.

UPDATED: Terriers fall short of comeback again, drop contest with Riverhawks 4-3

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Sports

The Boston University men’s hockey team came close to a comeback again, scoring two goals in the third period after falling behind 4–1 to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. However, just like the night before against Northeastern University, the comeback fell short and the Terriers fell 4–3.

“Too little too late,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “But competitiveness was back in a lot of guys, which is nice.”

BU (12–8, 9–5 Hockey East) got the scoring started with a nice play by a newly formed third line. Senior forward Ben Rosen made an impact on the scoresheet after being moved up a line by kicking a loose puck up to his stick and sending a backhanded shot on Lowell (12–7–1, 6–6–1 Hockey East) goaltender Doug Carr. Carr fumbled the rebound and freshman forward Matt Lane was there to knock in the rebound for the game’s first goal.

The goal was only Lane’s second of his career. The last time Lane put the puck in the back of the net was at the University of North Dakota on Nov. 3.

The Terriers’ lead did not last the period though, as Lowell forward Joseph Pendenza finished off a crisp cross-ice pass from sophomore Scott Wilson. The Wilmington native scored his eighth goal of the year with the effort.

After finishing the first period without a penalty, the Terriers found themselves in the sin bin quite a bit in the second period. In a span of less than five minutes, BU took four penalties, including a tripping from sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera and a high sticking from senior defenseman Sean Escobedo that led to a 5-on-3 Lowell advantage.

“[We took] real stupid penalties,” Parker said. “Took ourself out of the game over and over again. It’s amazing we were in that game because of what we did with penalties.”
The Riverhawks took the lead on that power play when junior defenseman Chad Ruhwedel blasted a slap shot over freshman goalie Matt O’Connor for his fifth goal of the season. Wilson made the pass at the blue line to set up Ruhwedel, which earned him his second assist of the game.

Instead of coming out and tying the game up to start the third period, the Terriers fell further behind the Riverhawks less than two minutes into the frame. UMass junior Derek Arnold forced a turnover at BU’s blue line and wasted no time firing a wrist shot over O’Connor’s right shoulder for his third goal of the season.

Lowell added another goal while shorthanded later in the period, when Adam Chapie skated past freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk on a two-on-one and beat O’Connor over his shoulder again with a wrist shot. The goal, which was Chapie’s third of the season, was unassisted.

BU’s power play came right back and answered Chapie’s goal though, as sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues fired a low shot past Carr for his third goal and fifth point in the last two games. Privitera set up the goal with a long pass through the slot.

Not long after, the Terriers pulled themselves within one thanks to a nice give-and-go play between sophomore forward Cason Hohmann and senior captain Wade Megan. Megan chipped the puck into the offensive zone for Hohmann, who feathered a touch pass back to Megan on the doorstep for the easy goal. It was Megan’s team-leading 12th goal on the season and Hohmann’s team-leading 16th assist.

“Yeah it was perfect, he’s an unbelievable passer,” Megan said of Hohmann’s pass. “I just went to the net and it was right on my stick and I just poked it in.”
BU looked on the verge of a comeback until some bad penalties appeared to put those chances to rest. With 5:47 remaining in the third, junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan was called for spearing Carr, which earned him a five-minute major penalty and a disqualification.

Even with the penalties, it looked like BU had a chance to tie the game back at four. With less than two minutes to play, Grzelcyk rang a wrist shot off the crossbar with Carr down and out of the play. It was the fourth post the Terriers hit that night.

“When things are going wrong, things are going wrong,” Parker said. “That kind of doubles up too. But that wasn’t — like I said, we can whine about the pipes if we want to, if we didn’t give the game away with the penalties. But we beat ourselves tonight.”

Live blog: No. 9 BU looks to salvage weekend vs. red-hot River Hawks

Time/location: 7 p.m., Agganis Arena

BU lines: 
Wade Megan – Cason Hohmann – Sahir Gill
Matt Nieto – Danny O’Regan – Evan Rodrigues
Matt Lane – Ben Rosen – Sam Kurker
Mike Moran – Ryan Santana – Jake Moscatel

Garrett Noonan – Matt Grzelcyk
Sean Escobedo – Alexx Privitera
Ahti Oksanen – Patrick MacGregor

Matt O’Connor
Sean Maguire
Anthony Moccia

UMass-Lowell lines:
A.J. White – Riley Wetmore – Adam Chapie
Ryan McGrath – Michael Colantone – Derek Arnold
Shayne Thompson – Joseph Pendenza – Josh Holmstrom
Scott Wilson – Colin Wright – Terrence Wallin

Dimitry Sinitsyn – Chad Ruhwedel
Christian Folin – Jake Suter
Daniel Furlong – Zack Kamrass

Doug Carr
Connor Hellebuyck

Brian Robbins

Referees: Tim Benedetto, Tim Low
Assistant referees: Tommy George, Judson Ritter
Live blog: 

From the FreeP: BU prepares for tough weekend against Northeastern, UMass-Lowell

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

Of the Boston University men’s hockey team’s 16 remaining games, four — 25 percent — are against Northeastern University. They’ll meet the Huskies (6–10–2, 3–8–2 Hockey East) for the first time this season on Friday at Agganis Arena, then host the University of Massachusetts-Lowell for the first time on Saturday.
The last time the Terriers (12–7–0, 9–4–0 Hockey East) saw the Huskies, Northeastern captain and former Terrier Vinny Saponari was launching himself into the glass, celebrating an overtime game-winner in the last game of the regular season on March 3.
The image was a memorable one, though the game was meaningless for both sides, as BU had already clinched a playoff spot and Northeastern had already been eliminated from contention. BU coach Jack Parker said that is not his players’ enduring memory from last spring, though.
“This year’s team remembers last year’s loss to Minnesota [in the NCAA tournament],” he said. “That’s what they remember. They’re not remembering a game that didn’t count and didn’t have any effect on us at all.”
For more, including BU’s lines, go to dailyfreepress.com.