By now it’s pretty well known that I got to UMass Amherst, a school with a hockey team in the Hockey East division. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Hockey East, the schools that are featured in it are UMass, Boston University, Northeastern, Boston College, UMass Lowell, Providence College, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, Merrimack College, and University of Connecticut. With the recent development camp and the draft the past few weeks, a few players making the cut to development camp have their roots in Hockey East.
That’s right sticking close to Boston four players represent Hockey East and the Bean Pot. Unfortunately, none come from UMass but these players are names that I have yelled at/will yell at when my home team plays against Boston University and Boston College.
From the BU Terriers end comes 2012 third-round draft pick and Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk who will be a freshman this coming season and alternate captain, and camp invite forward Justin Courtnall. Grzelcyk spent the last two seasons with the U.S. National Development team, picking up 21 points (2G/19A) in 60 games played. Obviously he still is a ways away from the Black and Gold. Meanwhile, Courtnall will be heading into his senior year at BU and had a junior season with 4-3=7 totals with 73 penalty minutes in 39 games for the Terriers. Not to mention, Courtnall helped BU advance to the NCAA tourney last year.
And down Commonwealth Avenue from BU is Boston College former home to defenseman Tommy Cross and current mainstay of goaltender Parker Milner. Cross was drafted to the B’s back in 2007 as a second round pick. He has participated in all of the Bruins development camps. Meanwhile Milner is a camp invite who helped lead the Boston College Eagles to the NCAA national championship last season by posting a 1.66 GAA and .937 SV% with three shutouts in 34 games, in addition to compiling a .50 GAA and .982 SV% in the NCAA tournament. Not too shabby.
When Hockey East season starts off Milner will go up against potential teammates Grzelcyk and Courtnall. If that doesn’t make for an interesting story line, I don’t know what does! Also just because these boys could potentially be Bruins players someday, you can bet I will not lay off the slack when it comes to yelling at them when they play against my UMass minutemen!