It’s not only March Madness in basketball this month, but also in the college hockey world. That is the case for three Boston Bruins prospects who will play in the upcoming NCAA tournament that begins this weekend.
In this edition of the Bruins Prospects Report for The Hockey Writers, we look at how some of the Black and Gold’s prospects fared in their conference tournaments and who is looking ahead toward the NCAA tournament.
Lohrei, Gallagher & Langenbrunner Reach NCAA Tournament
Top defensive prospect Mason Lohrei and Ohio State University has reached the NCAA Tournament in his sophomore season and the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2020 Entry Draft will open against another Bruins prospect when the Buckeyes play Harvard University in the Bridgeport Region in Connecticut on Friday (March 24). Ohio State is the third seed and Harvard is the second seed of the four-team regional.
This season, Lohrei has played over 30 minutes in multiple games and is tied for third on the Buckeyes with 29 points on three goals and 26 assists. He has 54 blocks in 38 games and is playing in his first postseason tournaments after having his freshman season cut short with an injury. He had two assists in the B1G Tournament Quarterfinal Round series against Penn State which Ohio State won in three games. In a 7-3 loss to the University of Michigan in the semifinals, he also had an assist. He was an All-Big Ten Second Team selection this season.
Mason Langenbrunner played in all 33 games this season for Harvard and had one goal for the Crimson, coached by former Bruin Ted Donato. The 6-foot-3, 179-pound defenseman was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 Entry Draft, 151st overall is a stay-at-home defender.
Ty Gallagher and Boston University won the Hockey East regular season and tournament championship and will play in the Manchester, New Hampshire Regional as the second seed and will open against Western Michigan University on Thursday (March 23). Gallagher has played most of the season on the top pairing for the Terriers in 37 games and has three goals and 18 assists with 85 shots on the net and 49 blocks. To get to the Frozen Four, BU will most likely have to go through defending National Champion the University of Denver if they win their first game.
Svedebäck Puts Together Hockey East Tournament Run That Falls Short
Philip Svedebäck, selected 117th overall in the fourth round of the 2021 Entry Draft, walked onto the Providence College campus last fall as a freshman and right away took over in goal for the Friars. The Sweden native went 14-11-7 with a 2.18 goals against average (GAA) and a .909 save percentage (SV%). He carried his team to the Hockey East semifinals before falling in overtime to Boston University, 2-1.
It was a surprise that Providence even got to the TD Garden as they survived two rounds of the single-elimination playoffs, winning both games in overtime, 2-1. Against the University of New Hampshire on March 8 in an Opening Round game, Svedebäck stopped 22 shots, then in the Friars’ overtime upset of third-seeded Northeastern University, he made 25 saves. In the semifinals against BU, he stopped 23 shots, before allowing the game-winner 10:52 into overtime.
“He grew, that’s important. He comes in as a freshman and you got to ride the wave with a freshman goalie. It’s tough, not easy, but I thought he played his best hockey at the end of the year and I think he can carry that with him. That’s important for him to understand the growth process and to play well at the end of the year and he can have a lot of confidence from that. I thought these three playoff games he played very well.’’Providence College coach Nate Leaman on Philip Svedebäck
The Bruins have a stockpile of young goaltending depth between Jeremy Swayman, Brandon Bussi, and Svedebäck, something that bolds well for the future.
Riley Duran finished his sophomore season for Providence in the loss to BU, but the 182nd overall pick in the sixth round of the 2020 Entry Draft took another step in his development in 2022-23. After compiling 10 goals and nine assists a year ago in 38 games, the Massachusetts native finished tied for fourth on the team in points with eight goals and 12 assists in 29 games while battling injuries. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound forward worked his way into the top six and played in all situations this season for Leaman.
Three members of the Bruins collegiate prospect pool will be looking to win the National Championship in early April and get to Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, the home of the 2023 Frozen Four. Svedebäck and Duran each improved at Providence this season and they came close to joining their fellow prospects in the tournament and don’t be surprised if they are part of the 16-team NCAA tournament field in 2024.