Greene settling in with English pro team
As captain of the Stonehill men’s hockey team, Patrick Greene was on the ice for nearly every situation last winter: first-line center, power play, and penalty kill.
His role hasn’t changed an ocean away from home.
Greene, who led the Skyhawks in scoring (28 points) and was a first team Northeast-10 Conference selection, is playing professionally in England with the TRS Telford Tigers.
Through five games, he has registered a pair of goals and four assists.
“It’s going well. I’m settled in and having a good time,’’ Greene said in an e-mail earlier this week.
“The game is very skilled and fast-paced, but I feel I’m adjusting well now. Hopefully, I can continue to contribute to the team with my offensive skills and playmaking.’’
Greene has three housemates — one from Great Britain and two from Czechoslovakia.
“We get along great,’’ said the 6-foot-2,190 pound Greene, a former Catholic Conference All-Star at Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury.
“Our rink is under construction, so we haven’t played a home game yet, but we will soon. At each game there have been about 3,000 fans who are pretty loud.
“The rinks here are typically smaller, so the fans are right on top of you, and it creates a great atmosphere. They’re very passionate.’’
When Greene was signed this past summer, Telford coach Tom Watkins said he had filled an important need.
“He’s a great leader, a captain,’’ said Watkins. “That is something we haven’t been able to attract, his sort of experience. He has been a go-to guy on his team and plays well under pressure, and I expect him to be a top player for us.’’
Stonehill head coach Patrick Leahy admired those same attributes.
“He was like a third coach for me and we even used him on defense occasionally,’’ said Leahy, a Canton resident. “Pat has a Division 1 player’s body and skill and his coming to a Division 2 program here was to our benefit. He’s going to be really tough to replace.’’
Greene and Leahy talked about the player’s future late last season.
“I thought Pat was also interested in extending his hockey career and that that his style was suited for the European game,’’ said Leahy, who has coached all three Greene brothers.
Joey Greene, who played forward at Weymouth High and later at Suffolk University, skated for Leahy at the Winchendon School when he was the coach at the prep school.
And Brendan Greene , a CM graduate who played with the Boston Advantage Tier 1 team in Hingham, took a regular turn on defense for Stonehill last season.
The elder Greene, who said it was “really cool’’ to play with his younger brother en route to the conference finals, was influenced in his decision to go to Europe by good friend Coleman Noonan , a former CM teammate who played at Saint Anselm and professionally in Denmark.
Telford, located in the Birmingham region, is about a two-hour drive from London.
“We play 53 games through mid-March, and if I play well, I’d love to get the opportunity to advance to the next pro level here,’’ said Greene, who worked at his father’s accounting firm in Braintree this summer.
His dad, Joseph , played hockey at Suffolk and still skates in an adult league. He said a family trip to England after Christmas is being planned.
Patrick, who is of Irish descent, hopes to visit relatives in Ireland and also find part-time work while in England in the business field. He majored in accounting.
“I applied to become an Irish citizen because my grandfather was born there. Now I have an Irish passport and dual citizenship,’’ he said. “I’ve never been to Europe before, so I really couldn’t go wrong having this experience right after graduation. It’s a great opportunity.’’
Here and there
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