Tag Archives: A.J. White

Mass. College Hockey: BU Captures Hockey East, Tops UML 5-3

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Boston University men’s ice hockey team captured their eighth Hockey East crown on Saturday evening at the TD Garden, defeating last year’s reigning champion UMass Lowell, 5-3. With the win, the Terriers earn an automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – the bracket will be released tomorrow.

Courtesy of the Hockey East Communications Office, here is this evening’s release:

BOSTON – Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) scored twice and set up another and Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown, Mass.) added a goal and two assists to lead top-seeded Boston University to a 5-3 win over fourth-seeded UMass Lowell in the title game of the 31s​t annual Hockey East Championship in front of 13,352 fans at TD Garden Saturday evening.

In their 11th trip the finals the Terriers captured the Lamoriello Trophy as Hockey East Champions for the eighth time, their first since 2009 and the team’s first under second-year coach David Quinn. With the win, Boston University (25-7-5) earns Hockey East’s automatic bid the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The tournament’s selections will be announced Sunday at noon on ESPNU.

Eichel added the William Flynn Tournament MVP Award to sweep the conference’s major awards. The freshman forward picked up the Warrior Hockey East Player of the Year and Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year awards on Thursday. He was joined on the all-tournament team by Grzelcyk, forward Evan Rodrigues (Etobicoke, Ontario) and goaltender Matt O’Connor (Toronto, Ontario).

BU opened up a tightly played first period with a pair of goals starting at 13:08.  On a power play Eichel carried the puck deep into the UML zone and fed Grzelcyk, who snapped it home at 13:08. O’Connor helped start the play and picked up an assist on Grzelcyk’s 10th of the year.

At 15:02, BU would make it 2-0 when Eichel again carried it to the goal mouth to shoot it past UMass Lowell goaltender Kevin Boyle (Manalapan, N.J.). Rodrigues and Brandon Hickey (Leduc, Alberta) picked up assists.

The River Hawks closed the period cutting the deficit in half with a power play goal of their own by center Joe Gambardella (Staten Island, N.Y.) just six seconds into the man-advantage at 18:10. Gambardella won the draw and after passes from Tommy Panico (Wall, N.J.) and Adam Chapie (Oxford, Mich), was alone in the low slot and used a forehand to backhand move to tuck it in for his 14th of the season.

The second period was all Boston University as it added a pair of goals, both on odd-man rushes. Senior Cason Hohmann (Arlington, Texas) finished a 3-on-1 started by A.J. Grier (Joliette, Quebec) and Doyle Somerby (Marblehead, Mass.), slipping the puck between Boyle’s pads at 5:38. The River Hawks had a great chance to make it a one-goal game midway through the stanza but O’Connor gloved a rebound attempt by Jake Kamrass (Atlanta, Ga.) from point blank range.

With the period winding down BU made it 4-1 as Grzelcyk, on a 2-on-1, set up Nickolas Olsson (Escondido, Calif.) who beat Boyle with 44.5 seconds before the intermission.

UML battled back to make it 4-2, as Michael Kapla (Eau Claire, Wis.) drilled it past O’Connor from the slot 6:47 into the third, converting a feed from Michael Fallon (Glenview, Ill.) with Dylan Zink (Madison, Wis.) also adding an assist.

Eichel made it 5-2 with his second of the game, 24th of the campaign and sixth in four tournament games with a great individual effort at 14:43 of the third after feeds from Nick Roberto (Wakefield, Mass.) and Grzelcyk.

With 3:08 left, Michael Louria (Glenview, Ill.) of the River Hawks closed the scoring at 5-3 with A.J. White (Dearborn, Mich.) and Fallon picking up assists.

Boyle finished with 19 saves for UMass Lowell (21-12-6) saw its two-year run as conference champions come to an end in its third straight appearance in the final game. The River Hawks went 1-for-4 on the power play and BU went 1-for-3. O’Connor had 22 saves for the Terriers who will make their 32nd trip to the NCAAs.

Joining the four Terriers on the All-Championship team were blueliner Robbie Russo (Bartlett, Ill.) of Notre Dame and forward Grayson Downing (Abbotsford, Alberta) of New Hampshire.

Game notes: The Terriers are 8-3 in the HEA Championship Game all-time…The Terriers are 3-1 all-time in the HEA Championship Game against the River Hawks… Freshman forward Jack Eichel has 66 points (24-42-66) on the season…Eichel’s 66 points set the freshman record for most in team history in a season…Eichel’s 66 points (24-42-66) are the most by a freshman in the NCAA since Paul Kariya had 100 (25-75-100) in the 1992-93 season…Eichel extended his point-streak to 12 games (9-17-26)…Junior defenseman Matt Grzelcyk extended his point streak to 11 games (9-8-17)…This year’s Hockey East All-Tournament Team consisted of goaltender Matt O’Connor (BU), defensemen Matt Grzelcyk (BU), Robbie Russo (ND), and forwards Jack Eichel (BU), Grayson Downing (UNH), and Evan Rodrigues (BU).

Mass. College Hockey: UML Tops UNH, Claims Second Straight Hockey East Crown

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, UMass Lowell claimed the Hockey East crown as the River Hawks skated past University of New Hampshire, 4-0, on Saturday evening at the TD Garden.

With the win, UMass Lowell is now 2-2 in title contests. Their last win occurred last season when the River Hawks defeated Jack Parker and the Boston University Terriers.

Similar to their semifinal contest against Notre Dame last night, the River Hawks scored two goals in both the first and second periods. They also relied on their backstop, Connor Hellebuyck, who deflected 30 shots and was named the Hockey East Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I thought we started the game rather well,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin, who guided the River Hawks to its second consecutive Hockey East championship.

“(The) first and second periods obviously were very opportunist and getting off to that type of lead certainly eases attention, but it didn’t make it easier in the third, I can tell you that.”

A.J. White provided the River Hawks with an early lead as he redirected a shot in front of the New Hampshire cage at 12:12.

UMass Lowell netted its second goal literally three minutes later as Josh Holmstrom fired a shot past a diving Casey DeSmith (26 saves), which provided the River Hawks with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

Joe Gambardella and Jake Suter each netted goals in the middle frame that pushed the River Hawks ahead by four goals.

New Hampshire ramped up its intensity during the final minutes of the third period; desperately trying to find a goal, but Hellebuyck and the River Hawks defense dashed any hopes of a potential comeback.

“It was a strange game,” said New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile, who guided the Wildcats to the title game following a series win last weekend against Northeastern University and a semifinal victory last night against Providence College.

“I thought our team competed, we played hard, (but) it just didn’t happen. Eric (Knodel) and the seniors have been a great group for us with great leadership and the difficult part is it’s a team with great chemistry, we wanted to keep going, (but) not only were they winning and playing hard, but we were enjoying it and having fun doing it and its tough for the season to end.”

UMass Lowell finished with 35 shots on net, while New Hampshire fired 30 shots. The River Hawks were one for four on the power play, thanks to their final goal by Suter, while the Wildcats were unsuccessful on two attempts.

UMass Lowell, which will be making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, will look to build on its success this weekend when they return to the ice next week. The River Hawks made it to semifinals (Frozen Four) last year, but lost to Yale University, 3-2.

“Tonight, like I told you, it wasn’t a work of art, but we found a way and that’s a good trait of a winning club,” said Bazin. “This year was such a grueling year. We’re going to give them some time off here before we play next week and we’re going to make sure we keep working on special teams, (which) seems to be the difference in all these games. Thankfully for us we were one for four I believe tonight, scoring another power play goal. Yesterday, we scored a couple, so from that standpoint it has been the difference and will be for all teams.”

Mass. College Hockey: UML Tops Notre Dame In Hockey East Semis, 4-0

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – The UMass Lowell men’s ice hockey team is headed back to the Hockey East Championship.

The River Hawks, who’ll compete for their second consecutive conference title tomorrow evening against either New Hampshire or Providence College, blanked Notre Dame, 4-0, in the Hockey East semifinals on Friday evening at the TD Garden.

“It was a great win,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin, who guided the River Hawks to 24-10-4 overall record this season.

“I felt the guys were on cue this morning in the pregame skate and they certainly were. I thought we were sharp, our special teams capitalized and that’s always a big factor.”

Christian Folin provided the River Hawks with the lead for good in the opening session by firing home a pass from A.J. White from the nearside circle, which bounced of Notre Dame’s Kevin Lind’s skate and trickled into the Fighting Irish net at 10:13.

Derek Arnold doubled his team’s advantage roughly three minutes later when he raced down the nearside wing and rifled a shot past Steven Summerhays (18 saves), which provided the River Hawks with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

“Notre Dame had a line rush and we were back-checking. Zack Kamrass made a great play standing up with a great stick, a poke check and I was coming back and picked up that puck from Zack and I just went off to the races,” Arnold said of his first period goal, which was his 11th tally of the season. “I saw little daylight, so I went with it.”

UML added to its total by potting two more goals in the second period. Evan Campbell netted a rebound in front of the Notre Dame cage before Kamrass blasted an attempt from the nearside circle. Both goals were power play strikes.

“I thought we capitalized on our chances,” Bazin said. “It’s always important to do that against good competition and in (the) playoffs you don’t get that many opportunities, so when you can capitalize on two power plays and start with a lead that helps.”

According to the Hockey East website, UMass Lowell has registered 31 power play goals on 148 attempts this year, while Notre Dame has stopped 144 of 171 attempts. The Fighting Irish had one power play in this evening’s contest, but was unable to push the puck past UML’s Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped 35 shots and earned his 11th career shutout.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s definitely a milestone in my life and I am very thankful for the opportunity that Lowell’s give me and I don’t think I would be setting any records if it wasn’t for the team I have in front of me too,” said Hellebuyck. “It’s not just me it’s them too.”

With tonight’s setback, Notre Dame falls to 23-14-2 overall. The Fighting Irish are now 0-3 this season against the River Hawks, as they dropped back-to-back contests in Lowell in November.

Notre Dame will most likely continue its 2013-14 campaign next weekend, but won’t know its next foe until the NCAA Division 1 bracket is released on Sunday, March 23.

“It’s not easy getting (to the semifinals),” said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson. “You have to take advantage of it when you do.

“Getting to the Boston (TD) Garden, it should be everything and that’s what we all should be striving for and having a chance to win in this environment…so when you get here you have to enjoy the experience and take advantage of it.”

UMass Lowell will look to even its conference championship mark at 2-2 tomorrow with a win. They hadn’t won a Hockey East crown until they defeated Jack Parker’s Boston University Terriers last March, 1-0.

“The first time’s hard, but the second time is even harder,” said Arnold, who netted the game-winner last year against the Terriers. “We put ourselves in a position to go after another championship and we’re going to prepare properly tonight and tomorrow and go for that.”

Mass. College Hockey: UMass Lowell 2, Providence 1 (Game Summary)

UML's Scott Wilson secured the River Hawks a spot in Saturday's Hockey East Championship with a goal at 12:30 in the third! (Photo Credit: Hockey East)

UML’s Scott Wilson secured the River Hawks a spot in Saturday’s Hockey East Championship with a goal at 12:30 in the third! (Photo Credit: Hockey East)

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – Scott Wilson punched UMass Lowell’s ticket to the Hockey East Championship for the first time since 2009 as he deposited his 15th strike of the season at 12:30 in the third period.

Wilson corralled a loose puck around center ice, connected with a streaking Riley Wetmore down the far boards before he received the puck in the slot and fired home the game-winner past Providence netminder Jon Gillies (31 saves).

Providence (17-14-7) earned the lead off a shot from Kevin Rooney, his first collegiate goal at 8:59 in the first before UMass Lowell (25-10-2) responded with a strike from A.J. White 34 seconds into third, which tied the game.

Neither squad capitalized on the power play, as both units concluded the contest a combined 0 for 9.

UMass Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck, who leads the conference in goals against (1.46), save percentage (.946) and winning percentage (.895), recorded a season-best 34 saves.

The River Hawks will face-off against the winner of BC-BU tomorrow at 7 p.m. UMass Lowell has appeared in two conference championships (’94 and ’09), but lost both matches to the Terriers.