Report: Boston Bruins Sign Undrafted NCAA Defenseman Ahcan

( Photo Credit: Dan and Margaret Hickling | uscho.photoshelter.com )

By: Will Montanez | Follow me on Twitter @Willfro3

The Bruins have reportedly come to terms on an entry-level contract with Jack Ahcan. The deal would most likely be for two years, consistent with similar college UFA’s. Ahcan, a five-foot eight-inch, left-shot defenseman, was playing for St. Cloud State University prior to the school’s cessation of on-campus and sports activity due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. He had led the Huskies as team captain through 33 games during the 2019-2020 season, his senior year.

Ahcan has logged seven goals to compliment 18 assists from the Huskies’ back-end. His point total is good for third on the roster and first among his peers along the blue-line. Through his four years at St. Cloud State, Ahcan accumulated 21 goals, 103 points and a plus 13 rating in 144 games. He became the third defenseman in team history to earn 100 or more points and has set a record for blue-liners with 82 assists. Aside from his offensive production, Ahcan has proven to be a key piece to the Huskies indicated by his reputation in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

 

The Minnesota native has received numerous awards for his efforts in the NCHC including being named Defensive Player of the Week three times and earning a spot on the All-NCHC Second Team in both 2018 and 2019 as well as the 2016-2017 All-NCHC Rookie Team. He was also a part of the United States World Junior Championship Team that won Gold in 2017 as a teammate to current B’s star Charlie McAvoy.  His efforts on the ice and intangibles off of it have not gone unnoticed among NHL teams.

Although undrafted, Ahcan has been invited to several teams’ development camps in order for scouts to gain a closer look at the player and to give him a glimpse of what it takes to be a professional athlete. He participated in camps with the Los Angeles Kings in 2017, Columbus Blue Jackets in 2018 and the Colorado Avalanche in 2019, but was either not offered a deal or elected not to sign in each of those years. His offensive mindset and vision, skating ability and no-quit attitude have frequently been highlighted as his key traits.

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Ahcan’s listed height and weight put him in the category of “diminutive;” a four-letter word in the NHL that helps to explain why teams have passed on him in drafts and have played coy on offering contract opportunities to the collegiate senior. Even in the modern NHL, size is considered a factor and most certainly for the defense as they often are expected to bring an in-your-face, physical element to dissuade some of the most highly skilled players in the world from treading on those dangerous areas inside the house. In spite of his size, Ahcan’s strengths of excellent vision, skating, and leadership qualities are typical of a Bruins college UFA signing.

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Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has implemented a system of fast neutral- and defensive- zone play that emphases protecting the slot and crease while aggressively pressuring attackers when outside of that zone to regain control of the puck to transition play quickly into the other end of the rink. General Manager Don Sweeney has done his best to acquire players to develop that will fit that mentality in the draft and in free agency. The team has additionally made his character a key consideration for prospective players and those leadership qualities have influenced signing decisions on other players like Karson Kuhlman in 2018 and Nick Wolf earlier in March 2020. Ahcan’s on-ice successes are indicative of his ability to conform to all of those requirements, both in two-way, decisive play and team-building intangibles.

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Regardless of what happens for the rest of the NHL’s regular- and playoff- seasons, Ahcan will have an opportunity to join a defensive-corps that will be in flux on the left flank in the fall of 2020. He will face stiff competition from the B’s current prospects and will most likely see duty in Providence for the Bruins’ AHL affiliate. If the season is restarted when normalcy has returned to the US and the world, he may get an opportunity to join the Providence Bruins on run for the playoffs and the Calder Cup this calendar year. Regardless of when he’s able to don a black and gold sweater for either team, Bruins’ management and fans should be happy they were able to secure a quality prospect for essentially nothing as they hope that he can develop into an impact player at the highest level.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 171 that we recorded below on 3-23-20! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Tampa Bay at Boston: 03/07/20

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The NHL’s best team is back at home after going undefeated on a three-game road trip that saw wins over the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Florida Panthers. Boston holds a nine-point lead over the Lightning for the top position in the Atlantic Division with a 43-13-12 record with just over a month left of hockey to play. On Thursday, the Bruins took a tight 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers in overtime to extend their current winning streak to four games.

Tampa Bay lost to the Bruins earlier in the week, but enter tonight’s game following a convincing 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night as well. The Lightning have not been excellent as of late, going 5-5-0 in their last ten games played and with the loss of superstar Steven Stamkos for the remainder of the regular season and potentially somewhat into the postseason, wins are difficult to come by. Tampa is second in the Atlantic Division with a 42-20-5 record.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (43-13-12)

Away: Tampa Bay Lightning (42-20-5)

Bruins’ Last Game: 2-1 OT win vs FLA

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Boston Bruins defenceman Brandon Carlo (upper-body) will not play tonight after taking an elbow to the face from Florida Panthers forward Evgeni Dadonov. John Moore takes his spot alongside Torey Krug on the defensive pairing. Tuukka Rask gets the start in goal.

First Period:

Early in the game, the Bruins get some good offensive pressure and a couple decent chances from Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak who connected on a long pass for a 1-on-1 play for Pastrnak against Kevin Shattenkirk but the shot was stopped by Vasilevskiy. Roughly five minutes into the game, the Lightning had four recorded blocked shots.

5:01 into the game, Barclay Goodrow lands his elbow to the head of Ondrej Kase and the Bruins will go to their first power-play of the game. Only six seconds onto the man-advantage, however, Anthony Cirelli takes the puck and races down the ice to snipe one blocker side past Rask and the Lightning take a 1-0 lead off a shorthanded goal.

One-minute-and-two-seconds later, Mihkail Sergachev is fed the puck in the slot and wrists one past Rask again to give Tampa Bay a two-goal lead off two shorthanded goals. Not a good start for the Bruins who just seem to be lacking on the smaller details of their game early on.

Not long later, Chris Wagner lands a hard hit on Mikael Sergachev behind the Bruins net and then proceeds to drop the gloves with Goodrow for the hit on Kase. Both Wagner and Goodrow get offsetting unsportsmanlike conducts for dropping the gloves and it heads to four-on-four. As soon as the penalties end, Wagner and Goodrow meet at center ice to drop the mitts and Wagner’s fight brings some much-needed life back into the TD Garden.

Another good span in the offensive zone for the Bruins from the Kuraly-Coyle-DeBrusk third line as Kuraly came from behind the Tampa Bay net to nearly feed DeBrusk in the slot. Just moments before that, Charlie Coyle’s one-timer was stopped by Vasilevskiy. During the zone time, Cedric Paquette takes a hooking minor and Boston goes to the power-play again. A bit of a better man-advantage this time around, but nearly all of Boston’s shot attempts were blocked before they even got close to Vasilevskiy. Back to even-strength.

Bruins got a few high-volume shots towards the Lightning net in the time after the pair of Tampa goals but failed to score on any of them. With 45.7 seconds left to tick away in the frame, Jeremy Lauzon gets whistled down on an interference minor and Boston goes to the penalty-kill. Period ends, Lightning will have 1:15 of power-play time to begin the second.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 14 TBL: 5

Score: 2-0 Lightning – Goals: Cirelli (16) SHG Unassisted; Sergachev (10) SHG Assists: Gourde (18)

Second Period:

Down two goals, the Bruins need some spark offensively to cut into Tampa’s lead but early on, Zach Bogosian takes the puck into Boston’s zone and around the net before finding Cedric Paquette for a tap-in goal and a 3-0 lead for the Bolts. Poor defense for the B’s here and now have a tough three-goal deficit to come back from.

Not long after the goal, Bruins forward Brett Ritchie lays a big hit on Brayden Point in the corner of the boards which brings some noise to the Bruins crowd. Ritchie has not been afraid to use the body since his arrival to Boston on Trade Deadline day. That physicality will likely be huge in the postseason if it continues.

Near the end of the period, David Pastrnak takes a shot on Vasilevskiy, leading to a potential Marchand rebound attempt. Marchand took another clean swipe at the puck before getting pushed by Cirelli and then Marchand gets attacked by numerous Lightning players along the boards, but somehow Marchand and Cirelli get matching minors.

On the 4-on-4 session, Jake DeBrusk does a fantastic job driving hard to the net, allowing Charlie McAvoy to snap a gorgeous shot past Vasilevskiy to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to only one goal. This goal does not happen if DeBrusk doesn’t stay strong on the net drive to make the defense stay honest and providing a small screen for the McAvoy shot. 3-1.

All of a sudden, with the home Boston crowd roaring, the Bruins keep coming back with tons of pressure on the Tampa defense. Unlike the beginning stages of the second period, the Bruins have their skating legs and are hard on the board battles. A net-front battle eventually leads to Sean Kuraly tapping in what looks to be a goal, but it is waived off on the ice. As the play goes back the other way, the siren sounds meaning Toronto likely saw a goal and after review, it became apparent that Kuraly scored and now it is a 3-2 game.

Then, all hell breaks loose. The Bruins and Lightning engage in a line brawl with multiple fights breaking out and a ton of pushing and shoving. At the end of it all, here are all the penalties including some at the horn:

BOS F Sean Kuraly – 10-minute misconduct
TBL F Blake Coleman – 10-minute misconduct
BOS F Brett Ritchie – 10-minute misconduct
TBL F Erik Cernak – 10-minute misconduct
TBL F Patrick Maroon – 5-minute major (fighting)
BOS D Zdeno Chara – 5-minute major (fighting)
BOS F Brad Marchand – 2-minute minor (slashing)
TBL Bench Minor – 2-minute minor (delay-of-game) – assistant coach barking at the refs, was ejected from the game

And the second period ends emphatically there.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 28 TBL: 15

Score: 3-2 Lightning – Goals: Paquette (7) Assists: Bogosian (6), Coburn (3); McAvoy (5) Assists: Coyle (21), Grzelcyk (17); Kuraly (6) Assists: McAvoy (27), Kase (17)

Third Period:

The final regulation period starts with a brief 4-on-4 session that sees no goals. However, on Tampa’s shortened power-play off of Marchand’s slashing minor during the intermission, Sergachev takes a point shot that was tipped in by Alex Killorn and the Bolts regain their two-goal advantage just over one minute into the third period.

After some good chances on both ends for either team, Nikita Kucherov gets called on a minor penalty and the Bruins are going to another power-play opportunity. On an offensive zone faceoff win, Torey Krug skates backward towards the point and makes a cross-ice pass to David Pastrnak who unloaded a cannon from way downtown to make this one a 4-3 hockey game. Pastrnak takes sole possession of the league-lead in goals with his 48th of the season.

And once again, the two teams get into a scuffle after a whistle roughly nine minutes into the game. In the mix of it all, Bergeron gets sent to the box for two minutes for a delay-of-game penalty (puck over the glass) and now the Bruins go to a very important penalty-kill. During the possession time, McAvoy, Chara, and Tyler Johnson were engaging in a hard battle with cross-checks in front of Tuukka Rask that leads to another post-whistle scrum. Bruins make the kill.

Just around seven minutes to go, David Pastrnak receives a great pass to be sent alone on a breakaway but his fantastic shot is shut down by Vasilevskiy who keeps this a one-goal contest. Moments later, as Ondrej Kase stickhandles the puck through the neutral zone, Tyler Johnson’s stick interferes with him and takes him down, however, the officials call both the stick infraction and embellishment on Kase so we go to 4-on-4 for two minutes.

With 1:02 remaining, Nikita Kucherov picks up a loose puck from a falling David Krejci and buries it in the empty-net. Tampa Bay wins this one, 5-3 and win the season series over the Bruins.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 38 TBL: 25

Final Score: 5-3 Lightning

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: TBL G Andrei Vasilevskiy – 35 Saves on 38 Shots, .921 SV%

2nd Star: TBL D Mikhail Sergachev – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Hits, 29:05 TOI

3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 4 Hits, 25:45 TOI

The Bruins now only have a seven-point lead on Tampa Bay for first in the Atlantic Division and look to their next game on Tuesday against the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers who have won nine consecutive games.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Dominate The Month Of February

( Photo Credit: The Hockey News | thehockeynews.com )

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh

The Boston Bruins were red-hot in February, winning 11 games and only losing three. The Bruins faced off against eight Western Conference teams and played five original-six match-ups. They were also dominant in regulation, forcing only two games into overtime and not a single shootout. The Bruins also had to endure the challenge of four back-to-back games and won six out of eight games. To conclude the month of February, David Pastrnak ended up being named NHL’s 3rd Star of the Month.

Bruins’ Stars Of The Month

No surprise here, the ‘Perfection Line’ was incredibly impressive in the 14 games played in February, combining for 23 goals and 48 points. Brad Marchand is currently riding a nine-game point streak, had six multi-point games, and finished the month with six goals and 17 points with a +8 rating. Patrice Bergeron tallied seven goals, 12 points with a +10 rating, and averaged over 50% in face-off-wins. Pastrnak led the Bruins with 10 goals and 19 points.

Charlie Coyle showed off his versatility in February, scoring a goal on the power-play as well as the short-handed unit, which ended up being the game-winning goal. He was also dealt with the challenge of having several different wingers in-and-out of his line and playing a new role on the central power-play unit. Coyle finished the month with seven goals and a +6 rating.

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The Bruins’ fourth-line were very effective in shutting down other teams’ top lines and found ways to chip in to help their team win. Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner were the matching partners, with the third forward spot rotating between Par Lindholm, Anton Blidh, and Joakim Nordstrom. Kuraly and Wagner brought energy and power to the lineup every game, both players combined for three goals, seven points, and 73 hits with a +4 rating.

It’s safe to say Charlie McAvoy’s’ best month of the season was February, starting with breaking the curse and finally scoring his first goal of the season. He has maintained a strong physical presence and continues to eat up over 20 minutes of on-ice time per game. For the month, he tallied four goals and 13 points with a whopping +13 rating.

There is no doubt that the heroes for February are Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Having the ability to utilize both goalies, especially during a back-to-back game situation, really gives the Bruins an advantage late in the season to pick up those difficult two points. Rask collected six wins, two shutouts, and a .929% save percentage. Halak finished the month with five wins and a .912% save percentage.

Stepping It Up

The Bruins’ second line struggled to find their offensive touch this past month, and Bruce Cassidy decided to change it up last game by moving Nick Ritchie up to David Krejci’s’ left-wing and Ondrej Kase to his right-wing. Jake DeBrusk, Krejci’s’ usual left-wing partner, managed only two goals and four points with a -4 rating. David Krejci didn’t do so hot either, managing only one goal and six points with a -3 rating. With the addition of Ritchie (who recently scored his first goal as a Bruin) and Kase, Krejci will have more options on the wing and have the potential to develop consistent chemistry.

The young guns, Karson Kuhlman and Anders Bjork have a lot to prove before the end of the season because there is a line of players fighting for their spot. Kuhlman was unsuccessful at sparking the offensive for the second-line and scraped away with one goal and three points with a +2 rating. Recently, Cassidy relocated him to the third-line with Coyle and Bjork. Bjork went cold as well, scoring one goal and four points with a +2 rating. Kuhlman and Bjork were both healthy scratches for one game in February, and they will need to generate some offense soon to cement their spot in the line-up for the playoffs.

Looking Ahead

The Boston Bruins are first in the league, but that does not mean they can sit back and let any points slide by. There are 16 games left in the season, which means 32 points are up for grabs, and anything can happen at this point. They do not have an easy road to the playoffs, as their journey continues in Tampa on Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST. The Bruins are off to a great start, but they will need to restore their scoring depth and continue to play the full 60-minutes each game.

( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 168 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins “Leap” Into Franchise History Books!

Image result for boston bruins sean kuraly(Photo Credit: NBC4)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

While the “Kura-leap” by Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly can be experienced often (as pictured above), the B’s experiencing an actual LEAP DAY game is few and far between.

However, their February 29th, 2020 tilt against the New York Islanders on the road at the venerable Nassau Coliseum (well, that’s what it used to be called anyway) proved to be as entertaining as it was memorable; as enjoyable as it was historic; and as engaging as it was important.

That’s because the Bruins — for the first time in franchise history — won a game on Leap Year’s extra day while away from Boston. Their impressive 4-0 road win improved their overall Leap Day record to a now winning 5-4-1.

I had this game Marked On My Bruins Calendar since the Fall for exactly this fun reason: could the B’s end February — and in turn jump start their Spring playoff push — with a big W on a calendar-quirky day that rarely ever falls in line with their schedule. To wit:

BOSTON BRUINS LEAP YEAR HISTORY:

1940 – W, 4-2 over Montreal

1944 – L, 7-3 @ Toronto

1948 – L, 5-1 @ Chicago Blackhawks

1956 – L, 4-2 @ New York Rangers

1964 – W, 2-1 over Detroit Red Wings

1968 – W, 4-1 over Toronto Maple Leafs

1976 – W, 5-3 over Vancouver Canucks

1992 – T, 5-5 with Washington Capitals

2000 – L, 5-1 to Ottawa Senators

2020 – W, 4-0 over New York Islanders

Only ten Leap Day games since 1940 have lined up with the Bruins battling it out on the 29th of February. But for today’s historic happenings, it was well worth it. Multiple point games from Torey Krug and Long Island homecoming king Charlie McAvoy (well, that’s how the crowd cheered for him every time he touched the puck), as well as the 49th shutout of Tuukka Rask’s career highlighted only some of the successful on-ice work the B’s brought to the isle.

Now it’s time for Boston to focus on adding some extra hardware to their trophy case as the team gears up for a huge final few weeks of the regular season. The only thing extra they’ll need now is energy and rest because when it comes to the rest of the schedule, they may just want to leap forward over it.

The Lightning strike twice during the first week of March followed by some big Original Six divisional match-ups against the always pesky Red Wings and potential playoff partners (again?) the Maple Leafs. Then there’s that whole West Coast Kick road trip through California!

But if making history is any indicator of how well the B’s are performing this season, then expect a final stretch of hockey that could set the Black N’ Gold up for the ultimate historical payback: returning to the Stanley Cup finals and winning one year removed from losing — something even rarer than a Leap Day “W”.

I’d jump for that!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast Episode 166

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Hosts Heather Ingerson and Mark Allred got back in the studio to talk Boston Bruins and a few other hockey-related topics. We started recording this episode 166 before the afternoon tilt against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Bruins continue to roll post the All-Star/Bye-Week break and have a tough test ahead of them with a four-game road trip which started in New York and heading out west to play Canadian teams such as the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Please give a listen to our Bruins banter below in episode 166 as Heather and myself talk about last week’s games and the upcoming week for our beloved National Hockey League Boston Bruins. Below is a timeframe of when the discussion changes to a new hockey related topic.

 

Intro – 00:00
Last Weeks Games – 6:33
Upcoming Weeks Schedule – 22:30
Talking About the Jay Bouwmeester Collapse & Update – 38:30
Chara Fined By Player Safety 5K – 46:30
Charlie McAvoy Emergence After Scoring First Goal – 1:05:00
Bergeron Notches 3 Straight 25+ Goal Seasons – 1:13:55
Cassidy Gets 200th Career NHL Coaching Victory – 1:20:45
Jeremy Lauzon Signs Two-Year Contract Extension – 1:27:30
Time Is Now To Pull The Trigger On A Toffoli Trade With LA – 1:37:00
General Discussion – 1:49:10
End Of Show – 2:07:40

Follow us on Twitter at:
Mark Allred @BlackAndGold277
Podcast Account @BlackNGoldPod

Have a question or a comment for the hosts? Please send us an email at blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com

Thanks for tuning in and all the support! We’ll be back next week for another show of Bruins Hockey related material. Take Care and GO Bruins!!

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at New York: 2/16/20

Image result for bruins rangers madison square garden 2019

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: New York Rangers

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Bjork – Coyle – Heinen

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Lauzon

Goalies

Halak

Rask

New York’s Lineup

Forwards

Kreider – Zibanejad – Buchnevich

Panarin – Strome – Fast

Di Giuseppe – Chytil – Kakko

Lemieux – McKegg – Howden

Defense

Skjei – Trouba

Staal – Smith

Lindgren – Fox

Goalies

Georgiev

Lundqvist

First Period

After a feeling-out process to start the game, things got going when Brad Marchand and former Bruins prospect, Ryan Lindgren found themselves in a scrum in front of the Rangers bench. Lindgren sat for two minutes for roughing as a result – giving the Bruins the first power play of the game with 8:29 remaining. Despite a few good chances, the Bruins couldn’t get one past Alexandar Georgiev.

It appeared the game was going to be scoreless heading into intermission, but a series of bounces following a shot from Charlie McAvoy sent the puck over Georgiev and in.

The goal was originally credited to Chris Wagner, but it was eventually changed to Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy’s third goal of the season was unassisted with 42 seconds remaining in the period. A pretty even period overall ended with an 11-9 advantage in shots on goal for the Bruins.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

The Bruins held an early advantage in shots, 5-1 through the first five minutes of the period. Things got interesting when David Krejci inadvertently high-sticked Lindgren and drew blood, warranting a four-minute power play for the Rangers as a result. The Bruins managed to kill it off and maintain their lead.

A big scrum in front of the Rangers net and some cross-checking led to Marchand sitting for two minutes. It didn’t hurt the Bruins much, as Charlie Coyle forced a turnover at the defensive blue line on the penalty kill and made no mistake in burying it in shorthanded fashion. Coyle’s 14th goal of the season was unassisted with 1:18 remaining.

Mika Zibanejad took a tripping penalty with 27 seconds remaining. No one scored before time expired in the second period. The Bruins held a 13-8 shot advantage this time around, bringing the total to 24-17 in their favor. Jaroslav Halak was having a very solid game in net.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Third Period

A minute and thirty seconds of power play time remained for the Bruins to start the period. Ahead of the Karson Kuhlman interference penalty at 15:37, we saw a similar trend to the one we saw to start the second period, a 5-1 shot advantage. Halak made a big save on Ryan Strome early in the Rangers power play. The remainder of the power play was much calmer after that, and the Bruins killed it off.

Torey Krug took a tripping penalty with 10:55 left. Zibanejad made it hurt when he roped a wrist shot from the point off the post and in. It was a 2-1 game with 9:52 remaining. The screen from Pavel Buchnevich in front of Halak on the goal was key.

The goal gave the Rangers a very noticeable spark as a result. The crowd was into it and they generated a series of dangerous chances. The Bruins were forced into their own zone for much of the final five minutes of the game.

Georgiev was pulled for an extra attacker with around 1:30 remaining, and Rangers head coach David Quinn called a timeout with 35.5 seconds remaining. Patrice Bergeron put the game out of reach with 12.2 seconds remaining, following a nice interception in the neutral zone. Bergeron’s goal was his 26th of the season, Marchand’s helper was his 51st.

Shots on goal were even at nine in the third period, bringing the total to 34-26. Halak was instrumental in the win, making 25 saves. Things got a bit dicey at the end, but the Bruins came out with the win. Next up are the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday at Rogers Place at 8:30 PM ET. The Bruins are 37-11-12.

Final Score: 3-1 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 164 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Arizona at Boston: 2/8/19

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Photo Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (33-10-12)

Away: Arizona Coyotes (27-22-7)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman

Kuraly-Coyle-Bjork

Blidh-Lindholm-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Moore

Grzelcyk-Lauzon

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Arizona’s Lineup

Forwards

Hall-Dvorak-Garland

Crouse-Stepan-Kessel

Keller-Schmaltz-Hinostroza

Soderberg-Richardson-Fischer

Defense

Chychrun-Goligoski

Oesterle-Hjalmarsson

Ness-Lyubuskin

Goalies

Hill

Raanta

First Period

Neither team had many chances in the early going as they appeared to be a bit slow perhaps because of the start time. Arizona started to get a bit of an attacking zone rhythm toward the midway point of the period but the Bruins did a good job limiting their high danger chances. The Coyotes would pick up the game’s first power play as Charlie McAvoy was called for hooking with about 11 minutes left in the period. The B’s killed off the penalty as Tuukka Rask made a number of big saves to keep the game scoreless.

The Bruins got a few chances past the midway point but nothing came of it. Boston would get an opportunity on the man advantage with under six minutes to go in the period. The Coyotes killed off the power play as the B’s failed to get any sort of momentum. The Bruins were called for a high stick late in the period as Arizona got another chance to take a lead. The Coyotes were unable to find the back of the net as the Bruins continued to be strong defensively. Almost immediately after Jeremy Lauzon came out of the box he was called for a match penalty on a hit to the head. Boston killed off the remainder of the period with the Coyotes still having 4:40 on the power play.

Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

The Coyotes finally drew first blood as Phil Kessel fired a loose puck past Rask with about 75 seconds left on the power play.

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The Bruins killed off the remainder of the penalty and immediately following it Lawson Crouse was called for roughing, giving Boston an opportunity to tie the game. Charlie Coyle tied it just after the penalty expired as McAvoy found him in front with a great feed.

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The power play goal seemed to reinvigorate the Bruins as the continued to get chances in the attacking zone. The B’s picked up their third power play of the afternoon as Brad Richardson was called for interference with eight minutes remaining in the period. Immediately the Bruins took the lead as Patrice Bergeron tipped in a slap pass from David Pastrnak.

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Chris Wagner was able to draw another penalty on a strong drive to the net, giving the Bruins a chance to widen their lead with about six minutes left in the period. Jake DeBrusk extended the lead after he tipped in a shot from Pastrnak less than a minute into the power play.

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The Bruins continued to absolutely dominate the Coyotes in their own zone getting chance after chance and doing a tremendous job keeping possession of the puck.

Score: 3-1 Bruins

Third Period

Jakob Chychrun fired home a loose puck just seconds into the period as the Coyotes drew within one.

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The Bruins had a good push after the goal as they tried to find their game again after a successful second period. Arizona responded with a couple solid shifts in the offensive zone as they looked for the tying goal. Both teams started to take chances as the desperation began to set in. The B’s continued to have some tremendous scoring chances but were unable to extend their lead.

The Coyotes pushed hard for the tying goal in the closing moments of the game and pulled their goalie with about 1:40 to play. Coyle made it two on the day with an empty net goal with 48 seconds to go to ice it for the Bruins.

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Final Score: 4-2 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Coyle

Second Star: Rask

Third Star: Pastrnak

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Vancouver: 2/4/20

Image result for boston bruins vancouver canucks"

Photo Credit: Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Vancouver Canucks

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Kuraly – Coyle – Bjork

Blidh – Lindholm – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Lauzon

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Vancouver’s Lineup

Forwards

Pearson – Horvat – Eriksson

Miller – Pettersson – Boeser

Roussel – Gaudette – Virtanen

Schaller – Beagle – Sutter

Defense

Edler – Stecher

Hughes – Tanev

Fantenberg – Myers

Goalies

Markstrom

Demko

Another back-to-back stood in the way of the Bruins, starting with the Vancouver Canucks. Just recently beating the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild in a back-to-back set the tone for another one. The Chicago Blackhawks are next up after this one, tomorrow night at 8 PM ET at the United Center. It’s definitely an interesting way to get back into the swing of things for the Bruins after their long break.

First Period

Both teams were playing with great pace in the early going. Most notably was the Kuraly-Coyle-Bjork line creating havoc on the forecheck.

Charlie Coyle buried a nice goal off of a shot from Charlie McAvoy, but a challenge was called by Canucks head coach Travis Green to check for offsides. While the play looked to be offsides during the review process at first, it was ruled a good goal and the Canucks were assessed a delay of game penalty for losing the challenge. McAvoy’s helper on the goal was his 18th, Anders Bjork’s was his eighth. It was 1-0 Bruins with 5:36 remaining.

Despite only getting on the board once, the Bruins held a healthy 13-6 advantage in shots going into the first intermission. I don’t think the Canucks didn’t play bad despite not generating a lot of chances.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

The Canucks were assessed two penalties in quick succession – delay of game on Troy Stecher and tripping on Alexander Edler. As a result, the Bruins were given a brief 5-on-3 with 13:14 remaining. Solid play from Jacob Markstrom helped lead to a huge penalty kill for the Canucks, and the score remained 1-0.

David Pastrnak had six of the first 20 Bruins shots, and Markstrom stopped them all. He also stopped a shorthanded breakaway chance from Chris Wagner, while Wagner was working to kill of Bjork’s hooking penalty. The Bruins went on to kill the penalty successfully. Tuukka Rask made a nice save of his own on Canucks captain, Bo Horvat.

Matt Grzelcyk got the sequence going from behind the Bruins net for Brad Marchand’s goal. Patrice Bergeron (21) and Charlie McAvoy (19) ended up with the helpers though. A great sequence from the start increased the lead to two with 4:35 remaining.

Shortly after the goal, Wagner went off for two minutes for hooking. Coyle saw a great shorthanded chance come his way, much like Wagner earlier in the game, but was denied by Markstrom. The Canucks failed to convert and the period eventually ended without any more goal scoring. Shots in the period were 17-9 in favor of the Bruins, bringing the game total to 30-15.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Third Period

Markstrom continued to make big saves for the Canucks, robbing Jake DeBrusk on a give-and-go in the slot. The game could have been much more lopsided if he wasn’t in net. Despite trailing, in the game, Markstrom was fantastic.

Torey Krug went off for slashing with 7:22 remaining, giving the Canucks a huge opportunity to cut their deficit to one. The trend of solid shorthanded scoring chances continued, this time with Sean Kuraly toe dragging and his way to a chance that was stopped by Markstrom. In doing so, he forced a slashing penalty on Quinn Hughes, making it 4-on-4. David Krejci made it hurt on a nice play with Kuraly. Brandon Carlo had the secondary assist, his 13th of the season, while Kuraly’s was his 14th.

Jay Beagle collided with Rask and McAvoy didn’t like it, so they had a tussle. Beagle received a two-minute minor for goaltender interference and ten-minute game misconduct as a result. Tyler Myers then took a delay of game penalty and created a 5-on-3. Karson Kuhlman buried one on the man advantage with 1:50 to go, marking his first goal of the season. Coyle (19) and Grzelcyk (13) had the helpers.

Rask held on for the shutout in this one, making 25 saves for his third of the season. The final shots were 42-25 in favor of the Bruins, 12-10 in the period. The win marked four straight wins dating back to Jan. 21 against the Vegas Golden Knights. Next up are the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night at the United Center at 8:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 32-10-12.

Final Score: 4-0 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 164 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Winnipeg: 1/31/19

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Boston Bruins

Photo Courtesy Of NESN.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Home: Winnipeg Jets (25-22-4)

Away: Boston Bruins (29-10-12)

Winnipeg’s Lineup

Forwards

Connor-Scheifele-Laine
Ehlers-Wheeler-Appleton
Perreault-Copp-Roslovic
Bourque-Shore-Harkins

Defense

Morrissey-Pionk
Kulikov-Niku
Bitetto-Sbisa

Goalies

Brossoit
Hellebuyck

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Coyle-Bjork
Heinen-Krejci-Kuhlman
Nordstrom-Kuraly-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Grzelcyk-Lauzon

Goalies

Rask
Halak

First Period

Both teams seemed to be a bit sloppy in the opening moments as they traded turnovers up and down the ice. Both teams also had no trouble getting scoring chances due to the sloppy defensive play. Patrick Laine opened the scoring after a great individual effort by Nikolaj Ehlers to give Winnipeg the early lead.

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The Jets seemed to tilt the ice a bit after the goal to put more pressure on the Bruins defense. The B’s began to put together a flurry of scoring chances to try to tie the game but Laurent Brossoit was up to the task. The Bruins continued to get chances in the latter part of the period as they seemed to have had found their legs. A huge hit from Charlie McAvoy resulted in a penalty on Neal Pionk, giving the Bruins a late period power play. Boston would go to a five on three after Josh Morrissey was called for slashing. Patrice Bergeron tied it on the man advantage after a nice feed from Brad Marchand.

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With the goal coming on a five on three, the Bruins continued with another man advantage, giving them a chance to take the lead in the final minute of the period. The Jets killed off the remainder of the period as the Bruins still had about 30 seconds on the power play.

Score: Tied 1-1

Second Period

The Jets killed off the abbreviated power play and got a tremendous scoring opportunity when Morrissey came out of the box on a partial breakaway but Tuukka Rask made an impressive stop to keep it tied. Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking soon after as Winnipeg got their first power play opportunity. Marchand was inexplicably called for roughing midway through the power play giving the Jets a two man advantage. The B’s killed the five on three but immediately after Brandon Carlo was called for delay of game, giving the Jets another two man advantage. The B’s killed off both penalties despite the Jets getting a number of high quality chances.

Boston would go to the penalty kill again as Charlie Coyle was whistled for tripping, giving Winnipeg yet another chance to take the lead. The Bruins killed off another penalty which quickly was becoming the story of the game. Carlo was called for an extra two minutes on an instigator penalty prior to dropping the gloves which gave Winnipeg another power play opportunity. The B’s killed off yet another penalty as they continued to frustrate the Jets defensively. The B’s would pick up a power play as Luca Sbisa was called for an instigator penalty prior to his dust up with Karson Kuhlman. The Jets killed off the penalty despite the Bruins moving the puck very well.

Score: Tied 1-1

Third Period

At the tail end of the second period, Torey Krug was called for holding as the Jets would start the final period with a power play and an opportunity to take the lead. Boston would kill it off despite some great scoring chances for Winnipeg. Marchand would draw a slashing penalty soon after, giving the Bruins a chance to take their first lead of the game. Just 32 seconds into the man advantage, David Pastrnak found Jake DeBrusk at the front of the net to give the B’s the lead.

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Both teams continued to throw their body weight around in the third period, not wanting to give the other team an inch. The Jets started to find their legs again past the midway point of the period as they looked to tie the game. Winnipeg continued to make a push late in the period but Rask continued his strong night to maintain the lead. The Jets pulled the goalie with about 90 seconds to go but couldn’t find the back of the net as the Bruins held on.

Final Score: 2-1 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Rask

Second Star: Pastrnak

Third Star: Carlo

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 163 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Boston Bruins Week In Review Dec 30th-Jan 5th

Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33) defends against Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (29) during the second period on an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

( Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer )

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

As this new year begins, I’d like to start pumping out these weekly update articles. These will feature quick game recaps, roster and injury news, three stars of the week, a play of the week and my general thoughts on the week that transpired. If you missed anything Bruins related, here’s where to go.

Dec 31st Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils

After a rough start to December, the Bruins rattled off three wins in a row coming into New Jersey. Despite losing former MVP Taylor Hall after sending him to the Arizona Coyotes, the Devils were starting to play better hockey. Leading into their matchup with the Bruins, the Devils went 2-0-1. Even with both teams’ respective recent success, this was a game against a bottom-feeder was a game the Bruins needed to have.

The game started as well as one could think for the Bruins after Devils defenseman was sent to the box 1:17 into the game. The Bs were able to capitalize early on the powerplay after Brad Marchand buried a rebound off of a David Pastrnak shot with Matt Grzelyck (who did a very solid job filling in for Torey Krug) picking up the secondary assist.

New Jersey Devils Vs Boston Bruins At TD Garden

( Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe – Getty Images )

The Bs were able to tack on another goal after Joakim Nordstrom lit the lamp just over four minutes into the second period and with a 2-0 lead, you’d think the Bruins would be able to hang onto the lead. Well, after trading chances for much of the period, the Devils were able to score after Nikita Gusev and Blake Coleman finished off a nice give and go to cut the Bs’ lead in half.

The third period was an absolute mess for the Bruins. The Devils were able to pull even after Jesper Bratt deflected a PK Subban shot. In all honesty. The black and gold were lucky to make it out of the period after getting outshot 19-5. There wasn’t much going on in overtime outside of a Matt Grzelcyk shot that rang off the crossbar, so to the shootout it went.

With all the success the Bs have had in shootouts, you can all probably see where this one went. After four rounds of nothing from either side, Jack Hughes and Chris Wagner traded goals. To open the sixth round, Damon Severson put a nifty move on Jaroslav Halak and Mackenzie Blackwood stoned Patrice Bergeron, giving the Devils the 3-2 win.

Jan 2nd Columbus Blue Jackets @ Boston Bruins

After what I’m sure was a splendid New Years’ Eve and a January 1st full of recovering, the Bruins came back home to face an injury-riddled Columbus Blue Jackets team. This game had a very similar narrative to the Bruins last one. Gustav Nyqvist seemed to score very early into the game, but to me and many others’ surprise, a goal review HELPED the Bruins. A couple of big saves from Tuukka Rask and Elvis Merzlikins kept the first half of the game scoreless. 

boston-bruins-tuukka-rask-blue-jackets-31219.jpg

( Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports photo )

The tie was broken after a Bruins’ powerplay saw David Pastrnak rip his 30th of the year. The Blue Jackets were able to tie the game up with 17:54 left in the 3rd Period after Sony Milano wheeled the puck towards the net and got a fortuitous bounce off of Matt Grzelcyk. The save of the night belonged to Merzlikins soon after that when he made a save off of an Anders Bjork partial break, and denied Par Lindholm on the rebound attempt.

The game remained knotted at one going into overtime. The duo of David Krejci and David Pastrnak were oh so close to winning the game less than a minute into OT, but that missed chance proved to be the Bruins’ demise. After the chance, (and a very poor defensive play from Pastrnak) Seth Jones was able to scoop up the puck and dish over to Pierre-Luc Dubois who ended the Bruins’ night on a sour note. That marked the second game in a row the Bruins had blown a lead to a team outside of the playoffs

Jan 4th Edmonton Oilers @ Boston Bruins

Another game, another early lead for the Bruins. Who but David Pastrnak was able to capitalize on the powerplay to give Boston a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the hockey game, but that was all the offense the Bruins could muster up. Jaroslav Halak was certainly the best thing going for the Bruins early in this game. The netminder made a massive save off of a one-time shot from Connor McDavid later in the 1st, keeping the Bruins lead. 

There was some back and forth action in the second until Jake Debrusk muffed a pass through the middle of the ice, allowing Gaeton Hass to snag the puck, and sneak it five-hole on Halak. The second period ended on a tough note for the Bruins when Darnell Nurse threw the puck on net from the corner and it found twine with just seconds left in the period.

Something began to click early in the third period as the Bruins 1st and 4th lines were able to generate a couple of scoring chances but that was ultimately thwarted when the Zack Kassian capitalized on a defensive breakdown and fed McDavid for the goal. The Bruins failed to score the rest of the game, and after an empty netter from Draisaitl, Edmonton picked up the 4-1 victory, capping off a poor weak from the Bruins.

( Photo Credit: Steve Babineau/ NHLI – Getty Images)

Roster/Injury News

  • David Krejci missed the game in New Jersey but played the remaining two games this week.
  • Charlie McAvoy also returned after missing a pair of games against Buffalo and one against New Jersey
  • Matt Grzelcyk missed the game against Oilers because of illness
  • Connor Clifton missed all three games this week, and will not travel to Nashville for the Bruins next game
  • Torey Krug returned to action in Columbus after missing the previous three games
  • Joakim Nordstrom will also miss the game in Nashville due to illness
  • Jeremy Lauzon was recalled for the Bruins game in New Jersey but was returned to Providence after playing
  • Both Karson Kuhlman and Zach Senyshyn were assigned to the AHL and look to be healthy

( Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports )

My Three Stars of the Week

  1. David Pastrnak

Not really much to choose from this week, but Pasta was able to score half the Bruins goals this weekend. I wasn’t super impressed by much, and his lackluster defense against the Blue Jackets lead to the Bs losing the game, but he did have a great goal in that same game. Pastrnak had two goals, one assist, and a -3 rating during the week.

  1. Tuukka Rask

He let up one goal in regulation that ricocheted off of his teammate’s skate and a one-timer goal on a two on one in OT. He played very well and was far from the reason the Bruins lost in Columbus. 

  1. Jaroslav Halak

So he went 0-1-1, but just like Rask, but he wasn’t at fault for either of the losses. He made 42 saves against the Devils in their shootout loss and kept the Bs in the game from the start. Against Edmonton, he gave up one soft goal and the other two were when an Oiler was in alone on him. He made a lot of big saves in both games.

Play of the Week – Jaroslav Halak save on Connor McDavid

If you were asked to pick two players to go in on a two on one in an NHL game, I’m sure Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl would be towards the very top of the list. After Draisaitl shuffled past Brandon Carlo, he dished the puck to McDavid who got good wood on a one-timer but was greeted by a slick left pad by Halak.  It’s a shame the Bs went on to lose that game because this save would’ve been looked back on far more.

NHL: SEP 25 Preseason - Devils at Bruins

( Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire – Getty Images)

Final Notes

  • Despite not recording a point, I really liked Anders Bjork’s game this week. He generated a plethora of high-quality chances and continues to improve each and every game. It seems he’ll get rewarded from his play by getting a shot in the top-6 with Krejci and Jake Debrusk.
  • The Bruins need a jump in their offense, something isn’t clicking. Maybe calling up a guy like Zach Senyshyn or Jack Studnicka who both looked good in their previous call-ups will help. Maybe the Bs look elsewhere and make a move for a guy like Tyler Toffoli or Kyle Palmieri. Maybe all it takes is a shuffle of the lines, putting David Pastrnak with David Krejci or something of the sort.
  • The biggest key is to not overreact. Yes, it has been an awful stretch for the Bruins, but there is still a lot of time left in the season. Their lead in the Atlantic has diminished, but they still hold a six-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs with a game in hand. Let’s see how this next week goes.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 161 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!