Smith takes his turn in Boston College’s Beanpot spotlight

Quinn Smith is not a marquee player. The Boston College sophomore had three career goals and eight points in 56 collegiate games when he woke up Monday morning.

He’s not a big guy, either. He’s listed at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, which is pretty average in hockey terms. He doesn’t have a big-name pedigree, apart from his prep experience at Avon Old Farms, and he’s hardly a headline-maker off the ice.

In short, he does not command attention … which makes his commanding performance on Monday evening that much sweeter.

The forward out of Fairfield, Conn., scored Boston College’s first two goals against Harvard, including what would ultimately go down as the game-winner in a 4-1 victory. The surprising outburst extended his scoring streak — the first of his collegiate career — to three games (3-1–4), and sealed the Eagles’ invitations to their 33rd Beanpot championship game.

“Last time I scored two goals in a game was in the USHL a while back, so it was kinda cool to be able to do that here, on this stage,” Smith said. “I guess it’s a little more important.”

Often eclipsed by BC’s superstar snipers, Smith was thrilled by his shining moments against Harvard but clearly understands his job on Jerry York’s roster.

“It means a lot,” Smith said. “You always want to try to help your team win games. We have a lot of kids on this team that can score goals, and it just so happened that tonight it was my night.”

“He’s a good hard-nosed, checking-type player for us,” York said. “Any time he scores goals, it’s an added bonus. He’s a meat-and-potato, hard-nosed player, and you really need an awful lot of players like that on your team. You can have the Johnny Gaudreaus, the Pat Mullanes, the Stevie Whitneys, but you need some real grinders, and he accepts that role, and he’s very, very good at it. Every game, he gives an all-out effort, and when he can score like tonight, that’s a real plus for us.”

Smith quickly learned to embrace his role in the shadows, exhibiting seasoned maturity in his words despite the youthful exuberance in his tone.

“When I came in as a freshman, as you all know we had an unbelievable team,” he said. “It was really hard to crack that lineup, but coaches stayed on me, the players stayed on me, the captains said, ‘Just work hard, your time will come.'”

One of those captains is senior Steven Whitney, who also buried a goal against the Crimson.

“It’s awesome,” Whitney bubbled about Smith. “Everyone’s happy for him, everyone’s proud of him. Part of Quinn’s role is to bring energy to this team — and he does that every night — and when he scored two goals tonight, it just brought even more energy and it was awesome to see.”

Smith may never score two goals in a game again; he may never score another goal at all. But after Monday night, perhaps those beyond the Eagles’ locker room will finally notice Smith and appreciate none of the attention that he commands.