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: Boston University Captures Northeast Regional (Roundup)

By Matt Noonan 

Boston University punched its ticket to the ‘Frozen Four’ – TD Garden in Boston, Mass. – as the Terriers defeated Minnesota-Duluth, 3-2, on Saturday evening in the second round of the NCAA Northeast Regional at Verizon Wireless Arena.

BU’s Evan Rodrigues netted two goals, including the game-winner at 17:36 in the third period – his 21st strike of the season – which secured the Terriers a return trip to the TD Garden.

BU's Evan Rodrigues netted a pair of goals, which lifted the Terriers past Minnesota-Duluth this evening, 3-2, in the Northeast Regional Final. (Photo Credit: BU.edu)
BU’s Evan Rodrigues netted a pair of goals, which lifted the Terriers past Minnesota-Duluth this evening, 3-2, in the Northeast Regional Final. (Photo Credit: BU.edu)

Last weekend, the Terriers earned back-to-back wins at the Garden on Causeway Street, downing New Hampshire and UMass Lowell en route to winning the Hockey East crown. BU secured the top spot in their region and rallied to defeated Yale yesterday, 3-2, in overtime.

Rodrigues opened the scoring for the Red and White in the opening stanza by locating the back of the Bulldogs’ cage at 7:17 in the first period. Minnesota-Duluth responded Willie Raskob, who scored his fourth goal of the season, which made it 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.

Matt Lane pushed BU ahead, 2-1, at 3:32 in the second period, but again, the Bulldogs countered with Kyle Osterberg that made it 2-2 after two periods of play.

Matt O’Connor picked up his 24th win between the pipes, deflecting 27 shots, including 11 attempts in both the first and second period. Kasimir Kaskisuo concluded his season 18-14-3 and with 27 saves.

Before BU captured the regional finals, Boston College fell to Denver, 5-2, in the East Regional Semifinal in Providence, Rhode Island.

Will Butcher and Grant Arnold each lit the lamp for Denver during the final stanza that pushed the Pioneers ahead for good. Michael Matheson and Ryan Fitzgerald netted the Eagles’ goals.

In South Bend, Indiana, Jimmy Vesey brought Harvard within one-goal of Nebraska-Omaha early in the third period (2-1), but the Mavericks dashed the Crimson’s potential rally, potting back-to-back open-net goals to secure the win (4-1), their first-ever in NCAA Tournament play.

Frozen Four: Boston University’s O’Regan Lifts Terriers Past Yale In OT

Boston University junior Danny O'Regan (Needham, Mass.) netted the game-winning goal on Friday that lifted the Terriers past Yale in the Northeast Region Semifinal. (Photo Credit: Boston Herald)
Boston University junior Danny O’Regan (Needham, Mass.) netted the game-winning goal on Friday that lifted the Terriers past Yale in the Northeast Region Semifinal. (Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

By Matt Noonan 

Boston University’s Danny O’Regan lifted the Terriers past the Yale University Bulldogs in the Northeast Regional Semifinal on Friday afternoon in Manchester, New Hampshire with an overtime goal – his 22nd of the season – that extended the Red and White’s campaign for an additional day.

BU will face the winner of Minnesota/Minnesota-Duluth tomorrow (Mar. 28) at the Verizon Wireless Center, face-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

O’Regan’s game-clinching tally occurred 7:27 into the extra session as he buried a rebound over Yale’s netminder Alex Lyon following assists from Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues.

BU trailed, 1-0, after two sessions as Nate Repensky provided the Bulldogs with a one-goal advantage – a power play strike – at 13:19 in the second period. Ahti Oksanen evened the score with an even-strength goal at 8:21 before Rodrigues provided the Terriers with their initial lead at 11:20, scoring off a pass from O’Regan.

Yale tied the game at 2-2 as Frankie DiChiara sailed the puck past Matt O’Connor at 13:12.

O’Connor, who improved to 23-3-4 between the pipes for the Terriers, blocked 21 shots, including 12 in the second period. Lyon, who concluded his team’s season with a 17-10-5 mark in net, turned away 39 shots – 11 in the opening period, 11 in the second stanza and 12 in the third session.

Rodrigues and O’Regan paced BU with two points (one goal, one assist) and Yale’s DiChiara ended his season with one goal and one assist.

BU entered the Frozen Four following back-to-back wins last weekend in the Hockey East Tournament, downing University of New Hampshire and University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the semifinal and finals. The Terriers earned the top seed in the Northeast Regional. This is the 33rd year in program history that the Terriers have competed in the NCAA Tournament with their last championship occurring in 2009 – their fifth in program history.

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).