written by KEN HAMWEY, Bulletin Sports Editor
Beau Starrett’s collegiate hockey career ended when Cornell University lost, 4-0, to Providence College in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals on March 30. Now, the Bellingham native is in pause mode, waiting to hear from the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted the 6-foot-5, 225-pound center in 2014 on the third round (88th overall).
“I’m excited about the next chapter of my hockey career,” said the former Catholic Memorial all-star. “I don’t know how it’ll unfold, but I’ll be playing hockey somewhere. Hopefully I’ll be with the Blackhawks. It would be great to finalize some numbers and sign a contract, but right now I’m back in classes and just dealing with the waiting game.”
NCAA rules don’t allow collegians to hire agents, but they can have “a family adviser.” Jim Troy is Starrett’s adviser, and Starrett will rely on him in the weeks ahead. The Blackhawks still have the rights to Starrett, but that control will end in August.
Starrett’s career at Cornell ended 25 miles from his parents’ Bellingham home. The Big Red played a pair of games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, opening with a 5-1 triumph over Northeastern before losing in a shutout to the PC Friars.
“It would have been a thrill to go to the Frozen Four, but playing hockey at Cornell for four years was a blast,” said Starrett. “The years flew by. I wouldn’t change a thing because our team was a brotherhood, really close-knit. We won two Ivy League titles and qualified for the NCAA playoffs for three straight years. And coach Mike Schafer was great to play for. He taught me a lot and he’s built a winning culture at Cornell.”
Starrett, who compiled 40 points in his four seasons, missed most of his freshman year because of a fractured collarbone. However, the communications major played the next three seasons injury-free. He finished his senior campaign with eight goals and seven assists, and one of his goals was the first scored against Northeastern in the tourney victory. The Big Red finished the 2018-19 season with a 21-11-4 record.
Starrett rates the third meeting with Union College in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament as his best game. “The series was tied, 1-1, and we were down in the final game,” he recalled. “I scored the game-tying goal in the second period and we went on to win in the final period. If we had lost that game, we wouldn’t have been selected for the NCAAs in Providence.”
Another spectacular contest came when Starrett, as a junior, scored the first goal in a 3-1 win against Boston University before 16,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York. “That was quite a thrill,” he said.
Starrett plans to return to Bellingham after graduation and work out vigorously during the summer months in preparation for what likely will be the start of his pro career.
The Starrett clan is without doubt Bellingham’s first family of hockey. Beau’s brother Shane enjoyed a successful year in goal in the American Hockey League. Shane played at the Air Force Academy before signing a contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Beau’s two other brothers also played college hockey. Peter was a defenseman at Harvard and Troy was a forward and a captain at Babson College. All four competed for Catholic Memorial.
Beau is the first Bellingham-bred hockey player to be drafted into the National Hockey League. He hasn’t forgotten that day in June 2014, and he still cherishes it.
Before starting his sophomore season at Cornell, the glow of that moment was still bright. “I was honored,” he said. “Bellingham is a small town, but it shows what one can achieve no matter where you’re from. It was special.”
MacLean New Grid Coach at Hopkinton
Dan MacLean, who coached Bellingham’s football team for five years, is Hopkinton High’s new head coach.
For the last four years, the 47-year-old MacLean was Hopkinton’s defensive coordinator, working for Jim Girard, who accepted the varsity post at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional in March. In three of MacLean’s four seasons, the Hillers were a dominant defensive squad. They qualified for the playoffs three times, and in 2017 Hopkinton won the Sectional crown before bowing out in the State semifinals to Melrose. Two of the teams the Hillers defeated in the playoffs—Pembroke and Dartmouth—suffered shutouts. MacLean’s defense was ranked in the top five in the state in 2017.
Wasting very little time, Hopkinton’s administration offered MacLean the head-coaching reins and he accepted the job soon after Girard’s resignation.
“I’m excited and happy to be Hopkinton’s coach,” MacLean said. “The players work hard, they love football and they play with a blue-collar philosophy. My goals will focus on improving every day, to compete for the Tri Valley League Large Division crown and to qualify for the playoffs. We want to get to a Super Bowl but we know it’ll take a complete team effort.”
MacLean, who guided Tri County Vocational to a Super Bowl appearance in 2008 and a playoff berth in 2009, was unable to turn around a Bellingham program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2007. MacLean left BHS after the 2014 campaign, when he had his best record (4-7). His career at BHS included a pair of 3-8 records, one with a 2-9 mark and another at 1-10.
“We struggled at Bellingham, losing some close games,” MacLean said, “but the players improved and were respectful. My years there were rewarding, the kids were great to work with and the administration treated me well. Losing taught me to be patient and I quickly realized that it takes time to build a program.”
A graduate of Franklin High, where he wrestled and played football, MacLean has lived in Franklin his entire life. He has been a police officer in Franklin (now with the Mansfield Police Department) and his wife, Lyn, also has Franklin roots. They have two daughters.
Early Look at BHS Spring Teams
Akeem Wynn finished first in three events, but the BHS boys track team lost its opener to Norton, 73-63. Wynn’s triumphs came in the 100 (11.4 seconds), the high jump (six feet) and the long jump (18 feet, 8 inches). The Blackhawks bounced back against Millis, posting a 116-18 triumph. Derek Ojukwu had two first-place finishes‚Äî the 200-meter run in 24.5 seconds and the 400-meter run in 54.6 seconds.
The girls track squad bowed to Norton, 93-37, in its opener, then edged Millis, 66-63. Against Millis, Taylor Alderson finished first in the long jump (16 feet), the 100 (13.7 seconds) and the 200 (29.9 seconds).
The BHS baseball squad blanked Blackstone Valley Tech in its opener, 4-0, behind the pitching of Ben Youkilis and Michael Reissfelder. Joey Randazzo had three hits to spark the offense. Against Dover-Sherborn, the Blackhawks posted a 6-3 win. Corey Chiappone, who pitched four innings, was credited with the victory, and Reissfelder hurled three scoreless innings in relief. The two-game winning streak ended when BHS lost to Dedham, 1-0.
The BHS softball team rolled to a 15-1 victory over Dover-Sherborn, downed Fontebonne Academy, 10-0, then lost to Dedham, 3-2. Katie Reed had three hits and three runs-batted-in against Dover-Sherborn. Kaysey MacGowan, who recorded her second win against Fontebonne, pitched a complete-game, three-hit shutout. She also helped her own cause, going 4-for-4 (double, triple and two RBIs). Maddie Mantegani went 3-for-4 and had an RBI while Ryanne Haynes doubled, tripled, and knocked in four runs.
The boys lacrosse team suffered some early setbacks, losing in its opener to Oliver Ames, 14-8, dropping an 18-9 decision to Norwood, bowing to Dover-Sherborn, 17-2, and to Dedham, 9-5. In the loss to Norwood, senior captain Mic Flynn, scored seven goals and topped 100 for his career. The midfielder established himself as Bellingham High’s all-time scoring leader.
The Blackhawks’ boys volleyball team dropped its opener to Medfield, 3-1, then lost 3-0 decisions to Norton, Millis, King Philip, and Nipmuc.