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.

From the FreeP: Marie-Philip Poulin returns from injury to give BU spark

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff
MINNEAPOLIS – Minutes into the No. 2 Boston University women’s hockey team’s game against the undefeated and top-ranked University of Minnesota, junior forward Marie-Philip Poulin fell to the ground.
The co-captain and team leader in points had taken a puck to the kneecap after she tried to block a shot by Minnesota defenseman Megan Bozek. For several seconds, while play continued to whirl around her, Poulin attempted to push herself up off the ice to no avail.
Finally, the whistle blew. BU’s trainer rushed out onto the ice and crouched down over Poulin who continued to writhe in pain and struggle to get up. After a few more seconds Poulin’s teammates, sophomore defenseman Caroline Campbell and senior defenseman Kathryn Miller, helped her get to the bench, where she proceeded to go down the tunnel.
“It’s a part of the game,” Poulin said in the press conference after BU’s 6-3 loss to Minnesota (41-0-0) Sunday night in Minneapolis.
What is not always part of the game, however, is a return to the ice, or, in Poulin’s case, having a huge impact on the game once you get out there.

From the FreeP: Women’s hockey loses championship bout 6-3 despite mentally strong showing

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

MINNEAPOLIS – After situating themselves in a room full of reporters after the NCAA title game on Sunday, Boston University women’s hockey captains Marie-Philip Poulin and Jill Cardella let their emotions show. With her face red, Poulin dabbed at her eyes and took a deep breath. Cardella, who just played her last game in a Terrier uniform, bit her bottom lip.

For the second time in three years, these two players were on the losing end of a national championship game.

This time around, the loss came to an undefeated University of Minnesota — the first women’s hockey team in NCAA history to go undefeated in a season.

“I guess today you saw a record-breaking team play another great hockey game,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “I tip my cap to them.”

After three periods of trying to fight back into a game they never led, BU (28-6-3, 18-2-1 Hockey East) fell to the Gophers (41-0-0) 6-3 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

Read more at dailyfreepress.com.

Live blog: BU women’s hockey plays undefeated Minnesota for national championship

Time/location: 4 p.m., Ridder Arena (Minneapolis)

BU lines: 
Sarah Lefort — Marie-Philip Poulin — Jenelle Kohanchuk
Louise Warren — Isabel Menard — Kayla Tutino
Rebecca Russo — Jill Cardella — Jordan Juron
Sarah Bayersdorfer — Shannon Mahoney — Dakota Woodworth

Shannon Stoneburgh — Shannon Doyle
Kaleigh Fratkin — Kathryn Miller
Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga — Caroline Campbell

Kerrin Sperry
Alissa Fromkin

Minnesota lines:
Bethany Brausen — Sarah Davis — Meghan Lorence
Maryanne Menefee — Hannah Brandt — Amanda Kessel
Becky Kortum — Kelly Terry — Rachael Bona
Sam Downey — Katie Frischmann — Brook Garzone

Baylee Gillanders — Megan Bozek
Lee Stecklein — Rachel Ramsey
Milica McMillen — Mira Jalosuo

Noora Räty
Amanda Leveille
Shyler Sletta

Live blog:

Early goal propels Terriers to national championship game

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

MINNEAPOLIS — When junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin heads to the faceoff circle, chances are she will win possession for her team. In fact, out of all the players on the No. 2 Boston University women’s hockey team’s roster with consistent faceoff experience, Poulin leads the team with a success rate of 64.1 percent.

What isn’t likely is BU (28-5-3) taking the opening faceoff win and converting it into a goal within seconds.

Nonetheless, the Terriers did just that Friday night as they defeated Mercyhurst University, 4-1, to advance to the NCAA title game on Sunday.

“It breaks the ice. It gets you relaxed,” said BU coach Brian Durocher of the early goal. “I’ve always said if you get one goal [your opponent needs] three before you’re really in the panic mode. So to get that jump makes a big, big difference in this game.”

That jump came just 13 seconds into the game. After Poulin won the faceoff, the Terriers skated toward the Lakers’ net. Poulin then connected with senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk, who put the puck by Mercyhurst netminder Stephanie Ciampa for the extremely early lead.

What seemed like a fluke goal, however, turned into a theme as the Terriers came out strong at the start of each period, slowly developing a dependable lead over Mercyhurst (29-7-1).

“I think it was all about our team chemistry,” said junior goaltender Kerrin Sperry, who blocked 26 shots. “First, you know, getting [Kohanchuk] out there scoring the first goal, we all get pumped up. That was a great start.”

After holding the score to 1-0 for the duration of the first period, the Terriers gave themselves an extra cushion exactly one minute into the second, when senior forward Isabel Menard and junior forward Louise Warren teamed up to create a 2-on-1 down the right side of the ice.

Menard then wristed a shot by Ciampa, once again halting any momentum the Lakers might have had entering the period.

Just over halfway through the second frame, Mercyhurst suddenly found itself with an opportunity to inch its way back into the contest when sophomore defenseman Shannon Stoneburgh earned a five-minute major for grabbing the facemask of one of the Lakers’ players during a scrum.

What looked like a Mercyhurst opportunity, however, quickly turned into a demonstration of BU’s ability on the penalty kill, as the Terriers not only killed off the penalty, but also forced the Lakers to take a penalty of their own.

Once again, neither team could find the back of the net after BU’s early scoring. That is, until the third period when Kohanchuk made a pass to senior defenseman Kathryn Miller right in front of the crease three minutes into the frame.

Earlier in the contest, Miller had a goal waved off after officials determined that she hit the puck with a high stick. This time, however, the shot counted and gave BU the three-goal lead that it needed to close out the game.

“Miller doesn’t score tons of goals, 20 goals a season,” Sperry said. “She got down there and scored a goal and that pumps everyone up, and I think that allowed us to close the game out on the scoreboard, obviously. And then also, internally for our team, I think that really got us going.”

Seven minutes later, BU jumped out of its early-period scoring habit when a breakaway by Poulin gave the Terriers a 4-0 advantage.

Mercyhurst finally found the back of the net with fewer than two minutes left in the game, but, at that point, the team’s fate was already decided.

With the win, the Terriers advance to the NCAA championship game for the second time in three seasons. This time around they will face the undefeated University of Minnesota, who made it to the final round after an overtime win over Boston College earlier Friday.

BU, like every other team who has played the Gophers in the past few weeks, knows that Minnesota has yet to lose a game this season. For Durocher, this means that the team just needs to keep its calm as they have tried to do all season.

“Whatever shows up Sunday, we have to react to it. We have to keep our composure,” Durocher said. “The biggest thing is to be excited, but have it be channeled energy.”

Help send the FreeP to Minnesota

To all of our readers,

We greatly appreciate the support you have given us all season as we worked to cover the hockey program at Boston University. As many of you will remember from last year, we asked for your help to get us to St. Paul to cover the men’s hockey team in the NCAA tournament. We received an unanticipated amount of support, and we greatly appreciated it as it helped us to continue to learn and grow as writers, as well as provide you with more coverage.

We would like to ask for your help once again. This time, however, we are trying to help our women’s hockey beat get out to Minneapolis to cover the women’s team in the Frozen Four. We would like to send one writer and one photographer. The Daily Free Press is not affiliated or funded by Boston University, and these writers are trying to find a way to pay for the trip on their own. Traveling to Minnesota, especially at the last minute, however, is extremely expensive. Any financial help that you could give would be greatly appreciated.

For anyone interested in donating, please contribute via the PayPal button at the top of the column on the right-hand side of the blog.

Again, thank you for all of your support this season. We have enjoyed covering the hockey teams for you, and hope that we can continue to do so during the women’s Frozen Four.

The Boston Hockey Blog

Sperry BU’s best penalty killer as Terriers top Clarkson, 5-3

By Annie Maroon/DFP Staff

The penalty kill took center stage in the Boston University women’s hockey team’s 5-3 win over Clarkson University on Saturday, and true to the old saying, junior goalie Kerrin Sperry was called on to be her team’s best penalty killer.

Sperry made 11 saves on the PK – 34 overall on 37 shots – and may have been the biggest reason the Terriers topped the Knights in the first round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the Frozen Four.

“It’s the third game in a row where we’ve had to do a good job killing penalties, and so far we have in those three games,” BU coach Brian Durocher said. “My charge is to see if we can avoid [taking penalties].”

On Saturday, BU gave up five power plays, including two late in the third period as Clarkson was surging offensively. With key players in the box – first junior defenseman Kaleigh Fratkin, then star freshman forward Sarah Lefort – and Clarkson chipping away at BU’s lead, those kills were crucial.

On those Knights power plays, the penalty-killers in front of Sperry stepped up, blocking shots and clearing the puck over and over before Clarkson could set up in the offensive zone. But on the Terriers’ third penalty kill of the game, early in the second period, Sperry essentially kept BU in the game herself.

With Lefort in the box 4:27 into the second, BU struggled to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. Clarkson fired shot after shot on Sperry, most through at least two or three players in front, but Sperry found each one, diving to cover loose pucks in the crease.

Her defensemen helped out – junior Kaleigh Fratkin swatted away a puck headed for the crossbar at one point – but it was Sperry who shut down what could have been a crucial Knights power play, stopping five shots in those two minutes. For the rest of the period, she did the same.

“That’s a time when the game could really change, because it goes to 2-1 for them, and their size and their strength and their composure with their talented goaltender, it may have been a lot harder for us to have the luck,” Durocher said. “But we got the second goal after the penalty kill, and it gave us a little bit of a chance to maybe get a lead and obviously win the game.”

Clarkson had 11 Grade-A chances in the second, not including one that popped up from behind the net and forced Sperry to make an outfielder-style catch. They scored on just one, a rebound that defenseman Erin Ambrose picked up after Sperry had already stopped multiple point-blank chances.

Although BU had possession of the puck in the offensive zone for much of the second, they had seven of their shots blocked in that period (and 20 in the game). Clarkson allows just 24.9 shots on net per game, a testament to a strong defense corps, making strong goaltending even more crucial than usual.

“They’re a team that prides themselves on, I guess you’d call it, New Jersey Devils hockey,” Durocher said. “They don’t take many chances. They don’t use a lot of energy forechecking. They use it on defense and in the neutral zone, and they just take advantage of opportunities.”

BU’s offense broke through eventually, scoring four times in the game’s final 25 minutes, but they may not have been in the same position to take over the lead if Sperry hadn’t kept the game close earlier.

“We just try to help her out, but I think she does a great job by herself,” junior captain Marie-Philip Poulin said of Sperry, laughing. “She really stood on her head a couple times, and we are really happy to have her back there.”

Comeback falls short in triple overtime

By Meredith Perri/DFP Staff

ITHACA, N.Y. — Exhausted and dejected, the members of the No. 5/6 Boston University women’s hockey team fell in front of their bench on Saturday after playing nearly two full games against No. 3 Cornell University.

The first game, a back-and-forth offensive bout, featured seven goals from each team. Neither squad, however, could get the goal that would decide which team would move on to the NCAA Frozen Four.

After 59 minutes of overtime, Cornell’s Lauriane Rougeau made the ultimate decision, as she ended almost a full game’s worth of extra play with a shot that slipped by BU sophomore netminder Kerrin Sperry to win the game, 8-7.

“I wouldn’t have bet on an 8-7 game,” said BU coach Brian Durocher after the loss. “But then again I wouldn’t have bet on one game with 14 goals, and then one game with one goal. But that’s what we saw today.”

Read more at dailyfreepress.com