Despite being a member of the Bruins for barely three months, Charlie Coyle has something in common with several other long-time B's.
Coyle watched from afar as a 21-year-old rookie with the Minnesota Wild in 2013 when the Bruins lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final vs. the Chicago Blackhawks on TD Garden ice.
He can relate to seeing a championship slip through your fingers on that very same ice, however.
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Back in 2007, during his freshman season at Weymouth High School, Coyle and the Wildcats enjoyed a 19-1 regular season and a berth in the Super 8, the postseason tournament reserved for the very best high school teams in Massachusetts. Weymouth advanced all the way to the final before coming up short against Boston College High School, 6-1, at the Garden.
Twelve years later, Coyle will be skating for a championship once again at 100 Legends Way.
“I hope it’s a different result,” Coyle said. “That was a fun year. People ask me my favorite moments in hockey, I always go back to that, playing in the Super 8, making the finals and having the whole town come out and fill the Garden.”
When the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, the seventh and deciding game was on the road. Not that that matters in the slightest, but it does mean that Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask are yet to take a victory lap around home ice with the Stanley Cup as well.
Matt Grzelcyk, a Charlestown native, can also relate to the empty feeling of skating off the ice in Boston in a championship game following a loss. He lost the NCAA men’s hockey national championship game on Garden ice in 2015 with Boston University, watching instead as Providence College – and current teammate Noel Acciari – emerged with a 4-3 win.
Now both Grzelcyk and Coyle have a chance to make it right just miles from where they grew up, along with yet another local product in Chris Wagner, who hails from Walpole.
“It’ll be a little different here, playing for a different cause, but it’s still the same emotions,” Coyle said. “I think the atmosphere will be a little more up there, with a few more people in the building, but it’s fun to look back at where you’ve come from and what you’ve done before.”
After Weymouth, Coyle went on to play at Thayer Academy in Braintree and later the South Shore Kings before enrolling at Boston University.
Wagner played high school hockey at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, where he was part of a Super 8 qualifier in 2008 before bowing out one game shy of the Garden. He then joined the Kings – overlapping for a season with Coyle – and later played two seasons of college hockey at Colgate University in New York.
Grzelcyk played prep school hockey locally at Belmont Hill before joining the U.S. National Development Team, followed by four years at BU (missing Coyle by one year).
When it comes to the demand for tickets to games from family and friends, Coyle said that he hasn’t had to worry about adding that to his list of stressors as he prepares for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which is Monday at 8 p.m.
“Everyone’s been pretty good,” Coyle said. “No one’s really coming at me, ‘Hey! Gimme tickets, gimme tickets.’ I think they all know by now, they’re more intelligent now with how the process goes. That makes it easier, but it’s nice to have support. It hasn’t been a hassle at all.”