35 fun facts to get you ready for the season

While reading through this year’s media guide, I decided to compile a list of some interesting facts that the average fan may not know.

1) The Terriers have more players from New York (5) than any other state.

2) Jack Parker has coached in more NCAA tournaments (23) than any other coach.

3) Of the 29 schools that he has coached at least 10 games against, Parker has a losing record against just four of them –– Minnesota (8-10-2), North Dakota (7-11-1), Michigan (7-8) and Northern Michigan (3-6-1).

4) No current Terrier has recorded a collegiate hat trick.

5) Nick Bonino has come the closest, recording two goals on six occasions (the last on 3/6/09 at Providence).

6) Bonino needs 21 points to become the 77th player in program history to reach 100 career points.

7) Fourteen Terriers have been drafted by NHL teams. They are: Kevin Shattenkirk, Nick Bonino, Eric Gryba, Colby Cohen, Andrew Glass, Kieran Millan, Grant Rollheiser, Vinny Saponari, Corey Trivino, David Warsofsky, Alex Chiasson, Justin Courtnall, Wade Megan and Max Nicastro.

8) Justin Courtnall’s father, Geoff, played 17 seasons in the NHL and his uncle, Russ, played 16 seasons.

9) With a capacity of 8,373, UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center is the largest arena in Hockey East.

10) Merrimack’s J. Thom Lawler Arena is the smallest with a capacity of 3,000.

11) The Terriers will be spending six nights in hotels during the regular season ­­–– Nov. 7 in Bangor, Maine; Nov. 27 and 28 in New York City; and Feb. 25, 26 and 27 in Burlington, Vt.

12) Before Brad Thiessen of Northeastern won it last year, the Hockey East Player of the Year Award had gone to a player from BU, BC or UNH for 14 straight seasons.

13) The Hockey East Championship has been won by BU, BC, UNH or Maine for each of the last 13 seasons (Providence won in 1996).

14) The Terriers lose six of their top seven scorers from last season (Bonino was second), but return their top four plus/minus guys –– Bonino (+29), Shattenkirk (+28), Warsofsky (+26) and C. Cohen (+24).

15) The Terriers were 9-0-0 on neutral ice last season. They play four regular-season games on neutral ice this season.

16) The Terriers were 25-0-0 when leading after two periods last season.

17) The only two Terriers to ever wear a number above 40 are Jason Tapp (#83 from 1998-2002) and Matt Gilroy (#97 from 2005-09).

18) The Terriers have had three first-team All-Americans in the same season on three occasions –– 1950 (Walt Anderson, Ralph Bevins and Jack Garrity), 1958 (Bob Dupuis, Don MacLeod and Bob Marquis) and 1972 (Dan Brady, Bob Brown and John Danby).

19) Rick Meagher is the only Terrier to be named a first-team All-American three times (1975, 1976 and 1977).

20) The Terriers have had two top-10 Hobey Baker finalists in the same season twice –– 1996 (Jay Pandolfo and Chris Drury) and 2009 (Matt Gilroy and Colin Wilson).

21) Drury is the only Terrier to make the Hobey top 10 more than once (top 10 in 1996, runner-up in 1997, winner in 1998).

22) Drury is the only Terrier to record 100 career goals (113).

23) Five Terriers have recorded 200 career points –– John Cullen (241), David Sacco (217), Chris Drury (214), Rick Meagher (210) and Mike Eruzione (208).

24) Kevin Shattenkirk is the first junior captain of the Terriers since Jack O’Callahan in 1977-78.

25) O’Callahan is the only player in Terrier history to serve as captain for two seasons.

26) Two Terrier goalies have made more than 1,000 saves in a season –– Sean Fields (1035 in 2002-03) and Scott Cashman (1027 in 1989-90).

27) Fields (2000-04) holds Terrier records for saves in a season (1035), saves in a career (3055), minutes in a season (2435:16), minutes in a career (7308:13), games played in a season (40), games played in a career (123) and wins in a career (62).

28) Ryan Whitney led the 2003-04 Terriers with 25 points, the fewest by a Terrier team leader in the last 45 years.

29) Eric Gryba needs 52 penalty minutes this season to break Freddy Meyer’s all-time Terrier record.

30) The Terriers have not been shut out since being blanked by UMass-Lowell in a 0-0 tie on Feb. 2, 2007.

31) The Terriers have faced Michigan nine times in the NCAA Tournament, more than any other school. They are 5-4 in those meetings.

32) The 1992 US Olympic team featured a program-record six Terriers –– Clark Donatelli, Scott Lachance, Shawn McEachern, Joe Sacco, Keith Tkachuk and Scott Young.

33) Keith Tkachuk has appeared in more Olympiads (4) than any other Terrier.

34) Tkachuk needs 16 points to become the first Terrier to record 1,000 career NHL points.

35) The Terriers have had four players drafted in the top 10 of the NHL Draft –– Rick DiPietro (#1 in 2000), Scott Lachance (#4 in 1991), Ryan Whitney (#5 in 2002) and Colin Wilson (#7 in 2008).

Bruins fall flat in season-opening loss

By Scott McLaughlin, DFP Staff

Entering the 2009-2010 season with greater expectations than they’ve had in years, the Boston Bruins responded with an exceptionally lackluster performance in a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on opening night.

The Bruins controlled the flow of the game for the first half of the first period, but that’s where the list of positives comes to an end. For the next 50 minutes, the Capitals dominated both even-strength and special-teams play. Washington outshot Boston, 34-20, and went 2-for-4 on the power play while shutting down all five of the Bruins’ man-up chances.

“I think maybe the first 10 minutes or so, we played decent hockey,” defenseman Andrew Ference said. “But our emotional level was far below where it should be, obviously. It was disappointing. It was an overwhelmingly flat feeling, which isn’t what it should be on opening night.”

That flat feeling culminated with a too many men on the ice penalty at the 17-minute mark of the first that led to a Brooks Laich (2 goals, 1 assist) power-play goal just 15 seconds later. Boston was trying to get a tired line off the ice after an icing when defenseman Dennis Wideman slid a pass toward his own bench. Mark Recchi came off the bench and corralled the pass, but the player he was replacing had yet to come off.

Just seconds after the ensuing faceoff, megastar Alexander Ovechkin (2 goals, 1 assist) teed up a shot from the right circle. The shot actually misfired, but ended up on Laich’s blade just to the left of the crease, where he promptly deposited it past a sprawling Tim Thomas (30 saves).

“When you play teams like Washington, they’re a very good team and they take advantage of those kinds of little mistakes,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of the too many men penalty. “Those things come back to haunt you. Right there and then, that kind of changed the momentum a little bit. We started playing on our heels.”

Ovechkin upped the lead to 2-0 9:31 into the second frame when he came off the bench unmarked, took a pass at the Boston blue line, moved in still unmarked and fired a snap shot between Thomas’ pads. The Capitals put the game out of reach when Laich and Ovechkin added their second goals of the game within the first two minutes of the third.

“If you look at the two Ovechkin goals, we gave him so much room entering the zone,” Ference said. “That’s gonna be lethal.”

Meanwhile, the Bruins had the power-play chances to keep the game close, but failed to do anything more than get set up and make some short passes along the wall. When they did throw pucks toward the net, they rarely got through as Washington blocked 13 shots on the night.

“They had some good blocks,” forward Patrice Bergeron said. “Their forwards, even their D, block a lot of shots. We have to make sure we get those through. If the puck doesn’t get to the net, it’s gonna be hard to score. Obviously, we have to make sure we have more traffic, but also get the shots on net.”

Already trailing 4-0, Bergeron was finally able to give the Boston faithful something to cheer about when he broke up Jose Theodore’s (19 saves) shutout bid at the 7:56 mark of the final stanza. After a Capital defender misplayed a puck at the Boston blue line, Bergeron found himself with nothing but open ice in front of him from center ice on.

He stormed down the left wing before putting on the brakes at the top of the crease and sliding a backhander past Theodore’s right skate. But like a log thrown on a dying fire, that goal did nothing more than create a small spark that quickly vanished into the air.

“This will not be the team you’re gonna see night after night this year,” Julien said. “That much I can guarantee you.”

From the FreeP: BU Favored to Repeat in Hockey East

By Jake Seiner, DFP Staff/Photo by Sarah Gordon, DFP Staff

Despite losing five of its eight top scorers and its top defensive pairing, the 2009-10 version of the Boston University men’s hockey team is still the team to beat in Hockey East, according to the conference’s coaches.

The Terriers took home six of the nine first-place votes up for grabs in the Hockey East preseason coaches poll –– BU coach Jack Parker was not

permitted to vote for his own team. The other four first-place votes were split evenly between the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and Boston College.

“I think it’s realistic that we should be picked in the top two, three or four teams in the league,” Parker said. “I don’t know if I would have picked myself number one if I were picking a team, but I think it’s realistic with us coming back with a real strong group.”

Lowell, who the Terriers defeated, 1-0, in the Hockey East Tournament finals, took the second spot in the coaches poll. The Riverhawks return nearly their entire starting roster from a year ago, including their top-seven scorers and 84 percent of their total scoring from 2008-09.

Parker, for one, thinks Lowell’s ranking is very well deserved.

“I picked them the number one team,” Parker said. “They have almost everybody back and I think they have something like [12] seniors on their club. They had a great second half last year including almost knocking us off, knocking Northeastern off –– knocking them out in the playoffs. They had a terrific second half of the year and they’re ready to win something big.”

While earning the top spot is a sign of respect for the Terriers, it doesn’t necessarily change BU’s outlook heading into the season, according to Parker.

“I don’t think anybody’s worried about having a target on our back,” he said. “After our first game at [the University of Massachusetts-Amherst], things will be different. . .You start earning points this year when you start playing real games.”

Parker addresses movement of banner raising

The Athletic Department’s announcement that the raising of championship banner for the 2008-09 team would take place on Oct. 10 against the US National Under-18 squad has stirred a bit of controversy in Terrier Nation.

It was initially announced that the ceremony would take place before the Oct. 20 regular-season home opener against the No. 5 University of Notre Dame. The move means the ceremony will instead occur before a preseason game, and not before the nationally-televised Notre Dame game –– the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The decision to move the raising was made by Parker himself, despite concerns from some of the BU fan base, because the coach thought the move would help avoid any distractions created by reminders of last year’s title campaign

“I wanted to get rid of last year, and we would have already played a regular season game against UMass, so that was a difficult situation,” Parker said. “We wanted to get all the fanfare about that our of the way before we played an actual game. And we do have a couple of big recruits we’re recruiting on the national team, and it’ll be nice to have them in the building while we’re doing that.

“I know there were people upset with me on that because they had made plans to go away that weekend, but the banners will still be there when they come back.”

Parker Reactions

The Boston Hockey Blog caught up with BU coach Jack Parker for his reaction to the Terriers earning the top spot in the Hockey East preseason coaches poll, and more…

“It’s going to be real difficult to try to look at who’s going to be a top-four team or who’s going to win the league or who’s [sic] the two teams that are out of the playoffs,” Parker said. “I do think the two teams that will take the biggest jump from last year are Maine and BC. BC took a big fall last year and weren’t expected to. I think that’ll spur them on to be a real good team.

“I think Maine had a real solid second half. They didn’t win a lot of games but they played much, much better in the second half. They really got good at the end of the year so I think they’ll really be a team to be reckoned with.

“I think the league was correct in picking Lowell so high. I picked them the number one team –– you can’t vote for yourself so I picked them the number one team. They have almost everybody back and I think they have something like [12] seniors on their club. They had a great second half last year including almost knocking us off, knocking Northeastern off –– knocking them out in the playoffs. They had a terrific second half of the year and they’re ready to win something big.”

Parker on being picked as Hockey East favorites:

“I don’t think this team needs any more confidence. I think it’s realistic that we should be picked in the top two, three or four teams in the league –– I don’t know if I would have picked myself number one if I were picking a team, but I think it’s realistic with us coming back with a real strong group coming back.

“I don’t think anybody’s worried about having a target on our back. We aren’t the number one team this year and after our first game at UMass, things will be different. . .You start earning points this year when you start playing real games.”

Parker on putting last year’s championship campaign in the past:

“We’ve done a little bit by playing a little bit more before the season’s started. Before we finally play a real game at UMass we will have a couple of exercises, a couple of people coming in to talk to the team and a couple of other things we’re going to do to keep people focused on the objective at hand and not the product of last year.”

Parker on captains Kevin Shattenkirk, Eric Gryba and Nick Bonino as leaders:

“They’ll do a terrific job for two reasons. One, they want to win, and secondly, they had great role models last year. They were really in tune to what those guys were doing. And I think they helped those captains last year. A lot of leadership was in those three guys on last year’s team. I think just putting the C and the As on their shirts will help them recognize their role, but they already had that role last year.”

Parker on the moving of the banner raising to Oct. 10 vs. the US National U-18 Team:

“Yeah that was my decision and I think a lot of people were upset by that because they heard originally it was going to be the first regular season home game. There were three reasons for that: One, I wanted to get rid of last year, and we would have already played a regular season game against UMass, so that was a difficult situation and we wanted to get all the fanfare about that out of the way before we played an actual game.

“And we do have a couple of big recruits we’re recruiting on the national team, and it’ll be nice to have them in the building while we’re doing that. I know there were people upset with me on that because they had made plans to go away that weekend, but the banners will still be there when they come back.”

Parker on expectations of the freshmen:

“They’re some expected to fill big roles and some expected to fill smaller roles but they’re all expected to contribute. It remains to be seen who those some guys are. It’s amazing because sometimes you think this guy will be the. . .guy right off the bat, but then this guy steps up.

“The telltale sign of our success this year will be our sophomores stepping up. Will the freshman line last year –– I don’t think they’ll play together –– but the freshman line from last year was very important to our team last year and they become more important this year. All the other sophomores who didn’t play a lot as freshman last year, well they become real important to us, and the new freshman will really have to jump over those guys.”

Parker on starting the year with UMass, Notre Dame, Michigan and two games with UMass-Lowell:

“We could be 0-5 after that. I know we won’t be 5-0. I think it’s real tough. I’d be very happy if we’re over .500 after those five games. Those are five real good teams. Two of them are real tough places to play at UMass and UMass-Lowell. We’ll have our hands full. Last year, we started off with North Dakota, Michigan State and Michigan, too, so we’ll see how it all unfolds.”

Terriers ranked third in USA Today/USA Hockey Poll

The Boston University men’s hockey team was ranked third in the preseason USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, which was released Monday afternoon. The Terriers received 12 first-place votes and 438 points to place them behind Miami University (457 points) and the University of Denver (455). Three other Hockey East teams cracked the top 15 — UMass-Lowell (10th), Boston College (12th) and the University of Vermont (15th).