By Warren Kozireski —
Prior to the Hockey East semi-final game against Providence, Boston University senior defenseman and assistant captain Case McCarthy had missed just one game all season. But after crashing into the boards and breaking his collarbone, the Buffalo native will now support his teammates with words of encouragement while wearing a sling as they play in the Frozen Four in Tampa.
“It’s really been exciting, I mean obviously you want to play, but being a apart of this and what all of these guys have sacrificed to get to this point has been really cool to be a part of and obviously a very special opportunity this week and something you dream about coming to a school like BU,” McCarthy said the day before the national semi-final.
“Definitely cool to be a part of and a nice place to be in some warm weather too. It’s different being in this position, but I’m trying to do anything I can to help the team or bring a smile to the boys once in a while.
“The past couple of weeks kind of found the way I can just be around and be a part of this. It’s exciting to be around and see the energy.”
Not sure how anyone can be much of a cheerleader for his team just days after getting nine screws put in his collarbone, but hockey players are different from most.
McCarthy was born in Ballston Spa, NY but moved to Clarence Center when his New York State Trooper father transferred to western New York.
He had three goals and a career-best 12 assists and 15 points from the blueline through those 35 games.
As a teenager, he played for a few years in Toronto before coming back to his home area as a Buffalo Jr. Sabres before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to college.
Case isn’t the only hockey-playing McCarthy with Gavin now with Muskegon in the USHL and committed to be a freshman at Boston University in the fall along with Aidan, who last played two seasons ago in the CCHL with Navan. All are defensemen.
“We actually all started as forwards and then we were able to skate backwards when we were young, so I guess that was how it all started and kind of took it from there. All we’re all right-handed defensemen.”
And having his youngest brother potentially be a teammate next year might factor into Case’s decision of whether to use his final year of college eligibility or begin his professional career as a fourth-round draft selection in 2019 by New Jersey.
“I’m four years older so I never really had that experience, so it would definitely be a cool experience to play with him, I think. And I know my mom would love it—that would make her year having two of her sons in the same spot. But getting healthy and having these conversations with my family and the coaching staff and making sure everything aligns.”
And after he supports his teammates through the Frozen Four, he will assume an assistant captain role as his brother prepares for his potential selection in the upcoming NHL draft in Nashville in June.
“It (getting drafted) was a really cool experience having my family there and going through the process. Time to help guide him through the process and just to soak it in because it goes really quick.”
“It’s a dream to get drafted into the NHL when you’re younger and having that experience was fantastic and almost surreal. I think I almost tripped on the stairs after my name got called—I almost went down hard. I can coach him to at least get down to bottom of the stairs before having those moments.”
(BU Athletic Photos)