BostonBruins.com — As Alex Fallstrom pulled himself off the ice, the buzzer groaned and the second period came to a close.
It didn’t take long for forward’s teammates to skate up to the six-foot-two winger, give him a pat on the back for his service. Crimson netminder Raphael Girard tapped Fallstrom on the head with his glove, thanking him for his hard work.
Fallstrom, a Bruins prospect, has just blocked a hard shot in the middle of an ECAC battle between his Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs. It’s plays like those that the 2009 draft pick (4th round, 116th pick of the Minnesota Wild) is trying to add to his game as his development continues, and his path to a potential professional career draws closer.
"What I feel like defines the Bruins play is hard work, and that’s what I want to base my game on," Fallstrom said. "I want to work hard every night, go out there and play for my team."
Now, as a senior, and as a leader on the Crimson team, Fallstrom is attempting to take his game and add the element of "hard to play against" that is engraved in the Black & Gold scripture.
"I think Alex has made some great strides," said Ted Donato, Fallstrom’s coach at Harvard, and a former Crimson and Bruin forward. "He’s a guy we count on in all situations—very solid defensively.
"He plays the power play, penalty kill, and 5-on-5. As a senior for us, he’s gotten stronger.
"I think his game has rounded up," added Donato. "So he’s a guy who’s really improved, and I think he’s doing a lot of things that will allow him the opportunity to move on to the next level."
Fallstrom did a little bit of everything during Saturday’s game against Yale.
In the first period, he threw around his body around to set a physical tone for the evening. Midway through the frame, he went coast-to-coast on a rush, strong on the puck, and nearly scored on a nifty wrap-around. In the second period, he slipped a puck through two defenders to wide-open teammate in the slot to create an excellent scoring chance.
In short, like Donato said, Fallstrom made himself visible in all situations.
"He’s definitely a leader," Donato said. "He’s an assistant captain, and he’s a great kid.
"Very focused, and has put in a lot of time off the ice to become bigger and stronger, and he’s just a great presence in the locker room, and very well liked by teammates and coaches."
The long-term goal for Fallstrom is set on the Bruins. In the interim, however, Fallstrom is not losing sight of his final collegiate season, and making his final days as a Crimson successful ones.
“We want to win the Ivy’s, the ECAC, and qualify for the NCAA tournament,” said Fallstrom. “Of course the Beanpot is going to be big this year.”