Friday, March 14, 2014

Senior Week: Captain Garrett Noonan

This is the final post in our series thanking the BU hockey class of 2014. You can read the posts about Matt Ronan, Jake Moscatel and Patrick MacGregor in the enclosed links.

                                              Photo Credit to Brooke Canaday/ BU Today

Garrett Noonan came onto campus and quickly became a fan favorite partially due to his awesome last name. His fan boy/girl nation only grew each game there. Fans learned to love how he played on the ice and how he acted off of it.

Noonan committed to BU and legendary coach Jack Parker along with co captain Patrick MacGregor as NHL bound defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen left campus to begin their professional careers. Noonan was coming off a season with the Vernon Vipers(BCHL) with classmate Sahir Gill after 4 years at Catholic Memorial which also happens to be the alma mater of his coach. He was the co-captain of a Catholic Memorial team that won the Super 8 Championship.The Norfolk, MA native recorded 34 points (12-22) in 30 games for CM and was named co MVP of his conference.

He would make the move to Vernon of the BCHL at the recommendation of his high school coach and former teammate Mike Collins. Noonan joined Vernon and contributed right away as his 27(6-21 points helped lead them to a second straight RBC Cup title. Noonan then had to make the decision between BU and PC which he said came down which school would make him the best player along with the coaching staff and being a BU heavy school in Catholic Memorial. He certainly made the right choice in our eyes.

Noonan contributed right away as a freshman. He put up 15 points(4-11) in 38 games and also lead the team in penalty minutes with 89 which indicated his physical style defensively. He scored his first career goal against BC which he enjoyed as he told us in our interview with him in 2011

"Yeah it was against BC, good to get the first one out of the way against them.  But yeah I think either Chiasson or Connolly passed it to me and I just kind of banged it home, pretty greasy goal.  Had a nice celebration in front of the Eagles bench and rubbed it in a little."

2 of Noonan's 4 freshman year goals were game-winners as he always had the knack for scoring goals in big moments for his teams. This was just another reason for BU fans to fall in love with him(some fans more literal than others). Noonan was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 NHL Entry draft after his stellar freshman campaign but he didn't let that distract him for the remainder of his career on Commonwealth Avenue.

Noonan continued his great play into his sophomore year when he potted 16 goals(16-11, 64 PMs) which was tied for the lead for all defensemen in the country and was second on the team behind Wade Megan. He potted both of the team's goal in the Beanpot Final vs BC. BC was a team that Noonan was open about not liking. He respected them as opponents but he certainly did not like them. He proved it on the ice as he found ways again and again to make plays against them more so than other opponents. It was just another reason to make him so easy to like and cheer for. 

 The 2011-2012 team made the NCAA tournament that season before losing in the first round to a tough Minnesota team in St. Paul. The final score was 7-3 but the final two Minnesota goals were empty netters. The first time we saw Garrett after that game, the first thing he said was "we should have won that game". It is just the type of competitor that he was. He wanted to and still does want to win at all costs.  That is what made him a great college hockey player and that is one of the things that will make him a great pro as well.

Noonan was named an assistant captain in the middle of junior campaign and once again put up solid numbers for a defenseman with a 6-13-19 line. He also racked up 94 penalty minutes as he was often penalized for his physical play in the defensive end. This is something he would learn from and address as he only had 42 penalty minutes this past season under Coach Quinn. 

Noonan had two opportunities to leave his college teammates and program behind after his sophomore and junior seasons. In both instances, he chose to come back to school for a chance to win more and develop as a player. He is an example of a kid who just loved playing college hockey. After his BU career ended Saturday night, he told the Daily Free Press : " This place(BU) gave me so much and I wish I could have gave more back" . This might be the first time I disagree with him. BU did give him plenty but he gave so much back. He came back to an extremely young and thin roster this year and took on the role of captain. He was also asked to play 30+ minutes a night and give up his own offense for the betterment of the team. He did all of this throughout the season and as Coach Quinn said following the season "It was almost inhumane what we asked him to do". Terrier fans, the last 4 years, have had a treat of watching one of the most passionate BU players to ever put on the jersey in my memory (I'm not that old and realize there were plenty of others who did as well). He did it all for the 4 years he was here and appeared to enjoy every minute of it. 

From the young kids who he threw a puck too during warmups to the 60 something year old men who loved the way he played the game, Garrett Noonan will be remembered for a long time on Commonwealth Avenue. We certainly wish Garrett the best moving forward as he moves on to his professional career. We totally expect him to succeed at the pro level because that is all that he has ever done. If he isn't paired with Shea Weber on a d-pairing within two years, I would be shocked. Best of luck Noons, you certainly will be missed by many after a great 4 years making Terrier nation proud. 

P.S. Nashville is going to make a lot of money the day they put Noonan t-shirt jerseys for sale.

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