The Long Beach community showed its support for hometown native and Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy during the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, with many praising the hockey star for his play against the St. Louis Blues.
Though the Bruins lost 4-1 in game 7 on Wednesday, locals showed their support at local bars and restaurants, and on social media during the finals.
“As New Yorkers, it slightly stings to do this. However, we need to support Charlie and wish him and his teammates the best of luck tomorrow,” the Long Beach Fire Department wrote in a message on its Facebook page before the final game. “Charlie, if you see this, we promise you that you can ride the truck and spray water out of the hose if you bring “The Cup” to Long Beach. That’s a pretty fair trade if you ask us. Go Bruins.”
The Bruins found themselves down two goals in the end of the first period and they were never able to recuperate with two additional goals added to the final score. Matt Grzelcyk netted the only goal for the Bruins with 2:10 left in the game. The series was tied 3-3 going into Wednesday night’s game.
McAvoy had more then 26 minutes of total time on the ice in Game 7, according to NHL statistics. The 21-year-old’s impact was felt throughout the series, but most notably in Game 6 with an incredible goal line save, which helped the Bruins force Game 7.
Not only was McAvoy’s influence felt on the ice, but also in the City of Long Beach.
“Charlie is an extraordinary talent, and he comes from a great Long Beach family. Whether we were Islanders or Rangers fans, all of Long Beach was pulling for him,” said City Council President Anthony Eramo, who attended a Bruins game in Boston with his family earlier in the season. “Fortunately for Charlie, his career is just starting out, and hopefully he'll have another shot at the Cup.”
Junction, a sports bar and music venue on Park Avenue, had about 150 people show up to show their support for McAvoy, said manager John Hamlet, despite the well-known rivalry between New York and Boston.
“Everybody was rooting for Boston,” Hamlet said. “It was pretty somber in here after they lost.”
“We had great support for Charlie at Junction,” added Junction co-owner PJ Kavanagh. “The town is so proud of him and look forward to supporting him next year. There are a lot of Long Beach kids who are big Bruins fans now.”
McAvoy’s success has also caught the attention of younger generations, including the son of resident Terence Mulligan, a longtime Rangers fan, who was rooting for McAvoy in the playoffs.
“He’s had a huge impact on youth hockey here in Long Beach. It’s like a ripple effect,” Mulligan said. “Maybe [McAvoy] will be wearing a Rangers jersey next time he is in the Stanley Cup Finals.”