Tag: Matt Grzelcyk

Cason Hohmann, Dan Sullivan, Maine, Boston University

Tonight on NBCSN: Slumping No. 13 Boston U. faces off with Maine

A slumping Terriers squad looks to get back on track against the Black Bears.

Maine Black Bears (8-15-5) vs. No. 13 Boston University Terriers (13-12-1) — 7:30 p.m. ET

The second half of the season hasn’t gone well for BU. They’ve lost five of their last seven games and have just one win in that span. They were upended by both Northeastern and Harvard at the annual Beanpot Tournament and their defense and goaltending have been more than suspect. Over their last 11 games, BU has allowed 45 goals. Giving up over four goals a game is a good way to lose a pile of games.

As tough as things are for BU, they’ve been even worse for Maine. The Black Bears came into the season with high hopes but starting off 1-9-0 put a large damper on things. Things have turned around a bit, however, and before losing to Vermont last Saturday they rattled off a four-game unbeaten streak. Tonight they’ll hope to extend BU’s misery.

NHL prospects to watch

BU isn’t lacking in NHL-recognized talent. Senior forward Wade Megan (Florida) leads the way in goals while a pair of San Jose prospects, forward Danny O’Regan and junior Matt Nieto, are prime attackers. Undrafted sophomore Cason Hohmann is their top point man. You’ve read plenty here about super freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (Boston) but junior blue liner Garrett Noonan (Nashville) is having a solid offensive year as well. He’s got to tone down the penalties though.

Others: Sam Kurker (FR – F – St. Louis), Sean Maguire (FR – G – Pittsburgh)

Maine doesn’t offer much in the way of offense but freshman Devin Shore (Dallas) joins undrafted senior Joey Diamond as two of three guys on the team in double figures in points (sophomore Connor Leen is the other).  Freshman defenseman Ben Hutton (Vancouver) has had a steady first year for the Black Bears. Junior goaltender Martin Ouellette (Columbus) has taken the starting job from last season’s wunderkind Dan Sullivan by putting up strong numbers of his own.

Tonight on NBCSN: No. 8 Boston University hosts Harvard

Wade Megan

Two teams from the Hub of Hockey going in opposite directions square off on Commonwealth Avenue.

No. 8 Boston University Terriers (11-6-0) vs. Harvard Crimson (4-7-1) — 7:00 p.m. ET

Boston University rolls into tonight’s game having won five of their last seven games. Meanwhile, Ted Donato’s Harvard squad is winless in its last six with just a 2-2 tie to Merrimack keeping them from losing six in a row. While BU has a recent blowout loss to Denver stuck in their craw, their run of late has seen them split with Boston College and get a win over New Hampshire.

Safe to say Jack Parker’s Terriers are doing just fine right now. The same can’t be said for Harvard.

The Crimson sit ninth in the ECAC and are just two points ahead of the three teams behind them. While their fortunes can change quickly there, showing some fight against BU would go a long way to helping them rebound in the second half. Given their play against a couple other Hockey East teams last month (5-0 loss to UMass-Lowell, 5-1 loss to Northeastern), those prospects don’t look good.

NHL prospects to watch

Boston University: BU’s top goal man is Wade Megan (F-Florida, pictured), but he missed the team’s last game against Rensselaer last week. Boston Hockey Blog says he practiced yesterday and is probable for tonight. Fear not BU fans, there’s more firepower here with guys like sophomore leading scorer Cason Hohmann (undrafted), Team USA World Junior cut Matt Grzelcyk (D-Boston), freshman Danny O’Regan (F-San Jose), and junior Garrett Noonan (D-Nashville).

Others: Matt Nieto (F-San Jose), Sam Kurker (F-St. Louis), Sean Maguire (G-Pittsburgh), and Wesley Myron (F-Vancouver)

Harvard: All eyes will be on Team USA World Junior gold medalist Jimmy Vesey (Nashville) and for good reason. He showed a nice scoring touch against the world’s best and Harvard could sure use the offense. Fellow forward Alex Fallstrom (Boston) and defenseman Danny Biega (Carolina) are standouts here.

Others: Colin Blackwell (F-San Jose), Brian Hart (F-Tampa Bay), Petr Placek (F-Philadelphia), Patrick McNally (D-Vancouver) and Max Everson (D-Toronto).

World Juniors: Team USA makes final roster cut, Sieloff stays

Patrick Sieloff

It took an unusually long amount of time, but Team USA’s World Junior roster is finally complete.

NHL Network correspondent Rob Simpson broke news early this morning that physical defenseman Patrick Sieloff (2012 Flames second-round pick) made the cut. Meanwhile, fellow blue liner and offensive weapon Matt Grzelcyk (2012 Bruins third-round pick) was sent home to rejoin his Boston University squad.

Curiously enough, it was BU coach Jack Parker who criticized how Team USA handled the awkward process telling Boston Hockey Blog they were “taking advantage of the system.” Parker also added, “I think they’ve done him and us a disservice. They should have made that decision before they left Helsinki.” Grzelcyk won’t be able to play this weekend for the Terriers against Denver. Had the decision been made sooner, he’d likely be in the lineup.

As for what took so long to make the call, there were health questions about defenseman Connor Murphy as to whether he’d be able to play or not. When he got the call to play in yesterday’s game against Germany, all doubts were settled, meanwhile Sieloff and Grzelcyk were still in limbo.

Team USA’s World Juniors confidence comes from their defense

Seth Jones

HAWTHORNE, NY — One of the strengths Team USA will have when they head into the World Junior Championships is on their blue line. With a future star in 2013 draft prospect Seth Jones as well as three first-round picks in Jacob Trouba, Connor Murphy, and Brady Skjei the American defense will be huge.

One thing is for sure, the guys on the ice believe in the crew they’ve got on the back line as well.

“I think we have a great blue line,” says 2012 Winnipeg Jets first-rounder Jacob Trouba. “We have some diversity with big guys and we have some smaller guys who are shifty. Whoever ends up coming to the tournament, we’ll be good on the blue line.”

Rangers 2012 first-rounder Brady Skjei agrees with him.

“I think we all have a feel for each other. With Jones and Trouba and all them the last couple years, we’re pretty confident we’re a solid D corps.”

The big guys we’ve mentioned already. The small, shifty ones are guys like 2012 third-round picks Matt Grzelcyk (Boston) and Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia). They may not deliver the body, but their quickness and playmaking ability could be useful on the international-sized ice. That’s something coach, and one-time shifty defenseman himself, Phil Housley noticed right away.

“I look at our back end as a whole; I think there’s a lot of guys that can fit that mold,” Housley said. “Certainly Grzelcyk, Gostisbehere and [Mike] Reilly, they have that uncanny ability to jump up in the play.”

While playing on a bigger ice surface doesn’t bother any of the players, the star power they’ll face in Russia is another story. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will lead the way for Canada while the hosts will have guys like Mikhail Grigorenko and Nail Yakupov.

Could the Americans get psyched out by the star power they’ll see from their opponents?

“Not really. We’ve got plenty talent on our team too,” Trouba said. “One player is nothing huge. We’ve played against a lot of them in the past. They’re good but they’re still hockey players too.”

Back to Class: St. Cloud’s freshman class is making waves

Kalle Kossila

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN Friday night January 4 as Colorado College takes on Nebraska-Omaha. 

If you had to guess who was leading the WCHA right now without looking, who would you say off the top of your head? Minnesota, Denver and North Dakota always come to mind first, but it’s  the St. Cloud State Huskies in front and they’re doing it thanks to a host of outstanding freshmen talent.

It starts with superb Finnish import Kalle Kossila (pictured) who leads the team with 10 goals. Kossila has been working with fellow freshman star Jonny Brodzinski on the team’s top line centered by the team’s top scorer, senior Drew LeBlanc. Brodzinski and Kossila combined for 17 goals which helps make a lot of sense out of LeBlanc’s 19 assists this season.

Those two aren’t alone in doing their freshman damage as David Morley has provided balance with six goals and six assists. His linemates are a pair of draftees in Nic Dowd (Kings), the team’s second-leading point man, and Ben Hanowski (Penguins).

Western College Hockey’s Chris Dilks pointed out the most fun fact about SCSU’s freshman class right now. Their 24 goals has them outscoring both Alaska-Anchorage (23) and Wisconsin (21) as a team. What’s crazier still about the freshman production is that perhaps the Huskies’ most highly-touted new guy, Joey Benik, has yet to play this year.

Eyes might always stray to following the likes of Minnesota and North Dakota but if the rest of the WCHA isn’t careful, St. Cloud will continue their rise up the rankings.


Buckeye Hjelle: Give it up to Ohio State’s Brady Hjelle who is continuing to shine in goal. The former UMD Bulldog has found a home in Columbus and he’s taken advantage of the new opportunity putting up monster numbers. He hung in well with No. 5 Miami this weekend earning a 1-1 draw on Friday before losing a tough 3-1 game Saturday. You might say he’s on a… Hjelle roll.

From roller hockey to college success: Here’s a story worth reading. USCHO’s Brian Farrell shares the story about Quinnipiac’s Jeremy Langlois who went from playing roller hockey in Tempe, Arizona to being the Bobcats’ leading scorer. Hockey is everywhere in every form. Good on him for not wanting to go party at Arizona State instead.

Michigan State’s Carney retires: Sad story from East Lansing where Spartans defenseman Branden Carney retired from hockey due to fracturing two vertebrae during a team practice in early November.

Colleges repping America: Team USA’s World Junior Championships selection camp will feature 15 NCAA players. Chief amongst them will be Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (Flyers), Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau (Flames), North Dakota forward Rocco Grimaldi (Panthers), BU defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (Bruins), and Michigan blue liner Jacob Trouba (Jets).

With how hot Gaudreau’s been this year, teaming him up with red hot Habs top prospect Alex Galchenyuk sounds like a good way to create instant offense for America.

(Photo: Bruce Hemmelgarn via CHN)