Charlie Coyle happy to be back at BU for Comm Ave Charity Classic

It’s been three-and-a-half years since Charlie Coyle left the Boston University men’s hockey team midseason to pursue his professional career, but it doesn’t change how much his time at BU meant to him.

“Everyone has their own path, the way they want to go,” he said. “That’s the path I chose, and I enjoyed my time here. It was awesome, it was my dream school to come here, and the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do was to leave here.”

Growing up in Weymouth, Coyle watched a few games at Walter Brown Arena and dreamed of suiting up for the Terriers. He never hit the ice in the historic rink for a game during his collegiate career, but he got the chance to in the first annual Comm Ave Charity Classic to benefit Compassionate Care ALS on Friday night.

Coyle, along with 17 other BU alums, 18 Boston College alums and a few special guests, took part in a game that pitted old rivals against each other to help raise awareness and over $55,000 for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

“You want to help out as much as you can, so I think when every guy got the text, they wanted to play today, kind of jumped at the opportunity and they’re happy to do it,” Coyle said.

The Minnesota Wild forward netted a hat trick in the process and guided BU to a 7-5 win over the Eagles. And though the game was just for fun, Coyle said the intensity of the BC-BU rivalry never wanes.

“I think it goes as long as you live,” Coyle said. “You see those guys wherever you go in life, and you always come back to BC-BU … Everyone kind of knows each other, but once you’re on the ice and you’re playing, BC-BU, it’s a whole different story and it’s just a huge rivalry. It’s competitive, and that’s what makes it such a cool tradition, so I was fortunate to be a part of it and be part of it again tonight.”

He also reiterated just how much being a member of the Terriers contributed to him becoming the player and professional he is today.

“Coming to BU helped me tremendously,” Coyle said. “Like I said, it’s where I wanted to go, where I wanted to come my whole life and being here, being coached by Jack Parker and playing with some of these guys behind me, it was awesome. I made a lot of friends, became a better player and it’s helped me at the professional level. Work outs … everything, everything, the school, just everything.”

Scott Young feels not so young

For BU, roster spots on Friday night weren’t as readily filled with current NHL talent as those of its BC counterparts. Some had a prior commitment, as former Terrier Brandon Yip’s wedding is this weekend.

But what the scarlet and white lacked in that area, they made up for with veteran talent, including the likes of former BU standout and ex-NHLer Scott Young.

Currently the Director of Hockey Operations for the Terriers, Young won the Stanley Cup on two occasions — once with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and again with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. He also donned the red, white and blue for Team USA in three Olympic Games and served as the head coach of St. Marks School in Southborough from 2010 until he returned to BU in 2014. The forward has collected various other accolades in his hockey career, including Hockey East Rookie of the Year in 1986, and racked up 756 career points in 1,186 NHL games.

It seems even after all this time, Young’s still got it.

“Young was the best guy on the ice,” said former BU goaltender Anthony Moccia after his team’s win. “He was talking before, about all, ‘oh, I’m out of shape’ — yeah, right, Coach!”

At one point in the game Friday, Young was exiting the defensive zone and a teammate tried to get the puck up to him to start a rush.

“He tried to lob it over my shoulder, and I ducked so it could land in front of me and I could skate into it,” Young said. “It landed on my shoulder, and kind of hung there for a little bit. It was kind of awkward.”

14 thoughts on “Charlie Coyle happy to be back at BU for Comm Ave Charity Classic

  1. Why are Bellows and Sherwood listed as TBD? The former is supposed to arrive in 2016 and the latter has gone pro … right?

    • On it! We’re always aware of such things, but actually fixing the sidebars tends to fall through the cracks. Fixing now.

  2. With the WCHA and more particularly, UCONN, opting in to the NCAA hockey funding “Autonomy” which permits additional funds to be given to athletes under the guise of “scholarship” (probably as much as $5,000 per year per hockey player) will BU opt in to that program to remain competitive? Note that BC and Notre Dame are already in by virtue of their Big 5 conference affiliations. What we are looking at is a significant future advantage for 3 Hockey East schools. Some discussion!!!!

  3. I think the folk who run this site are a tad slow in keeping the site up to date. not a knock… just saying

  4. Hi Vincent. It’s probably because I caught them in between semesters … and the new crew might be on vacation or something. I really wish I was able to attend the game last night. It was for a wonderful cause. It’s nice to see the BU and BC camps get together for something we all agree on … finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It would be great to see other mid-summer alumni hockey games that also are used to fund a cure for ALS (like a Providence versus Brown game or a Saint Lawrence versus Clarkson game … as examples.)

  5. It would have been nice in Coyle did not leave BU high and dry at mid year. Not my favorite BU player.

  6. I agree with you Walter. In my opinion he was very selfish to leave his teammates and coaching staff half way thru the season. Allegedly he was paid over six figures to leave. I wish him well but I am not a fan of his.

  7. As for Coyle, I remember how aggravated I was when that early departure happened. I think a player should at least stay till the end of a season. Having said that, he seems to have shown himself to be a good guy on and off the ice. Did anyone see that cute video of him waving to the little boy who was watching him in warm-ups? Those kind of gestures go a long way in presenting hockey (to the general sports fan) in the most positive way.

  8. Not to pile on but when he was here he did not play up to his ability at all. He seemed to float and not grind most of the time. He said he wanted to go to BU for a long time but I don’t know what happened to him at BU when he was here. Well at least he played for free for a good cause. I will give him that.

  9. I applaud his charitable efforts and the fact that he had enough guts to return to B.U. I believe he did not leave on good terms with the coaching staff. Allegedly he was a marginal student and did not take academics as seriously as hockey. I was told he was approached by the coaching staff prior to his sophomore year to either leave or be totally committed to B.U. His decision to return cost B.U. the opportunity to grant a scholarship to transferring student, eligible to play that year. Unfortunately that person went up the street and helped that team win the final game of that season.

  10. larry,

    i believe you, but would you mind telling me/us the name of the player who went to BC? i would appreciate that. thank you

  11. It was Johnny Gaudreau. He was either let out of his letter of intent or hadn’t signed it when Cronin left Northeastern.

  12. You are correct. It was Johnny Hockey ! I was told that B.U. had a verbal commitment but no scholarship to grant him. As opposed to the school up the street who had an open scholarship due to a late departure by an upper class men.

  13. That is quite a disturbing revelation! Oh well, we can only focus on the future now. Still, this does point out how much damage a mid-season departure can cause a hockey program. I wonder what Coyle’s academic record was like in high school?

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