EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 4, 2008

From the NHL to the MVC; Former hockey star Lachance now a coach for Andover

Andover head coach Mario Martiniello has noticed the looks on the faces of his players when assistant coach Scott Lachance speaks up.



"They really look up to him," said Martiniello. "You can tell when he has something to say, everyone has their ears opened. They know he has been there and done that before."



No one can question Lachance knows his hockey. After all, the 35-year-old played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League, as well as representing the United States in the Olympics.



"Scott Manty is an assistant coach at Andover who I knew from (Boston University) alumni events," said Lachance. "He called me up out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to help coach."



Beginning to excel



For Lachance, high school hockey is an entirely new experience.



Like many blue-chip prospects, when he reached high school age he opted for junior hockey, playing for the New England Junior Falcons, based in Connecticut, in what is now the Eastern Junior Hockey League.



"It wasn't really a league back then," said Lachance, who grew up in Bristol, Conn. "We played all prep schools and college JV teams. It got us acclimated to different campuses, and it was quite an experience playing against 22-year-olds."



He then moved on to play one season (1990-91) for Boston University, scoring five goals and recording 19 assists in 31 games as a defenseman. He also met his future wife, Jacqueline, daughter of legendary BU hockey coach Jack Parker.



His time at BU was brief, as he was selected with the fourth pick overall in the 1991 NHL draft by the New York Islanders.



But before he embarked on his professional career, he received more dream news. He was chosen to play for the US hockey team in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France.



"That is one of the those experiences you will never forget," said Lachance, whose team finished fourth. "I was 19 and traveling was overwhelming. But once you got into the Olympic Village and go through the opening ceremonies, it's just surreal. You learn a lot. That was back when the game was still for amateurs, not NHL players."



The Big Time



Lachance kicked off his NHL career later that year, playing in 17 games for the Islanders during the 1991-92 season.



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