Archive for the 'Commentary' Category

The Takeaway: BU completes sweep of hapless UMass

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. — Boston University overcame a slew of penalties and a penalty shot converted by Massachusetts to defeat the Minutemen 3-2 at the Mullins Center Saturday night. The Terriers dug out of a 2-0 hole and scored the game-winner with 1:22 remaining in the third. Sean Escobedo scored the game-winning goal on a 3-on-2 rush after UMass turned the puck over near center ice.

The victory marks a sweep of the weekend home-and-home series for BU. Meanwhile, UMass is left with blowing leads on its home ice against top Hockey East opponents in consecutive weekends. The Minutemen held a 3-0 lead over Boston College before bowing 5-4 last Friday.

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UNH and Northeastern battle to 0-0 draw

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

BOSTON — After a last-minute 4-3 victory on their home ice Friday night, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats played a physical, high-speed game against Northeastern at Matthews Arena that ended up being a battle of goaltending in a 0-0 draw.

The first 20 minutes brought a quick pace and physical play, with four penalties for hitting after the whistle. Solid goaltending from Brian Mountain and a physical defense from the Wildcats kept the game scoreless into the third period and eventually into overtime, as the two teams finished in a scoreless draw and each took one valuable Hockey East point.

What I saw

– Brian Mountain kept Northeastern in it through the first 20 minutes of play. He made 17 saves while the Northeastern offense notched just nine shots on goal, comparatively. His biggest test came in the first period’s final minutes as Goumas took a shot on a shorthanded breakaway, but Mountain forced him to the outside of the net, denying him the opportunity. The breakaway was the best chance for either team early on.

– New Hampshire’s offense created offensive opportunity again and again, despite the Huskies’ attempt to keep the game in control with a furious pace, the Wildcats continued to dominate with scoring chances. Grayson Downing, Kevin Goumas, and Greg Burke all had chances early on.

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10/26-27 CCHA Picks

Friday, October 26th, 2012

The CCHA staff took its first shot at predicting last weekend’s games, and here’s how we did:

Taylor Lewis: 9-6-5 (.575)

Avash Kalra: 9-6-5 (.575)

Sam Obermyer: 9-6-5 (.575)

Caleb Saunders: 6-9-5 (.425)

We release our CCHA Power Rankings yesterday, and those are subject to change based on this weekend’s results. Here are the staff’s picks for this weekend’s slate of games — and we have only one “consensus” pick out of the 10 games this weekend: (more…)

10/25 CCHA Power Rankings

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A full slate of league play begins this weekend, and each team in the league has played between three and five non-conference games. It’s a small sample size, but based on the games thus far, here is the first edition of the CCHA Power Rankings. We’re at the stage of the season where these rankings are incredibly dynamic, with each team having the potential to move up (or down) several spots on an almost-daily basis. Also, keep in mind that power rankings represent a different consideration than ranking the “best” teams in the nation (which explains the difference between Michigan’s current national ranking and their power ranking here).

Tomorrow: the CCHA staff writers’ predictions for this weekend’s games.

1. Notre Dame (3-1-0)

The Irish already boast wins over Maine, Nebraska-Omaha, and Minnesota-Duluth, and goaltender Steve Summerhays has provided a steady presence for Notre Dame already. Summerhays and co. will be tested this weekend on the road against Northern Michigan. And… surprise, surprise. T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee (now playing at center instead of on the wing) lead the team in scoring through four games thus far.

2. Miami (3-0-1)

The RedHawks followed up an opening weekend sweep of Colgate with a tie and win against Providence. A pair of road games this weekend at Michigan and another two next weekend at Ferris State will be telling, but for now, underclassmen like Riley Barber are leading the way for Miami. CHN’s Caleb Saunders was reporting from the Miami/Providence series in Oxford last weekend and observed the quick start for the RedHawks’ freshmen goaltenders (haven’t we seen this before?). Here’s more from Caleb:

The freshman Ryan McKay made his second career start for Miami on Friday. His freshman counterpart Jon Gillies got the call for the Friars.  The two netminders are familiar with each other after both of them played in the USHL the last few years before going to their respective schools. McKay played three seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers and Gillies played two seasons with the Indiana Ice.

 “I’ve played against [Jon] Gillies the last few years, I’m friendly with him and he’s a good kid,” said McKay. (more…)

Boston College shuts out Northeastern in home opener

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

BOSTON — Saturday night at Conte Forum, the Boston College Eagles raised their 2012 National Championship banner to the rafters, and then preceded to remind the sold out crowd just how they earned it. After a road loss to Northeastern and a comeback 5-4 win against Massachusetts last night, BC returned to form with a 3-0 win over the Huskies in their home opener.

The Eagles struck early, with junior forward Kevin Hayes drawing first blood with a wrist shot from under the circle just over six minutes in. They wasted no time gaining a comfortable lead, and sophomore standout Johnny Gaudreau capitalized on a breakaway opportunity going five-hole on senior Chris Rawlings. The Northeastern defensemen hadn’t even caught up with Gaudreau by the time he was taking the shot.

Penalties plagued both teams throughout the three periods, but BC was able to outplay the Huskies despite several minutes in the box. When NU rookies freshman Cam Darcy and sophomore Dax Lauwers took penalties within seconds of each other to give the Eagles a 5-on-3 advantage, senior forward Steven Whitney capitalized almost immediately. At the point, he took a feed from Gaudreau and shot past Rawlings’ glove.

Despite renewed energy in the second period, the Huskies were unable to capitalize on any scoring chances and ultimately left Conte shut out by the Eagles.

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The Takeaway: Northeastern hangs on to defeat Merrimack

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

BOSTON — A three-goal first period lead Wednesday looked like it might turn into the same old story for Northeastern when Merrimack battled back in the second period and left the Huskies fighting for the win in the game’s final minutes. An empty netter from assistant captain Robbie Vrolyk sealed it for Northeastern with a 4-2 victory over the Warriors.

After missing the postseason by a point last season, the Huskies began this year’s conference play with a big first period offensively. Fifty three seconds into play, freshman defenseman Colton Saucerman passed to senior forward Garrett Vermeersch from the right point and Vermeersch deflected it over the shoulder of Merrimack goaltender Rasmus Tirronen. Northeastern struck again within five minutes of puck drop when forward Joseph Manno took a feed from freshman Kevin Roy to make it 2-0.

The offensive contribution from Roy continued in the first period, this time with a goal of his own on the power play. With that the Huskies ended the first period with a 3-0 lead, but the Warriors answered in the second period. First, sophomore forward Quinn Gould beat senior goaltender Chris Rawlings on a bouncing puck in front of the net to put Merrimack on the board. Justin Mansfield made it 3-2 with just under five minutes to play in the second.

Northeastern managed to hold on throughout the third period, picking up their first two extremely valuable Hockey East points of the season.

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Many Directions MSU Can Go At Coach

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Minnesota State coaching job is officially open for business after the school reassigned Troy Jutting Sunday evening. At a press conference this morning, Athletic Director Kevin Buisman said people have already inquired about the position. He says they will move quickly to fill the position.

I have no reason to think otherwise. Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press, who is the man to follow in this pursuit (@puckato on Twitter), also thinks it would behoove the Mavericks to move quickly on this. And if there really is a shortlist, this thing could get done by the end of the month.

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Jutting a Class Act All the Way

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

A lot has been said by fans over the years about the job done by now-former Minnesota State coach Troy Jutting.

Some have been supportive. Some have been critical. Some have been ridiculously critical. Ask Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press. Moderating his live blog on game nights has become a bigger and bigger chore for him over the years.

Calling for a coach’s job is nothing new. Since the advent of talk radio and message boards on the internet, it’s become almost customary. Heck, as a sophomore at Minnesota State, I once wrote an editorial calling for Jutting’s job. I even named guys I would replace him with.

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WCHA Hit Hard By Departures… Already.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The offseason is not even a week old for some, barely two weeks for others and the WCHA has already been hit exceedingly hard by early departures.

At this rate, there won’t be many top players left by the time the new season kicks off seven months from now.

Your early departures so far: Colorado College’s Jaden Schwartz, Nebraska-Omaha’s Terry Broadhurst, St. Cloud State’s David Eddy and Denver’s Drew Shore and Jason Zucker.

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BC Wins Hockey East Title With 4-1 Victory Over Maine

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

BOSTON — Among the impressive Hockey East accomplishments amassed by Boston College during the 28-year existence of the league, it had never won three-consecutive tournament championships. In fact, no team had accomplished that feat. Saturday night, however, the Eagles won their third in-a-row with a 4-1 win over Maine.

Now, the challenge for BC turns to the national spotlight. The Eagles clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, which will be drawn Sunday afternoon.

“The Lamoriello Trophy is something we strive toward and it’s a major goal for us,” BC coach Jerry York said in reference to the award given to the tournament’s winner. “I think ourselves and the three other teams from Hockey East can do some damage in the national tournament.”

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