Live Blog: BU vs Merrimack

After picking up the win last night, the Boston University men’s hockey team will go for the sweep tonight against Hockey East foe, Merrimack College.

Live Blog Live Blog: BU vs Merrimack
 

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Meet the new writer of the Boston Hockey Blog

After covering the first 19 games of the 2017-2018 season and working as an Associate Sports Editor for The Daily Free Press during the Fall semester, Nikki Havens has left the beat to become the Sports Editor for the upcoming semester.

Replacing her will be no easy task, but sitting next to Liam will be Matthew Martin. These two promise to continue to bring you the best coverage of BU men’s hockey.

The team will be off until 2018 when they resume action Jan. 5th in an exhibition against the United States Under-18 team followed by a Jan. 6th matchup with the University of Maine.

Liam and Matt will be following the World Junior Championship and will keep you up-to-date with all the Terriers participating in the tournament.

Below is a little about Matthew before he and Liam start posting about the World Junior Championship

unnamedMatthew is a junior in Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences majoring in History. Before his family’s move to Orlando, he grew up in Suffern, New York located roughly 45 miles north of New York CIty. He grew up loving his Mets, Jets, Rangers and Knicks.

When he transferred to BU from his local Community college, he had no prior journalism experience. Motivated by his passion for sports, he joined The Daily Free Press and fell in love with journalism. He spent the Fall semester as the Sports Editor.

 

BU alums faceoff in Stanley Cup playoffs once again

Another year of professional hockey came to a close last night as Nick Bonino, Mike Sullivan and the Pittsburgh Penguins hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row. This is the first time an NHL team has won the championship title in back-to-back years since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. 

Over the past three weeks, the Penguins had to get through the force of Colin Wilson and the rest of the Nashville Predators before securing a win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Nick Bonino wins his second Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN
Nick Bonino won his second Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN

While Bonino and Wilson led the Terriers to an NCAA championship in 2009, the pair were on opposite ends of the ice as their teams battled for the NHL championship.

However, the BU alum action didn’t end there.

From April to June, Boston University hockey fans got to watch some of their favorite alums, even some very new ones like Charlie McAvoy, fulfill their dreams and take on the ice in the post-season.

Here’s a little overview of how your former Terriers fared.

Nick Bonino – Pittsburgh Penguins

Since scoring the game-tying goal with 15.4 seconds left in regulation of the 2009 NCAA title game against the University of Miami, the excitement surrounding Bonino has not dissipated. As a center on Pittsburgh’s third line, he has proven himself as a reliable member of the Penguins’ penalty kill unit and someone who pulls through in tough situations.

After ending the regular season with 37 points (18g, 19a), Bonino has found the back of the net in Game 1 of each playoff series except during the Eastern Conference Finals. He scored the game-winner against the Washington Capitals and had a two-goal night against the Predators.

However, Bonino’s most recent show of playoffs resiliency was returning to the bench the following period after taking a blocked shot to the ankle during Game 3 of the Finals. The Penguins second-year head coach and BU alum Mike Sullivan stated before Game 4 that, “Nick Bonino is a game-time decision.” Bonino did not return to the ice for the remainder of the series. – NH

Colin Wilson – Nashville Predators

The seventh selection in the 2008 NHL Draft has been a consistent performer for the Predators since joining the team at the beginning of his NHL career.

This spring, as the Predators enjoyed their most successful postseason stretch in franchise history, Wilson hopped on the ice for 12 games while racking up a pair of goals and assists each. Serving as the left wing on the team’s third line, Wilson opened his postseason up by netting the team’s first goal in its Western Conference Semifinal series against the St. Louis Blues after sitting out the first round with a lower-body injury.

He followed this tally up with a critical goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. With the Predators trailing the Anaheim Ducks by one goal in the hostile Honda Center environment, Wilson tied the game with 40 seconds remaining in the second period. He was able to beat the Ducks formidable goaltender Jonas Bernier with a backhanded shot on the power-play. His goal sparked momentum on Nashville’s side and led to a 3-1 win.

Wilson was forced to watch from the sidelines due to a lower-body ailment against the Penguins, but returned for Games 5 and 6, and played over 29 minutes in both games. – LO

Charlie McAvoy – Boston Bruins

After scoring the game-winning goal against North Dakota in BU’s NCAA championship quest, McAvoy signed an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with the Providence Bruins. However, after the Bruins’ injury-plagued season, McAvoy found himself alongside the likes of Zdeno Chára and Brad Marchand in the 2017 NHL playoffs.

Although the Bruins were unable to make it past the first round, McAvoy proved his worth as a steady blueliner and staple of Boston’s strong power-play unit. The 19-year-old defenseman played a minimum of 24 minutes in each game, the second-most on the team behind Chára. He also notched three assists over the series, including one in overtime. – NH

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Boston Bruins

After being selected as the 45th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, “JFK,” as the Terriers faithful affectionately deemed him, joined the Bruins towards the end of the 2016-17 regular season.

While Forsbacka Karlsson did not see any ice time in Boston’s brief playoff run, he was called upon for over eight minutes during the regular season in a loss to the Washington Capitals on April 8. While he was unable to get a shot attempt on net, Forsbacka Karlsson did snag the first face-off victory of his career in 13 shifts. – LO

Kevin Shattenkirk – Washington Capitals

With 19 games remaining in the regular season, Shattenkirk was acquired by Washington in an attempt to beef up their defensive front for their halted title run. He racked up two goals and 12 assists in the regular season before posting 240 minutes of ice time in the postseason.

While this May will most likely be remembered most by Caps fans for their team’s listless performance in a shutout loss to the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Shattenkirk provided Washington with its most thrilling moment of the postseason.

The Penguins appeared destined to grapple hold of an insurmountable 3-0 lead as the contest headed into overtime at PPG Paints Arena. However, Shattenkirk’s wrister on a power-play three minutes into the extra period gave the Capitals life in the series. – LO

Charlie Coyle – Minnesota Wild

The Weymouth, Mass. native has seen his points production rise steadily in every season of his NHL career, and 2016-17 was no exception to this trend. The third-liner racked up 18 goals (four power-play goals and five game-winning goals) and a career-high 38 assists on the season, accumulating the highest point total of his career with 56. He also made an impact defensively with 63 blocks.

Minnesota’s time in the playoffs was short-lived as they were bounced in five games by the Blues. However, Coyle made his mark, notching the Wild’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss in Game 3 before netting the go-ahead goal in Minnesota’s 2-0 win in Game 4, which allowed them to stave off a potential sweep. – LO

Eric Gryba – Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers enjoyed their first trip to the postseason since losing Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals to the Carolina Hurricanes, and Gryba appeared in 40 games as a platoon defenseman. He matched his career high with two goals on the season while notching four assists.

Gryba was on the bench for the majority of Edmonton’s run against the San Jose Sharks, receiving just 16 minutes of ice time and racking up a penalty in his lone appearance in the series. Against the Ducks, Gryba reached the ice in two games, including Game 7’s defeat. – LO

Alex Chiasson – Calgary Flames

Although he led the Terriers in points for two seasons in a row (2010-11 and 2011-12), Chiasson hasn’t replicated the same caliber with the Calgary Flames. Since joining the team this season, the right wing collected 24 points. During the playoffs, he saw the ice in all four games, but didn’t find the back of the net as Anaheim crushed Calgary 4-0 in the series. – NH

Adam Clendening – New York Rangers

Since being drafted 38th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks, Clendening hasn’t kept a stronghold on a team. The defenseman has signed with five teams in five years, including the New York Rangers as a free agent.

He has seen the most success with the Rangers in his NHL career. However, he did not see much ice time during the regular season when New York’s defense was at full-strength and has not taken a shift during the playoffs. – NH

Meet Boston Hockey Blog’s new writers

Dear Boston Hockey Blog readers,

A few weeks ago this past year’s reporters Jonathan Sigal and Shelby Reardon graduated, and Nick Frazier returned from his semester abroad in London.

Unfortunately Nick will not be returning to cover the 2017-18 hockey season, but two new writers, Liam O’Brien and Nikki Havens, are excited to bring you the best coverage of BU men’s hockey. Through updates on the games (whether it’s Twitter, the live blog, or articles), the annual hockey preview edition, and much more, we hope to bring you another year of great content about Coach Quinn and the Terriers.

We hope you all have good summers, possibly catch a bit of the Stanley Cup playoffs for some BU hockey alum action, and are ready for another great season of hockey.

Below is a little bit about each of us before we begin posting content this summer. Get ready for lots of updates about the 55th NHL entry draft, which takes place on Friday, June 23!

Liam: Liam is a rising sophomore in B6634147-792F-4022-B2F2-4F418EA42610.JPGBoston University’s College of Communication with the goal of majoring in journalism. Despite being born in Philadelphia, he spent the majority of his childhood growing up just outside of Boston in Newton, Massachusetts. 

A close proximity to the city fostered a considerable passion for Boston sports, making Liam an avid fan of the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox. Due to the fact that he has never hit the ice for a session of skating, the only hockey that took place in Liam’s early days was the occasional Stanley Cup Final game on television. However, the Bruins’ sensational run to a Stanley Cup Final championship in 2011 fostered an appreciation for the game. This was only heightened by Boston’s run to another Stanley Cup Final two seasons later and a bucketload of evenings spent supporting the Terriers at Agganis Arena in his freshman year at BU.

Now, Liam considers himself a fan of the game and is looking forward to covering the Terriers as they seek out a trip to the Frozen Four.

unnamedNikki: Nikki is also a rising sophomore in the College of Communication and intends on majoring in journalism. She is from a small town in the East Bay of San Francisco, but moved to Hong Kong during high school because of her mom’s job. Ever since moving to a large city, she knew she wanted to go to a school with the same atmosphere and she loves Boston so BU was the perfect fit.

Growing up Nikki did not have a large passion for hockey; however as soon as she stepped foot in Agganis Arena, her love of hockey grew like a wild fire. Last semester, she covered the BU’s women’s hockey and men’s lacrosse teams, and this coming semester, she will serve as an Associate Sports Editor alongside Liam.

The Boston Hockey Blog can also be found on Facebook and Twitter so please like/send us a follow if you don’t already! Feel free to send Liam and Nikki a follow, and look at some of the articles Nikki and Liam have written in the past for The Daily Free Press.

Live Blog: BU visits BC in Battle of Comm. Ave.

The Battle of Comm. Ave. is back at tonight, as the No. 5 Boston University men’s hockey team and No. 8 Boston College will clash inside of Conte Forum.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be live on myriad TV stations throughout the country. The tilt is sure to be an intense one, as the sides met on Friday night, with the Terriers earning a 2-1 win over the Eagles. BU’s freshman netminder, Jake Oettinger, was stellar throughout, making 32 saves.

Looking ahead, we’ll be live inside Conte Forum, bringing you all the game’s action. Follow along on our live blog below, and check back on the site for game stories after!

Live Blog BU @ BC
 

Preview: The BU vs. BC rivalry is back

This article appeared originally on The Daily Free Press.

Sophomore forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has five goals in his last two games. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has five goals in his last two games. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The rivalry is back.

For the 271st and 272nd times, the No. 5 Boston University men’s hockey team and No. 8 Boston College will square off, this go around via a home-and-home series. The first tilt is set for Friday night at Agganis Arena, with the second unfolding Monday evening at Conte Forum.

While the high-profile games are riddled with storylines, the Terriers (12-5-2, 5-2-2 Hockey East) carry extra motivation in knowing that the Eagles (14-7-2, 9-1-1 Hockey East) await.

“We don’t like them and they don’t like us,” said junior defenseman Brandon Hickey. “You feed off the energy in the crowd, and it’s a sold-out building wherever you play. It’s one of the best rivalries in sports, and it’s obviously one of the most intense ones. For sure you want to come out on top this weekend.”

BU head coach David Quinn, who stressed his squad must first take care of business at home, spoke of the rivalry in a similar light.

“It’s a game that when your schedule comes out over the summer, the first thing you probably look at as a player is, ‘When do we play BC?,’” Quinn said. “I’m sure the BC guys like at it and say, ‘When do we play BU?’ Both programs push each other, and BC hockey is great for BU and BU hockey is great for BC. I think coach [Jack] Parker said that for a long time, and it’s a heated rivalry with a lot of respect.”

That healthy respect Quinn referenced is another theme that arose in and around Agganis this week. Doyle Somerby, BU’s captain and a senior defenseman, said he and several players have taken the short trip to Chestnut Hill to scout BC, particularly when now-No. 9 University of Minnesota visited on Nov. 27.

On those occasions, Somerby said they got a glimpse into just how dangerous the Eagles can be. In net, head coach Jerry York’s team, which sits atop Hockey East, boasts Joseph Woll, the owner of a .920 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average.

Sophomore forward Jordan Greenway physically dominated BC in the 2016 Beanpot Tournament final. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore forward Jordan Greenway physically dominated BC in the 2016 Beanpot Tournament final. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Building on out, the names to watch become even more dangerous. BC’s star defensemen are Casey Fitzgerald and Michael Kim, while the threats at winger and center come in droves thanks to Colin White, Austin Cangelosi, Christopher Brown, Ryan Fitzgerald and Matthew Gaudreau. Altogether, that group has banged home 44 goals and handed out 74 assists throughout the 2016-17 season.

“They’re a really fast, skilled team,” said freshman forward Kieffer Bellows. “They have so many good players and great goaltending. We’re really going to have to bring our A game and step it up.”

The Terriers feel well prepared to do just that, largely because this week at long last let them catch their breath. In fact, BU practiced with its full roster on Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 12, with seven of its players recently missing considerable time for the 2017 World Junior Championships.

During that span, BU saw its American representatives – freshman forwards Clayton Keller, Patrick Harper and Bellows, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger, sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy and sophomore forward Jordan Greenway – win gold alongside BC’s White, Woll and Casey Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro won a silver medal with Team Canada.

“It’s great to be back with all the guys,” Bellows said. “Coming off a huge win at World Juniors is really exciting and something that we always dreamed about, all of us. Coming back our main focus right now is BU hockey.”

Junior defenseman Brien Diffley evades a BC skater in the 2016 Beanpot Tournament. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Junior defenseman Brien Diffley evades a BC skater in the 2016 Beanpot Tournament. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

While BU’s focus in unwavering, it will be without two contributors. Sophomore defenseman Shane Switzer is still recovering from a concussion, while senior forward Tommy Kelley is suspended for the first game by Hockey East for a hit from behind last Sunday against the University of Massachusetts.

Other than that, the Terriers are at full health and will be looking to build off a four-game winning streak. On the other hand, BC is 3-4-1 in its last eight games.

Despite those trends and the magnitude of this conference set, Quinn said the task at hand remains the same.

“We’re going to continue to establish our forecheck, do a good job in transition defense and move the puck,” Quinn said. “It’s not who you play, it’s how you play. We want to stick to that approach.”

Previewing BU’s weekend series with Vermont

Sophomore forward Bobo Carpenter was held scoreless against Vermont in last year's series at Agganis Arena. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore forward Bobo Carpenter was held scoreless against Vermont in last year’s series at Agganis Arena. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University men’s hockey team is heading up to Vermont for a weekend series with the Catamounts.

Friday night marks the first tilt inside Gutterson Fieldhouse, while the same venue will play host again on Saturday night. The games have the potential to be firecrackers, too, as the squads are both ranked inside the top 15 nationally.

Arguably the biggest story to watch is whether or not freshman forward Clayton Keller returns to the ice. He has been sidelined since Nov. 5’s matchup with Northeastern University, nursing a lower-body injury. Coach Quinn was noncommittal as to whether or not Keller would play, and we expect a game-time decision to be the deciding factor.

For a full weekend preview, click here for Jonathan’s story over on The Daily Free Press.