Bearcats’ MacMillan presented with Bob Boucher Hockey Assistance Fund Scholarship

Luke MacMillan receives Bob Boucher Hockey Assistance Fund Scholarship from board members Chuck LeCain (centre) and Rick Fraughton (left). (Photo - Jim Webb)

Truro Bearcats forward Luke MacMillan was awarded a $1,500 cheque as the 2017-18 season’s winner of the Bob Boucher Hockey Assistance Fund Scholarship before Saturday’s game against the Valley Wildcats at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre. Chuck LeCain and Rick Fraughton, board members with the Bob Boucher Hockey Assistance Fund (BBHAF) made the presentation. The Maritime Hockey League (MHL) announced in June that MacMillan had won the award.

The BBHAF was founded in 2011 as a means to support students within the game who have displayed exceptional scholastic achievements. This organization has corroborated with the MHL to provide a multiple-year $1,500 scholarship to a deserving student-athlete within the league. It’s named after the late coach and executive who, prior to his death in 2004, worked at levels ranging from Nova Scotia Intermediate to the NHL over the course of his long career. Since its inception, the BBHAF has distributed in excess of $125,000 in grants to deserving players, coaches, team’s medical staff, and minor hockey organizations.

MacMillan registered five goals and six assists in 49 games last season with the Truro Bearcats, adding a goal in the playoffs. The 19-year-old from Brookfield, Nova Scotia won an MHL Playoff Championship with the Bearcats as a rookie in 2016-17, with five goals and three assists in the regular season and two more assists in the playoffs. MacMillan is a winner in the classroom as well, maintaining a 4.22 grade point average and Dean’s List honours during his 2017-18 fall course load at Dalhousie University as he continues to work toward earning a degree in Engineering. During his high school career at South Colchester Academy, MacMillan recorded a final grade of at least 92 percent in 21 of 22 courses taken. Also active in the community, MacMillan has spent several years giving his time to such endeavours as the CC Riders Soccer Program, his local Canskate “learn to skate” program, and 4-H.

“The number of players that have succeeded academically, both during and after their careers in the MHL, continues to grow,” said league President Brian Whitehead. “Luke is an outstanding example of all the best qualities so many of those players possess. The MHL is grateful to the BBAHF committee as they continue to reward our deserving players and also wishes to congratulate Luke on this well-earned achievement.”

MacMillan’s Bearcat coach, Shawn Evans, echoes those thoughts.

“The Truro Bearcats Organization is very proud of Luke receiving the Bob Boucher Assistance Fund Scholarship,” Evans said. “Luke is an outstanding student and represents our team, the MHL and the Truro community in a positive manner. He is already a (playoff) champion and is an excellent role model for all student-athletes who aspire to play high-level hockey while continuing their studies.”

Lucas Sangster of the Amherst Ramblers was named the BBHAF winner in 2015, Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals received the award in 2016, and Sam Cameron of the Woodstock Slammers was the BBHAF winner in 2017.

Who Was Bob Boucher?
Bob Boucher was a hockey player who turned to a lifetime of coaching after an eye injury shortened a professional hockey career before it ever really had a chance to begin. In Major Junior he had finished second in the scoring race losing out to Frank Mahovolich, but finishing ahead of third place Bob Nevin, fourth place Bobby Hull and fifth place Stan Makita. His success as a coach was rivalled only by his passion for the development of the game of hockey.

  • Boucher’s SMU Huskies won nine consecutive AUS Championships
  • In one nine-year stretch (1969-77) his team accumulated a total of only 15 losses. His lifetime CIS record is 231 wins 33 losses and 4 ties.
  • He was named the AUS and CIS Coach of the Year twice.
  • Bob Boucher inducted to both the SMU and the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame.
  • He won the Hardy Cup coaching the Dartmouth Moosehead Mounties in 1990. His combined seven-year coaching record with the Moosehead Mounties was 208-64-19, and in 1990 was named Hockey Nova Scotia Coach of the Year.
  • His coaching career included 13 seasons with the Saint Mary’s Huskies as well as stints in Junior ‘A,’ Major Junior, the AHL as well as the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers.

More important than these statistical signs of success was his consummate passion for the development of the game. Pat Quinn stated; “Bob was instrumental in setting up our National Coaches Accreditation System, through his writings on the game and the development of the coaches’ level system. He has influenced the thinking of hockey across Canada, but yet, while always the consummate teacher passing on his knowledge, he was always the student, hungry to know more of the game and those who played it”.

The late Pat Connolly noted that “Bob Boucher’s legacy to Nova Scotia was a quarter of a century of developing new and better directions for young athletes and coaches, teaching and inspiring Nova Scotia hockey players to become the best they could by sharing his knowledge and philosophies as a great communicator, passionately in love with the game”.

Contact the BBHAF:
Phone: (902) 457-0700

You can assist the BBHAF by:

  • Attending ‘Saturday Night at the Forum’, February 2nd, 2019 at the Maritime Hall – Halifax Forum Complex. A $20.00 ticket purchase includes two complimentary beverage coupons, a light supper as well as one game ticket to the ‘Lobster Trap’ game between SMU  Huskies and the Dalhousie Tigers. Door prizes!
  • Enter a golf team in the BBHAF Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, June 24th, 2019 at Glen Arbour Golf Course.
  • Purchasing a draw ticket:

James Faulkner
Director of Communications
Maritime Hockey League