Mike McGoldrick wins MIAA/Boston Bruins Sportsmanship Award

  • Greenfield’s Mike McGoldrick takes a shot against Southwick earlier this season at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield. The Leyden resident who attends Franklin Tech was awarded the MIAA Sportsmanship Award in the Wright Division this season. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Greenfield captains, from left, Riley Drew, Sean O’Sullivan, Bryan Baumann, Mike McGoldrick and head coach Adam Bouchard receive the MIAA Division 3A state final trophy last month at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 4/6/2020 4:52:58 PM

When Greenfield hockey coach Adam Bouchard made Michael McGoldrick a captain halfway through his junior year, he had little doubt the defenseman would be up to the challenge.

Fast forward a year and a half later, and McGoldrick passed that test with flying colors.

After leading the Green Wave to the first state title in program history last month, McGoldrick, a senior who attends Franklin County Technical School, was selected as the MIAA Sportsmanship Award winner from the Wright Division. The award, which was founded in 2003, is sponsored by the Boston Bruins.

“One of the greatest compliments Michael received this year, and he probably doesn’t know he received it until now, was that multiple freshmen, when asked about their roles in the future with this program, they said they want to be the next Mike McGoldrick for our team,” explained Bouchard. “That’s pretty powerful.”

The Sportsmanship Award is selected by representatives of the Wright Division “for best exemplifying a commitment to the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the season” and meeting the following criteria:

■ An exemplary record of complying, both in spirit and letter, with all league and MIAA rules and regulations during the season.

■ A demonstrated record of respectfully accepting the rulings of game officials during the season.

■ A record of conduct, on and off the ice that brings honor to self, team, school, and community.

■ An exhibited commitment to teamwork by providing all members with recognition of their talents, an opportunity to contribute them to the team, and a spirit of camaraderie.

■ A demonstrated respect for opponents before, during, and after games.

It was the fourth consecutive year that a Green Wave hockey player earned the honor. McGoldrick was a top four defenseman on Greenfield’s state championship squad.

“It means a lot. This is huge for me,” he said of the award. “I’m very honored and very grateful, too. It’s awesome that I get to represent my school and my team. Very happy about that.”

Franklin Tech athletic director Joe Gamache said he was not surprised that McGoldrick was selected for an award exemplifying good sportsmanship.

“Mike’s a high character kid,” Gamache offered. “He’s had a lot of success, obviously with the hockey program. He’s been a highly successful golfer. In the building, he’s a great student. He’s a role model, for sure.” 

McGoldrick, who lives in Leyden, said he didn’t take the responsibility of being a captain for his club lightly.

“Having that ‘C’ on my chest, I have a lot of pride. It means a lot,” he said. “My role as a captain, I’d say coming into the locker room, getting along with everybody. Keeping team chemistry up, getting the boys pumped up before we go out. Trying to explain something to somebody on the bench. Not getting in their face, encouraging them. Got to stay positive to be a captain, especially through tough times.”

Bouchard said that McGoldrick’s contributions were felt throughout the locker room. He’s an important figure on the ice, but also on the bench and outside the arena.

“When you look at what sportsmanship means for this award, it means playing the game, respecting teammates, respecting opponents and officials,” the Greenfield coach began. “When Michael plays, he’s a top four defenseman, plays a ton of minutes, plays on the power play, on the penalty kill. For all that time, he only took three penalties all season. Think about that. That’s six penalty minutes for all the ice time he saw. When you talk about the true black-and-white definition of sportsmanship, he played the game the right way.”

McGoldrick said he had a different feeling about this season, and thought it could be a special year from the very beginning. When Greenfield took to the ice at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross for the state championship game against Lunenburg, he said it was the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“That was the game that I’ve been waiting for since I was a young kid running around the rink watching my brothers play hockey,” McGoldrick said of the state final.

Next for McGoldrick will hopefully be a career as an electrician. He’s currently on a co-op at UMass, and aims to earn his electrical license within the next few years after graduating later this spring.

But to cap his high school sporting career with a state title, McGoldrick said there was no better way to go out.

“It’s something I won’t forget for the rest of my life,” he said.

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