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Boston University AD Mike Lynch to step down June 30

06.02.14 at 1:42 pm ET
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Change is coming to Comm. Ave, as Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch announced in a statement that he will leave the position on June 30.

“After 14 years at BU and a decade of leading the Terriers, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to move on and blaze a new path in my career,”€ Lynch wrote, adding: “I do not know yet what the future holds, but I do know that whatever my next stop may be I will always be a Terrier at heart.”

Lynch led BU to one of its most successful stretches in the history of the school. After Lynch assumed the role of AD in 2004, the Terriers claimed six straight Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner Cups, given to the top athletic department in the America East Conference. He also oversaw the department during the 2008-09 college hockey season, when the men’€™s hockey team captured its fifth NCAA title.

Todd Klipp, BU’s senior vice president, senior counsel and secretary for of the board of trustees, announced that deputy director of athletics Drew Marrochello will serve as interim AD while the university looks for Lynch’€™s successor.

“€œI want to express my sincere thanks to Mike for his many years of devoted service to Boston University and his commitment to excellence in athletics, academics, and community,” Klipp said.

Over the past year, Lynch has led the transition of a majority of BU teams from the America East to the Patriot League, while also welcoming a men’€™s lacrosse varsity team. In the Terriers’€™ first year in the Patriot League, the women’€™s teams won a conference-record seven championships.

Before his role as AD, Lynch served as the assistant vice president of development for athletics and student life from 2000-04. During that time, Lynch increased annual support for BU athletics by more than 200 percent.

Read More: Mike Lynch,

Providence College hockey player Drew Brown battling cancer

05.15.14 at 12:25 pm ET
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Providence College junior forward Drew Brown has left school to receive treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, the school announced Thursday.

“My family and my teammates have been great,” Brown said in a statement. “I have had so much support from them and that’s made a tough situation a lot easier.”

Brown suffered a lower-body injury in the Friars’ Hockey East semifinal game back on March 21, and the tumor was found during an MRI of that injury. He recently returned home to Michigan to begin chemotherapy at the University of Michigan’s University Hospital in Ann Arbor.

“The [Providence College] training and medical staff was there every step of the way, trying to figure out what was wrong,” Brown said. “I’m glad our sports medicine department takes such pride in caring for their athletes and found this tumor early because of their persistence.”

Brown played 16 games this past season, posting two goals and four assists. In three years with the Friars, he has registered 10 goals and 22 assists in 75 games.

“Drew is in for a big fight, but he’s as tough and as hardworking as they come,” Providence coach Nate Leaman said. “I have known Drew and his family for several years and we will be there to support them however we can in the coming year.”

Yale basketball player Brandon Sherrod leaves team to join school a capella group

05.14.14 at 11:44 am ET
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The Yale basketball team finished this past season 19-14 overall and 9-5 in the Ivy League — good for second place behind Harvard — and the Bulldogs are expected to challenge for the top spot in the conference again next year.

However, the team will do so without one of its key players, forward Brandon Sherrod.

The 6-foot-6 junior from Bridgeport, Conn., decided he would accept an invitation to join Yale’s prestigious Whiffenpoofs all-male a capella singing group and take next year off.

“This is supposed to be THE year, and you want to play with your guys,” Sherrod told The Associated Press. “But the Whiffenpoofs is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Whiffenpoofs, formed in 1909, gives rising seniors at Yale the opportunity to take off a year from studies and travel the world — every continent but Antartica is on the schedule for 2014-15.

Coach James Jones accepted Sherrod’s decision and said he would welcome the player back the following year. Sherrod started 14 games last season, averaging 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. He played 22 minutes in the Bulldogs’ 74-67 victory at Harvard on Feb. 8 — the Crimson’s only league loss of the season.

“That’s one of the things we talk about when we recruit kids is what is available at Yale and the different opportunities they’re going to have,” Jones said. “Brandon ‘s going to take advantage of one of them, and I understand.”

Read More: Brandon Sherrod,

Former BC guard Joe Rahon to transfer to St. Mary’s

04.29.14 at 8:18 am ET
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Former Boston College guard Joe Rahon will return to the West Coast. According to a tweet from ESPN.com’€™s Jeff Goodman, the sophomore has decided to transfer to St. Mary’€™s after a disappointing 8-24 season and a coaching change in The Heights.

 

Rahon will have two remaining years of eligibility after he sits out the 2014-15 season. The San Diego native was third on the Eagles with an average of 9.0 points per game while averaging 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

BC lost its second-most productive player at the beginning of the month when forward Ryan Anderson announced on Twitter that he was transferring from the school. Luckily for the team and new coach Jim Christian, BC’s leading scorer, Olivier Hanlan, has decided that he will return to the Eagles next season instead of entering the NBA draft.

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Olivier Hanlan passes up NBA draft, will return to Boston College for junior year

04.16.14 at 6:23 pm ET
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Olivier Hanlan (21) is coming back for a third season at Boston College. (AP)

Olivier Hanlan (21) is coming back for a third season at Boston College. (AP)

CHESTNUT HILL — While new coach Jim Christian is looking to rebuild the basketball program, he is getting a big piece back from the Steve Donahue era.

Sophomore Olivier Hanlan announced Tuesday that he will forego the NBA draft this spring and return to Boston College for his junior year.

Hanlan, the 6-foot-4 swingman, broke onto the scene with a sensational freshman season and set an ACC tournament freshman record for scoring with 41 points against Georgia Tech on March 14, 2013. The Eagles won 84-64. Hanlan went on to win ACC Rookie of the Year.

This past season, Hanlan ranked third in the ACC in scoring (18.5), fourth in minutes (36.2), sixth in free throw percentage (.811) and seventh in field goal percentage (.447). During conference play, he ranked second in scoring (18.4) and fourth in field goal percentage (.460).

The Aylmer, Quebec, product became the third player in Boston College history and the 29th player in ACC history to reach 1,000 points as a sophomore (1,100). Troy Bell and Craig Smith were the other Eagles to accomplish that feat and they are first and second on the BC career scoring list, respectively.

Hanlan was an All-ACC third-team selection this year after being named the conference Rookie of the Year in 2013.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Craig Smith, Jim Christian

Jim Christian hires recruiting wiz Scott Spinelli to help rebuild Boston College hoops

04.14.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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Scott Spinelli (University of Maryland)

Scott Spinelli (University of Maryland)

CHESTNUT HILL – The first major move of the Jim Christian era is complete.

The new head coach of the men’s basketball program at Boston College announced Monday that he has hired recruiting specialist Scott Spinelli away from the University of Maryland. The news first broke minutes after Christian’s introductory news conference last Tuesday at Boston College. Christian said one of the keys of getting Boston College back on the map in the Atlantic Coast Conference would be “recruiting the right kids” and “recruiting the players who really want to be at Boston College.” Spinelli will lead that effort.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman was the first to report the hiring of the man who spent the last three seasons on Mark Turgeon’s staff at Maryland. He has coached with Turgeon for the last eight years at Wichita State, Texas A&M and in College Park.

“We are excited to have Scott join our basketball staff here at Boston College,” Christian said in a school news release. “He is an outstanding young coach, a proven recruiter and he has developed strong relationships in the New England area. Scott has had success everywhere he’s coached and he has a few important qualities I was looking for: the ability to recruit and coach at a high level, and to develop the student-athletes in our program.”

It’s a coming home of sorts for Spinelli, who is a native of Leominster, Mass. and a graduate of Boston University. Spinelli was the key recruiter that helped lead Texas A&M and Maryland to four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance. In his four seasons at Texas A&M, the Aggies had the best four-year win total in program history.

Spinelli has helped the Terrapins bring in consecutive top-25 recruiting classes. Five of his players are currently playing in the NBA in Gal Mekel (Dallas), Donald Sloan (Indiana), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee), DeAndre Jordan (LA Clippers) and Alex Len (Phoenix.)

Spinelli first joined Turgeon’s staff as an associate head coach at Wichita State in 2006-07. He has served as an associate head coach since the 2005-06 season at Nebraska. He was an assistant coach for two years with the Cornhuskers prior to his promotion. Spinelli was also the associate head coach at Maryland (2011-14) and Texas A&M (2007-11).

Spinelli has also spent time with Loyola-Chicago (2001-03), Philadelphia 76ers (2000-01), Cincinnati Stuff of the IBL (1999-2000), American (1997-99) and Wyoming (1996-97). His first coaching jobs were as head coach at Milford (NY) Academy (1990-93) and the Winchendon School (1993-96).

Read More: Boston College, Jim Christian, Mark Turgeon, Maryland

Saugus’ Mike Vecchione wins national title after finding unexpected match in Union

04.13.14 at 1:04 am ET
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Mike Vecchione and his Union teammates celebrated the school's first national title Saturday night. (WEEI)

Mike Vecchione and his Union teammates celebrated the school’s first national title Saturday night. (WEEI)

PHILADELPHIA — Mike Vecchione always dreamed of winning a national championship. He didn’t dream of winning it with Union College.

The 21-year-old Saugus native grew up watching all the big Hockey East schools — Boston College, Boston University, New Hampshire, Maine, and so on. He could envision himself playing at any of those schools. But Union? He had never even heard of it.

But through a series of twists and turns, that’s where Vecchione ended up. In Schenectady, N.Y., at a school with an enrollment of just over 2,000 and just two Division I teams — men’s and women’s hockey.

Seven months after arriving at Union for the start of his freshman year, the Malden Catholic graduate scored two goals in the Frozen Four and won that national championship he had always dreamed of winning.

“I don’t really know how to describe what it feels like right now,” Vecchione said after Saturday night’s national title game. “I’m just so overwhelmed with joy.”

Originally, Vecchione’s plan was to play at one of those big-name Hockey East schools. He had committed to UNH in March 2010, during his junior year at Malden Catholic. The next year, he helped lead the school to its first Super 8 title. Then he went out to Nebraska to play for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League, a plan he and the UNH coaching staff had agreed was best for his development. Read the rest of this entry »

Johnny Gaudreau wins Hobey Baker, signs with Calgary Flames, leaves BC after three seasons

04.11.14 at 7:37 pm ET
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After dominating his sport in his junior season at Boston College, Johnny Gaudreau won the hockey equivalent to the Heisman Trophy Friday as he was awarded the Hobey Baker award as the most outstanding player in college hockey. He joins Mike Motteau (2000) and David Emma (1991) as previous winners in school history.

With three winners, Boston College matches Harvard for the third-most in the history of the award, which began in 1981. Minnesota, which will play for the national title on Saturday night in Philadelphia, has four winners. Minnesota-Duluth has had five winners in the 34-year history of the honor.

Friday was a big day for Gaudreau, known simply as “Johnny Hockey” on the Chestnut Hill campus. After accepting the award, he agreed to sign on with the Calgary Flames, who had his draft rights dating back to 2011, when he was selected 104th overall in the fourth round of the NHL Entry Draft. Listed at 5’6”, Gaudreau was one of the shortest players taken at the 2011 draft.

After attending the Flames training camp, Gaudreau started his career with Boston College. He originally signed a letter of intent to play with Hockey East rival Northeastern University but opted for Boston College when Northeastern Hockey coach Greg Cronin resigned in June 2011, to take a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As a freshman, Gaudreau scored 21 goals and 23 assists in 44 games, leading all freshmen in scoring. Gaudreau played a key part in Boston College’s win in team’s National Championship, scoring a highlight reel goal late in the third period in their 4–1 win in the final over Ferris State. Gaudreau was awarded the Bill Flynn Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Hockey East Championship tournament. Gaudreau also helped BC win the traditional Beanpot Tournament for the third year in a row and was named “Beanpot MVP” after the tournament.

Instead of leaving after his sophomore season last spring, Gaudreau stayed and Boston College. “Johnny Hockey” would post one of the most memorable hockey seasons in his school’s history.

He tied Paul Kariya‘s record for the Hockey East single season scoring streak at 31 games recording 29 goals and 61 points during this spree. He was named the Hockey East Player of the Year for the second straight season, as well as earning the league’s scoring title with 36 points in 20 games, and was named a unanimous First-Team All-Star. On March 20, he was also named a Hobey Baker top 10 finalist and a top 3 “Hobey Hat Trick” finalist for the second straight year on April 2.

His season came to a stunning end Thursday when BC lost to the Union Dutchmen in the Frozen Four, he finished the season with 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in 40 games played.

Gaudreau said after his sophomore season that one of the main reasons he stayed was to play with his younger brother Matt, who joined the team in the fall.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston College, Calgary Flames, David Emma, Frozen Four

UMass-Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck wins Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goalie

04.11.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — Every award needs a first winner. Earlier this season, Let’s Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation introduced the Mike Richter Award. Named after the former University of Wisconsin great and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer, the award would honor the top goalie in college hockey every year.

On Friday, UMass-Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck became the award’s first winner. The sophomore netminder led the country in both save percentage (.941) and goals against average (1.79) for the second year in a row. He posted an 18-9-2 record and helped lead the River Hawks to their second straight Hockey East tournament title, earning tournament MVP honors for a second straight year in the process.

Hellebuyck, who signed with the Winnipeg Jets after Lowell’s season ended with a regional final loss to Boston College on March 30, finished his college career with an NCAA-record .946 save percentage and a program-record 12 shutouts. Perhaps most incredible of all, he finished with as many shutouts as losses in his 53-game career.

“I think it’s a huge honor, and I think it’s a huge milestone in my life that I’ll never forget,” Hellebuyck said after receiving the award. “I hope we can set a good standard for the future because goaltenders should look up to this and be really proud and really striving for excellence to achieve this, because this is just huge.”

When Hellebuyck got to Lowell back in the fall of 2012, he was already an NHL draft pick, but he wasn’t guaranteed anything in terms of playing time. The River Hawks already had Doug Carr, who was coming off a strong sophomore season that earned him Hockey East Second Team honors. Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Ciampini’s hat trick leads Union past BC, ending Eagles’ season in Frozen Four

04.10.14 at 7:36 pm ET
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BC saw its season ended by Union for the second year in a row. (WEEI)

BC saw its season ended by Union for the second year in a row. (WEEI.com)

PHILADELPHIA — Trailing 3-2 with a little more than 13 minutes to go in Thursday’s national semifinal, Boston College got a golden chance to tie the game. Just 18 seconds after Union had taken the lead, Dutchmen forward Matt Hatch was ejected from the game for hitting Michael Sit from behind, giving BC a five-minute power play.

But the Eagles couldn’t take advantage. They were sloppy entering the zone and struggled to find lanes, as their passes and shots were consistently met by Union sticks and legs. At one point, they even wound up icing the puck. They finally got a golden opportunity with 20 seconds left on the power play, but Union goalie Colin Stevens (34 saves) robbed Teddy Doherty on a rebound chance.

If the five-minute kill took the wind out of BC’s sails, what happened next capsized the ship. Just four seconds after the man advantage expired, Kevin Sullivan picked Steve Santini’s pocked and walked in on a breakaway. Freshman goalie Thatcher Demko (36 saves) made the first save, but Sullivan collected the rebound and sent a pass back to the slot that freshman center and Saugus native Mike Vecchione buried to give Union a 4-2 lead and essentially end BC’s season.

“They’re a great shot-blocking team. I was net-front [on the power play], and I couldn’t even see the puck because they had two or three guys in the lane every time,” said BC senior captain Patrick Brown. “But we didn’t create enough movement, didn’t get enough pucks to the net. Credit to them. They played unbelievable.” Read the rest of this entry »

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