Friday, December 28, 2012

A Throwback from Charlestown

By srsterrier

Nostalgia was the theme at the SoNo Ice House in Norwalk Connecticut - home of a new EJHL franchise, the Connecticut Oilers - last Saturday Night, December 22, 2012.  At times, I found myself thinking back to Boston circa 1988 or so.  First, I noticed that a member of the visiting Valley Junior Warriors was named Joe Lappin. Any relation to the brothers who played for BU for a couple of seasons in the late 80’s? I did not ask. Then, I noticed the goalie playing for the Oilers, a guy named “Bruce Racine.” Any relation to the legendary Northeastern goalie? A member of the Oilers told me that it was just a coincidence. And if that was not enough, standing there watching the game was none other than Mark Krys, a solid defenseman for the Terriers from 1987-91 and captain of the 1990-91 squad that reached the NCAA championship game. Those of us who attended BU during that time remember Mark for his surprising goal against BC in the 91’ Beanpot title game and also for his soft-spoken, respectful nature. Tonight was no different as Mark politely chatted with us for a few minutes and signed autographs for my son and his friend. 

And the player I came to see, BU 2013 recruit Brendan Collier, played with the intensity that we used to see regularly at Walter Brown Arena in the 80’s and 90’s. Collier, a member of the Valley Junior Warriors, will be a freshman next season. The first thing I noticed about Collier was that, at 5 feet, 9 inches, he was hardly the biggest player on the ice. Not slow by any means, he was not the fastest player out there either. Yet, Collier was drafted in the 7th round in 2012 by Carolina. Over the course of the evening, I gained an understanding of the reasons why.

As was the case in high school leading Malden Catholic to back-to-back Massachusetts Super 8 championships, Collier played on a line with Ryan Fitzgerald (a BC recruit who was as a good as advertised). They made a formidable trio with linemate John Jackson, who leads the team in scoring. On most shifts, they created scoring chances and in the end, they accounted for three of the team’s six goals on the night. Collier tallied a goal and an assist in this game but came across as more of a playmaker than a pure goal scorer.[Note: Collier assisted on three goals the next night in a 6-5 win] He has very good puck-handling skills and also passes well. He was sent out on the penalty kill once or twice and looks good in that role.

What stood out the most was Collier’s intensity. As noted above, Collier is not big but he is stocky. I read elsewhere that, at the urging of the Hurricanes, he added ten pounds to his frame over the summer. He plays a physical, gritty game that you might expect from a kid from Charlestown, Mass. He did not back down from players who had a size advantage over him and was called for a roughing minor late in the second period. The Warriors jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and the game was never in doubt. Still, Collier was playing hard up to the end. He struck me as the kind of kid who does not take a shift off – something that every team needs and that BU has not always had enough of in recent years. With his size, there is a good chance he will stay at BU for four years and it would not surprise me if he wears the “C” a few years down the road.  

Overall, my impression of Collier is that he may not be an elite talent but he  could very well be a second or third liner who contributes 20-25 points a season, kills penalties, hustles every shift and scores some clutch goals when the team needs it most.

From what I’ve read and also from speaking to him briefly after the game, Collier seems genuinely excited to come to Agganis Way and wear the Scarlet and White. At BU he’ll reunited with current freshman and fellow “Townie” Matt Grzelcyk. The long-time friends began their youth hockey careers together, along with Harvard freshman Jimmy Vescey.  

One other note: The Junior Warriors also featured Division 1 recruits Devin Tringale (Harvard) and Ryan Badger (Maine), neither of whom factored in the scoring. It appeared to me that they have at least two other kids who could play at the next level: Jake Schecter, a puck-moving defenseman and Nick Pichette, a feisty forward who has some skill.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2012-13 Terrier Hockey on Broadcast and Webcasts

Broadcast TV Schedule
Oct. 20 at New Hampshire – 7 p.m (WBIN, Fox College Sports)     
Nov. 2 at North Dakota – 8:30 p.m (Fox College Sports)                                                      
Nov. 3 at North Dakota - 8 p.m. (NESN, Fox College Sports)
Nov. 9 at Merrimack – 7 p.m. (WBIN)

Nov. 11 vs. Boston College - 5 p.m. (NESN)
Nov. 30 vs. Boston College - 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Dec. 1 at Boston College - 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Dec. 8 vs. Maine - 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Dec. 29 at Denver – 9 p.m. (NESN, ROOT)

Jan. 18 vs. Northeastern - 7 p.m. (NESN)*
Jan. 26 vs. Providence - 7 p.m. (NESN)
Feb. 4  vs. Northeastern - Beanpot - 5 p.m. (NESN)
Feb. 11 Beanpot Championship* - TBA

Feb. 15 at Maine - 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Feb. 16 at Maine - 7 p.m. (NESN)
March 8 at Northeastern - 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)*

* If BU advances to final

Terrier TV Schedule (Webcasts-Subscription)
Oct. 7 vs. Toronto (exhib.) - 1 p.m.
Oct. 13 vs. Providence - 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 vs. Massachusetts - 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18 vs. New Hampshire - 5 p.m.
Nov. 24 vs. St. Lawrence - 7 p.m.
Jan. 4 vs. Rensselaer - 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9 vs. Harvard - 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 vs. UMass Lowell - 7 p.m.
Feb. 8 vs. Merrimack - 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22 vs. UMass Lowell - 7:30 p.m.
March 1 vs. Vermont - 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Q&A With Captain Wade Megan

The regular season opener is just days away so it’s time for our annual Q&A with the Terrier captain. This year it’s Wade Megan, BU’s top returning goal-scorer who found the back of the net 20 times last season, including nine times on the power play.

A Florida Panthers draft choice with 33 career goals as a Terrier, Megan was a standout scorer at South Kent School before heading to BU and was led all New England prep players in scoring in 2008-09.

Off the ice, the history major has been involved in the Kids Cancer Buzz Off that takes place at Gillette Stadium every June. After lining up pledges to the charity for several months, Megan (Photo with Ross Gaudet) closes the deal by having his head shaved.

Q—The year’s Terriers are an especially young squad with nine freshmen, a number of whom are likely to be playing important roles early on. How will you help them make the adjustment to the pace and skill level of D1 hockey?
A— Our freshman are already highly skilled players, I think a good number of them will be able to step in and log a lot of minutes. How quickly they can adapt to the D1 game will be a determining factor in the success of this team. 

Q—Do you anticipate added leadership pressure on assistant captain Ryan Ruikka and you in the wake of the Task Force report?
A— Our entire team is on the same page as the coaching staff and the administration in regards to the Task Force report. We are proud to be student-athletes here at BU and we are looking forward to getting this year’s hockey season started.

Q—Both the media and coaches polls picked BU for third in the conference. What are three keys for this young team to earn home ice for the Hockey East playoffs?
A— We need to:
1. Play a thorough game night in and night out.
            2. Protect our home ice during the regular season.
            3. Work.

Q—What aspects of your own game are you seeking to improve in your final season in Scarlet?
A— I have a lot to work on. It is important that I keep working on all aspects of my game in order to become a more complete player.

Q—You’ve seen time at left wing and also on the off-wing. At which position do you feel most comfortable and most productive?  What do you expect your role to be on power plays?
A— I expect that I will play mainly left wing this year. It is where I feel most comfortable and also most productive. We will see how the power-play shakes out in the coming weeks. I like to be in front of the net. It will be interesting to see what kind of dynamic some of the younger players will bring. We have some guys that will be fun to watch on the power-play this year. 

Q—Penalty minutes have been up for BU in recent seasons. Is that a function of not enough discipline by the players or tighter calls by the officials? Are the rule changes this year that will be challenging?
A— Penalty minutes are nobody’s fault but our own. It is a point of emphasis for us this year and it is important that we drastically reduce our penalty minutes. That is our job as players.

Q—Coach Parker often says, half-jokingly, that the game should be called “goalie” because that position is so critical to outcomes.  Now, for the first time in four years, BU has no experienced college goalie. What have you seen from Sean Maguire and Matt O’Connor that tells you they can handle the job?
A— The first thing that I noticed was the fact that they compete. They are both terrific competitors, which will benefit both of them in a big way. Our goaltending situation is no worry to us. Both are capable and both will need to play well all year.

Q—Last season when a few upperclassmen left the program, some of the younger players took on larger roles than they ordinarily would have. Do you expect that added experience will help them step up and become important contributors this season?
A— Absolutely.  Players who saw a lot of time last year will see even more time this year. Taking that playing experience into this coming season is going to be very beneficial.

QConference games seem to be closer than ever, so that makes one of Jack Parker’s keys to victory—winning the third period—even more important. What can a captain do to reinforce this, especially among younger players?
A— One of the biggest jobs that Ryan and I have this year making sure that we, along with the rest of the guys play 60 minutes of BU hockey every game. We need to play complete games and it’s so important that to understand that there is no room in this league to take periods off. 

Q—The importance of special teams can’t be overstated. Last season one-third of BU’s goals came on power plays and BU converted at better than 25% in conference play. Do you see the ingredients for a strong power play this season?
A—Yes. There are many things that make a power play “click”: willingness to shoot, anticipation, putting in “ugly” goals in front of the net. We have the players that can bring these things to our power play.
QWe always ask this in the captain’s Q&A: which returning player (or players) will surprise BU fans by taking his game to a higher level?
A— We have seen flashes of exciting hockey from Yasin Cisse. He will surprise some people this season. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012-2013 Television Schedule

Boston University 2012-2013 Broadcast Television Schedule
                      As of Sept. 25

Saturday, October 27    Boston University at Massachusetts           7:00pm CBS3
Friday, November 9       Boston University at Merrimack                7:30pm WBIN, FCS
Friday, November 30     Boston College at Boston University         7:30pm NBCSN
Saturday, December 1   Boston University at Boston College         7:30pm NBCSN
Saturday, December 8   Maine at Boston University                        8:00pm CBSSN
Friday, January 18         Northeastern at Boston University             7:00pm NESN
Saturday, January 26     Providence at Boston University                7:00pm NESN
Friday, February 15        Boston University at Maine                        7:30pm NBCSN
Saturday, February 16    Boston University at Maine                        7:00pm NESN
 Friday, March 8             Boston University at Northeastern             7:30pm CBSSN