By Lindsay Daly, Media Relations Intern, Boston Bruins
If you are a Hockey East fan, if you are a college hockey fan, or if you are a just a plain ol' hockey fan, this weekend is huge.
The Hockey East playoffs are in full swing and starting this evening, the Hub of Hockey will host the Hockey East Championship.
One member of the Bruins who is familiar with Hockey East's biggest weekend is Mark Mowers, a 1998 graduate of the University of New Hampshire.
“It seemed like we were a group who did everything together, and that’s what made it special,” recalled Mowers about his former team, the UNH Wildcats. “It was a family atmosphere, and that’s what I remember most.”
Some memories are bittersweet -- like a trip to the Hockey East Championship Game.
“In my junior year, we lost to BU in the Hockey East Finals,” Mark recollected. “It was tied late in the game, and we were playing at the Garden in front of all those people -- like 10,000 Boston fans and 8,000 UNH fans -- and it was the first time we experienced something like that.
"It was a great atmosphere.”
Mowers compared that particular game to a Bruins vs. Canadiens game, with both sides well represented and the tension reaching astronomical levels.
And certainly those kinds of games, and the training he received via Hockey East and UNH, have helped Mowers become a successful NHL player.
“He is one of the better skaters on the team,” said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. “His biggest strength is how he reads the plays.
"He thinks the game at a level where he always seems to be in the right place.”
The leadership skills that Mark garnered in New Hampshire have also turned him into one of the most popular and helpful guys in the Bruins locker room.
“He keeps his teammates in check and communicates with them,” observes Coach Lewis. “When they need help, he helps them. And when he has to, he kicks them into gear.
"That’s what a good teammate does.” --- Lindsay Daly is a student at Emerson College.