Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thornton takes the reins in Belfast

The list of Jack Parker-coached Terriers who’ve made their mark in coaching is a lengthy one that includes, to name just a few, Terry Meagher (Bowdoin), Bill O’Neill (Salem State), Joe Sacco (AHL Lake Erie), Mike Sullivan (Bruins), Shawn McEachern (UMass Lowell) and Brian Durocher (BU-Women), and it continues to grow. Add Steve Thornton to the ledger.

MVP of BU’s 1995 National Championship team, Thornton refuses to take off the skates and pads. Last April, he returned the Belfast Giants of the British Elite League as Player-Coach after 13 seasons in pro leagues in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Britain, and Switzerland. And, at age 35, Thornton also will be seeking a spot on the British National Team for the World Championships. Coach Thornton’s defense corps is led by Shane Johnson, another member of the ’95 champs who has played for British teams since completing his four years on Babcock Street and one with the Canadian National Team. Steve's comments about Johnson:

“With Shane, I am getting a proven winner. I won a National Championship with him as a teammate in University and the playoff Title with him in Belfast. Teams hate playing against Shane and that is probably the biggest compliment I can pay him. He is a player that every team would want on their team and a player that every opposing forward hates to play against.”

The Giants' roster has a decidedly Hockey East flavor. Besides the two ex-Terriers, former Maine sniper Colin Shields is doing double duty as a forward and team blogger. And UML coach Blaise MacDonald, a BU assistant on the '95 title team, has directed a pair of River Hawks, Bobby Robins and Andrew Martin, to the Giants to continue their pro careers. Thornton's Giants have won five of his first six games behind the bench.

1 comment:

Puckmeister said...

TB - Thanks for the research, time, and effort to make these posts a 'cornucopia' of all that is BU Hockey. Good work and very informative.

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