Current, Former Warriors in NHL Development Camps

Joe Cannata at Canucks Camp

Joe Cannata at Canucks Camp

Several current, former and future Warriors are taking part in NHL Development Camps across the country.

In Vancouver, former All-American turned Hobey Baker nominee Joe Cannata may well earn the backup job with the Canucks after former Boston College standout Cory Schneider was traded to the New Jersey Devils during this year’s NHL Draft.

His backup both in High School and College, Merrimack senior Sam Marotta, also received an invite.

 

In Chicago, Merrimack junior Quinn Gould is performing during his week with the club. After 9 points in limited play following an injury last season, Gould scored a goal to help his Team B defeat Team A in a scrimmage according to ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers.

 

Future Warrior Mike Babcock, son of Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, is taking part in Detroit’s Camp.

Babcock scored 42 points (18-24-42) in 30 games for Detroit Catholic Central High School this past season, and was recently traded to the Fargo Force of the USHL.

Via Mike McMahon at The Mack Report here’s a quote from Fargo assistant coach Jesse Davis.

“Michael is a defensive type of forward who may not put many points up on the board but he’s going to help keep a lot of pucks out of our net”, said Fargo assistant coach Jesse Davis. “He has great speed and we were searching for a player like him. When he became available, we traded for him right away to help fill some of the voids left from a lot of forwards from last year’s team moving on to college hockey.”

If 42 points in 30 games is coming from someone who “may not put many points up on the board,” Merrimack fans should be excited.

Senior Mike Collins and incoming freshman Chris LeBlanc are taking part in Minnesota and Ottawa’s camps, respectively.

 

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The Jagr Effect

Jagr Bomb

Jagr Bomb

Okay, so when the Bruins acquired Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline from the Dallas Stars, Boston faithful probably expected a bit more from the first ballot future hall of famer. Ya, the guy is 41, but no goals in the entire Stanley Cup playoffs is a bit of a stretch. However, despite his lack of goals, he may be the key to this team’s success purely because of what he does in the locker room.

It’s been well documented that Jagr has private midnight skate sessions, working through his frustrations and trying to re-perfect his craft. His work ethic has undoubtedly bled down through the dressing room. But it seems his fun antics are keeping the team loose and focused when the pressure is one. Just the other night following the Bruins’ Game 2 victory in Chicago, Jagr admitted he isn’t even scoring in practice much, and then joked with reporters that the reason he goes and skates at midnight is so he make a goal without worrying about a goalie.

This might be the best gem of the bunch, though – check out this video below where Jagr names himself as his favorite player growing up right after David Krejci does the same.

“Hi, I’m Jaromir Jagr from Kladno Czech Republic. My favorite player growing up was Jaromir Jagr.”

 

 

Bruins Playoff Gear

Dont Puck With Us Banner

Playoffs Start Wednesday

The Bruins begin their Quest for the Cup Wednesday night at the Garden, as they host the fifth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. What better way to celebrate another hockey post season in Boston than by getting some awesome new playoff gear? All shirts are $18.99 or less (plus shipping).

Chara Spin O Rama 1899

Teach Me How 2 Dougie

On the left, the famous line exclaimed by NESN’s own Jack Edwards when captain Zdeno had the goal of the year against the Panthers dons an awesome new t shirt. Featuring the familiar Black and Gold colors and the Tazmanian Devil doing what he does best, this shirt is a collectible for all Bruins fans.

On the right, a T shirt commemorating Boston’s exciting rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton, referencing the popular song.  Wouldn’t it be great to be wearing this T shirt and impress all your friends when the 19-year-old phenom scores a goal from the point on the power play (okay, we can dream) or makes a savvy defensive play?

Fuck The Habs 1899 299 shipping

Because we all hate Montreal

Dont Puck With Us Tshirt 1899

A cool design featuring Bruins Black and Gold. The “T” in Boston is symbolic in the city, and represents the MBTA, or “the T” where you can catch a train, the subway, or a bus.

And last but not least, The Jaromir Jagr selection. The newest member of the Bruins, hailing from Czech Republic, also happens to have a kick-ass last name that has Bruins fans everywhere tipping back a glass every time he scores. Check them out below.

Keep Calm And Jagr Bomb 1799

<—- For the ladies, featuring the classic “Keep Calm” motto. Dudes can wear it too because, frankly, it’s pretty sweet.

Jagr Bomb Mullet 1899

For the Bros, because we all know mullets are still cool even if the collective female population writhes in horror at the thought of it. Bring back some Jagr nostalgia and support the newest Bruin during their playoff run!

Moves Like Jagr T 1899

Because this is clever, and we’ve all got an over-excited hoser in our group of friends who has proclaimed that Jagr is their favorite Bruin, even though they couldn’t tell you anything else about him.

Montreal Turtles 18.99

Because those squids in Montreal ruin the game we love and retract into their stupid little shells when real confrontation begins, let em know what you think of them with this Montreal Turtles shirt.

Sometimes It’s Heaven That Freezes Over

Merrimack Hockey  to play at Fenway Park for  Frozen Fenway in January

"Frozen Fenway" at Fenway Park. Merrimack College is expected to play Providence in January, 2014

“Frozen Fenway” at Fenway Park. Merrimack College is expected to play Providence January 4, 2014

Hockey East officially announced today what has been speculation for the past several months: college hockey is returning to Fenway Park.

Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said the following in a statement released today:

“We are excited about the return of hockey to Fenway Park. We are particularly pleased that with these two doubleheaders, all of our men’s programs will have had the opportunity to experience Frozen Fenway, including the University of Notre Dame, our newest member.”

When Fenway Park last held its Frozen Fenway event in January 2012, Merrimack College was not one of the schools chosen to participate. This time, however, Merrimack will the opportunity to play against Providence College, a budding rivalry that has resulted in exciting, physical hockey games between the two programs who have become just as tough members of the Hockey East conference as any other school.

The news became official today when the City of Boston approved the necessary permits needed in order to make Frozen Fenway happen.

Merrimack will play Providence College in the first game of a double-header on January 4th, with Boston College taking on Notre Dame University – the newest addition to Hockey East in 2014 – in the later game. The Merrimack/Providence game will be a non-conference game, so the outcome will not affect the Hockey East standings.

“Even though this has been done before, playing at Fenway is still truly exciting for all involved,” Merrimack hockey head coach Mark Dennehy told College Hockey News’ Mike McMahon. “Merrimack is proud to be a part of this event.”

 

Joe Cannata Recalled by Canucks

image

Merrimack Athletics sent out the following press release today:

Former Merrimack College goalie, Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) has been promoted to the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL for the final two games of the regular season, as announced by the team on Wednesday.

Cannata was a sixth-round draft pick of the Canucks and signed with the team last spring after a stellar collegiate career at Merrimack.

Cannata appeared in 14 games for the Chicago Wolves this season, the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate, registering a 2.65 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. Cannata compiled a 6-6-0 record during his stint with the Wolves.

Cannata departed as Merrimack’s all-time leader in wins, games played, minutes played, saves, goals-against and save percentage. He started all but one game in his final two years and allowed only 27 even strength goals (excluding empty netters) in 27 league games as a senior. The Wakefield native surrendered more than two goals only eight times as a senior, as Merrimack went 18-2-4 when scoring two or more goals. 

A two-time Hobey Baker nominee and Walter Brown award semifinalist, Cannata was a Hockey East first-team selection as a senior, becoming the program’s first first-team honoree since 1993-94.

The Wrong City To Mess With

FINAL Fundraiser shirt and buy now button

Every shirt sold supports onefundboston.org

I’m very proud and excited to announce that in collaboration with the cool peeps over at I Love Boston Sports, I’ll be selling these kickass T shirts featuring their “The Town” artwork that has been reworked on a Tshirt that says “The Wrong City To Mess With”.

Every shirt sold helps onefundboston.org by giving proceeds to The One Fund Boston, Inc.

Do you like the shirt? Do you love Boston? Do you want to help those affected by this horrible tragedy? Then this is the shirt for you. By clicking on the picture above, you can order yours today!

*Note* The link will take you to a PayPal page. If you don’t have PayPal, you can use the link below it to pay with a credit or debit card.

*Note 2* Due to my lack of computer wizardry, there’s no drop down menu to select a size. When you order the shirt, after you enter your credit card and shipping information, there will be an option on the “Review and Pay” screen to type in your shirt size – right underneath your shipping information. PLEASE don’t forget to do this and make my life easier : )

Thanks in advance for your support and generosity!

#BostonStrong

Contact me with any questions regarding orders at bradleyp@merrimack.edu

Readers can follow Pat on Twitter at @PatBradleyUSCHO

Why I Love Sports: The Day The Terrorists Lost

Sports is usually our escape. Our getaway. Our sanctuary.

Monday in Boston, it was our crime scene. Just after the four hour mark of the Boston Marathon, two bombs went off at the finish line, killing at least 3 people and injuring hundreds others.

The Bruins and Celtics both canceled their games, and the Red Sox were on their way out of town. In a season where there is often 3 Boston teams playing on any given night, there were none. And that was okay. Sports took a backseat to life in our neck of the world, as we tried to piece together what had happened hours before. What followed, however, is a reminder of why we love sports in the first place. The games are our comfort, their events a distraction. We hate other teams and players so we don’t hate our own, and we rally around one cause that brings us together so passionately.

Despite the hated rivalries across professional sports that Boston maintains, sometimes events and people transcend sports. Yesterday’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon is one such instance. Several teams, athletes and news outlets have taken to different forms of media to express their sympathy and prayers to the city of Boston and all those affected by it’s rivalries. Below is a montage of just some of the outpouring of love and respect the sporting world has shown us in our time of need.

Probably the coolest, most touching gesture of them all: late Tuesday afternoon the Yankees tweeted “We stand united with Boston” with a picture

A touching display outside Yankee Stadium from typically hated rivals

A touching display outside Yankee Stadium from typically hated rivals

The team later announced that they would play “Sweet Caroline,” a song that is a staple of Fenway Park at every game, after the third inning following a moment of silence before the game. Here’s video from the Yankees Network of the stadium during the song.

Yankees fans also came out to the ballpark in support of Boston

Scenes like this were not uncommon Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium

Scenes like this were not uncommon Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium

The acts of kindness didn’t go unnoticed

Neil Diamond

thanks ny

The Yankees weren’t the only ones showing their support though. Across the NBA, NHL, and MLB, Moments of Silence were observed before most games. Across baseball, the Marlins, Cubs, Reds, A’s, Indians, Yankees and Braves all played Sweet Caroline at some point during their games. The University of South Carolina, Jackie Bradley Jr.’s old stomping grounds, played the song during their game as well. The Brewers played the theme song to “Cheers!” a  famous TV show about a Boston bar.

The Montreal Canadiens, the biggest rivals of the Boston Bruins, were one of the teams to salute Boston with a moment of silence and a Twitter shout out.

Canadiens Tweets

In Chicago at the Blackhawks game, a moment of silence was held. Right at the end, a fan somewhere yelled “we love you, Boston!” and the crowd erupted in cheers that continued straight through the National Anthem. Typically a silent event, Chicago fans decided to cheer through the powerful rendition of the Anthem just like fans were cheering at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off.

Today’s edition of the Chicago Tribune paid tribute to Boston as well, saying “We are Chicago” with the five major Boston sports logos underneath.

The cover of the Sports section of the Chicago Tribune

The cover of the Sports section of the Chicago Tribune

In Philadelphia, Phillies closer and former Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon expressed his sorrow and disbelief over the situation. Papelbon used to live in a building right above where one of the bombs went off.

“I used to live right above where one of the bombs went off,” Papelbon said. “It’s kind of surreal. I don’t know man, it’s crazy. It’s hard to even think about.

“I lived right above Abe and Louie’s,” he said referring to a steakhouse in the area. “It’s sad, man.”

Papelbon wasn’t the only Phillie to respond to the situation. Outfielder Ben Revere wrote the words “PRAY For Boston” on a piece of tape that he placed on his glove. Then, he made the catch of the year.

A touching display from Ben Revere followed by the catch of the year

A touching display from Ben Revere followed by the catch of the year

Everyone’s support endured.

Torey Smith tweets

Ravens Wide Receiver Torey Smith

NBA superstar and Celtic arch-nemesis LeBron James

NBA superstar and Celtic arch-nemesis LeBron James

Carmelo tweet

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony

cory Schneider

Vancouver Canucks and former Boston College goalie Cory Schneider

Jets tweet

The New York Jets

MWP

Lakers Forward and longtime Celtics rival

Kobe Tweet

Lakers Superstar Kobe Bryant Tweeted out a picture from Instagram, shown below

Kobe Instagram

And then in Cleveland, a touching display of welcome and support from the city, highlighted by this card from one of  Cleveland’s little tikes.

inside dugout

from our city to yours

Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox Third Baseman, summed it up best, shown below in an infographic from Comcast Sports Net New England

CSN Middlebrooks Tweet

The Red Sox themselves had their own tribute in the dugout, a jersey with the words “Boston Strong” and the numbers “617”, Boston’s area code, on the back.

Boston Strong Jersey

April 15th, 2013 will never be forgotten in Boston. The acts of the terrorists who planted the bombs have tragically changed our lives forever. But this week will not be remembered as the time that Boston fell.

This will be remembered as the day our city came together and saved each other.

This will be remembered as the day the good guys won.

The day the terrorists lost.

Welcome to Boston.

Sports Illustrated cover

  yanks buds

Hug those you hold dear. Don’t forget to say I love you. Never give up, never back down, and always Keep the Faith.

Pray for those who lost their lives, pray for those who were hurt, and pray for the city of Boston.

May God have mercy on us all and hold us in his graces through this difficult time.

Thanks, America. We love you too.

#BostonStrong