Minuteman Flames in the News

Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 23, 2011

Shea's Eagles seeking repeat of national hockey title

Boston College's run to last year's national hockey championship began in Worcester, not too far from BC defenseman Edwin Shea's home in Shrewsbury. This year, the Eagles' NCAA Tournament title quest will start in St. Louis, where they will face Colorado College Friday night.

“It doesn't matter where we play,” Shea said yesterday. “We wish we were staying closer, but it will be a nice little bonding trip for the team.”

The Eagles, who captured the Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles, will be seeking their third national championship in the last four years. BC has won eight straight heading into the NCAA Tournament and is 15-1-1 in its last 17 games.

“We're on a nice little stretch right now,” Shea said, “and hopefully we stay hot in the tournament.”

Shea had four assists and a plus-8 rating in four NCAA games last year as a sophomore. He assisted on the decisive goal in a first-round victory over Alaska-Fairbanks and had two assists in BC's crazy 9-7 win over Yale in the Northeast Regional final at the DCU Center. He also assisted on a third-period goal in the national semifinal win over Miami of Ohio.

Shea finished the season with 10 points and, with a plus-21, ranked fourth among BC defensemen.

This year, Shea hoped to pick up where he left off, but his 2010-11 season did not start out the way he wanted.

“It was shaky at first,” Shea said. “I wasn't playing with confidence, and I wasn't making the plays I'm used to. I just wasn't up to par.”

Shea, who has one assist and a plus-7 this season, thinks he has played better as the year has gone on.

“I think just playing in more games and working hard in practice has helped me get more confident,” Shea said. “I didn't plan on starting off as bad as I did, but it's always good to improve.”

Shea, a 2008 Shrewsbury High graduate, starred in baseball for the Colonials — he was a two-time Mid-Wach A All-Star — and played for the Boston Junior Bruins from 2004-08.

He earned Eastern Junior Hockey League All-Star honors three times and was the 2007-08 recipient of the John Carlton Memorial Trophy, given annually by the Boston Bruins to the outstanding student-athlete in Eastern Mass. high school hockey.

Shea said his parents, Denise and Ed, will be making the trip to St. Louis. They had an interesting winter watching Edwin and younger son Colin, a freshman at UMass, play against each other five times.

“It's fun, but it's different when you look and see your brother, who you've lived with since you were born, on the other team,” Edwin said.

Led by junior forward Cam Atkinson (30-21-51), BC is one of the country's top offensive teams.

Shea has aided BC's solid defensive unit, which allows 2.26 goals per game to rank sixth in the nation.

“Our offense is always top-notch,” Shea said. “As long as the defense holds down our end, I think we should be OK.”

The Northeast Regional, being held this year at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., returns to the DCU Center next year with games on March 24 and 25.