No. 13 men’s hockey to take on No. 10 Michigan in NCAA Northeast Regional final

It certainly has been a tale of two seasons for the No. 13 Boston University men’s hockey team — and it is not over yet. After facing off against No. 4 Cornell University 3-1 Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals at the DCU Center in Worcester, the Terriers (22-13-4, 12-8-4 Hockey East) downed Cornell (25-6-2) 3-1 in a rematch of November’s Red Hot Hockey game.

Freshmen forwards Shane Bowers and Logan Cockerill as well as freshman defenseman David Farrance all found the back of the net in the win against the Big Red.

On Sunday in the regional finals, the Terriers will take on the No. 10 University of Michigan for the ninth time in the NCAA tournament, which marks the most times BU has played a single opponent in the tournament of all time.

The Wolverines (21-14-3) knocked off No. 8 Northeastern University 3-2 yesterday, thanks two goals from junior forward Cooper Marody and one from senior forward Dexter Dancs.

The game will feature a total of 19 players currently drafted by NHL teams with the Terriers having 12 on their roster and the Wolverines sporting seven.

However, both teams also have a top-four rated North American Skater for the NHL draft in BU’s freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and Michigan’s freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes, who are ranked third and fourth, respectively.

Although they will be facing off against each other Sunday, Hughes and Tkachuk were teammates during the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship for Team USA.

Both the Terriers and the Wolverines sent three players to the international tournament. For BU, sophomores goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper. In addition to Hughes, Michigan sent forwards sophomore Will Lockwood and freshman Josh Norris.

Tkachuk outscored the three Wolverines in that tournament 9-6.

Since returning from the tournament on Jan. 6, Oettinger boasts a 1.96 goals against average and a goal save percentage of .931, which puts the Lakeville, Minnesota native 11th in the nation in both categories.

The first round Dallas Stars prospect has played extremely well since the start of the Hockey East Tournament on March 9.

During the last five games, the netminder has posted a .949 goal save percentage and a goals against average of 1.69, which puts him fourth and 12th in the country respectively.

BU will look to him to stop a Michigan offense that ranks ninth in the country averaging 3.34 goals per game, which is led by Marody who has 48 points. The Wolverines have seven players more than 20 points and two with 40 or more.

Although BU does not have a single player on their roster with 40 points, it has four players with 30 or more points and a total of eight players with 20 points or more.

Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter leads the Terriers in points (35) and goals (20).

Michigan will turn to sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne to slow down the Terriers offense.

He current sits on a  .910 goal save percentage and a 2.76 goals against average of 2.76 while picking up one assist.

BU is playing in its third regional final in the past four years, which matches the University of Denver and the University of Minnesota Duluth as the only teams to do so.

With a victory over the Wolverines, the Terriers will find themselves in the Frozen Four for the first time since the 2014-15 season where they fell to Providence College in the National title game.

Live Blog: BU vs Cornell

For the fourth straight year, the No. 15  Boston University men’s hockey team has made the NCAA tournament. Read Matt’s preview for their regional semifinal with No. 3 Cornell here as well as his breakdown of the game. FreeP columnist Matt Dressens gave this history of BU playing in Worcester which can be found here. As per normal you can follow along the game here with our live blog.

NCAA tournament bracket set

The NCAA tournament bracket was announced Sunday, it can be found here:

West Regional in Sioux Falls, SD:

No. 1 St. Cloud State vs No. 4 Air Force

No. 2 Minnesota State vs No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth

Midwest Regional in Allentown, PA

No. 1 Ohio State vs No. 4 Princeton:

No. 2 Denver vs No. 3 Penn State

Northeast Regional in Worcester:

No. 1 Cornell vs No. 4 Boston University

No. 2 Michigan vs No. 3 Northeastern

East Regional in Bridgeport, CT

No. 1 Notre Dame vs No. 4 Michigan Tech

No. 2 Providence vs No. 3 Clarkson

 

Matt will be back later this week to breakdown the BU and Cornell matchup

No. 18 men’s hockey set for No. 9 Providence in Hockey East championship

It’s been three years since the No. 18 Boston University men’s hockey team faced No. 9 Providence College at TD Garden. In that game, the Friars (23-10-4, 13-7-4 Hockey East) overcame Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jack Eichel and downed BU (20-13-4, 12-8-4 Hockey East) to take home the school’s first national championship.

For the Terriers, the options are simple: with a win they secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but with a loss, their season is over.

BU’s season almost ended Friday night at the hands of No. 14 Boston College.

The Eagles (20-14-3, 18-6 Hockey East) jumped out to a 2-0 lead by three minutes and 26 seconds into the second period.

However, the Terriers battled to send the game into overtime, where sophomore forward Patrick Curry cleaned up a rebound from freshman forward Shane Bowers 15:40 into the extended period to send BU to the championship game.

The Terriers have remained undefeated (13-0-2) in games where Curry has notched a point.

The Friars also needed overtime to put themselves in position to win their first Hockey East crown since 1996.

In a battle of two top-10 teams, Providence overcame No. 7 Northeastern University 2-1 in overtime.

The Friars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Huskies (23-9-5 15-6-3 Hockey East) knotted the game in the second period thanks to a short-handed goal by senior forward and assistant captain Dylan Sikura.

Freshman forward Austin Goldstein and sophomore forward Kasper Bjorkqvist each tallied goals for Northeastern and Providence, respectively, in the third period, but sophomore forward Brandon Duhaime scored the game-winner for the Friars 9:55 into overtime.

BU and Providence split the three regular season games evenly at 1-1-1, with both wins coming from the home team.

Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys picked up three points against the Friars, including a two-goal game at Agganis Arena on Nov. 3. Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter also recorded a two-goal game against Providence at Agganis on Jan. 13.

The Friars are led by Hockey East First-Team All-Stars junior forward Erik Foley and sophomore defenseman Jacob Bryson. Foley recorded two goals against the Terriers this season.

In net, the Friars feature Hockey East All-Star Second Team member junior goaltender Hayden Hawkey — who shutout BU earlier this season at Schneider Arena. He will be tasked with stopping a BU offense that averages 3.14 goals per game, a mark that is good for second in the conference.

Hawkey’s netminding counterpart, sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger, also recorded a shutout in the series on Nov. 3. The Terriers will rely on the Lakeville, Minnesota native to slow down a Providence team that is third in the conference in scoring, as the Friars average 3.11 goals per game.

Providence already has guaranteed its spot in the NCAA tournament, but for the Terriers, it is the definition of “win or go home.”

Who took home Hockey East Hardware?

Tuesday Liam and Matt gave their predictions for the Hockey East Awards. Thursday, the league announced who the real winners of the awards were and they are listed below.

Hockey East Player of the Year: Junior forward Adam Gaudette from Northeastern University

Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year: Foward Logan Hutsko from Boston College

Coach of the Year: Jerry York from Boston College

The following awards were announced Wednesday:

Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award:  Sophomore defenseman Jacob Bryson, Providence College

Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award: UMass Lowell

Best Defensive Defenseman: Junior Casey Fitzgerald, Boston College

Best Defensive Forward: Senior Brian Pinho, Providence College

Goaltender of the Year: Freshman Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

Hockey East Scoring Champion: Junior forward Adam Gaudette, Norteastern University

Three Stars Award: Junior forward Adam Gaudette, Northeastern University

Hockey East First Team:

G – Freshman Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

D – Sophomore Jacob Bryson, Providence College

D – Sophomore Jeremy Davies, Northeastern University

F – Junior Erik Foley, Providence College

F – Junior Adam Gaudette, Northeastern University

F – Senior Dylan Sikura, Northeastern Univeristy

Hockey East Second Team:

G – Junior Hayden Hawkey, Providence College

D – Sophomore Dante Fabbro, Boston University

D – Junior Casey Fitzgerald, Boston College

F – Junior Bobo Carpenter, Boston University

F – Senior Nolan Stevens, Northeastern University

Hockey East Thrid Team

G – Sophomore Joseph Woll, Boston College

D – Junior Micheal Kim, Boston College

D – Freshman Cale Makar, UMass Amherst

F – Senior Brett Seney, Merrimack College

F – Senior Brian Pinho, Providence College

F – Junior Jordan Greenway, Boston University

All-Rookie Team

G – Jeremy Swayman, University of Maine

G – Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

D – Cale Makar, UMass Amherst

D – Mario Ferraro, UMass Amherst

F – Shane Bowers, Boston University

F – Brady Tkachuk, Boston University

F – Logan Hutsko, Boston College

Who takes home Hockey East hardware? Predictions

With award season coming up for Hockey East, this semester’s Boston Hockey Blog writers, Matt and Liam, made their picks for Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Goaltender of the year and the most memorable moment of the season. Hockey East will announce its award Thursday night. 

Player of the Year:

Matt: Junior forward Adam Gaudette, Northeastern University

Gaudette is the best player on the best team and in the conference. He leads the country in goals (30) and points (59). If it weren’t for his linemate, senior forward Dylan Sikura, he would have led the conference in assists. There’s a good chance that the first line center for Northeastern will also be the school’s first Hobey Baker recipient.

Liam: Gaudette

See Matt’s explanation.

Rookie of the Year:

Matt: Freshman goaltender Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

Sensing a theme here? You will see a lot of Northeastern players in Matt’s award selections. Although I seriously thought about Boston University’s freshman forward Shane Bowers for this award. Primeau’s .933 goal save percentage and his 1.86 goals against average had him second in the country among rookie goaltenders in both categories. At times it felt like Primeau was a brick wall and took over the games. If the Montreal Canadiens view Primeau as the successor to Carey Price, Primeau should be on Huntington Avenue for awhile as Price is only 30 years old.

Liam: Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk, Boston University

Tkachuk was elite all season for the Terriers, setting a physical tone for the team on its top line of forwards for much of the year. BU’s improvement over the final two months of the regular season was directly correlated to Tkachuk’s uptick in production. Over the final 16 games leading into the Hockey East semifinals, Tkachuk notched at least one point for 12 straight matchups. He also tied for third in scoring among all Hockey East freshmen with 28 points.

Coach of the Year:

Matt: Greg Carvel, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Carvel’s team was predicted to finish last in the conference, but played in a quarterfinal matchup against Northeastern. This was the first time Carvel had his team in the quarterfinals since 2012 while coaching a team of predominantly freshmen players.

Liam: Jim Madigan, Northeastern University

After hoisting the Beanpot trophy three times as a player with the Huskies, Madigan guided Northeastern to its first Beanpot win since 1988 this February. He has developed forwards such as Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette into two of the best scorers in the country, has brought along a freshman goaltender, Cayden Primeau, into being a reliable rock in net and has his squad prepped for a deep NCAA tournament run.

Goaltender of the Year.

Matt: Freshman goaltender Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

Primeau leads Hockey East in every major goaltending category. I don’t think this is much of a question.

Liam: Junior goaltender Christoffer Hernberg, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Hernberg has been as reliable as they come for the River Hawks despite not having the type of defensive line in front of him that Primeau does with the Huskies. He ranks second in the Hockey East in both save percentage (.921) and goals allowed per game (2.08).

Matt’s First Team.

F – Nolan Stevens, Sr. Northeastern

F – Adam Gaudette Jr. Northeastern

F – Dylan Sikura Sr. Northeastern

D – Jeremy Davis, So. Northeastern

D – Dante Fabbro, So. BU

G – Cayden Primeau, Fr. Northeastern

Liam’s First Team:

F – Jordan Greenway, Jr. BU

F – Adam Gaudette Jr. Northeastern

F – Dylan Sikura Sr. Northeastern

D – Jeremy Davies, So. Northeastern

D – Dante Fabbro, So. BU

G – Christoffer Hernberg, Jr. UMass Lowell

Matt’s Second Team:

F – Bobo Carpenter, Jr. BU

F – Erik Foley, Jr. Providence

F – Maxim Letunov, Jr. UConn

D – Jacob Bryson, So. Providence

D – Ryan Shea, So. Northeastern

G – Christoffer Hernberg, Jr. UMass Lowell

Liam’s Second Team

F – Nolan Stevens, Sr. Northeastern

F – Erik Foley, Jr. Providence

F – Mitchell Fossier, So. Maine

D – Jacob Bryson, So. Providence

D – Jared Kolquist, Sr. Merrimack

G – Cayden Primeau, Fr. Northeastern

Matt’s Rookie Team:

F – Logan Hutsko, BC

F – Shane Bowers, BU

F – John Leonard, UMass

D – Cale Makar, UMass

D – Brady Keeper, Maine

G – Cayden Primeau, . Northeastern

Liam’s Rookie Team:

F – Shane Bowers, BU

F – Brady Tkachuk, BU

F – Logan Hutsko, BC

D – Max Gildon, UNH

D – Mario Ferraro, UMass

G – Cayden Primeau, Northeastern

Matt’s Regular Season game of the year:

BU beats Harvard in double overtime in the Beanpot opening round.

Liam’s regular season game of the year:

Beanpot final. Seeing Northeastern’s players and fans’ ecstasy after winning the tournament for the first time in 30 seasons is a moment that will go down in Boston hockey lore.

 

Mark Dennehy out as Merrimack coach

After completing his thirteenth year with Merrimack College, head coach Mark Dennehy was informed that he will not be returning to the Warriors’ bench next season.

He was told of the move after losing game two of the Hockey East quarterfinals to Boston College saturday.

The 21 losses this season are the most since 2014 in which their record was 8-22-3, Before his hiring, Merrimack lost 20 or more games in six of eight seasons.

In the 2016-2017 season, Merrimack swept then No. 1 Boston University men’s hockey team.

Assistant coach Curtis Carr will remain with the team and run the day-to-day operations while Merrimack searches for a new coach which will begin immediately. 

Associate Bill Gilligan was also relieved of his duties.

Dennehy had a record of 168-243-60 at Merrimack, and made a NCAA tournament appearance in 2011.