Tuesday, December 30, 2014

U.S. Shuts Out Slovakia at WJC

Sonny Milano broke a scoreless tie late in the second period, and Thatcher Demko (Boston College) made 17 saves as Team USA remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win over Slovakia on Monday at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal.

Dylan Larkin (Michigan) and John Hayden (Yale) added third-period goals as the U.S. outshot Slovakia, 45-17. Larkin, who also assisted on Milano's goal, leads Team USA with three goals and two assists for five points in three games, and is also the second-leading scorer so far in the tournament.

The Americans, who have outscored their three opponents, 10-1, in regulation so far, also improved to 2-1-0 (includes shootout win) and remained a point behind Canada in Group A play. The two North American rivals will close out the round-robin portion of their WJC schedules when they face off at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Bell Centre (NHL Network, NHL.com).

Monday, December 29, 2014

U.S. Blanks Germany at WJC

Dylan Larkin (Michigan) scored two goals and set up another as Team USA posted a 6-0 shutout of Germany on Sunday night in Montreal in its second game of the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Auston Matthews, Hudson Fasching (Minnesota), Sonny Milano, and Jack Eichel (Boston University) also scored for the U.S., which got 14 saves from Brandon Halverson in his WJC debut. The U.S., which outshot Germany, 53-14, is in second place in Group A, one point behind Canada.

The Americans will now take on Slovakia today at 4 p.m. at the Bell Centre (NHL Network, NHL.com).

Friday, December 26, 2014

U.S. Wins 2015 WJC Opener

Thatcher Demko (Boston College) stopped two of three attempts in the deciding shootout, and Jack Eichel (Boston University) and Chase DeLeo both scored in the extra session to lift Team USA to a 2-1 victory on Friday in its opener of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal.

Alex Tuch (Boston College) pulled the U.S. into a 1-1 tie in the first period off a set-up by Eichel, after Finland had scored the game's opening goal. The score then remained unchanged through the remainder of regulation and a five-minute overtime period.

After the two teams traded goals to open the shootout, both then missed on their second attempt before DeLeo scored the winner on a backhand. Demko, who finished with 29 saves in regulation, then made a glove save on Finland's third shootout try to end it.

The U.S, which is being led by former Ohio State coach and Wisconsin alumnus Mark Osiecki, will return to action at the WJC against Germany on Sunday night in Montreal at 8 p.m. (NHL Network).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gaudreau Hat Trick Gets Flames First Win Since Dec. 4

Former Boston College sniper and 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Johnny Gaudreau put on quite a show last night in Hollywood.

Gaudreau's first career NHL hat trick, including two goals in the last three minutes of play, pulled his visiting Calgary Flames into a tie with the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings before the visitors won it in overtime, 4-3.

Gaudreau, 21, now has 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 36 games with Calgary this season. He got the Flames on the board late in the second period with a power-play tally, pulled them within one on a wraparound attempt with 2:12 remaining in regulation, and then tied the game on a deflected backhand shot with 59 seconds left as Calgary went on to snap an eight-game winless string (0-7-1) before breaking for Christmas.

All of Gaudreau's goals last night can be seen here.

Gaudreau made his NHL debut in the Flames' 2013-14 regular season finale, scoring a goal at Vancouver. A native of Carney's Point, N.J., he tallied 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points with B.C. last winter, the third-highest single-season output in school history, in helping the Eagles to an NCAA Frozen Four berth.

He posted 78-97--175 points in three seasons at the Heights, while assisting B.C. to three Beanpot Tournament titles, two Hockey East regular-season crowns, and the 2012 NCAA national championship.

Friday, December 12, 2014

College Players Shine as Leafs Edge Wings in Shootout

A plethora of former NCAA players got into the act in Toronto's 2-1 shootout win at Detroit on Wednesday night in NHL play.

Gustav Nyquist (Maine) scored on a spin-around for the host Red Wings with just over two minutes remaining in the second period to break a scoreless tie. Phil Kessel (Minnesota) answered for the Maple Leafs just over five minutes into the third frame off a set-up by James van Riemsdyk (New Hampshire) and Tyler Bozak (Denver).

In the shootout, Bozak and Mike Santorelli (Northern Michigan) both scored to thwart an 18-save effort in regulation by Detroit's Jimmy Howard (Maine).

Detroit remains in second place in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division with a 17-6-6 record, while Toronto stays fourth at 16-9-3.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Union's Kinkaid Makes First NHL Start with New Jersey

Former Union College goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 37 saves on Tuesday night in his first career NHL start, as the New Jersey Devils dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

Kinkaid was named second star of the game after making nine saves in the first period, 16 in the second, and seven in the third, and came within 3:13 of earning the win before Duncan Keith (Michigan State) scored for Chicago. Kinkaid then made five saves in overtime before surrendering shootout goals to Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) and Patrick Kane. Scott Darling (Maine) picked up the win for the Blackhawks, making 22 saves in all as Chicago won its seventh straight contest.

Kinkaid, who prepped with Des Moines (USHL) and St. Louis (NAHL) before enrolling at Union, saw his only previous NHL action during the 2012-13 campaign with the Devils when he allowed one goal in 26 minutes of relief against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He went 24-13-5 with Albany (AHL) last season.

The 6-3, 180-pound native of Farmingville, N.Y. fashioned a 37-18-6 mark with six shutouts in two seasons at Union between 2009 and 2011, registering a 2.18 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. He also backstopped the Dutchmen to an ECAC regular-season title and their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth as a sophomore before signing as a free agent with New Jersey.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Seven BC Skaters Chosen for Preliminary U.S. National Junior Roster

Five current Boston College skaters and two future Eagles were named to the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team last week, according to USCHO.com. Michigan was second with five players.

Forward Alex Tuch and goaltender Thatcher Demko join defensemen Noah Hanifin, Ian McCoshen and Steve Santini for the preliminary camp that will be held later this month. Along with them will be BC committments Jeremy Bracco and Miles Wood, both forwards.

Tuch, a first-round selection of the Minnesota Wild this summer, has five goals and five assists for 10 points in 16 games so far this season as a freshman, while Demko, taken 36th overall by the Vancouver Canucks this year, is 8-6-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average in 15 appearances.

McCoshen, a 2013 Florida Panthers second-round choice, has a goal and three assists in 15 contests for the Eagles, while Hanifin has two goals and five assists in 16 outings. Santini, a 2013 New Jersey Devils draftee, has missed all but four games so far this year due to injury, notching one goal. Along with Demko, he was a member of last year's U.S. World Junior Team that finished fifth overall in Sweden.

Bracco has four goals and 11 points in eight games so far this season with the U.S. National Development Team (USHL), while Wood, the son of former NHL forward Randy Wood, was drafted 100th overall by the Devils in 2013 and is playing prep hockey at Noble & Greenough in Massachusetts this winter.

The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship will be contested in Canada from Dec. 26, 2014 to Jan. 5, 2015 in Montreal and Toronto.