I sat in the press box of the Whittemore Center and thought to myself this used to be one of the premier matchups in college hockey. The crowds flocked, the atmospheres at the Alfond and the Whitt were electric and the quality of play on the ice was top notch (even as recent as 2011). Fast forward to 2015, and it seemed to be something else. UNH picked up a solid 5-2 win against its border rival on Saturday night, but the game provided little in the way of excitement. The crowd was in a way dull and the third period was a snooze-fest to be honest, with UNH up three goals. (more…)
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Hard work pays off.
That’s a saying coaches across the country are constantly trying to drill into the heads of their players.
Good thing for Providence head coach Nate Leaman, he was one shining example sitting in his own locker room.
Goaltender Nick Ellis spent the last two years behind Jon Gillies. That’s not saying much. There were roughly 180 goalies in college hockey last season, and just about every single one of them would have been behind Gillies on a depth chart.
After waiting it out, patiently, while Gillies led the Friars to a national championship last season, it’s been Ellis’ time to shine.
After Saturday’s shutout over Merrimack, Ellis’ second of the season, he has a .939 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average. His team, meanwhile, is 11-0-3 and hasn’t lost since an overtime defeat to New Hampshire in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East playoffs last season, a span that has now stretched 18 games.
“He’s been our hardest worker the past two years,” Leaman said. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. The guys, when he got his chances last year, the guys were really rooting for him. The guys here love him for how hard he works and it’s one of those stories that makes you really happy as a college coach, because you see a guy that had to battle through some adversity, and he had to keep working and working and when he’s had his opportunities he’s made the most of it. Those are the lessons you want to teach these kids. Things aren’t always going to go your way but if you keep doing the right thing and you keep battling, you’ll be able to take advantage of your opportunity when it comes. That’s why a lot of guys are happy for him.”
Another week in Hockey East kicked off on Thursday, when Notre Dame beat Northeastern 3-2 in South Bend. The rest of the league schedule kicks into gear tonight. Here are this week’s 12 thoughts on Hockey East’s 12 teams …
Hockey East enters another weekend with some home-and-home conference games as well as UNH and Merrimack hitting the road for non-conference action. Here are 12 thoughts on the 12 teams throughout the league …
All 12 Hockey East teams are in action this weekend with four playing home-and-home series in the league standings. Let’s take a look around the league with 12 thoughts for 12 teams …
Hamden, CT. - Maine was no match for the Bobcats on a rare Tuesday night game. The Black Bears got off to a good start, holding Quinnipiac’s high powered corsi machine but it was a shortlived, as a power-play midway through the first period changed the game. Quinnipiac generated five shots on goal, and many other chances on the power-play. Its momentum grew even more, when Chase Priskie retrieved a puck in the neutral zone and went in all alone to score on Maine’s Matt Morris. The Bobcats took the one goal lead to the dressing room, but its possession took over as it sent puck after puck at the Maine net in the latter stages of the period. All told QU sent 33 shots, 17 right in front of Morris and 19 of them found its way on the net.
The onslaught continued in the second, but Quinnipiac was able to use its chances to generate scoring. Tommy Schutt slapped a shot off the post at 5:08 of the period, Devon Toews retrieved a puck off a Maine defender and shot it five-hole and KJ Tiefenworth received his own rebound to put the Bobcats up by a lofty four goals after two periods. It was much of the same in the third period, as both teams had chances but neither found the back of the net. QU improved to 4-0-0 on the season with the 4-0 win, while Maine is still winless at 0-2-3. Garteig picked his 13th career shutout for Quinnipiac and his second in a row. (more…)
The results around Hockey East on opening weekend where, in a word, interesting. UMass swept Colorado College, Boston College and Boston University both suffered losses in the Capital Region while Providence impressed at Miami, Lowell beat a good RPI team and Maine picked up two ties in the IceBreaker, including one against North Dakota.
It’s dangerous to make any assumptions about a team — good or bad — based on one or two games, but here goes nothing …
Practices officially open on Saturday, which means college hockey is back this weekend. In Hockey East, 10 teams will host exhibitions with CIS programs Saturday and Sunday. Let’s take a look at them:
BOSTON — Hockey East officially announced its agreement with American Sports Network to produce its league television slate. It’s a two-year contract and will consist of 14 games for this upcoming season.
ASN is a production company, and will produce the games for its series of networks. Locally, it’s likely that games will continue to air on NESN, though that portion of the deal was not formally announced by the league on Monday.
BOSTON — With just two weeks to go before the exhibition season officially kicks off, a trio of Hockey East teams are entering the year with question marks thanks to some injuries to top players.
On Monday at the league’s media day, held at TD Garden, Boston College head coach Jerry York confirmed to WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin that goaltender Thatcher Demko could miss the start of the upcoming season. That’s certainly not what the favorited Eagles need heading into the season, though BC doesn’t play a league game until Nov. 3 when it hosts a UMass team that was picked to finish last in Hockey East.
Demko had surgery on his hips in the offseason. It’s the type of surgery that’s becoming more common for players at that position.
Down the road, Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is also unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery over the summer. The BU captain is a key piece for the Terriers this season, who last Jack Eichel, Evan Rodrigues, Matt O’Connor and others off a team that won the Hockey East Championship last March.
Grzelcyk has been skating, but BU head coach David Quinn said on Monday that the Terriers will likely err on the side of caution and not rush him back into action.
UConn goaltender Rob Nichols had similar surgery to Demko, and according to a report in last week’s Hartford Courant, he might also not be ready for the start of the season. Nichols reportedly just got back on the ice last week and still hasn’t skated in back-to-back days, nor has he been cleared for game action.