Despite his team’s 4-2 loss against the Boston Bruins, it was a homecoming for Islander Keith Aucoin and the Massachusetts native certainly didn’t disappoint.
34-year-old Aucoin got his hockey start locally in Massachusetts before moving on to Norwich University in Vermont. He did play locally after that playing the 2002-2003 season for the Providence Bruins as well as a few seasons with the Lowell Lock Monsters, before going through almost 10 different AHL and NHL teams.
But, Friday night Aucoin was back in Boston and this time with his new team the New York Islanders. He got to play in front of his family, and netted in each one of the two goals for the Islanders.
“I had a lot of my family [here]. I played a lot of games here, especially in the playoffs,” said Aucoin, “to be on the board tonight, it was a pretty good feeling to do that in front of my family and friends.”
It’s not the first time Aucoin has gone head-to-head with his childhood team, in last season’s playoffs he helped in the Capitals eliminate the then defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins in round one of the playoffs in a best of seven series.
“Last year, winning Game 7 here was pretty special,” said Aucoin. “Whenever you play at the Garden, the hometown team you grew up watching, and cheering for, and to be able to play in front of 40 people here, it’s always fun to come back and play.”
It’s been a journey up and down from the big club to the minors for Aucoin who played in 27 games for the Washington Capitals, including playoff appearances last season and 43 games that same season for the Hershey Bears. Claimed off Waivers earlier this season from Toronto, Aucoin seems to be making a smooth transition into his new team, fitting in nicely with the Islander’s roster.
“It’s going pretty good,” said Aucoin of the transition to New York, “I have to learn the systems; that’s the hardest part. Once you get that down, it’s just another game to go out and play. I’m getting a lot more ice time here, a lot more power play time, and I’m just playing with a lot more confidence now.”