Senior Lee "Chucky" MacLean knows something important about playing on sports teams. “It’s all about having fun,” he said. “Win or lose you should always appreciate your team and your coaches and the other team. No matter what happens you’re there to enjoy yourself.”
Living that attitude has won the 3-sport athlete a prestigious honor. For his performance on and off the ice this year on the Amesbury/Whittier Hockey Team, he has been selected by the Cape Ann League to receive the 2017 Boston Bruins-MIAA Sportsmanship Award. It is presented to one player from each high school hockey league that exemplifies the highest standards of fair play and sportsmanship.
He is a tri-captain and four-year member of the hockey team who plays left wing. He also runs on Whittier’s Cross Country and Track teams. He will be honored at center ice during a Bruins game on April 4th at TD Garden when they take on Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” he said. “But it will be a cool experience.” He got the news during a gym class from Whittier’s Athletic Director Kevin Bradley. “I didn’t really know what to think,” Lee said. “To be honest, I didn’t really believe it at first.”
The son of Lee and Karen MacLean of Bradford said his parents instilled respectful behavior in him from a young age. “They have always taught me to have good manners and to try my best,” he said. “They always told me not to lose it when you’re angry because it will only hurt your team and make you look foolish.”
His coach George Dodier, who has coached youth hockey teams for nearly 20 years, has never nominated a player for this award and had to convince the seven other coaches in the league to agree on Lee. He also wrote a narrative to the MIAA describing his player.
“He is one of maybe one or two players over the years who every single day, gave his best effort on every drill and every shift during the game,” he said. “And at the end of the practice, he was the first one to go help pick up pucks. He is a leader. He’d clean up everything and at the end, whether it was a game or a practice, he would seek out the coaches and shake our hands and say, ‘thank you coach.’ He’s the epitome of what every parent, coach and teacher would want.”
Lee explained his relationship with his coach like this, “I never give him attitude,” he said. “I always do what he says and try my hardest, and even when we lose, I still enjoy being there and playing.”
He is from a long line of hockey players. One of his uncles played at Merrimack College and two others played in high school, along with his dad and his grandfather.
With his Bruins guest pass, he has invited his dad to come to the game with him. His favorite Bruin of all time is Bobby Orr and today he enjoys watching left wing Brad Marchand. He and his dad have been invited to a reception at The Premium Club inside TD Garden before the puck drops.
Lee studies Electrical Technology at Whittier and works at a co-op job at Stellos Electric in Nashua, NH. He plans to work there full-time after graduation and take night classes at Whittier Tech to earn his journeyman’s license.
He will continue to play hockey in local men’s leagues, he said.