Providence College Wins Frozen Four; Jon Gillies Named MVP

After a really entertaining 60 minutes of hockey, one Flames prospect didn’t win a national championship while three others did.

The Providence College Friars (home of Mark Jankowski, Jon Gillies and John Gilmour) defeated the Boston University Terriers (home of Brandon Hickey) by a 4-3 score to capture the school’s first NCAA championship in men’s hockey.

For his efforts, Gillies was named the tournament’s MVP.

Jankowski, Calgary’s first rounder in 2012, had 2 goals and 2 assists over the tournament, including the game-winning goal in the semi-final against Nebraska-Omaha and a power-play goal against B.U.

Gilmour, Calgary’s seventh rounder in 2013, had zero points over the tournament. He was a steady two-way presence, though.

Gillies, Calgary’s third rounder in 2012, won all 4 games in the tournament. He allowed 5 goals against Miami of Ohio, then locked it down for the rest of the tournament. He had a 2.50 goals against average and .926 save percentage.

Hickey, Calgary’s third rounder in 2014, had 1 goal in 4 games and was pretty impressive defensively throughout. He just found ways to jump into lanes with his stick and tip passes, or to use his body and speed to angle guys towards the sides of the ice.

Gillies reportedly almost went pro last off-season, and with a national championship under his belt, you gotta wonder if he’s got anything left to prove in the collegiate ranks.

UPDATE: Check out Getty’s shot of Gillies’ crazy save late in the game with PC up by one.

  • everton fc

    He has nothing to prove collegiately, me thinks. He’s probably good enough now to man the ship in Stockton, and replace Hiller once his contract expires.

    Ortio/Gillies. Now bad.

    Still no one has answered my question about Ortio; was he bad today, which may be expected coming off an injury. Or was the defence that bad, outside Ramage??

    • beloch

      I think you answered your own questions…the kid has not played in a while and obviously the intention was to give Ortio a game to get his timing back…I thought he got stronger as the game progressed….also the kid basically played behind an AHL lineup….give him some slack.

    • FeyWest

      I think given his ability to show up when it really matters will be important for his success, he’s learning the definsive side of his game early and I think once we develop his offensive side (we know he’s got raw talent) he will be a huge surprise.

      With the success of our other prospects I think this works out well for him because he’s no longer meant to be a saviour in bare prospect cupboards. here’s hoping!

      That game was crazy though, was cheering for both teams but more on providence given their more underdog status.

      • Burnward

        Yeah. What I saw was a pretty impressive young player this weekend.

        Can someone who has seen Janko more reconcile what we saw versus the rest of the season?

        • SydScout

          I live in Boston and saw Janko a few times against BU, BC and in providence. Until these past two games there really wasn’t anything to be excited about. If we were being purely objective, I wouldn’t have noticed him unless I was specifically looking for him (and Gilmour and Gillies).

          The interesting thing, the coaching staff appear to have a lot of faith in him. On that basis I hope he stays in PC next year. There’s something there (maybe a lot of bias there) that could flourish in a proven system. Especially given that they may struggle next year, pushing Janko up from a third line to top 6 and hopefully a leadership role.

          But that’s VERY amateur scouting snd somewhat GFG biased perspective.

          • Burnward

            Awesome. Thanks!

            On a side note: Sven scored twice on Scrivens. Just saying’.

            I’m not sure this playoff reality has set in. I forget what I’m supposed to feel right now.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    I hope both jankowski and Gillies sign now that they have won..i still think janks can be a player…how good will be determined after a year or two in the ahl. We have good coaches and we play a two way style that will suit him

    • beloch

      Gillies had nothing left to prove after last season. Now he has three NCAA seasons with save percentages of 0.930 or better under his belt. That’s both awesome and astonishingly consistent. There’s an AHL starter’s spot waiting for him and very likely a cup of coffee in the NHL too.

      Jankowski, on the other hand, would be wise to finish his degree. He’d be unlikely to get a whif of the NHL next season, given how stacked the Flames org is up the center. There’s still plenty he can learn in the NCAA so here’s little reason to rush into pro.

  • RedMan

    I would rather side with Jay Feaster/Weisbrod on the Jankowski/Sieloff transaction, as well as side with Brad Treliving on the Bolig/Engelland transactions that a few FN posters have heavily criticized throughout the year.

    It is now obvious they were deadly wrong but I do respect this websites ability to provide arm chair GM’s the opportunity to express opinions while they eat potato chips and cheesies and type on there key boards whatever thoughts they may have on certain players…..however the astute hockey fan will acknowledge that various developing teenagers at the age of 19 mature at various levels and that hockey is played with a lineup of chemistry that includes a balance of scoring, grit and toughness…unfortunately the potato chip crown evaluates only on points gained…


    • jeremywilhelm

      Haha, deadly wrong.

      Nothing Engelland or Bollig have done all season has done anything besides, prove the people who lamented their horrible acquisitions, right.

      But please, enlighten us as to how you figure the opposite is true.

      • RedMan

        As you are one of Engelland/Bolig’s biggest critics let me ‘enlighten’ you as requested…

        1) Flames made the playoffs first time in 6 years with these guys in the lineup!
        2) Our smaller skilled players survived the season without being beat up by the opposition.tough guys…knowing Engelland/Bolig were on the ice and had there back was a factor, no question.
        3) Fllames had a good balance of young skill, veteran support and toughness that is required to succeed in the NHL…Engelland/Bolig amongst a few others provided this.
        4) Treliving was able to acquire these assets without giving up any of our vets or young prospects.

        As much as we all want physical, big, talented defensemen/wingers from the other teams you will need to give up credible prospects in order to obtain these assets (wonder if the Flames would have made the playoffs without Wideman, Backlund, Granlund etc? You would have traded them away.

        The list can get quite lengthy..let me know if you require more enlightening…

        • Avalain

          Absolutely. Forget Gio and Brodie and Hudler and Monahan and Gaudreau. The Flames are in the playoffs not because of an amazing top line and best first pairing D in the league and some unbelievable runs in net. Not because of work ethic and some luck. Nope, it ‘s because of Engelland and Bollig! Wow.

          The team succeeded so individual player assessment be damned, I guess.

          @burnward – yup. Sven, who has at least proven to be at the level of elite AHL’er and p/pg in pre-season and has actually, you know, played in and scored in the NHL, is a bust. But Janko finally scores a couple of goals in his third season of NCAA and is legit.

          I seriously don’t get what goes through some people’s minds on here. The Party is always right!, I suppose.

          • Avalain

            Thanks for providing us with your “television view” assessment where all the Flames stars you mention are prominent…if you have ever played at any level or if you have eve been to an actual Flames game you will see that the Engellands & Boligs provide room and confidence for the players you smartly mentioned…..having 4 lines of pretty boys trying to score goals will not cut it Im afraid…

          • Craig

            I guarantee that if you replaced Bollig with Ferland and Engelland with any of our other bottom D, the flames would still be in the playoffs, and honestly would probably be 3-4 points better.

            In all my viewings of flames games I have never seen Bollig/ Engelland stick up for the small skilled forwards, they more so get into fights at stupid times and cost the team dumb penalties.

            you need size and toughness on your team, but those guys need to be able to play hockey at the NHL level.

            Our D next year should be:

            Gio/ Brodie
            Russell/ Wideman
            Schlemko/ Diaz

            but unfortunately Engelland will be back in there, as well as Smid.

          • Burnward

            Its funny, but the players who I notice are always sticking up for fellow team mates in scrums are Bouma, Byron, Wideman, Russell, & Jooris. I’m sure there are others, but those guys always pop up in my mind, especially Wideman.

          • mattyc

            Well that’s your opinion and that’s fine, the reason we comment, to express our views and read others’. As for guarantees, well, who knows. One thing we do know, for a fact, that if you replace Giordano with Engelland for a third of the season, the final, toughest third, the Flames can, and did make the playoffs. Hmmm, great player, perhaps we should extend him….?

          • beloch

            Spot on. It is great the team has scraped into the playoffs and we all hope they have a great run but that doesn’t mean we can’t question management decisions past or present.

          • beloch

            While I dont really disagree… you totally twisted that guy’s words.

            You cant really prove or disprove whether or not Engs or bolls prevented any injuries as there is no parallel universe to compare against.

            Do enforcers actually protect players?

            I cant say for sure but we may have to trust people with decades of experience over stats buffs on this.

            Lots of great stuff on FN but I am fairly certain that Corsi is not the be all end of position and is definitely no indicator of quality of scoring chances. Until we get better Q of SC data… there is still a lot that stats cant tell us.

          • Burnward


            Sven didn’t work out. I got no ill will. It happens.

            But Janko was very impressive in that tournament. You can’t deny him that. I was just very pleasantly surprised.

          • RedMan

            Agree on the Baertschi front – there is no reason to rehash and second guess. he’s gone. But to think he goes to Vancouver without any warts or weaknesses is silly… he may become something, he may not, but it wasn’t going to happen in Calgary so… pfffttt whatever. 😉

          • RedMan

            Seriously matty, why go here? It easily can be said that it is a list that cannot be supported or otherwise proven not. The thing I put a little credence to is that the players have stated this to be so & organizations have had these roles on their teams since I have been watching hockey, which is a lot more years than you unless you were born earlier in the 50’s.

            I see the arguments that Ferland could have done this but he doesn’t have experience in that role & is just in the defining stages of what kind of hockey player he will be. Ferland may very well replace the role Bollig has before Bollig’s contract is done, until then, I don’t blame Hartley playing a player that is established in the role he is expecting from him. Management trade of sign players to fill this role but it’s up the player to perform that role. The ones that do consistently tend to be signed & retained by teams despite the corsi & underlying numbers. Why can’t we all just agree these roles exist & not constantly bash coaches & Management or the player because of it.

          • Avalain

            These roles exist, sure. They were even very useful back when you were watching hockey in the 50s. That doesn’t mean that they are useful now due to how the game has changed. Having an enforcer on the 4th line can’t help your small 1st line player anymore. A large number of hockey teams are moving away from this concept and it’s giving them an advantage.

          • mattyc

            Hahahaha. Nice, I said I was born in the 50’s not watching hockey then. I’ve been a Flames season Ticket holder since the 90’s, was a Season ticket holder for the Calgary Cowboys, I have first hand seen the evolution of this game. I respectfully disagree with your assertion here. The game is quicker, the players are faster, they hit harder, equipment is lighter but stronger, the type of injuries (head) are more serious. The roles do indeed exist & they “are still”useful in today’s game. The players will be the first ones to tell you so. It’s the role that has really evolved over the last couple years & coaches are expecting more as well.

          • ChinookArchYYC

            I would strongly disagree.

            Every team I’ve ever played on, I would’ve gladly traded in every soft skilled player for a heart and soul not-so-skilled player in a heart beat.
            That said, if you can find players with skill, determination and toughness, you take them every time. Johnny being the prime example.

          • mattyc

            Well don’t think then, it could be destroy your brain cells. Is this another one of your fabulous assumptions of unprovable things you are an expert on & claim is fact? Yeah OK. Don’t know about skates in the 50’s why don’t you google it.

          • mattyc

            Neither can you prove the opposite, so what’s the point? Pontificating on “what ifs” is a fool’s game. Nobody can win.

            Make your “fact-based” points, whether others agree with your underlying assumptions or not is up to them.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Anyone see the Canucks/Oilers game? Baertschi with 2 beauty goals on 2 shots, +1, 13:45 TOI. Granted, its the Oilers, but he looked excellent with Bonino and Vrbata.

    Yeah, that’s right. He’s not a bust.

    • beloch

      Baertschi is great with the puck. Remember how he had three goals in his first five games as a Flame? Unfortunately (for the ‘nucks), he’s still not so great without the puck. The Flames currently spend a lot of time without the puck, which is probably why Baertschi never really stuck.

      If the Canucks can surround him with possession driving players, Baertschi is going to do some damage… against teams as bad as the Oilers at least (Sievens save percentage was an utterly craptacular 0.739 that game BTW). Baertschi is not a strong two-way player and probably never will be. If he’s not on a line that can carry his butt into the offensive zone, he’s dead weight.

      The bad news for the Flames is that the Canucks are a much better possession team than the Flames are, and Baertschi is going to have the chance to do some damage in the upcoming series. We can only hope Hartley can get match-ups that push Baertschi back into his own zone where he’s a liability to his own team.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    If you’re happy to surrender your own opinion to that of the authorities of the day, why bother commenting at all? After all, you’ll have nothing new to say, no new insights to share and you’ll provide no value to an open conversation. I’m confident saying that everyone writing for FN and nearly all commenters here don’t consider the Flames coaches’ and management team infallible. Everyone, no matter how smart and knowledgeable they are, can make mistakes.

    This site is open to everyone that wants to read and comment about the Flames, regardless of their opinion. If you’re looking for a Fanboy site where no one questions the team, the coach, and blindly support everything about the Flames, it can be found in every major news outlet’s sport section and half a dozen other sites.

    If you believe being a ‘great’ fan means unquestioning blind faith, then so be it, but don’t tell me I can’t have an opinion different than yours or anybody else’s.

    • supra steve

      Your argument is…well it’s illogical.

      First “If you’re happy to surrender your own opinion to that of the authorities of the day, why bother commenting at all?”, then “This site is open to everyone that wants to read and comment about the Flames, regardless of their opinion.”.

      So, you say that the opinion is not worth sharing here, so why are you posting it. Then you state that all opinions should be welcome on this site. I seems to me the only one discouraging difference of opinion here today, is you.

      “don’t tell me I can’t have an opinion different than yours or anybody else’s.”, because that’s actually MY thing.

        • supra steve

          I’m not going to argue this all day long, but even if you support someone else’s opinion…you do indeed have an opinion. You stating otherwise, belittles that person’s opinion.

          Have your own opinion and disagree all you want with anyone else’s opinion. That’s cool with me…but, how can you question anyone else’s motives for their own opinions, when you are so quick to defend your own “right” to having one of your own?


          Live long and prosper.

  • FeyWest

    I enjoyed the FrozenFourFinal … very entertaining and intense hockey.

    Of the Flames’ picks for Prov … Gillies is a wonderful prospect and oh so deserving of the MVP but I was also taken with Gilmour! I thought Janko disappeared a lot. Janko’s skating reminded me of Jack Valiquette and not Frank Mahovlich. Who? Hey … a grayone I am, lol!

    I am a tad surprised that none of the lads has mentioned Gilmour who I thought was a bust since he has been rarely mentioned this winter. Very mobile with his smooth, fluid skating … reminded me of Russell somewhat. He could surprise in Adirondack oops Stockton.

    Janko can get his degree and Hickey can learn/mature nicely in that BU hothouse … I think we have keeper in Hickey. As for Gillies … “come on down”!!

    GFG in what should be a surprisingly good series with Vancouver! All depends on Hiller in my humble opinion and whether the Canucks can stop G-M-H.

    • mattyc

      I closely watched three of the Final Four games, specifically watched our prospects and thought all our prospects redeemed themselves very well.

      Gillies played very solid, positional goalkeeping and was pretty consistent throughout. He did let in a couple weak ones(e.g. 1st BU goal) but overall held the fort and kept his cool, especially when the pressure was on. As a goalie I believe Massos(?) on Omaha was the most outstanding in a single game, but he got little support and was eventually overwhelmed by Providence. I don’t feel Gillies stole any games as Providence was pretty strong overall, but definitely was a major key to their eventual championship. He’s a definite keeper and hope we sign him imminently. He doesn’t have anything else to prove in College and everything written about him seems to indicate he’s ready to come.

      Gilmour I thought played fairly well too, especially his defensive game, breaking up several rushes at the blue line and generally being in good position. He seldom pressured offensively but overall was solid. I believe with further development he could turn into a solid mid-level D man.

      Brandon Hickey on BU was very good to excellent. I only saw him get beat once as a defenseman, generally angling guys off with his speed or having fairly tight coverage in front of the net. He also has an aggressive edge and had several good hits. Where he really shone was rushing the puck and entering the offence. He did that frequently and was very dangerous doing so, having the speed to get back when required. He reminded me a lot of Brodano. He also quarterbacked the PP and has a solid one-timer from the point, with which he scored at least once. Reading up on him I found out he used to be a forward and converted to D only a few seasons ago, which probably explains his O tendencies. Looking at him I’m thinking he could compete for an NHL job now, so definitely another year or two of further development and I think we have a potential high end D.

      Lastly, Jankowski from my viewing was one of the very best skaters out there, especially on Providence. He clearly has very high end skill(hands, speed, Hockey IQ, D & shot) and demonstrated that with multiple terrific set-ups for goals from the side boards or behind the net. He also has a great wrist shot, scoring several goals and is very fast. In the Omaha game he had one end-to-end 200ft rush blowing by multiple players and resulting in a beautiful set-up to a man open in front of the net after he drew to himself the opposing D. Defensively he was also solid, playing good positionally and back-checking. The only drawback I could see with Jankowski is that he is still a beanpole type of frame as he is obviously still growing into his 6ft 6inch frame. As such he isn’t aggressive along the boards or net-front and not as assertive as he probably can be. Personally I believe that is there(it came out occasionally) and as he continues to fill out and gain strength that will come. After watching him for several games he kind of reminded me of a less-developed RNH, but sporting a lot of the same skills and tendencies. I believe he’s definitely going to be a player, and potentially a very good one, but still needs a couple more years to fill out and grow. I’m not sure that a final year at Providence is best, personally I think signing with Calgary and going to the AHL with our coaches, trainers and etc might be best for him. He’d probably end up in the same position re lines so I’d like to see him sign.

      Overall the Frozen Four was great this year. Three more National Championship winners for the Flames (JH the other) which bodes well for developing key game play and should help down the road. Congrats to them all.

  • SydScout

    Just out of curiosity. Because Janko was a first round selection, if the flames elect never to sign him don’t they get a compensation 2nd round pick? Not saying they should. Just wondering what the options are.

  • Craig

    What I really like about Gillies is that he is posting REALLY good numbers consistently at a young age. its been shown that goalies mature much later, so I would still caution that if Gillies doesn’t shoot the lights out in his first AHL year that he will come around and he will be an NHL goalie.

    He’s going to be very good.

  • Grizzy

    Obviously Jankowski was far too risky a pick for the first round at a crucial time in the organization, but remember he was rated as a mid 2nd rounder. I’d rather have him locked up today than have him play his senior year even if we are compensated with a 2nd round pick. And don’t kid yourself, other NHL teams will be all over this kid to get him as a free agent. If there’s an insensitive bidding/courting process for players like Bryce Van Brabant, think of what teams will do to get Jankowski signed. So, would you rather have the potential of Mark Jankowski or take your chances with whats left at the end of the second round (Hunter Smith)?

  • Craig

    Great to see Janks effectively contribute. Thought both his goal and assist in the semi-final showed poise with the puck.

    However am I wrong in thinking his skating and edging still need some work? At 6’3″ and a slender/lanky build another year with Providence would likely be the best for his development.

    Also as a senior it would give him the opportunity to be 1C or 2C, improve his offensive play, and have a large leadership role, all of which would be great for him.

    One more year of NCAA, followed by one year in the AHL with a couple stints with the Flames..I can see him eventually as a 3C and possibly 2C.

    • Grizzy

      Funny how half of Joe Colborne’s 8 goals have come against the Coilers this year, yet many commenters on here believe that he is a valuable top 9 forward for the Flames. I guess size turns people on.

      Baetschi’s career NHL points per game (30 points in 69 career games, 0.43ppg) is higher than Colborne’s (62 in 160 career games, 0.387ppg).

      Also, Baertschi’s first goal last night showed some really smart 3 zone play, something most people say he’s weak at. He stole a puck in the neutral zone, had a give and go with Vrbata, and froze the goalie.

      But yeah, Baertschi’s a career AHLer with no NHL hopes.

  • mattyc

    Regarding Janks development timeframe I thought it would be interesting to see how long most other 6’3″ centres took until they essentially “made” the NHL by playing >40 games.

    The biomechanics of big tall guys are obviously different than for smaller players, and there generally seems to be a direct relationship of additional development time required for taller players.

    The following are 6’2″ or taller forwards (mostly centres) who took 4-6 years after their draft date to play their first NHL year:
    Chimera, Brock Nelson, Umberger, Dubinsky, Peter Holland, Victor Rask, Brodziak, Boyle, Sheahan, Jimmy Hayes, Kreider.

    Generally most players were 23 or 24 when they make the show.

    Jankowski is still 20. He was the youngest player in the 2012 draft, born 2 weeks before the cut-off date. For development purposes he should likely be easily be considered a 2013 draft and be projected to be ready for the NHL in 2017 or 2018. This means 1 more year of NCAA and 1 year of AHL.

    For detractors of the pick it’s easy to understand..the pick would likely have been available in the 2nd or 3rd round, there were good players available who have already contributed to their clubs, and Janks was a higher-risk long-shot of panning out etc.

    However given the above information, albeit unscientific, any talk that Janks is a bust is likely premature. If the Flames want to emulate Detroit’s “patient” development system then the timeframe for making this decision is still 2 seasons away.

    The payoff for the Flames patience, if successful, could be a good 6’3″ centre for many years to come.

    • mattyc

      Hey, good work. I believe size and growth development is a major factor in Jankowski’s development.

      BTW, I thought on the Frozen Four broadcasts they had Jankowski as 6’6″ rather than 6’3″…? I could be mistaken but seem to recall that size as I was mentally noting, “Wow, that’s huge!”

      • mattyc

        Yes it was interesting to confirm the longer development timeframes for taller players. My son just turned 14 and is 6’2″ / 190 lbs so it was illuminating for personal reasons as well.

        Thanks too for your very good, informative post above regarding the Frozen Four and the prospects, particularly Jankowski. I agree he’s not as aggressive – he’ll never be a Boyle but for comparables I keep coming back to Chimera, Hanzal and Brodziak.

        Regarding your comment about Janks size: he was drafted at 6’2″ 175lbs in June 2012. Back in Sept2014 the 2014-15 Friars roster lists him at 6’3″ 186lbs so am thinking the announcers may have mispoken. However, I have to say when I look at his skating and turning he appears larger and seems to fit the skating profile of a 6’6″ player.

  • FeyWest

    Bollig I think turned out to be the biggest goat and it’s unfortunate but it’s a mistake made by management, however, as long as they learn from the mistakes I’m OK with it.

    Engelland is definitely paid too much, but at least he’s just paid; no assets were given up for him where as some of the other Defensive UFA’s were either gone or would have cost us much more. He really stepped up with Gio going down, but is not an untouchable guy and should be upgraded when the time is right, he’s an expensive stop-gap but a stop-gap nonetheless.

  • MontanaMan


    1. Gillies – needs to turn pro and would benefit from a full year as the starter with Addy. Trade Ramo or Hiller, Ortio gets 30 games next year and Gillies carries the mail in the minors for one or two years. In two years, the tandem is Ortio and Gillies.
    2. Sven – who cares. Didn’t work out here and I’m skeptical that it will work out in Vancouver. Move on.
    3. Bollig – less of an impact player than Ferland but will have value in a playoff run. With Ferland clearly taking his spot with more skill, Bollig will be moved at the draft.
    4. Engelland – tough year for the most part but has really played well paired up with Brodie. I shudder with him on the ice in the last two minutes of a game but to be fair, he’s played better with increased minutes and more responsibility. Sometimes when a player is brought in with a big contract and struggles early, he puts a ton of pressure on himself which only magnifies his deficiencies. Engelland has looked like a player lacking in confidence but appears to be settling in at this point.
    5. NHL – with the demise of LA, Pittsburgh and Boston it’s becoming clear that the new NHL has changed the business. Teams like the three mentioned and Chicago, who sign two players to 30% of the cap, leave two lines and three defencemen in the fodder category. In my mind, a successful team (in today’s dollars) cannot carry two or more players at $10 million per as it depletes the rest of the roster to a point where the team can’t be competitive. The challenge for a GM is to build a strong team through the lineup while still having stars in the lineup. I’m a fan of moving players before they sign the $10 million contract and replace them with two X $5 million. There are exceptions but the Oilers will be faced with it (RNH, Hall, Eberle) as will most teams. The Flames first challenge is signing Gio to a long term, rich deal at his age, while planning for next contracts of Monahan, Gaudreau, Brodie and others. GM’s with the foresight to move players before ruining their rosters (Billy Bean) will be successful but it flies in the face of historical NHL management practice. Will be interesting.

  • MontanaMan

    And one final thought. The Leafs cleaned house including the GM, head coach and all assistant coaches. Meanwhile in Edmonton, MacT declares “I’m an optimist.” Wow.

  • mattyc

    Sven was reassigned to Utica Sunday! Apparently 2 goals against the AHL Oilers didn’t impress the coach…Canucks better served by helping Utica go for a championship!