Jay Camper Sparks UNH Win Over #2 BU
DURHAM, NH - Senior Jay Camper has persevered through repeated setbacks in his hockey career. On Saturday night, that determination paid off in his best performance as an NCAA hockey player. Camper, who hadn't played in the last three UNH games, replaced Kyle Smith as the center between high-flying freshmen Warren Foegele and Shane Eiserman. Camper and his linemates scored two key goals, including the game winner, against 2nd-ranked Boston University. Foegele added a third goal playing on UNH's #1 power play unit.
|Jay Camper's Concussion Evaluation|
"Nineteen-year old hockey player Jay Camper suffered his last concussion two months ago, but he’s still feeling the effects. 'Really foggy, headaches and just a lot of pressure in my head,' he says, describing his symptoms. He sustained the first of at least five concussions three years ago and kept on playing."At the time of the report, Camper was playing junior hockey for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. It was his second season in the USHL and the year before he enrolled at UNH. As a result of the concussion, Camper missed the remaining 17 games of Chicago's 2010-11 season.
Since Camper's arrival at UNH for the 2011-12 season, there have been two more incidents involving a possible concussion. In November of his sophomore season in a game down at UMass-Lowell, Camper was creamed into the half-boards on a hit from behind. He got up under his own power, was evaluated by the UNH trainer but did not return to the game. He was kept out of the lineup for three games as a result of "concussion precautions". Earlier this season in a mid-October game out at the University of Michigan, Camper may have suffered another concussion. Once again, he was was not allowed to play for three games as a precautionary measure. In this era of increased awareness of concussions in sports and the potential for long-term disabilities, hockey players - especially those who have experienced a concussion - are aware of the risks they take whenever they compete on the ice. To excel in the face this challenge, as Jay Camper did Saturday night against Boston University, is a noteworthy accomplishment.
In the first game of the home-and-home series on Friday night, UNH mounted a second-period comeback against the offensive juggernaut that is the 2014-15 Boston University hockey team. BU entered the weekend ranked #2 by USA Today/USA Hockey and #3 by USCHO. They have the second best team offense in the nation (3.75 goals per game) and second best power play (25.46%). Freshman Jack Eichel and senior Evan Rodrigues are the #1 and #2 leading scorers in Division I hockey. Eichel is projected to be either the first or second player selected in the NHL draft next June. That will be the highest a college player has been drafted since former UNH star James van Riemsdyk was the second selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Trailing 3-1 early in the second period, UNH tied it up on goals by Warren Foegele and Matt Willows. Eichel assisted on the game-winning goal near the end of the period on a BU power play. They added two more, one an empty-netter, in the final period for a 6-3 win. BU has earned a reputation for being a third-period team since they have scored half of their total goals in the final stanza. To beat the Terriers, UNH would probably need to build a big lead prior to the third period - and that's what they did on Saturday night.
Camper, with Foegele on his left wing and Eiserman on his right, centered the third UNH line and on their first shift of the game, they scored. Near the end of the period, UNH's fourth line put the Wildcats ahead by two. The newly constituted line of freshmen Michael McNicholas at center and Jason Salvaggio on left wing plus junior Jamie Hill (playing in his second year of eligibility) on right wing have been bringing energy and shots on goal since they began playing together in the University of Vermont game last Saturday night. In the BU game at Agganis Arena on Friday, they generated 5 shots on goal and were not on the ice for any of BU's 6 goals. The goal they scored was very similar to the one they set up in the victory over Vermont the week before. McNicholas won the faceoff, Salvaggio passed the puck back to the blue line, this time to freshman defenseman Cameron Marks, he took a shot and Hill redirected it over BU goalie Matt O'Connor's blocker.
On Friday night, the UNH power play matched the output of the high-powered BU power play with both scoring on one out of four opportunities. On Saturday, UNH converted on it's third power play opportunity midway through the second period. Freshman Warren Foegele replaced the injured Grayson Downing on UNH's first power play unit and lined up with Casey Thrush and Matt Willows up front and Brett Pesce and Rich Boyd on the blue line. After Foegele banged home the rebound off a Matt Willows shot, O'Connor - BU's top goalie - was replaced by backup Connor LaCouvee. #1 Star of the Game Jay Camper scored the eventual game winner less than two minutes later.
As predicted, feared or hoped for, depending on your point of view, BU came storming back in the third period with two goals by Matt Grzelcyk (his third goal of the weekend). Freshman goalie Danny Tirone made some big saves to temporarily stem the tide but Evan Rodrigues pulled BU to within one goal on his 13th goal of the season. Over the final 7 minutes of the game, BU outshot UNH 6-2 but the Wildcats hung on and handed BU it's fifth loss of the season.
Points of Interest~ The UNH penalty kill shut out the second best power play in the nation on Saturday. BU did not score on it's three power play attempts and UNH prevented any BU shots on goal during the first two. ~ In both games, junior Maxim Gaudreault was moved up to center UNH's first line in order to match him up against Jack Eichel. In the two-game series, Eichel scored a goal and added three assists. Gaudreault was on the ice when Eichel scored his lone goal but was not when Eichel dished out his three assists. ~ On Friday night, BU Head Coach David Quinn moved Eichel's line around so they were not matched up against UNH's top line of Thrush-Gaudreault-Willows on numerous shifts. On Saturday, the two top lines were up against each other most of the game. In that game, Gaudreault won 12 out of 19 faceoffs while Eichel won 12 out of 26. ~ Freshman Warren Foegele has scored 4 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 games and Shane Eiserman has a goal and 3 assists in his last 5 games. ~ Freshman goalie Danny Tirone made 40 saves on Friday and 31 on Saturday.
Goal-by-Goal BreakdownPERIOD 1
Shane Eiserman-4 (Assisted by Jay Camper-2 & Warren Foegele-6)
2:06 of 1st Period - UNH 1, BU 0 ~ After freshman Shane Eiserman lead the UNH rush into the BU end, the Foegele-Camper-Eiserman line maintained puck possession and fired a couple shots. ~ The trio set up below the goal line behind BU goalie Matt O'Connor. Foegele sent the puck around the end boards to Eiserman who tapped it to Camper. Then Camper fed Eiserman who quickly brought it out front and buried a backhand shot.
Danny Tirone Saves ~ After Eiserman's goal, freshman goalie Danny Tirone made some big stops to maintain UNH's one-goal lead.
Jamie Hill-2 (Assisted by Cameron Marks-8 & Jason Salvaggio-2)
17:09 of 1st Period - UNH 2, BU 0 ~ Jason Salvaggio-Michael McNicholas-Jamie Hill, the latest version of the UNH "energy line" put the Wildcats ahead by two goals. ~ McNicholas won the faceoff to the right of goalie O'Connor, Salvaggio tapped the puck back to freshman defenseman Cameron Marks who flipped a wrister toward the goal. ~ Jamie Hill, parked in front of O'Connor, redirected the puck over his blocker.
Warren Foegele-5 PP (Assisted by Matt Willows-11 & Brett Pesce-7)
9:32 of 2nd Period - UNH 3, BU 0 ~ Pesce threaded a pass to Willows at the top of the faceoff circle to O'Connor's right. Willows sent a wrister along the ice and O'Connor kicked it out to his left. ~ A wide-open Warren Foegele banged home the rebound. O'Connor was replaced.
Jay Camper-2 (Assisted by Warren Foegele-7)
11:12 of 2nd Period - UNH 4, BU 0 ~ Jay Camper broke up BU's attempt to clear the puck out of their own zone. Warren Foegele picked up the loose puck and showed a burst of acceleration toward the net. ~ At the last moment, Foegele sent a pass to Camper streaking down the slot. He lifted it over goalie LaCouvee's glove for the game-winner.
More Danny Tirone Saves ~ Over the final 6 minutes of the second period, BU picked up the offensive pace and Tirone kept them off the scoreboard with some big stops.
Matt Grzelcyk (From Eichel & Somerby)
5:27 of Period 3 - UNH 4, BU 1 ~ Five minutes into the final stanza, offensive defenseman Grzelcyk fired a one-timer from just inside the blueline. ~ Danny O'Regan screened Tirone and knocked him over prompting a video review by the referees. The replay showed that the puck was redirected off Brett Pesce's stick into the net before Tirone was knocked over.
Matt Grzelcyk (From Rodriques & MacLeod)
5:41 of Period 3 - UNH 4, BU 2 ~ On the shift following BU's first goal, Rodriques set up Grzelcyk in the mid-slot. ~ Matias Cleland was well-positioned to block the shot but Grzelcyk slid the puck under his stick and past Tirone.
Key Danny Tirone Saves ~ Immediately after their second goal, BU applied intense offensive pressure but Tirone responded with some key saves.
Evan Rodrigues (From MacLeod)
12:15 of Period 3 - UNH 4, BU 3 ~ BU's top line worked the puck around the UNH zone. As the puck went out to MacLeod at the point, three UNH players covered Jack Eichel in the mid-slot leaving Rodrigues open to Tirone's right. ~ MacLeod sent a perfect pass to Rodrigues who popped it over Tirone's glove.
Tyler Kelleher Key Defensive Plays ~ Sophomore Tyler Kelleher, UNH's leading scorer, made two bold defensive plays over the final minutes of the game. In each case, he picked up the puck deep in the UNH end and skated it out through traffic.
With the victory, UNH improved its Hockey East record to 6-11-1. They are in 8th place in Hockey East three points behind Connecticut and Maine. Overall, UNH is 11-17-2. Boston University's record in Hockey East is now 13-3-2 and they are in 1st place, four points ahead of BC. Their overall record is 19-5-4. Next up for the Wildcats is a home-and-home series with UConn.