New England College Hockey: Frozen Fenway Returns In 2017

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The City of Boston and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) announced earlier today that Fenway Park would become Frozen Fenway this January, beginning Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Frozen Fenway will conclude Monday, January 16, 2017 and will feature a pair of Hockey East double-headers on January 7 and 14, along with additional college and high school hockey games.

Frozen Fenway will also feature a public skating day for City of Boston residents, too.

“Outdoor hockey is quickly becoming a staple on Boston’s winter sports calendar and we look forward to joining with the Hockey East and the City of Boston to build on that tradition by bringing some of the most accomplished and talented collegiate teams in the country to compete on the ice at Fenway Park,” Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a statement.

As noted in the Hockey East release, Boston University will face-off against University of Massachusetts, while Boston College takes on Providence College – both contests will take place Saturday, January 7. One week later – Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Northeastern University will skate against University of New Hampshire, while University of Maine competes against University of Connecticut.

“Hockey East and our schools could not be more excited to take the ice once again at Fenway Park,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said in the conference release. “Once Frozen Fenway 2017 is complete all twelve Hockey East schools will have played an outdoor game at Fenway Park, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for the players, students, alumni and fans.”

Additional details, including other contests and events will be announced in the coming months. Fans can visit RedSox.com for more information on Frozen Fenway.

Mass. College Hockey: Power Play Goals Lift No. 5 BC Past No. 7 Harvard In Beanpot Semifinal

Boston College freshman Casey Fitzgerald netted the quickest goal in the last 10 years of the Beanpot as the Eagles beat Harvard in Monday's semifinal. (Photo Credit: BCHeights.com)

Boston College freshman Casey Fitzgerald netted the quickest goal in the last 10 years of the Beanpot as the Eagles beat Harvard in Monday’s semifinal. (Photo Credit: BCHeights.com)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of second period power play goals by sophomore Zach Sanford and freshman Colin White proved to be the difference as the fifth-ranked Boston College Eagles defeated seventh-ranked Harvard University, 3-2, in the 64th Boston Beanpot semifinals on Monday evening at the T.D. Garden.

With the win, the Eagles will compete in their 35th championship in program history. Boston College will face either ninth-ranked Boston University or Northeastern University next Monday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The Crimson will compete in the consolation game with puck drop scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Boston College freshman Casey Fitzgerald provided the Eagles with an early lead, potting his third goal of the season at 1:35 in the opening stanza. Fitzgerald’s goal was the quickest marker since Bryan Ewing lit the lamp 10 years earlier as a member of the BU Terriers.

Harvard, which did not register a single shot for close to 10 minutes, capitalized on its initial attempt as freshman Ryan Donato netted his first-ever Beanpot goal after racing into the Eagles zone at 9:47. Classmate Adam Baughman pushed the Crimson ahead, 2-1, minutes later as he slid the puck past BC junior goalie Thatcher Demko at 14:44. The goal marked Baughman’s initial collegiate marker.

The Crimson would not locate the back of the net for the remainder of the game as Demko turned aside 21 shots. Harvard sophomore goaltender Merrick Madsen denied 30 shots, including 13 attempts in the final session.

“(Boston College) played a strong game and were really able to limit us. (We) didn’t get the amount of zone time and possession of the puck that we needed (so we could) create more offense, so give them a lot of credit for (the win), but we’re disappointed and frustrated that we didn’t execute a lot of the things we needed to do to be more successful,” said Harvard head coach Ted Donato.

Monday’s win marked Boston College’s 12th consecutive victory against Harvard in the Beanpot, while head coach Jerry York improves to 14-1 against the Crimson.

“It was a good test for us,” York said following his team’s 18th win of the season. “I thought Harvard gave us all we could handle tonight, I thought the ability for us to kill (a late third period) penalty was a major factor, and then our five versus six – we never really let them get settled coming up the ice, so those are kind of key parts of the game.”

Mass. College Hockey: Boston College Men’s Picked To Capture Hockey East Crown

Hockey East Pre-Season Coaches Poll

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Boston College men’s ice hockey team was picked to capture the Hockey East regular season crown this upcoming season, as reported by the league on Monday, September 21.

BC received seven first-place votes, while rival Boston University, which was picked to finish second, earned a trio of first place votes. Providence College – the reigning national champion – was picked to finish third and earned a pair of first-place votes, while UMass Lowell was projected to place fourth and Northeastern University fifth.

New Hampshire, Notre Dame, Vermont and Connecticut rounded out the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth place positions, while Maine was picked to finish 10th. Merrimack College and UMass completed the 12-team poll, earning 11th and 12th place projections, respectively.

Mass. College Hockey: Former BC Right-Wing Hayes Inks 3-Year Deal With Boston Bruins

By Matt Noonan 

Former Boston College men’s ice hockey right-wing Jimmy Hayes inked his name on a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins this afternoon, which was confirmed through a press release by the team.

Hayes was traded to Boston last Wednesday in a deal that sent Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s contract to the Florida Panthers.

Former Boston College men's ice hockey right wing Jimmy Hayes inked his name on a three-year deal with the Boston Bruins. (Photo Credit: Sun-Sentinel.com)

Former Boston College men’s ice hockey right wing Jimmy Hayes inked his name on a three-year deal with the Boston Bruins. (Photo Credit: Sun-Sentinel.com)

A Dorchester native, Hayes was a second round pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and skated in part of three seasons – 43 games to be exact – before he was dealt to the Florida Panthers during the 2013-14 campaign. With the Panthers, Hayes appeared in 125 games and recorded 30 goals and 23 assists. His best season as a pro was this past year where he registered 19 goals and 16 assists (35 points) in 72 games.

Hayes spent three seasons with Boston College, tallying 42 goals and 39 assists for 81 points. His best season with the Eagles occurred during the 2010-11 season when he netted a career-best 21 goals, along with 12 assists. Boston College captured the Boston Beanpot and Hockey East regular season and tournament crowns before concluding their campaign in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

In 2010, Hayes and the Eagles defeated Wisconsin in the NCAA Championship game, 5-0, to claim the program’s fourth national championship.

Mass. College Hockey: BU’s Eichel Signs With Buffalo Sabres

Boston University's Jack Eichel became the first skaters from this past weekend's NHL Drat to ink his name on a three-year, entry level contract with Buffalo on Wednesday.  (Photo Courtesy NESN.com)

Boston University’s Jack Eichel became the first skaters from this past weekend’s NHL Drat to ink his name on a three-year, entry level contract with Buffalo on Wednesday. (Photo Courtesy NESN.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Boston University rising sophomore Jack Eichel became the first skaters from this past weekend’s NHL Draft to ink his name on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.

Eichel, who hails from Chelmsford, was the second round pick in this year’s draft. His decision to sign with Buffalo ended his collegiate career with the BU men’s ice hockey team.

“I’m super excited to be a part of this organization,” Eichel told NHL.com. “I signed today and that makes it official that I’ll be leaving school and pursuing my career in professional hockey, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”

As a member of the BU Terriers men’s ice hockey team, Eichel claimed the Hobey Baker Award (second freshman to earn the award since Maine’s Paul Kariya won it in 1993) and netted 26 goals and 45 assists in 40 games. Eichel guided the Terriers to a Hockey East regular-season and tournament crown, and helped the Terriers reach the NCAA Championship contest.

Mass. College Hockey: Record Number of Hockey East Players Taken in NHL Draft

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Hockey East Association and Director of communications, Brian Smith, here is this morning’s release on this past weekend’s National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft that saw a record 23 current or future players selected:

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – A record 23 current or future Hockey East players were selected in the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, including Boston University’s Jack Eichel (Rd. 1, Pick 2/Buffalo Sabres) and Boston College’s Noah Hanifin (Rd. 1, Pick 5/Carolina Hurricanes). The two rising sophomores, who were each selected in the top five, marked in the attached release.

In addition to Eichel and Hanifin, two other current Hockey East skaters heard their named called in Sunrise, Florida as BU rising sophomore A.J. Greer (Rd. 2, Pick 39/Colorado Avalanche) and Merrimack rising sophomore Brett Seney (Rd. 6, Pick 157/New Jersey Devils) were chosen. Also included in this year’s crop were 13 incoming freshmen for the 2015-16 season, five skaters verbally committed for 2016-17 and one player verbally committed for 2017-18.

In total, the 23 players with Hockey East ties represent 41% of the 56 current or future NCAA players selected.

The Hockey East Association is a 12-team Division-I college men’s hockey conference founded in 1984 and also sponsors a nine-team Division-I women’s league that began play in 2002-03.

Frozen Four: BU, Providence Advance To NCAA D1 Championship

Boston University's Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

Boston University’s Jack Eichel netted a pair of goals on Thursday evening, while registering one assist as the Terriers defeated North Dakota, 5-3. (Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of Hockey East teams will compete on Causeway Street on Saturday evening at the TD Garden as Boston University and Providence College earned Frozen Four semifinal victories on Thursday evening.

The Friars, who competed in the first semifinal match, defeated Nebraska-Omaha (4-1), while the Terriers skated past North Dakota (5-3).

BU’s Jack Eichel clinched the victory for the Terriers late in the third period when he sailed a shot into an open North Dakota net from behind the face-off circle, which halted a late rally.

Eichel opened the scoring for the Terriers, netting a back-handed shot off a rebound before Brandon Hickey doubled the Red and White’s advantage with a strike at 19:12 in the first period.

North Dakota sliced the deficit 44 seconds into the second frame when Luke Johnson slipped the puck past Matt O’Connor, but the Terriers responded with back-to-back tallies from A.J. Greer and Doyle Somerby that provided BU with a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of hockey.

Troy Stecher and Connor Gaarder closed the gap for North Dakota at 12:10 and 16:17, respectively, in the third period, but that would be the closest they would get to the Hockey East champions. O’Connor deflected 33-of-36 shots, while North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre turned away 23-of-27 attempts.

Providence’s Nick Saracino led the Friars with three-points (one goal and two assists) and set-up the game’s first and second tallies, which were recorded by Noel Acciari and Mark Jankowski. Saracino eventually located the back of the net in the third period, capping the Friars’ offensive outburst at 19:23.

Jon Gillies picked up his 23rd victory between the pipes, deflecting 25 shots, including nine attempts in the opening frame. Omaha’s Ryan Massa dipped to 14-8-6 and recorded a game-high 44 stops. Massa’s 14 wins were the most the senior goaltender has recorded with the Mavericks.

Omaha’s Jake Guentzel recorded the Mavericks’ lone goal of the contest – his 14th of the season – at 10:46 in the third period. The loss ended Omaha’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance run.