Former Black Bears Jr-Prep defenseman Josh Grieveson signs a professional contract with the EIHL Dundee Stars in Scotland! Press Release
Former Black Bears Jr-Prep two year captain Derek Petti – Featured in the Boston Globe as seen through the article below : For full article Click Here
By Kevin Paul Dupont GLOBE STAFF
“The turnaround came in pieces, the biggest of all perhaps the formation of a reliable, opportunistic No. 2 scoring line with 5-foot-9-inch waterbug Michael Babcock at center, flanked by power forwards Derek Petti (6-2, 190) and Chris LeBlanc (6-3, 205). Petti, who grew up just down the road in Tewksbury, scored a goal in each of the three games vs. UNH.
Petti and LeBlanc (Winthrop) both played public school hockey — rare nowadays among Division 1 players — though both added to their playing résumés prior to joining the Warriors. LeBlanc, a junior, played a couple of seasons with the South Shore Kings, and Petti, a freshman, spent two seasons with the Middlesex Black Bears, a hybrid prep school/junior program headquartered at Governor’s Academy in Byfield.
Babcock, son of Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, played four years at Detroit Catholic Central, then two years in the USHL before arriving here in September.
“They put Chris with us and right away, and even from warmups, everything just clicked,’’ said Petti. “It’s one of those things, we’ll come off the ice onto the bench and we’ll just laugh, have a good time. We’re not really worrying about anything outside the glass.’’
“Derek has a poise about him that is probably beyond his years, and I think a lot of it has to do with when you play public school hockey, you have the puck a lot. He has a lot of inner confidence in his game.’’
Petti was a standout for Tewksbury in the Merrimack Valley Conference, but didn’t think about playing top-level college hockey until he had a 5-inch growth spurt midway through high school. Unsure of where to go, he found his way to the Black Bears, allowing him to sharpen his game for Division 1 and also begin taking college courses before landing on the Merrimack campus.
Ultimately, it was an email to Dennehy from Black Bears coach Alex Moody that opened up Petti’s pathway to Merrimack. Moody touted Petti’s skills, encouraging Dennehy to take a look at the video clip he attached to the missive.
“I rarely watch tapes, because you get so inundated with stuff,’’ said Dennehy. “But for whatever reason, I clicked on it. To be honest, there was nothing dynamic, but Derek just made the right play — he would get the puck and give it to the right guy every time. He has that awareness about him.
“And that little bit of Phil Esposito — you know, moving faster than you think he is.”
Held back in part by injury, Petti scored only two goals in 24 regular-season games and now has a total five to go with eight assists. Babcock is 3-4—7 and LeBlanc 6-6—12.
“Just one of those things that worked,’’ said LeBlanc, explaining the line’s success. “We’re three different type of players and we just had that chemistry that worked from day one. Hopefully it’ll keep working.’’”