BOSTON (WETM) – Elmira’s Johnny Beecher made Elmira sports history Wednesday night.
(PHOTO: NBC Sports Boston)
Beecher, a rookie on the Boston Bruins as the fourth-line center, made his NHL debut against the Blackhawks. On home ice, Beecher helped the Bruins to a season-opening win over Chicago 3-1. From the start, Beecher made an impact on his new team.
Beecher won the opening draw starting off the game well. In all, Beecher played 10 minutes and 41 seconds on the ice recording one shot on goal. Johnny also won six of 11 total face-offs on the night in his first NHL game.
Beecher’s opening face-off of the game was won versus Connor Bedard of Chicago, the top overall draft pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Bedard, 18, scored the lone goal of the night for the Blackhawks (1-1-0).
In the third period, Beecher dropped the gloves and fought Chicago’s Jason Dickinson. The two traded blows at the 16:48 mark of the final frame. Beecher was tagged with a penalty for boarding and stood his ground against the veteran Dickinson.
Beecher, 22, becomes the first Elmira region athlete to compete in one of the four major sports leagues in the United States (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA) since Spencer Van-Etten grad Jeff Foote played for the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) in 2012.
Next up for Beecher and the Bruins (1-0-0) is a Saturday night home game against the Nashville Predators (0-1-0). The puck drops at 7 pm and will air on NESN.