|11.16.13 at 4:06 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Senior Andre Williams set a single-game school and ACC record with 339 yards rushing on 42 carries and set the new single-season school record for rushing as the Boston College Eagles beat North Carolina State, 38-21, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
The Eagles raced out to a 10-0 lead and led, 17-7, at the half.
The Eagles scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away and help BC improve to a 6-4 record (3-3, ACC) and clinch bowl eligibility in coach Steve Addazio‘s first season with the Eagles.
Senior kicker Nate Freese also had a record setting day, setting the new school scoring record when he converted the extra point on Boston College’s first touchdown of the day, a Williams 17-yard run in the first quarter.
|11.12.13 at 2:53 pm ET|
Chaz Williams scored 24 points to lead UMass to a 92-90 victory over LSU on Tuesday in Amherst, a game that started at 11 a.m. as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.
Cady Lalanne scored all 16 of his points in the second half for the Minutemen (2-0), who held LSU without a field goal for more than five minutes down the stretch. The Tigers (0-1) made a late run but couldn’t complete the comeback as UMass’ Sampson Carter (17 points) hit four late free throws.
Johnny O’Bryant led LSU with 23 points and 11 rebounds despite missing much of the second half due to foul trouble.
|11.11.13 at 1:11 pm ET|
Boston College’s Steele Divitto was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week on Monday.
Divitto had a game-high 18 tackles, including six solo and 1.5 for loss, in Saturday’s 48-34 victory at New Mexico State. Divitto, who tied a single-game career high, is third in the league in average tackles per game at 8.9.
Tailback Andre Williams also shined Saturday, breaking the school single-game record with 295 rushing yards on 30 carries. Williams, who leads the ACC and is second in the nation in rushing yards per game (163.4), scored on runs of 80 and 47 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
The Eagles (5-4) are one win away from being bowl-eligible as they prepare to host N.C. State on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s an important day for us,” coach Steve Addazio said in his Monday press briefing. “We have five wins and have a chance to accomplish our goal at home.”
Saturday’s game is the final one for the team’s seniors, who have helped engineer a turnaround this year after a couple of rough seasons.
“I’ll always think of the senior class — no matter what happens — who set the standard, laid the foundation,” Addazio said. “That needed to happen.”
|11.10.13 at 11:12 pm ET|
Cady Lalanne and Chaz Williams combined to score 33 of UMass’ 54 second-half points in an 86-73 victory over Boston College in the middle game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Massachusetts Tripleheader at TD Garden on Sunday.
Lalanne finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Williams had 20 points for the Minutemen (1-0), who trailed by four points at the half before taking control.
Ryan Anderson led BC (0-2) with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Olivier Hanlan had 19 points.
In the nightcap, Jonah Travis had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead Harvard past Holy Cross, 82-72, in the opener for both teams. Wesley Saunders scored 18 for the Crimson.
HC’s Dave Dudzinski scored a game-high 25 points, but only five after halftime.
In the day’s first game, John Papale scored six straight points down the stretch as Boston University closed the game on a 14-4 to post a 72-69 victory over Northeastern in the opener for both teams.
Maurice Watson Jr. scored 16 points for the Terriers, while Papale had 13.
Zach Stahl led the Huskies with 16 points.
|11.09.13 at 12:18 am ET|
Because it’s such a great rivalry, Boston College vs. Boston University will always be seen as a measuring stick. The Eagles and Terriers had both played good teams prior to Friday night’s showdown at Agganis Arena, and we already knew quite a bit about both squads. But BC-BU just feels different, so now seems like the perfect time to take a look at where both teams stand.
For this post, it’s pretty convenient that Friday’s game — a 5-1 Eagles win — confirmed a lot of what we already suspected about these teams. Most importantly, it confirmed that BC (5-2-1, 3-0-0 Hockey East) is simply a much better team than BU (4-5-0, 2-2-0 HEA) right now.
The Eagles dominated the first period, outshooting BU 16-5 en route to a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Terriers played better in the second, outshooting BC in the frame and providing the home fans a little bit of hope heading into the third. But then the Eagles completely took over again. They outshot BU 16-6 in the frame and put the game well out of reach before the period was half over.
The most impressive (or mind-numbing if you’re a BU fan) aspect of the game was the insane discrepancy in 5-on-5 play. We don’t get exact 5-on-5 stats in college hockey, but what we do know is that eight of BC’s 40 shots on goal came on the power play, while that number was 17 of 23 for BU. So do the math. That means shots on goal in non-power play situations were 32-6 in favor of the Eagles. Furthermore, BU’s only goal came on the power play, while BC did not score on any of its man advantages. So the Eagles outscored the Terriers 5-0 in even-strength play.
That’s ridiculous. Unheard of, really. Sure, you might see that kind of dominance against some stumblebum Atlantic Hockey team, but not against your archrival. Not against a ranked team.
While this was the most glaring example of it, struggling to possess the puck is nothing new for the Terriers. They’re now being outshot by more than 10 shots per game, the worst mark in Hockey East by nearly six shots and the ninth worst mark in the entire country. It doesn’t take a hockey mastermind to figure out that if your opponents consistently have that many more chances than you, you’re going to struggle.
“We had zone time [early on]. We just never got a puck to the net,” said BU coach David Quinn. “I thought it got too easy for them in our end. I just thought our d-zone coverage… a lot of puck-watching, a lot of turn-aways. Against a team like that, you’re going to pay. And we paid.”
Quinn later expanded on the offensive-zone struggles as well.
“We find a way to fire it into pads. We miss the net. You’ve got to be paying attention before the puck comes to you and be ready to shoot it. That’s just a mentality. If you’re staring the play down and just paying attention to what’s going on around the puck and you’re not aware of the people around you, you’re not going to create any offense. … We’re not there yet.”
When you listen to Quinn, it’s easy to see that he knows what he’s talking about. He knows what his team’s problems are, and he’s obviously doing everything he can to try to fix them. The guess here is that eventually the Terriers will improve at both ends of the ice. But until they do, they’ll continue to struggle against really good teams like BC.
Here are a couple other things we had confirmed Friday night:
Johnny Gaudreau is an absolutely ridiculous player Read the rest of this entry »
|11.08.13 at 10:34 pm ET|
Bryce Cotton scored 28 points and played all 45 minutes as Providence turned away visiting Boston College in overtime, 82-78, in the opener for both teams Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Olivier Hanlan scored 23 points and Ryan Anderson had 21 for the Eagles. Hanlan forced the exra period when he drove the lane and drew a goaltending call and a foul, hitting the free throw to tie the game at 70.
Hanlan also gave BC its last lead of the night, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:42 left in OT to make it 78-76. But that would be the last points the Eagles would score, as Providence closed the game on a 6-0 run, all on free throws. Cotton scored seven of his team’s 12 points in overtime.
The game was called tight by the officials following the NCAA’s edict to cut down on overaggressive defense, and three players on each team fouled out.
The Eagles played without Dennis Clifford and Lonnie Jackson (hamstring), while Providence was without Kris Dunn (shoulder) and suspended freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock.
BC returns to action Sunday, playing UMass at 3 p.m. in the middle game of the TD Garden tripleheader featuring six Massachusetts Division 1 schools.
In other action from Friday night, UMass-Lowell, in its first game as a Division 1 team, threw a scare into seventh-ranked Michigan, leading by two points early in the second half before dropping a 69-42 decision.
Akeem Williams scored 16 points for the River Hawks.
|11.07.13 at 8:31 pm ET|
Jerry York, the winningest coach in college hockey history, has agreed to a contract extension through the 2019-20 season, Boston College athletics director Brad Bates announced Thursday night.
“Jerry York is the most successful coach in the history of college hockey,” Bates said. “We are extraordinarily fortunate to have a leader and representative of his caliber continue to serve this great institution and his alma mater.”
York, who graduated from BC in 1967, is in his 42nd season as a head coach, 20th at BC. He has led the Eagles to four national championships, 10 Frozen Fours and nine Hockey East tournament titles. He has won 939 games total, 472 of which have come at BC.
“I am very excited and proud to extend my contract here at Boston College,” said York, who coached at Clarkson and Bowling Green before getting the BC job. “As always, the focus of our program will be to graduate student-athletes and strive to add championships. The current state of Boston College hockey is strong and I envision it only getting stronger.”
The Eagles are currently 4-2-1 on the season. They’ll take on archrival Boston University at Agganis Arena on Friday night.
|10.30.13 at 4:17 pm ET|
Boston is one of 10 finalists to host a Frozen Four from 2015 to 2018, the NCAA announced Wednesday. The city has hosted college hockey’s national championship seven times in the past, most recently in 2004.
The other nine finalists to host in that four-year span are Brooklyn, Buffalo, Chicago, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Paul, Tampa and Washington.
Philadelphia is hosting this year’s Frozen Four, while Pittsburgh hosted last year’s. Tampa hosted in 2012, St. Paul in 2011, Washington in 2009, Columbus in 2005, and Buffalo in 2003. New York City and Chicago have never hosted a Frozen Four.
The winning bids will be announced on Dec. 11.
|10.28.13 at 9:05 am ET|
I like power rankings, so I’ll be doing them in place of the Wraparound once a month or so. Before we get to this week’s, I’d like to congratulate Hockey East on winning the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge. Way to stick it to those conference-killing jerks.
1. Providence (4-0-1)
The Friars are the only unbeaten team left in Hockey East, and they just beat and tied a very good Miami squad. We knew they had an outstanding goalie in Jon Gillies — and sure enough, he leads the country in save percentage among goalies with more than one start — but their offense has also been great, as they’re tied for first in the nation with 5.00 goals per game. Now, that number’s a little skewed by the 10-spot they dropped on a bad American International team, but even without that, they’ve averaged 3.75 goals per game in four games against good teams.
2. Notre Dame (5-1-0)
The Fighting Irish suffered their first loss on Saturday at Minnesota-Duluth, but they’re still off to a great start. That marked the first game in which they’ve allowed more than three goals, and they currently lead the league in team defense with a 1.83 goals against average. Freshman Vince Hinostroza (a sixth-round pick of the Blackhawks) has made an immediate impact, as he leads the team with eight points (3g, 5a).
3. Boston College (2-2-1)
Despite an ugly 6-1 loss at Minnesota on Sunday, I still think the Eagles are one of the top three teams in the league. They forced a 3-3 tie against the Gophers on Friday, and their dominant wins over Rensselaer and Wisconsin before that shouldn’t be forgotten. It will be interesting to see if Jerry York continues to rotate goalies, or if he rolls with freshman Thatcher Demko (who has a .924 save percentage in two games) after watching Brian Billett give up six goals on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.22.13 at 9:05 am ET|
Going into Friday night’s game between Boston College and Wisconsin, the story was Jerry York. After having the ceremony postponed twice last year — once because of York’s eye surgeries and once because of a snow storm — BC finally got to honor the man who became college hockey’s all-time winningest coach last December.
As expected, the ceremony highlighted York’s incredible accomplishments, the ones that make him the greatest coach in college hockey history. The 937 wins in his 42 years as a head coach (460 in his 20 years at BC). The five national championships (four at BC, one at Bowling Green). The 10 Frozen Four appearances in the last 16 years. The nine Hockey East tournament titles in that same span.
But, just as York wanted it, the spotlight didn’t stay on the BC coach for long — both literally because the ceremony was pretty short, and figuratively because of how the game unfolded. The focus quickly shifted to the contest at hand, and more specifically, how the Eagles played in that contest.
They absolutely dominated Wisconsin, who entered the weekend ranked second in the country. Destroyed them. Obliterated them. Outshot them 49-21 en route to a 9-2 victory.
Whenever there’s a blowout like this, it’s tough to figure out how much of it is the winning team being great and how much is the losing team being bad. The safe answer, of course, is that it’s both.
“There’s no way we’re seven goals better than the Badgers,” York said. “Everything we did tonight kind of turned to gold. … It could be a completely different game if we played tomorrow against the same team. But this particular night, everything was going just how you diagram it. Some of the plays we made, both defensively and offensively, really had me excited behind the bench.”
The Badgers didn’t play well at all. Their defense was porous. They couldn’t sustain any sort of offensive attack. They seemed to lose every battle for loose pucks. Their goalies were hung out to dry for much of the game, but they didn’t come up with too many big saves either. The fact that they went on to lose 7-3 to Boston University the next night makes it pretty clear that, regardless of their potential (and they still have a lot of it), the Badgers simply aren’t one of the five or 10 best teams in the country right now, never mind the second best.
But to just chalk up this blowout to Wisconsin playing poorly would be a disservice to BC. Even on their worst night (and Friday was probably that), the Badgers are still better than a lot of teams. It still takes an extraordinary effort to dominate them the way BC did.
For the second game in a row, the Eagles looked like a team that’s clicking on all cylinders — a frightening thought considering York’s teams usually don’t get to that point until sometime in the second half of the season. After losing a close one at Michigan to open the year, the Eagles have now outscored Rensselaer and Wisconsin — two teams expected to compete for NCAA tournament spots — 16-4 in their last two games.
All four lines scored a goal Friday night, as did three defensemen. In the last two games, BC has gotten goals from 13 different players. And for the second straight game, the Eagles’ talented freshmen played a big role, as they combined for four goals and nine assists.
“We’re still trying to formulate our team — how good we’re going to be, where we’re going to go with this team,” York said. “I think this was an initial look at, ‘Hey, there’s a possibility we could be a very good team.’ I liked the play of all 18 skaters that were in front of Brian Billett. I thought they all played well.”
Look, it’s not going to be this smooth all season for BC. It’ll hit some bumps along the way. Its freshmen will go through some growing pains. But the fact that the Eagles are already showing this kind of potential so early in the season, when most of us figured it would take some time for them to jell, is pretty scary for the rest of the league.
BU adds to Wisconsin’s misery
The Terriers didn’t dominate Wisconsin quite as much as BC did — they actually got outshot 43-26 by the Badgers — but they still came away with a 7-3 win on Saturday night. The offensive outburst was especially encouraging considering BU had been held to one goal in a loss to Rensselaer the night before.
The Terriers showed a lethal quick-strike ability, as they scored two goals in 18 seconds midway through the second (although they then gave up a goal 21 seconds after that) and two goals in 2:07 midway through the third to kill any comeback hopes Wisconsin may have had. BU’s new second line of Matt Lane, Cason Hohmann and Robbie Baillargeon had a terrific night, as the trio combined for three goals and six assists.
We knew this weekend was going to be a tougher test for the young Terriers than their opening weekend, so a split shouldn’t be too surprising. Bouncing back on the second night against a Big Ten team should give BU some confidence as it heads to Michigan to face two more B1G teams this weekend.
Should Lowell be worried?
The River Hawks got swept by Quinnipiac and are now 1-3-0 on the season. They’ve dropped from No. 1 in the country before the season to No. 18 in this week’s poll. They’ve been held to one goal in each of their three losses.
It’s still not time to panic, but these struggles shouldn’t be totally dismissed either. Yes, Lowell started 2-5-1 last season and still managed to win Hockey East and make it to the Frozen Four. But that team also went on a ridiculous 24-3-1 run from mid-December through the end of March. No matter how good the River Hawks end up being, it’s not very realistic to expect them to do that again.
The good news is that the conference schedule hasn’t kicked in yet, so the River Hawks can still accomplish all their league goals as long as they figure things out in the next few weeks. The bad news is that if they struggle at other points in the season and can’t get rolling like they did a year ago, they could end up regretting this slow start more than they did last season.
UMass opens some eyes
It was a bad weekend for one Massachusetts state school, but a great one for another. After losing to BU and Lowell on opening weekend, the Minutemen righted the ship with an impressive sweep of Michigan State, outscoring the Spartans 8-3 on the weekend. It’s worth noting that Michigan State projects as a middle-of-the-road team, but it’s also worth noting that most of us didn’t expect UMass to even be middle-of-the-road.
The most encouraging sign for the Minutemen was the play of goalie Steve Mastalerz, who stopped 62 of the 65 shots he faced. As it has been for the last few years, goaltending is the biggest question mark for UMass this season. Mastalerz did nothing to alleviate those concerns when he allowed seven goals in the first two games of the season, but this past weekend was certainly a step in the right direction.
Northeastern is 4-0!
That sounds great and all, but Alabama-Huntsville and Holy Cross — the two teams the Huskies have played so far — are pretty bad. Still, when you consider that Northeastern won just nine games all of last season, a 4-0 start, regardless of the level of competition, is noteworthy.
Kevin Roy is doing a great job of reminding everyone that he’s really, really good — the sophomore winger has five goals and four assists already. Linemate Braden Pimm has four goals, while freshmen Mike Szmatula and Zach Aston-Reese have seven and five assists, respectively.
Goalies Derick Roy (Kevin’s brother) and Clay Witt have identical .946 save percentages in two games apiece, but we won’t learn a whole lot about them until they face some better teams. They’ll see a little tougher competition this weekend when they travel to St. Lawrence, and then they’ll really be tested against BC in two weeks.