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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.

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Read More: Boston College, Calgary Flames, David Emma, Frozen Four
Thatcher Demko has ‘unspeakable amount of excitement’ for Frozen Four in Philadelphia 04.08.14 at 7:09 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College standout freshman goalie Thatcher Demko is looking forward to heading to Philadelphia and taking on Union College in the NCAA Frozen Four national semifinal on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.

“Unspeakable amount of excitement I think,” Demko said before hopping on a bus that would take the team to the airport and a flight for Philadelphia. “Everyone is just really excited to get out there. Looking forward to it.”

The Eagles, the No. 2 seed in the 16-team field, will play No. 3 seed Union College on Thursday night. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the No. 1 seed Minnesota and North Dakota in the national championship Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Boston College players and coaches, led by NCAA wins leader Jerry York, left campus Tuesday afternoon for the trip to Philadelphia and to begin preparations at Wells Fargo Center. One player who will be especially looking forward to the trip is Hobey Baker favorite Johnny Gaudreau, a junior and native of nearby Carneys Point, New Jersey.

“I know it’s his hometown so he’s going to owe some guys [dinner],” Demko said.

Even new men’s basketball coach got in on the act Tuesday during his introductory news conference, “Give my all of my best to Coach York and the BC hockey team as they set out to hang another banner in Conte Forum and win the national championship. You don’t have to be here long to know who ‘Johnny Hockey’ is and his quest to win the Hobey Baker Award.”

Demko is 16-4-3 in 23 games with BC this season with a 2.16 goals-against average, two shutouts and a .920 save percentage. The NHL Central Scouting Bureau has him ranked as the top draft-eligible goalie in this year’s NHL draft.

He is the likely starter Thursday against Union after making 18 saves in a 6-2 victory against Denver in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 29 and 29 saves in a 4-3 victory against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in the quarterfinal round on March 30. Demko is a freshman who is trying to lead the Eagles to their sixth national title and fourth in seven years. The Eagles have won the NCAA championship in each of the even-numbered years since 2008.

Demko said Tuesday he’ll be relying on juniors like Gaudreau and senior Kevin Hayes and Patrick Brown to show the underclassmen how it’s done on the big stage.

“Absolutely. We have a lot of guys that have been through it,” Demko said. “Juniors and seniors have both won a national championship so that experience is huge for us. Their experience is coming down to the lower class guys and helping us out and getting us ready for it.”

Read More: Boston College, Frozen Four, Johnny Gaudreau, Johnny Hockey
What do we know about BC and BU after their first meeting of the season? 11.09.13 at 12:18 am ET
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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 »

Read More: BC hockey, bu hockey, David Quinn, Johnny Gaudreau
BC turns away Northeastern to win Beanpot 02.11.13 at 10:12 pm ET
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BC's Johnny Gaudreau celebrates the first of his two goals during Monday's 6-3 victory over Northeastern in the Beanpot championship game. (AP)

Northeastern made Boston College work harder than the score implies, but the Eagles skated away with the Beanpot championship with a 6-3 win Monday night at TD Garden. It was BC’s fourth consecutive Beanpot title.

Johnny Gaudreau scored twice, including a finish off a nice pass from Michael Matheson late in the third period to give BC a two-goal lead after NU had fought back from a 4-1 deficit to make it a game.

Northeastern’s Kevin Roy was named tournament MVP after scoring twice against BC to go with his hat trick in last Monday’s semifinal vs. Boston University.

BC coach Jerry York said he’s not surprised to see this senior class graduate with four straight Beanpot wins, but that it’s not the only class that could have pulled it off.

“We’ve had some very, very good teams,” York said, citing the late-1990s squads featuring players like Brian Gionta as an example. “Luck plays a certain amount [of a role] in winning this many Beanpots in a row for sure, and I think our players understand that.”

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Read More: BC hockey, Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Roy, Parker Milner
BC aims for fourth straight Beanpot title when it faces upstart Northeastern at 10:10 am ET
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Johnny Gaudreau (13) will lead BC into the Beanpot final against Northeastern on Monday night. (AP)

No current Northeastern players were born the last time the Huskies won a Beanpot championship, in February 1988. They’ll have a chance to end the school’s drought in the final on Monday, but they’ll have to go through a Boston College team looking to win its fourth straight tournament title, something BC has never done.

Both teams are led by diminutive young forwards: BC by sophomore Johnny Gaudreau, who leads Hockey East with 33 points in 22 games, and Northeastern by Kevin Roy, the highest-scoring freshman in the conference with 30 points in 24 games. Roy, at 5-foot-10, practically towers over the 5-foot-7 Gaudreau, but both have the speed and skill to erase any disadvantages of their size.

Roy outscored Boston University by himself in the semifinal round last Monday, recording a hat trick in Northeastern’s 3-2 win. Northeastern had not beaten BU in the Beanpot since 1988, the last year the Huskies won the tournament, before Roy buried a goal in each period of the semifinal to knock No. 13 BU out of contention.

“I think when the pressure’s higher, I get a better performance, so I was just excited to see what it was like,” Roy said after win.

It’s nothing new for Roy to be the most dominant Husky on the ice. He has 30 points on the season — 10 more than the second-highest Northeastern scorer, Vinny Saponari — and 15 goals, seven more than Cody Ferriero‘s eight.

That lack of balanced scoring might partially account for the fact that Northeastern sits in last place in Hockey East, 4-11-3 in conference play. But the Huskies have beaten BU twice and BC once, playing above their usual threshold when faced with local rivals.

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Read More: BC hockey, Johnny Gaudreau, Northeastern,
BC, BU primed for another Beanpot showdown 02.13.12 at 2:21 pm ET
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BC's Johnny Gaudreau scores during the Eagles' Beanpot semifinal victory over Northeastern that put them into Monday's title game against BU. (AP)

In the grand scheme of a college hockey season, the Beanpot means very little — it doesn’t improve a team’s place in the conference standings and it doesn’t ensure a good seed or even a berth in the NCAA tournament. But good luck trying to tell that to players on the Boston College or Boston University teams, as the game presents another layer of intensity to a rivalry that can seemingly not have much more venom.

The Eagles and Terriers, who combined have won three of the last four national championships, will look to add to the rich history of the Beanpot and their rivalry Monday night as they take the ice at TD Garden in the Beanpot championship. The game will mark the 41st time the schools have faced off in the Beanpot and the 21st time they have met in the Beanpot title game. In those championships matchups, BU holds a 12-8 edge.

While the Terriers have the overwhelming advantage in all-time Beanpot titles with 29, they have not won the four-team exhibition tournament since 2009, their longest drought since 1994. To add insult to injury, the team primarily responsible for BU’s drought has been the Terriers’ most bitter rival. BC beat BU 4-3 in the 2010 championship game and eliminated BU in the 2011 semifinals.

The Terriers, ranked No. 2 in this week’s USCHO.com college hockey poll, know that they cannot be considered a great team unless they can win a tournament sometimes referred to as the “BU Invitational.”

“You judge a team at the end of the year by what they’ve accomplished and by what they’ve won,” BU coach Jack Parker told the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. “BU teams aren’t real good teams unless they win some championships. You could be No. 1 in the nation or the No. 1 seed in your league. You can get to the Beanpot final.

“You can do all those things that make you look like you’re about to win a championship, but if you don’t win something, it’s just an OK year no matter what the record is. This team will be judged on what happens from now until March and April. We’ll see who is going to get a chance to win championships in March and April. This is the first one that is available.”

As should come to be expected from two schools that have combined to win nine national championships, BU and BC enter the game ranked among the top teams in the country this season, as the Terriers are ranked No. 2 by USCHO and the PairWise rankings, and the Eagles are slotted third by USCHO and are tied for fourth in the PairWise rankings.

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