By Cary Shuman
Brendan Collier is a role model for youth hockey players in Charlestown.
He is a hometown kid who learned the sport here, took his high voltage game to Malden Catholic where he led his team to two Super 8 titles, scoring the winning goal in overtime in one spectactular moment at the TD Garden.
His talents drew the talents of pro scouts and he lived the dream of being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Monday night Collier was back on the familiar Garden ice competing as an assistant captain of the Division 1 Northeastern University men’s hockey team in the Beanpot Tournament.
Northeastern battled back but fell to Harvard, 4-3, in the semifinals.
“It’s tough. It’s just settling in now that this is my last one and it’s really hard that we lost and we don’t get a chance to play for the title,” said Collier.
He has been honored to serve an assistant captain of the Huskies, proudly wearing the ‘A on his jersey.
“We have a big group of seniors so it’s been an honor, and there’s a whole group of leaders in our locker room,” said Collier.
Through the Beanpot and Hockey East Tournaments, Collier has had numerous opportunities to play at the Garden, a short trek from the neighborhood where he grew up and became a youth hockey phenom.
“We won two state titles at MC here and the Hockey East Tournament last year but coming to the Garden is such an awesome atmosphere,” said Collier. “It’s just a different rink and everyone is loud here so it’s such a good experience.”
Collier used to have private skating sessions with fellow Townie Matty Grezlyk, who is now playing for the Providence Bruins and had a short stint with the Boston Bruins earlier in the season.
“I grew up here skating with Matty. His dad worked with the Bruins so we used to come over and skate one-one-one since I was four years old. I talk to Matty all the time. ”
Collier will be at the Garden skating for Northeastern in the consolation game versus Boston College.
“Hopefully we can put a run together and go in to Hockey East with some momentum,” said Collier. “It’s been a fun ride and I definitely I don’t want it to end.”
Collier’s parents, Bob and Karen Collier, were among the Townie faithful rooting at the Garden.
“My parents got me where I am today – they put the work in just as much as I did,” said Collier. “I played Charlestown Youth Hockey right up until high school. I played Metro, too, but Charlestown is where I have all my memories.”
Collier is also grateful to his coach at Malden Catholic, the late Chris Serino (“He was a great guy”), for his assistance in his hockey career.
“Thank you for coming out,” Collier politely told the reporters at the conclusion of the interview.