For nearly two decades, the Bruins have partnered with the MIAA to honor high school hockey players across Massachusetts for their sportsmanship on and off the ice.
This year’s 18th annual ceremony took on a different look. Rather than being honored in front of a sellout crowd at TD Garden, the 27 Boston Bruins-MIAA Sportsmanship Award winners were recognized Tuesday night during a virtual Zoom webinar.
“You should be very proud, and I’m sure your families are very proud of yourselves,” Bruins president Cam Neely told the award winners. He then said jokingly, “The sportsmanship part … you clearly don’t have a short fuse like I did, so that’s a good thing.”
The winners include: Meg Aldrich (Canton); Deanna Bosco (North Andover); Lauren Boyd (Martha’s Vineyard); Liam Brown (St. Joseph Prep); Patrick Crowley (Dracut); Billy Dragonetti (Brockton); Brendon Geary (Holliston); Colleen Goonan (Boston Latin); Katie Guden (Belmont); Michael Harty (North Andover), Kenneth Hatt (Martha’s Vineyard); Avery Holloway (Duxbury); Ronin Keane (Arlington Catholic); Christine Landry (Notre Dame-Hingham); Matthew LeBoeuf (Greater New Bedford); Michael McGoldrock (Greenfield); Justin Moran (Waltham); Jaren O’Brien (Somerville); Keegan O’Shea (Hamilton-Wenham); Cameron Pelkey (Westborough); Spencer Reith (Burlington); Daniel Sheeran (Doherty); Rowan Silva (Ipswich); Erinn Wagner (Norwood); Kendall Walsh (Chicopee), McKenna Wech (St. Joseph Prep); and Gavin Youngclaus (Coyle & Cassidy).
The Bruins and MIAA selected the winners based on the following criteria:
▪ An exemplary record of complying, both in spirit and letter, with all league and MIAA rules and regulations.
▪ A demonstrated record of respectfully accepting the rulings of game officials.
▪ A record of conduct, on and off the ice, that brings honor to self, team, school, and community.
▪ A commitment to teamwork by providing all members with recognition of their talents and an opportunity to contribute them to the team in the spirit of camaraderie.
▪ A demonstrated respect for opponents before, during, and after games.
Neely also answered hockey-related questions during the 20-minute presentation. Among the topics were: memories from his Hall of Fame career; living in Boston; his thoughts on the upcoming Bruins season; the Cam Neely Foundation; Tuesday’s announcement that the team will retire Willie O’Ree’s No. 22; and the recent naming of Patrice Bergeron as captain.
Neely was joined on the webinar by MIAA ice hockey committee chair Dan Shine of Arlington Catholic, MIAA associate director Peter Smith, and Eric Russo from the Bruins public relations department.
“Just a huge thank you to the Boston Bruins organization for making this event possible for 18 straight years,” Smith said. “It’s really become a highlight of the MIAA high school ice hockey season, and it says so much about these students that have been selected from their leagues.”
Said Shine: “You are the best of the best, and you should be very proud of this award tonight.”
The ceremony originally was scheduled for a Bruins home game near the end of the 2019-20 season, but had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The student-athletes received their medals, according to Shine, and Neely said the team hopes to be able to host the usual in-person ceremony at some point.
“We don’t want to take anything away from what you have accomplished this year,” Neely said.
Jim Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.