Saturday, December 16, 2017

World Junior Camps open; first NHL hat trick for Eichel

U.S. Junior National Team Camp opened in Columbus, Ohio, with sophomores Jake Oettinger and Patrick Harper and freshman Brady Tkachuk among 28 rostered players vying for the final 23 spots. Team USA will defend its gold medal in the World Junior Championships in Buffalo beginning on December 26. Oettinger explained:

"I've had this camp circled on my calendar since end of last tournament. It's something I've been working towards the entire year, so I'm really excited and confident that all the work I've put in up to this point will pay off. It's just about playing, having fun and trusting all the work I've done."

● IIHF World Junior Championship home page
● US WJC camp opens

Sophomore Dante Fabbro saw his first game action at Canada’s World Junior selection camp, skating in a 5-2 win against Denmark. The 2016 first-round draft pick of the Nashville Predators had been on the sidelines as a precaution due to a lower-body injury, which had kept him out of BU’s game against Lowell on Dec. 8. He returned to the Terrier line-up on Dec. 9. Canadian Coach Dominique Ducharme, commenting on Fabbro, pointed out:

"It was good to see him back on the ice. He was a good player last year and I think he's progressed well. You see his maturity in his game physically, he's hard on battles, he's retrieving a lot of pucks, winning one-on-ones. It's good to see him back."

►This week’s episode of Hockey On Campus features interviews with Bentley Coach Ryan Soderquist, UMass defenseman Cale Makar and former Terrier assistant coach and Northeastern Head Coach Ben Smith, who was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday night, along with Jack Parker and Scott Young. Hockey on Campus airs on NHL Radio (SiriusXMChannel 91) on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET and Sunday morning at 10 a.m. ET. You can also find it here on College Hockey News.

Looking ahead
2018 recruit Hugo Blixt scored his fourth goal of the season in Tri-City’s 4-2 loss to Dubuque. The 6'3" Swedish blueliner had announced his commitment to BU earlier in the week.

2019 recruit Trevor Zegras (photo) scored a goal and fellow 2019 recruits defensemen Alex Vlasic and Case McCarthy each contributed an assist as Team USA defeated Switzerland, 7-2, in the Four Nations Tournament in Veliky Novgorod, Russia. Team USA plays the host Russian team on Saturday.
● USA Hockey recap and box score

Looking back

Jack Eichel had a hand in all four Buffalo goals—with his first-career hat trick and an assist in the Sabres’ 5-4 overtime loss to Carolina. suggest reuniting Terrier linemates Eichel and Evan Rodrigues would help rev up Buffalo’s offense. Since his recall from Rochester, Rodrigues has two goals and an assist in five games.
● report and Rodrigues BU highlight reel

Alex Chiasson scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner on a shorthanded breakaway, as Washington defeated the Bruins, 5-3.

Women’s Team
Former Terrier captain Marie-Philip Poulin scored for Team Canada in a 3-1 win over Team USA in a pre-Olympic match-up between the two national teams. Former Terrier standout Jen Wakefield also is on Canada’s roster.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Three for the Hall: Parker, Young, Smith inducted--UPDATED

A trio of Terriers—legendary head coach Jack Parker, assistant coach and U.S. Women’s Olympic coach Ben Smith and former Terrier standout and assistant coach Scott Young—were inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame last night in ceremonies at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.  The 2017 class also included Ron Wilson, the winningest American NHL head coach and 28-year NHL referee Kevin Collins.

During his 40-year tenure behind the Terrier bench, Parker directed 897 wins—third best among D1 coaches—three NCAA titles, 11 conference championships and 21 Beanpot titles.  Smith was Parker’s assistant for nine seasons before going on to be head coach at Dartmouth and Northeastern as well as lead the U.S. Women to Olympic gold in 1998.  Young skated for BU for two seasons, then embarked on a 17-season NHL career, winning the Stanley Cup twice and ranking #15 in games played by Americans and #20 in points. After two seasons as a BU assistant, he became the Penguins Director of Player Development, reunited with BU teammate Mike Sullivan.

The three join 10 previous Terrier inductees, including Jack Kelley, Chris Drury, Keith Tkachuk and 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal team members Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Jack O’Callahan and David Silk.

► With 18 points (5G, 13A) in 19 games, sophomore Chad Krys is third in scoring among Division 1 defensemen.

World Junior Championships
USA Hockey opens its Junior National Team camp today to select the 23-man squad for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships.  The current 26 man roster includes BU sophomores Jake Oettinger and Patrick Harper—both returnees from the 2017 gold-medal team—and freshman Brady Tkachuk.
● report

TSN’s Craig Button, previewing Team Canada, offer his thoughts on Terrier sophomore Dante Fabbro (video).

Looking ahead
2019 recruits Trevor Zegras and Case McCarthy scored goals for Team USA in a 12-0 blowout of Slovakia at the U17 Four Nations Tournament in Veliky Novgorod, Russia. Zegras converted a pass from fellow BU recruit Alex Vlasic in the second period, while blueliner McCarthy scored in the third period.  Zegras, who scored 42 points for Avon Old Farms last season, added a pair of assists. Team USA next plays Switzerland on Friday.
● USA Hockey recap has ranked 2020 recruits Dylan Peterson and Donovan Sebrango #1 and #2 among 2018 OHL draft prospects from the Ottawa-region HEO Midget AAA league. 

Leading the way in the Ottawa Region in our first ranking is 6’3" winger Dylan Peterson of CIH Academy White. Peterson has a complete package with pro potential. Dylan skates well and possesses high-end skill, developing a physical edge has also added another element to his game.

Following closely behind Peterson is his teammate Donovan Sebrango. Donovan is left shot defender with outstanding two-way traits to his game. Sebrango consistently shows strong vision and above average puck moving skills.

Looking back

AJ Greer scored his fifth goal for San Antonio and David Warsofsky contributed an assist, but the Rampage fell in overtime, 3-2, to Ontario. evaluate the Bruins top prospects, including Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson.

Former BU co-captain John McCarthy scored a goal and an assist in the Barracuda’s 5-2 win against Tucson.

Women’s Team
Former Terrier Rebecca Russo and the Metropolitan Riveters of the NWHL are off to a 6-0-0 start.
● NWHLzone report

Monday, December 11, 2017

Swedish blueliner commits to BU; More kudos for Bach--UPDATED

Junior Jordan Greenway, sophomore Chad Krys and freshman Cam Crotty were named to Hockey East’s Weekly Top Performers list.  Greenway registered his first career hat trick en route to a six-point weekend as BU split its series with UMass Lowell. Krys contributed a goal and two assists to Saturday’s 9-3 win, while Crotty scored his first collegiate goal and assisted on Greenway’s third score.

Looking ahead
BU today received a commitment for 2018-19 from Swedish blueliner Hugo Blixt, a 6-3, 194 lb., left-shot playing in the USHL for Tri City Storm.  Reportedly, the native of Västerås made his choice between BU and Denver.

Blixt is the second defenseman in BU’s 2018 recruit class, joining Ryan O’Connell, a Toronto draft pick, currently playing for the BCHL Penticton Vees and, this week, playing for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge. BU’s roster has three senior blueliners: captain Brandon Hickey, John MacLeod and Brien Diffley

With 12 points (3G, 9A) in 19 games, Blixt, who turns 20 on January 2, is the Storm’s third leading scorer and the top scoring defenseman. He’s taken four penalties. 

A fourth round pick by Tri-City in the 2017 USHL Entry Draft, Blixt decided to cross the pond after spending the last three seasons on various levels of his hometown VIK Västerås organization, most recently with HK20 in the SuperElit league.  

He told the Kearney Hub “It’s good for my development. The junior league is probably the best in the world. It’s better than back in Sweden. I like it a lot.”

His coach, Anthony Noreen believes he’s made a strong adjustment to the USHL, noting, “It’s even harder for a defenseman going from the bigger ice surface to the smaller ice service. I think there was an adjustment. His adjustment was quicker than most guys I’ve been around at this level.”

“I think he’s a guy who has a chance to be a real special defenseman in this league and beyond,” Noreen said. “I think he’s a guy who can be a dominant presence on our blue line."
Tri-City Storm report
● Elite Prospects page
Blixt video 
● Blixt finding his groove has released its top 25 rankings from the Atlantic region with the #1 spot occupied by 2020 recruit Josh Lawrence, who is in his second season with Selects Academy at South Kent School.  He leads the U16 squad with 54 points (20G, 34A) in 31 games.

At the top of our list is Josh Lawrence, a New Brunswick native who’s currently in his second season playing prep hockey south of the border with the Select Hockey Academy 16U. Lawrence, who committed to Boston University last May, leads his team with 44 points in 23 games this season and he’s the youngest player on his team. Lawrence is a proven scorer; in his last year in his home province, he scored 41 goals in 30 games as a first-year bantam, which is quite an accomplishment. Atlantic Scout Al Rankin comments: “It would be hard to pass up a chance to draft this dynamic player, who is always driving his team’s play. Very mature skills and IQ, and his development has not stalled.”

Looking back

Evan Rodrigues brought the Sabres back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period with a pair of goals, including an extra-attacker goal with 1:27 remaining, but St. Louis would take a 3-2 win in overtime. The tallies were the first of the season for the former Terrier standout who was recalled to Buffalo from Rochester last week.
● Post game comments Rodrigues (video)

Women’s Team
For the third time this season, senior Victoria Bach is Hockey East’s Player of the Week. With four goals against Yale and two against Providence, the NCAA Player of the Month for February leads the nation with 23 goals and is third in points with 40. Terrier captain Rebecca Leslie who had five assists last week was named to the weekly list of top performers. She is fourth nationally in scoring with 36 and fourth in assists with 21.
● HockeyEastOnline report
● report

For the third time in four weeks, Bach is one of the NCAA weekly stars, this time the #1 star with the most goals and points scored.

Bach and Leslie have been named to Team Canada’s roster for the Nations Cup, which will be played in Fussen Germany, Jan. 3-6.
● report
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