Friday, November 2, 2018

Red Wings Bounce Devils, 4-3


Michigan State and Michigan teamed up to knock down the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night in Detroit.

With the game at Little Caesar's Arena tied at 2-2 in the third period, Detroit Red wings forward Luke Glendening (Michigan) blocked a pass by Devils defenseman Will Butcher (Denver) while the Red Wings were killing off a penalty. Glendening then skated down the left side before letting go with a shot at Devils netminder Cory Schneider (Boston College). Schneider made the save, but the rebound was put home by Justin Abeldelkader (Michigan State) with 7:10 remaining in regulation to give the home team the lead for good in a 4-3 victory, Detroit's third straight triumph overall. New Jersey has lost five of its last six outings after winning its first four games this fall.

Schneider finished with 27 saves in his first NHL start since undergoing off-season hip surgery, which was followed by three rehabilitation appearances with Binghamton (AHL). Travis Zajac (North Dakota) posted two assists for the Devils on Thursday, including one on a second-period goal by Blake Coleman (Miami). Jimmy Howard (Maine) finished with 25 stops for Detroit, while Dylan Larkin (Michigan) set up two goals for the Red Wings.

The two teams will meet again on Nov. 18 in New Jersey.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Eagles Still Winless Headed into November



Boston College men's hockey is off to an 0-4-0 start for the first time in almost 80 years.

The Eagles dropped their fourth straight contest of the nascent 2017-18 NCAA campaign to St. Cloud State, 7-0, in BC's home opener at Conte Forum on Oct. 26. Prior to that, BC recorded losses at Wisconsin (0-3, 5-7) on Oct. 12-13, and at Quinnipiac (0-1) on Oct. 19. An 8-1 exhibition victory against visiting Canadian university New Brunswick on Oct. 6 will not count in the Eagles' official record and statistics.

It is the Eagles' worst start to a hockey season since the 1937-38 squad lost its first five games. BC has also not recorded an out-of-conference victory in NCAA play since besting visiting Arizona State, 3-1, in Nov. 2016.

Junior forward David Cotton leads the Eagles to date with three goals and one assist for four points, with all three of his goals coming in the 7-5 setback at Wisconsin. Junior goaltender Joseph Woll has gone 0-4-0 in net with a 3.71 goals-against average and an .867 save percentage in stopping 85 of 98 shots over 210 minutes played. As a whole, BC currently ranks 56th overall in NCAA Division I scoring (1.25 goals per game), 53rd in team defense (4.50 goals against per game), 42nd on the power play (2-of-13, 15.4 percent) and 21st on the penalty kill (11-of-13, 84.6 percent), according to USCHO.com.

BC will try to get on track this weekend with its first Hockey East conference games this year, a home-and-home series with Merrimack on Nov. 2-3.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Arizona State Over .500 After Six Games


Don't look now, but Arizona State is 4-2-0 to begin the 2018-19 NCAA campaign.

The lone men's hockey Division I independent, the Sun Devils started the season with a home sweep of Alaska in which ASU didn't allow a goal. ASU then dropped two close contests to 2018 Frozen Four participant Ohio State (2-3, 1-3), and then swept host Alabama-Huntsville this past weekend by 2-1 and 5-1 scores.

Sophomore forward and Phoenix, Ariz. native Johnny Walker currently leads the Sun Devils with four goals and four assists for eight points through ASU's first six games, which places him among the top 10 players in national scoring. Junior goaltender and Boston native Joey Daccord has played every minute in net so far for ASU, and has gone 4-2-0 with a 1.18 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, while allowing just seven goals in all. He also leads the nation with 357 minutes played to date.

ASU's penalty kill also ranks among the top 10 nationally. The Sun Devils have negated 30-of-32 opposing power plays, and are tied with Sacred Heart for third overall in Division I at 93.7 percent.

Next on tap for the Sun Devils will be the visiting Omaha Mavericks, this Friday and Saturday at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Ariz. ASU will then visit Omaha in November. Omaha defeated
ASU, 5-1, a year ago in Nebraska before the two schools skated to a 4-4 tie the next night.

ADDENDUM: ASU upped its record to 6-2-0 with a two-step sweep of Omaha, 6-3 and 7-2.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Adrian Edges Princeton in Exhibition


NCAA Division III Adrian (Mich.) topped NCAA Division I host Princeton in an exhibition men's ice hockey contest on Saturday night at Hobey Baker Rink. Individual statistics and team records from the contest will not count in either school’s official totals.

After Ryan Kuffner and Jake Paganelli staked the Tigers to a 2-0 second-period lead, Dino Balsamo got the visiting Bulldogs on the board. Adrian would then tie the contest late in regulation before Austin Bottrell put home a rebound on a power play with 6.2 seconds remaining in overtime for the win.

Kevin Entmaa went the distance in goal for Adrian, and finished with 23 saves. Ryan Ferland, Andrew Shaw and Jay Forget split netminding chores for Princeton in playing one period apiece,
with Forget also playing the overtime, and combined for 30 stops. Save totals were partially skewed by several 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 power play practice situations exchanged by the two teams prior to the start of the second stanza.

Adrian, which finished 24-6-0 overall last season and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament's quarterfinal round, will begin its 2018-19 regular season at Utica on Oct. 26-27.
Princeton, which claimed the 2018 ECAC Hockey Championship, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009, went 19-13-4 overall last season and will open its new
campaign at Penn State on Oct. 26.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Devils Roll in 2018-19 Opener



Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) and Travis Zajac (North Dakota) scored two goals apiece as the New Jersey Devils opened their 2018-19 NHL campaign with a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the 2018 NHL Global Series in Gothenburg, Sweden on Saturday.

Miles Wood (Boston College) set up two goals for the Devils, who got 17 saves from Keith Kinkaid (Union). Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville) made 22 stops for Edmonton. The victory marked New Jersey’s third win in its last five season openers, and also makes the Devils  21-9-6 overall in season-opening contests.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

BC's Gionta Retires as NHL Player



Brian Gionta (Boston College) has called it a career after 16 NHL campaigns.

A third-round draft choice of the New Jersey Devils in 1998, Gionta, 39, won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003, and three years later set a still-standing franchise record with a career-high 48 regular-season goals to go along with a personal-best 89 points. The Rochester, N.Y. native went on to serve as captain of both the Montreal Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres before finishing his career last spring with the Boston Bruins.

In 1,026 NHL regular-season games, Gionta collected 291 goals and 304 assists for 595 points along with 377 penalty minutes, and scored at least 20 goals in one NHL season seven times. In 113 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, he registered 32-36—68 points with 34 PIM. He also recorded 15-23—38 points and 28 PIM in 53 career American Hockey League games with Albany and Rochester.

A four-time All-America selection and a three-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey, Gionta skated for BC from 1997 to 2001, and is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer with 123 goals. He finished his collegiate career with 232 points in 164 games, which still ranks him second on the Heights’ all-time scoring scroll behind David Emma (239 points).

Gionta also helped the Eagles to four NCAA Frozen Fours, including the 2001 NCAA title, its first national championship in 52 years. He is also BC's all-time leader with nine career hat tricks. As a senior, he scored five goals on five shots in the opening period of a 7-2 win against Hockey East rival Maine, and then helped BC to its third Hockey East Tournament championship in four seasons, plus the 2001 Beanpot Tournament crown. He was also named the 2000-01 Hockey East Player of the Year, and shared the Walter Brown Award that same season with UNH goaltender Ty Conklin as the top American-born player(s) in the New England collegiate hockey ranks.

Gionta represented the United States in two Olympic Winter Games, in 2006 in Italy and in 2018 in South Korea. He served as Team USA's captain in the latter competition, and also played for the U.S. in two IIHF World Junior Championships and three IIHF World Championships. He will now serve as a development coach with the NHL’s Sabres.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

BC's Wood Re-Signs with NHL's Devils



Miles Wood (Boston College) is back with the New Jersey Devils. Wood, 23, who sat out the first week of the Devils' 2018-19 training camp, signed a four-year, $11 million contract with New Jersey, according to NHL.com. The contract carries an annual average value of $2.75 million.

A Buffalo native, Wood set professional and NHL career highs last season when he tallied 19 goals and 13 assists for 32 points in 76 regular-season contests for the Devils. He also made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, and went scoreless in five games as the Devils were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wood prepped at the Noble and Greenough School, and with the Cape Cod Whalers and Salem Ice Dogs, all in Massachusetts, before he spent one season at BC. He tallied 10 goals and 35 points along with 76 penalty minutes in helping the Eagles to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four, and then turned pro, where he made his NHL debut with New Jersey to close out the season.

He spent 15 games with Albany (AHL) during the 2016-17 campaign before joining the parent Devils for good, and collected eight goals and 17 points in 60 NHL appearances that season. The son of former NHL player and Yale University alumnus Randy Wood, the younger Wood has registered 27-22—49 points and 170 penalty minutes in 137 NHL regular-season contests.