Terriers in NHL devlopment camps

Now that the NHL draft is over with, now comes time for NHL development camps. Below you will find the list of Terriers who are in the camps.

Buffalo Sabres

Defenseman Brandon Hickey

Graduate transfer forward Max Willman

Chicago Blackhawks

Junior defenseman Chad Krys

Freshman forward Jake Wise

Colorado Avalanche

Sophomore forward Shane Bowers

Dallas Stars

Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger

Detroit Red Wings 

Sophomore defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo

Nashville Predators 

Junior defenseman Dante Fabbro

Junior forward Patrick Harper

Sophomore defenseman David Farrance

New Jersey Devils 

Senior forward Bobo Carpenter

New York Islanders

Senior forward Bobo Carpenter

Forward Kieffer Bellows

Sophomore forward Logan Cockerill

Ottawa Senators 

Sophomore forward Brady Tkachuk

Philadelphia Flyers

Freshman forward Joel Farabee

Pittsburgh Penguins

Freshman forward Jack DeBoer

Recruit forward Liam Gorman

St. Louis Blues

Sophomore forward Ty Amonte

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward J.J Piccich

New York Rangers

Forward Drew Melanson

The complete list can be found here.

 

NHL draft preview: What BU men’s hockey fans can expect

Boston University hockey fans have reason to tune into the NHL Draft when it begins on June 22 in Dallas.

After a successful freshman campaign with the Terriers, forward Brady Tkachuk is expected to go as high as third overall and is the second-ranked North American skater in the draft according to NHL.com.

Tkachuk has not ruled out returning to the Agganis Arena ice for another go-round in Hockey East, but being a top-five selection would make it difficult for the physical winger to return to college.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 197-pounder was one of the Terriers’ most active contributors on the offensive end all season. He led the team with 23 assists and 131 shots, the most of any freshman in the country. His +15 plus-minus was the second-best on the squad and his 31 points were the fourth-most.

His performance on the ice was rewarded following the season, as he was named a member of the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Tkachuk was a prime example of former head coach David Quinn’s recruiting prowess. Quinn had seven players selected in the 2017 NHL Draft after seeing four of his pupils selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

 

Tkachuk serves as one of the final gems of Quinn’s recruiting legacy, one which concluded when he accepted the head coaching job with the New York Rangers last month. Quinn’s new hockey club holds the ninth pick, but Tkachuk will likely be swiped off the board by then.

The two-time Hockey East Top Performer could join former Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien in Montreal. The Canadiens have expressed interest and Tkachuk’s NHL-ready body provides him with the ability to assist a talent-depleted Montreal roster sooner rather than later.

Another potential landing spot for Tkachuk is Arizona. The Coyotes are another team in need of a boost, as they have not made the playoffs since 2012. Multiple Phoenix media outlets have conveyed general manager John Chayka’s interest in selecting Tkachuk, who would be joining former Terrier Clayton Keller on a club which accumulated the fewest points in the Western Conference in 2017-18.

Unlike past seasons, BU will not have a collection of players waiting to hear their name called on draft night. Funny enough, the majority of the Terriers front-line performers have already been selected in previous years.

In 2017, Cam Crotty was picked by the Coyotes, Kasper Kotkansalo was selected by the Detroit Red Wings, David Farrance by the Nashville Predators, Logan Cockerill by the New York Islanders, Shane Bowers by the Ottawa Senators and Jake Oettinger by the Dallas Stars.

A year prior, Chad Krys went to the Chicago Blackhawks while Dante Fabbro and Patrick Harper both landed with the Predators. Take away Tkachuk, and the Terriers still have loads of NHL-level talent projected to be on the 2018-19 roster.

In terms of the players who have not been drafted, there is not too much chatter surrounding Beanpot hero Ty Amonte despite his name being floated around in draft speculation last summer.

Future Terriers:

Joel Farabee:

BU will likely have another first round pick in addition to Tkachuk. Incoming freshman forward Joel Farabee is listed as a likely first-round pick. The Cicero, New York native is ranked number 12 among North American skaters and mock drafts have him within the first 15 picks.

 

Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Top 10-15 pick.

Jake Wise:

Farabee won’t have to look too far to see another future Terrier being drafted, all he really needs to do is look to his right as his linemate with the USDP Jake Wise. Wise is expected to be the second future Terrier and third Terrier overall being drafted this season.

Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Late first round

Jack Deboer:

BU has one other incoming freshman who might hear his name called. Ranked number 166 among North American Skaters is Jack DeBoer. Although he is the son of the head coach of the San Jose Sharks, he is not a lock to be drafted. For a point of reference, current Terrier senior forward and captain Bobo Carpenter was ranked 119 among North American skaters for the 2014 draft and went undrafted.

Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Undrafted

 

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.

 

State of the Terriers’ offense after the regular season

Well folks, we made it through the regular season. With the news of sophomore forward Patrick Harper being ruled out for the rest of the season, Liam and I have seen a lot of concern the scoring depth. Here we have outlined the top five leaders in the offensive stats. If Harper is in the top five, we have included the person who finished sixth in the category

Points

1. Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter takes the top spot with 30 points.

T2. Despite missing four games this season for the Olympics, junior forward and assistant captain Jordan Greenway finished tied for second with 27 points. Freshman forward Shane Bowers also picked up 27 points. Bowers finished second in the Hockey East among freshmen.

 T3. We have a tie between sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro and freshman forward Brady Tkachuk. Both had 26 points in the regular season. Fabbro finished second in Hockey East among defensmen. Tkachuk finished third among freshmen.

Goals

1. Carpenter once again takes the top spot here, finding the back of the net 18 times. 

2. Bowers finds himself with 16 goals this season. Bowers finished third in the country among freshmen.

3. Greenway lit the lamp 10 times this season.

4. With nine goals, Fabbro finished tied for fourth in the country among blue liners and at the top of the conference.

5. Harper ended the season fifth on the team with eight tallies

*6. Despite not scoring a goal until the fourteenth goal of the season, Tkachuk finished the season with seven goals. He finished tied for tenth among freshmen nationally. 

 

 

Assists

1. Tkachuk takes the top spot with 19 helpers. He finished tied for eighth in the country among rookies and led the conference among freshmen

T2. Greenway finished the season second on the team tied with Fabbro with 17 assists. Fabbro finished tied for fourth in the conference among defensemen.

4.  Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys finished fourth on the Terriers with 16 assists. Which had him sixth in the conference among blue liners.

5. Harper finished with the season with 13 assists

*6.  Carpenter finished his strong junior season with 12 assists.

Power play goals

1. Carpenter finished fifth in the conference with seven power play goals.

T2. Fabbro led all Terrier defensemen with four goals on the power play, Harper also finished with four goals on the power play. 

T3. Greenway, Krys and Bowers all found the back of the net three times this season with the man advantage.

Short handed goals

1. Once again Carpenter led the way. He had two short handed goals this season and finished tied for third in the Hockey East

T2. Greenway and Tkachuk had a short handed goal this season.

Hat-Tricks

1. Carpenter finished tied for first in the conference with two three-goal games

2. Fabbro had one of two hat-tricks from the blue line in the conference.

Breakdown by class

1. Freshmen led the way with 109 points this season. They combined for 40 goals and 69 assists.

2. Sophomores combined for 81 points with 26 goals and 55 assists.

3. Despite having three players, the junior class of Carpenter, forward Ryan Cloonan and Greenway combined for 58 points with 28 goals and 30 assists.

4. In their final season at BU, the seniors had 38 points off 11 goals and 27 assists.

As a team, BU finished the season second in scoring offense with 3.09 goals per game and fifteenth nationally

Their power play also finished second converting on 22.6 percent of its chances. It also finished ninth in the nation with its power play.

 

Features published while the Blog was down

Although the blog was down for most of the season, that didn’t stop us from publishing articles on The Daily Free Press’ main website. In this post you can find Matt’s feature on junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter  and his 20 questions with freshman forward Brady Tkachuk.

Don’t forget to check out Liam’s article on freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo as well as Liam’s most recent artcie on the BU Pep Band.

We also have one more for you readers. Before she became the Sports Editor for the FreeP, Nikki wrote a feature on sophomore defensemen Chad Krys and Dante Fabbro.

Please be advised while reading these articles that the records and stats are accurate at the time of being published which could be different as of today.

Liam and I do have some more cool stories that we are currently working and they will be published soon.

Men’s hockey sweeps Arizona State

Last weekend, the Boston University men’s hockey team swept Merrimack College in its first sweep of the season. This weekend, the Terriers continued their momentum as they traveled to Arizona and swept Arizona State University.

Friday night, the Terriers and the Sun Devils played each other in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

BU opened its scoring 7:20 seconds into the first period.

Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter connected on a pass from senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey by way of sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro and scored on a power play.

Almost ten minutes later, the Terriers found the back of the net again.

Freshman forward Hank Crone scored off a rebound from freshman forward Ty Amonte and recorded his second goal of the season. Freshman defenseman Cam Crotty also picked up an assist.

BU would add two more goals in the first stanza as freshman forwards Brady Tkachuk and Shane Bowers scored just 20 seconds apart

Junior forward and assistant captain Jordan Greenway and Crotty assisted on Tkachuk’s goal and freshman forward Logan Cockerill recorded a helper on Bowers’ goal.

Carpenter added to the lead 5:35 in the middle period off a feed from senior defenseman John MacLeod. Just over 12 minutes later, senior forward Chase Phelps scored his first goal of the season to put BU up 6-0.

Sophomore forward Gabriel Chabot and freshman forward Jake Witkowski added assists on Phelps’ goal.

With under a minute to play in the second, Tkachuk scored his second goal of the night. On a power play, Tkachuk beat Sun Devils’ sophomore goaltender Joey Daccord to give BU a 7-0 lead.

BU scored one more time in the final stanza for an 8-0 shutout victory. Seven minutes into the third, Carpenter chipped in a pass from Chabot and recorded his second hat-trick of the season.

Carpenter is now tied for seventh in the country with 16 goals on the season and sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger recorded his third shutout of the season.

Saturday night, BU once again opened the scoring.

Hickey scored a power-play goal just under eight minutes into the first period. Less than four minutes later, Fabbro doubled the Terriers’ lead. Graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson and Tkachuk added the helpers on Fabbro’s goal.

Under a minute into the second period, Arizona State scored its first goal of the weekend. With a 5-on-3 advantage, freshman forward Johnny Walker recorded his team leading seventh goal. Sophomores forward Brett Gruber and defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk tallied the assists.

The Sun Devils knotted the game at two just over seven minutes into the second period after freshman defenseman Jacob Wilson recorded a short-handed goal.

BU regained the lead 19 seconds later as senior defenseman Brien Diffley recorded his first goal of the season on the power play. Senior forward and assistant captain Nikolas Olsson and Fabbro added assists.

In the third period, Bowers banged in a rebound from Fabbro by way of Cockerill just over 11 minutes in the third period. The goal was originally ruled a no-goal, but was overturned after review.

Arizona State scored once more in the third on a power play. Redshirt senior forward David Norris beat Oettinger with just over five minutes to play. Although, it would not be enough as BU held on and beat the Sun Devils 4-3.

The Terriers will resume Hockey East play against the University of Massachusetts Amherst Friday night on the road and will look to extend their win streak to five games.

Multiple Terriers to play in World Junior Championship, Hickey to play in Spengler Cup

Although the Boston University men’s hockey team will not return to action until the first weekend of the new year, some Terriers will be wearing the jersey of their respective country over the break.

Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk, sophomores goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper will represent Team USA in the World Junior Championship which begins play Tuesday, Dec. 26.

Harper leads BU with 21 points, tied for first in assists with 13 and tied for second in goals with 8. Tkachuk leads Terrier freshmen in points and assists with 14 and 10 respectively Oettinger has started 17 games for BU and has a .902 save percentage.

Both Harper and Oettinger skated on the gold medal-winning 2017 U.S. National Junior Team that bested Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.

Skating for Team Canada is sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro. Fabbro leads the Terriers with 40 blocked shots and he has 12 points. Fabbro represented Canada in last year’s tournament–in which he took home a silver medal.

Playing for Finland is freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo. Kotkansalo has two goals and three assists on the season.

These will not be the only Terriers playing in international tournaments over their break. Senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey was selected to represent team Canada in the Spengler Cup.

Hickey has three goals and two assists for the Terriers.

2018 World Junior Championships preliminary rosters announced, 5 BU players named

Patrick Harper will look to take home another gold medal. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Patrick Harper will look for another gold medal. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The United States, Canada and Finland 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary rosters were announced earlier this week.

Five players from the Boston University men’s hockey team – some returning and some new – saw their names on the rosters among many other young hockey players who hope to represent their home countries in Buffalo, New York from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Last year, Team USA won its fourth title after beating Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.

Below are the five Terriers that were named to their respective countries’ WJC preliminary rosters. Team USA invited 28 players and will narrow the group down to 23 while Team Canada invited 32 players and will narrow it down to a 22-man roster.

The Returners

Sophomore forward Patrick Harper – Team USA

Harper notched one goal for Team USA last year and currently leads BU with 19 points (6g, 13a). Last Friday, Harper assisted four of the Terriers’ goals in the team’s 7-4 win over then-No. 15 Boston College.

Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro – Team Canada

Fabbro took home a silver medal with Team Canada last year and was one of two collegiate players on the squad. The New Westminster, British Columbia native currently has 11 points (4g, 7a) and leads BU in blocked shots with 38.

Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger – Team USA

While Tyler Parsons and BC sophomore goaltender Joseph Woll played in the net during last year’s championships, Oettinger came home with a gold medal. This year, Woll and Maine’s freshman goaltender Jeremy Swayman were also named to the preliminary roster.

The Lakeville, Minnesota native currently sits on a .905 goal save percentage and 2.89 goals against average over 15 games.

“It’s awesome and I’ve been lucky enough to do it a couple of times and it never gets old. [There’s] a really good group of guys invited to that camp so really excited to reconnect with those guys and start trying to defend our gold medal from last year, but that’s all going to come after what should be a strong end of the season here at BU.” – Oettinger after practice on Thursday.

The Newbies

Freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo – Team Finland

The Finnish defenseman has represented Team Finland on many occasions including winning a gold medal in the IIHF World Under-18 World Championship. Kotkansalo currently leads BU’s freshman defensemen in blocked shots with 23, and has one goal and three assists on the season.

Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk – Team USA

Tkachuk won gold with Team USA in the 2017 U18 World Championship and collected seven points (1g, 6a) on top of serving as captain. The St. Louis, Missouri native is currently fifth highest on the team in points with 12 (2g, 10a) and leads in plus minus rating of +9.

The Missing One?

Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys – Team USA

Krys was named to USA’s preliminary roster last year, but didn’t make the final cut. Last season, the defenseman finished a solid season with 11 points (5g, 6a) after being linemates with current Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy. Krys has surpassed that with 14 points (4g, 10a) over 17 games this season.

“Yeah, obviously you feel like it’s one of your children so you’re always hopeful and you always think very highly of him. It’s disappointing for Chad, but the one thing I know that he and I’ve talked about is you just move past it and he gets to spend Christmas at home and get some time off. There’s always a silver lining to everything.” – BU head coach David Quinn after practice on Thursday.

 

What are your thoughts on the BU players chosen for the WJC preliminary rosters?

Weekend Roundup: Red Hot Hockey

On Saturday, the No. 19 Boston University men’s hockey team played No. 7 Cornell University in the sixth installment of Red Hot Hockey, which takes place at Madison Square Garden.

The Terriers now have a 3-1-2 record in Red Hot Hockey. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
The Terriers now have a 3-1-2 record in Red Hot Hockey. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Terriers found themselves in a 3-0 hole after the first 30 minutes of the game. However, tallies from sophomore defensemen Dante Fabbro and Chad Krys, and sophomore forward Patrick Harper put BU within one goal.

While the Big Red couldn’t seal the game with two empty-netter chances, the Terriers were unable to tie up the game and fell for the first time in the biennial Thanksgiving weekend matchup.

BU will resume Hockey East conference play this weekend with a series against its crosstown rival, No. 14 Boston College. The first game will take place at Conte Forum on Friday and then at Agganis Arena on Saturday.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to No. 7 Cornell at Red Hot Hockey

Sider on second period – “Late goals not enough for men’s hockey, second period mistakes pile up

 Here are some Twitter posts, highlights and the post-game press conference: