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.

 

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

Bruins Game vs Senators Postponed

ference game canceled

UPDATE 4/16: The Bruins/Senators game originally scheduled for April 15th at TD Garden has been rescheduled to Sunday April 28th at 7 pm. The game will be the team’s regular season finale.

The Boston Bruins canceled tonight’s game vs the Ottawa Senators just before 5pm today. The Red Sox also confirmed that the team bus was leaving the area for the airport just as first reports of the bombs were coming out. No word on whether or not they flew out of Boston for tomorrow’s game in Cleveland.

Cell phone service has temporarily been shut down in Boston as police fearing remote detonation. For victims, people seeking family members call: 617-635-4500. For any info on incidents, suspicious activity: 1-800-494-TIPS.

Stay home, stay safe, and pray. Tell those you love that you love them.

God Bless Boston and the messed up world we live in.

Game Blog: #17 Merrimack at #19 BU

Merrimack looking to reclaim lost points here at Agganis tonight

Merrimack looks to reclaim lost points here at Agganis tonight

Final: BU 5, Merrimack 2

With this Merrimack loss and a ULowell win over BC tonight, Merrimack falls to 29th in the PairWise Rankings as well as fifth in Hockey East, as there’s now a 4-way tie for first. Merrimack stands only a point ahead of BU, and is currently out of a home playoff spot for the Hockey East Tourney. It was just too little too late. Headed down to the pressers now, if there’s anything worth posting I’ll update in a bit. Merrimack next takes the ice at ULowell Friday night, then again at home on Sunday.

Midway through the 3rd: BU 5, Merrimack 2

Jordan Heywood just found the back of the net twice in under 2 minutes. The first came from a one-timer from the point on the Power Play from Hussar and Collins. I missed the second, but Toomey and Scotti got assists. At least there’s a bit of an upside here.

This is a a bad BU team. 6:49 to play as I type this. Do I smell a comeback?

Second Intermission: BU 5, Merrimack 0

The bad gets worse. Dennehy pulled Marotta in favor of Rasmus Tirronen, who hasn’t played in nearly 2 months, for the second period. Ras had a tough time of it in the period, giving up 2 goals of his own. Both came from Matt Nieto about 7 minutes apart, both were high snipes, the latter of which came on a wide open breakaway. What’s worse: BU only attempted 6 shots on goal in the period. At the time of Nieto’s  second goal, they were 2-for-2 in shots/goals.

As Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonCHN) points out here a Merrimack loss drops them to 29th in the PairWise Rankings, 13 spots out of contention for an at-large bid.

There are creepy men dancing poorly to Ne-Yo on the jumbotron. We’re losing 5-0. Can it get worse? I’m uncomfortable. I actually wouldn’t be totally shocked at a Nick Drew sighting tonight. For his sake, I hope he gets some time.

First Intermission: BU 3, Merrimack 0

Merrimack simply looks horrible. I really don’t have a single good thing to say right now. Here’s some notes –

The lines look a little different tonight. Dennehy started his second line of John Gustafsson, Shawn Bates and Josh Myers, as well as the Brendan Ellis-Justin Mansfield D-pair. Sam Marotta started in net as usual.

The Power Play units were a bit different too  – Vinny Scotti, Bates, and Quinn Gould came out with Ellis and Kolomatis first, followed by Connor Toomey-Rhett Bly-Justin Hussar with Mike Collins and Jordan Heywood.

Early in the period, Dennehy was using a stretching technique – essentially leaving a forward in the neutral zone while the team is on defense – to try and catch BU off guard or draw a defender out of the offense. BU completely missed it at first, but a defender quickly reacted and stayed around the blue line to be safe. Gould was the first to do it, then Myers after him. Interesting strategy that Dennehy used to employ a lot years ago but hasn’t really done much of recently.

The scoring opened when BU soph. Evan Rodrigues got out on a breakaway 1-on-1 with Jordan Heywood, managed to edge him off and somehow sneak a nice backhanded shot past Marotta. It was a really weird angle, and it looked like Marotta thought Heywood had cut it off enough that no shot would get by, or he’d at least be square to it if it did. Rodrigues was nearly even with Marotta at that point. Definitely caught me off guard, at least. The goal came at 9:47.

The second came under 2 minutes later as BU assistant captain Garrett Noonan danced around in the offensive zone and gave a nice look to Wade Megan, who sent a one-timer top shelf past Marotta. The shot was straight down the middle, so you’d have to think Marotta might not have seen it, or just completely missed it.

After the second goal, Dennehy used Merrimack’s timeout. There’s been a lot of frustration on the MC bench tonight, and with a nearly empty arena you can hear players yelling things like “Let’s get it together!” on the ice.

Only 2 and a half minutes later BU struck again as Marotta let up an uncharacteristic huge rebound, which soph. Cason Hohmann managed to grab with his stick extended just before a sprawling Marotta covered it. Hohmann spun around, and hardly pushed it towards the net, but it struck just inside the outside pole and in for a goal. Just like that, Merrimack trails 3-0.

Teams are back on the ice for the second period, so stay tuned, but this could be a long night. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for live updates at @PatBradleyUSCHO

Game Blog: BC downs Merrimack in OT

 

Final: BC 2, Merrimack 1

After Quinn Gould raced down the ice with a breakaway following the opening faceoff, it was all BC. The Eagles kept possession and attacked Marotta with the puck. Junior center Rhett Bly was injured following a BC offensive set and skated off under his power without his stick in the middle of a play. He must be really hurt if he just left the play, but understood they needed a fifth able-bodied player.

After Marotta appeared to make another tremendous save, BC sophomore Quinn Smith found a rebound and put it in for BC for the win.

With the loss, Merrimack drops to 24th in the PWR with 5 games to play in the regular season. Next game is Tuesday at BU.

End of Regulation: Merrimack 1, Boston College 1

A crazy back and forth third period led to several close chances for both teams. Sam Marotta has played mind-blowingly well. Milner has matched with some great saves of his own and 41 saves. Lawler chanting “Sam Marotta” as I type this.

Bigos got hurt and skated to the locker room holding his left shoulder area, but came out quickly after. Dennehy has changed lines late in the third. Off to OT.

End of 2nd: Merrimack 1, Boston College 1

Overall a pretty boring period. Both teams looked fairly even, and after a 20-7 Merrimack SOG advantage in the first things evened up in the second with Merrimack holding a much closer 11-9 SOG advantage. Both teams had a few breakaway chances followed by great stick checks from the respective defensemen to break up the play. Although the game has gotten chippy in the latter half of the period, there were no penalties called the entire 20 minutes.

Jerry York called his timeout with 1:02 to play in the period and, frankly, the Merrimack fan in me panicked. However, a nice defensive stand from the Warriors in the final minute left the Eagles empty handed and both teams headed to the locker rooms with the score still tied at 1. Merrimack has certainly looked like the better team for most of this game, but with the score tied BC can easily take over. Merrimack has to start capitalizing like they did towards the end of the first.

Remember, as College Hockey News’ Mike McMahon pointed out earlier, a win brings Merrimack to 13th in the PWR, a loss drops them to 24th, and a tie keeps them at 19th. Puck drops for the third in under 10 minutes, so follow me on Twitter for live updates.

End of 1st

With the game being televised nationally on CBS Sports Network, the fans at Lawler came out ready to rock. From puck drop this place has been relatively loud. As small as it is, Lawler has to be one of the most difficult, intimidating places to play. Imagine a small high school gym for basketball game when fans are on top of you and making ridiculous amounts of noise. It’s a fairly similar atmosphere here.

BC came out strong, drawing a penalty from Merrimack Captain Jordan Heywood in the first minute. It seemed they had taken command of this game early, even though Merrimack was able to kill the penalty. Fortunately, the Warriors came out gunning afterwards. The second line of Gustafsson-Bates-Myers played very well, throwing shots on net, posting up in front of Milner, and providing an excellent forecheck on turnovers.

BC caught Merrimack in the midst of a change a few minutes later, and Bill Arnold made a great play using his body to fend off the Merrimack d-men and make a nice pass to Steve Whitney on the left wing who fired a beautiful shot past Marotta on the breakaway.

Oddly enough, following every TV timeout BC was starting a Power Play. On the second of these, Shawn Bates finally found the back of the net at 12:43 after a gritty sequence for the Warriors. Vinny Scotti originally put a shot on net that produced a juicy rebound, and Ben Bahe and Bates chipped away with about 5 shots until Bates’ finally crossed the goal line.

Follow live updates on Twitter at @PatBradleyUSCHO