The local kid has a storybook night at TD Garden
Boston, MA – Watch any child at play and listen to them acting out a scenario.
“He catches the pass, time is winding down, ten, nine… He shoots! Score! The (insert team) wins on (insert name) ‘s go-ahead goal with one second left in the game!”
On Thursday at TD Garden, Billerica, Massachusetts native and former Boston College Eagles star Marc McLaughlin lived out that youthful childhood dream in front of 17,850 during the Boston Bruins’ 8-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
McLaughlin, who signed as a free agent on March 15, 2022, after the Eagles wrapped up their season with a loss at Northeastern in the Hockey East playoffs, was making his NHL debut for his hometown team. He also picked up his first NHL goal in the second period on his first NHL shot.
The things that dreams are made of. Marc McLaughlin’s 1st @NHL goal in his debut. Billerica, MA and @BC_MHockey product living the dream. #NHLBruins 7-1 on #NJDevils w/ 3 goals in 3:03 of 2nd. #NJDvsBOS pic.twitter.com/sAHcnHmXuv
— PuckingOff™ (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) April 1, 2022
“It was pretty special,” said McLaughlin of his goal. “I feel like I’ve lived that moment as a kid 100 million times down in my basement. For it to come true here, to get in a game and contribute with a goal is really special.”
At 12:04 of the second, McLaughlin made it 7-1 Bruins when he finished off a two-on-one rush with Trent Frederic by one-timing a shot from the slot past Devils backup goalie Jon Gilles.
“Freddie (Trent Frederic) had a good block, started there in the d-zone,” McLaughlin said. “Freddie got his feet moving and made a great pass right in my wheel-house. All I had to do is shoot it in.”
TD Garden erupted in jubilation when McLaughlin’s shot hit the twine in the top right corner. The jumbotron showed his parents and relatives in a celebratory dance which only added to the occasion.
“I saw it on the jumbotron,” said McLaughlin. “I saw my mum jumping up and down. That was pretty cool to see. I’m blessed with having such a supportive family, and friends; my teammates were here tonight. That means a lot to me to see them out there.”
“Well, did you see the bench?” asked Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy about McLaughlin’s goal. “It tells you about our team. The kid’s only been here a little bit, but he’s worked. I think every guy on the bench was excited for him. He’s a hard-working kid. Getting your first goal in front of your parents and family is a nice thing. Everyone was happy for him. He earned it; he played well.”
“It was funny looking over during warmups and seeing the crowd that he had here,” said Brad Marchand. “Such a surreal feeling for him, I’m sure, being a local kid, getting the opportunity to play here.”
“We were talking before the game, in the gym a little bit,” added Marchand. “He was talking to Grizzy (Matt Grzelcyk) about his first game here. It must be special for their whole families. We’re very happy for him. He’s such a good kid, you always love to see that.”
“He does all the right things, he works hard, stays in his lane. ut very personable when you talk to him,” said Marchand of McLaughlin. “He does the things that you want to see from a kid coming from his situation. He’s always working hard out on the ice, working in the gym after practice. He’s there early all the time. one of the first guys here tonight. He’s a pro. He’s already dialed in. He’s going to fit in well here.”
Capping off childhood dreams, McLaughlin revealed he usually pretended to be Patrice Bergeron during those basement sessions.
“It’s definitely surreal. That’s a guy I’ve looked up to my whole life,” said McLaughlin knowing that Bergeron was celebrating on the Bruins bench.
Not a bad pro start for the undrafted BC captain, who also participated in the Beijing Olympics in February for Team USA. McLaughlin scored 21 goals and ten assists in 33 games with the Eagles in 2021-22. His career totals at the Heights were 40-35-75 in 130 games.
“Coach York has had such a great impact on me as a person and as a hockey player,” said McLaughlin of his time at BC with legendary head coach Jerry York. “He really values being a good person, being positive, and just showing up and competing every day. I can’t say enough about how much he’s grown my game over the past four years.”
McLaughlin said some good-natured ribbing was going on with three Boston University Terriers in the Bruins locker room.
“They were joking with me when I arrived; hopefully, we’ll get some more Eagles over here.”