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.

 

Weekend Roundup: Northeastern and UNH

Once again, the No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team went into the weekend looking for four Hockey East conference points and emerged with two. However, over the past two weekends, the Terriers’ performance has been solid on Friday and poor on Saturday.

The opposite occurred this weekend as BU fell 6-1 to No. 13 Northeastern University at Matthews Arena and shutout the No. 9 University of New Hampshire at home the next night.

Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro scored the second goal of the contest from blue line. PHOTO BY VIGUNTHAAN THARMARAJAH/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro scored the second goal of the contest against UNH from blue line. PHOTO BY VIGUNTHAAN THARMARAJAH/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Friday night, the student section of Matthews was sold out and served as an energizer for the Huskies to get two early tallies within three minutes of each other. Sophomore forward Patrick Harper notched the Terriers lone goal of the night 42 seconds into the second period. Afterward, Northeastern scored four unanswered goals, three of which were on a power play.

Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger was switched in for redshirt sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik for the first time all season after forward Lincoln Griffin scored his second goal of the night. Prawdzik played for the remainder of the game, clocking in six minutes and five seconds, and played well until freshman forward Bobby Hampton slipped a goal past him.

Despite the goal being let through, Prawdzik saw his first collegiate start the following night against UNH. Four separate BU players – freshman forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro, junior forward Jordan Greenway and junior forward Bobo Carpenter – scored over the three periods and Prawdzik made 29 saves for the Terriers to secure a 4-0 shutout.

BU will go on its first road series next weekend against the University of Maine. The first game will take place in Orono at the Alfond Arena on Friday while the second will be held in Portland at the Cross Insurance Arena the following night.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Northeastern 6-1, swept in series

Sider on BU’s defensive downfalls – “Men’s hockey defense falters as Northeastern scores six goals

Saturday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey emerges with 4-0 win over No. 9 UNH

Sider on Max Prawdzik’s first start in net – “Prawdzik has first career start for men’s hockey, shuts out UNH 4-0

Here are some Twitter posts from the weekend, highlights and the post-game press conferences:

Live Blog: BU vs. UNH

The No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team will play the No. 9 University of New Hampshire at Agganis Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. After a 6-1 loss to No. 13 Northeastern University last night, the Terriers will look for a win and two points against the Wildcats. Read our preview here to see what to look out for in tonight’s matchup and follow along on our live blog.

Live Blog Boston University vs. New Hampshire

Live Blog: BU at Northeastern

The No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team will take on No. 13 Northeastern University at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. tonight. After a 4-1 loss to the Huskies last weekend, the Terriers will look to collect two Hockey East points and split the home-and-home series. Take a look at this week’s preview to see what to look out for and follow along on our live blog below.

Live Blog BU at Northeastern

Weekend Roundup: Providence and Northeastern

The No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team went into the weekend looking for four Hockey East conference points and emerged with two.

After going point-less for three games, freshman forward Shane Bowers collects an assist on Greenway’s goal against Northeastern. PHOTO BY MADDIE MAHOLTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
After going point-less for three games, freshman forward Shane Bowers collects an assist on Greenway’s goal against Northeastern. PHOTO BY MADDIE MAHOLTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Friday night, the Terriers looked to bounce back from their 3-0 loss to No. 8 Providence College. After a scoreless two periods, sophomore defenseman Chad Krys broke through the Friars’ defense and scored his first two goals of the season within 1:37 of the other. Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger’s 31-save night also contributed to the 2-0 win and marked his fifth collegiate shutout.

However, BU was unable to carry this momentum into the following night as it hosted No. 13 Northeastern University. Forwards Bobby Hampton and Nolan Stevens got the Huskies on the board twice during the opening frame in what appeared to mimic last season’s Hockey East quarterfinals to a tee.

Unlike like the quarterfinals, the Terriers were unable to come back despite junior forward Jordan Greenway’s second goal of the season. Stevens went on to score twice more in the second period to bring Northeastern home a 4-1 win while BU accumulated two game misconducts in the final period.

While the Terriers were unable to match the Huskies’ offense, they will have another chance next Friday night at Matthews arena. Then the following night BU will host the University of No. 9 New Hampshire at Agganis Arena.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey beats Providence 2-0, Oettinger gets fifth career shutout

Sider on Krys’ two-goal night – “Chad Krys scores twice to lead men’s hockey to 2-0 win over Providence

Saturday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Northeastern 4-1 behind Stevens’ hat-trick

Sider on the Terriers’ poor defensive showing – “Men’s hockey unable to come back from Northeastern’s first period goals in 4-1 loss

Here are some Twitter posts from the weekend, highlights and the post-game press conferences:

Live Blog: BU vs. Northeastern

The No. 12 Boston University men’s hockey team will take on the No. 15 Northeastern University tonight at Agganis Arena after shutting out No. 6 Providence College 3-0 last night with two goals from sophomore defenseman Chad Krys. Read this week’s preview to see who and what to look out for. Follow along on tonight’s live blog as well.

Live Blog Live Blog: BU vs. Northeastern

Weekend Roundup: Denver and Providence Games

The No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team fell to both of its opponents, the No. 1 University of Denver and No. 11 Providence College, over the weekend.

Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter went 36-for-52 at the face-off circles this weekend. PHOTO BY SYDNEY MAES/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter went 36-for-52 at the face-off circles this weekend. PHOTO BY SYDNEY MAES/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Friday at Agganis Arena, Denver proved its dominance early with two tallies in the first four minutes of the game. Freshman forward Ty Amonte’s first goal of the season and another power-play goal from junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter in the same period tied the score.

However, another strike late in the 1st period from Pioneers forward Colin Staub gave them a 3-2 lead Denver would keep until sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro evened the score more than halfway through the final period. As the game appeared like it would go into overtime, Pioneers forward Troy Terry squashed those quells by finding the back of the net with 16.1 seconds remaining.

The following night, the Terriers were unable to match Providence’s pace and physicality for the 60-minute matchup, but kept the Friars off the board in the first frame and neither players from each team were sent to the penalty box. Much of this changed in the second period, as Providence got on the board three times and BU’s performance began to decrease as they searched for a goal.

Quinn said, in the post-game press conference after the Terriers’ loss to the Friars, that his young team was likely still feeling the previous night’s defeat and carried it into the following matchup. Although, BU has a chance to redeem itself as it hosts Providence again next Friday at Agganis and will see its crosstown competitor No. 20 Northeastern University there the following night.

Read our articles from the weekend below:

Friday’s Articles

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls to Denver on game-winner with 16.1 seconds remaining

Side on Jake Oettinger’s performance in the net – “Despite 4-3 loss to Denver, men’s hockey sees encouraging signs from Oettinger

Saturday’s Article

Recap – “Men’s hockey falls  to Providence College 3-0 on the road

Here are Quinn and the players’ thoughts in the post-game press conferences and some Twitter posts from over the weekend:

Pluses and Minuses: Terriers complete home-and-home sweep over Northeastern

Doyle Somerby. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Doyle Somerby. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The only last-second stress the No. 11 Boston University men’s hockey team had in this one was whether or not the shutout would be intact by the time the 60 minutes was up.

The shutout didn’t happen, but the win sure did, and the Terriers (5-3, 3-2 Hockey East) completed a weekend sweep over rival Northeastern University.

The Terriers controlled the play from the outset and used that early momentum to propel themselves to an end-to-end 4-1 victory over the struggling Huskies (1-7-1, 0-3-1 Hockey East).

There were a lot of things to like and some to dislike, so we’ll discuss them further in this Pluses and Minuses.

Pluses

Grzelcyk’s back… Back again

How would senior captain Matt Grzelcyk follow up in his second game back on the ice after offseason knee surgery?

A lot like his first game, actually.

Grzelcyk, just like he did on Friday night, opened up the scoring in the first period. Only this time it wasn’t from the left point. He skated up the left wing and in close on net, wristing a shot high over Northeastern goaltender Ryan Ruck’s blocker for the goal. It was an aggressive play, a lot like the rushes he would make during his first three years at BU.

The opening tally would be his only point on this night, though Grzelcyk again looked sharp both on and off the puck. He quarterbacked the top power-play unit and made a lot of smart and strong plays on the puck on the defensive zone.

By the look of it, it’s hard to tell that the captain had missed any time at all.

“He’s obviously a guy that’s an elite player at this level,” said head coach David Quinn. “And anytime you get a guy back like that, your lineup instantaneously becomes better, everybody gets better. You have a little bit more swagger and play with a little bit more confidence.”

First period dominance 

As Quinn put it, this opening period might have been the best first frame he’s seen out of BU since he’s been head coach.

The Terriers dictated pace of play before and after Grzelcyk’s goal. By the end of the first 20 minutes, BU held a commanding 18-2 shot advantage. The puck possession was boosted by three power plays (one of which was successful), but BU really did control the game even during 5-on-5 play.

The only downside? They only scored once.

“Obviously our first period is probably the best period we’ve had this year without question,” Quinn said. “And I don’t know, since I’ve been here, if we’ve had a better period from start to finish. That being said, we were only up 1-0.”

Somerby’s defense leads to offense 

Sarah talked last night about how sophomore defenseman Doyle Somerby‘s tough-minded defensive play came up huge, especially in the second period.

It was déjà vu on Saturday night, except this time, Somerby was rewarded for his effort.

Along the left defensive wall, Somerby closed in on a pass and batted it out of midair. With the Huskies pinching in for a chance, Somerby saw space in the neutral zone to do some damage. So on a two-on-one opportunity, Somerby skated zone-to-zone and finished the play with a goal at the 13:54 mark of the second period.

It was just his third career goal, but for the Terriers, it was the 12th goal of the year for a defenseman. Yet, for Quinn, the scoring says more about Somerby’s effort on the defensive side of things.

“Well, that came off great defense,” Quinn said. “He and [sophomore defenseman] Johnny MacLeod did a great job down in the corner there. And [senior forward] Mike Moran as well. Our defense was really good in that sequence and it allowed us to get a two-on-one. And he buries it.

“We scored some goals this weekend off a good defense, in-zone defense, and if we’re gonna go anywhere or have any success we’ve got to defend.”

LaCouvee steps up

Sophomore netminder Connor LaCouvee admitted Friday night that he may have lost his focus during a second period in which he allowed four goals.

On Saturday night, however, LaCouvee needed all of his focus in both the second and third periods to keep BU in the game. He did just that, falling just short of his first collegiate shutout. You can read more about LaCouvee’s improved play in Judy’s sidebar.

Minuses 

Losing the shutout

LaCouvee was in good position all night and made a number of key saves during the third period to keep BU in the lead.

But after the Terriers seemingly put the game away with an empty-net goal from senior winger Ahti Oksanen, there was a momentary lapse in the defense that led to a quick NU rush, and subsequently a goal. Forward Adam Gaudette pounced on a rebound chance and got the Huskies on the board for the first and only time with 55.4 seconds to go in the game.

“We’re still learning,” Quinn said. “Disappointing we didn’t give Connor the shutout, just really ridiculous that we gave up a shorthanded goal with a minute to go, but it cost him a shutout. That’s really unfortunate.”

Losing puck possession 

The first period saw a great showing from BU on both ends of the ice. It made good plays in the offensive zone and largely kept the Huskies to the outside when Northeastern controlled.

It was a bit of a different story in the second and third periods, with Northeastern outshooting BU by a combined 32-16. There were sizable chunks of the game where the Huskies carried play and BU was back on its heels.

After an 18-2 shot advantage to start the game, both teams finished the night with 34 chances on goal.