Let’s name hockey animals that start with the letter ‘B.’
There are Bulls, such as you might find in the big horn country of Billings.
There are Bison, which roam across rinks in Boulder.
And there are even Brown Bears, the likes of which prowl in chilly Kenai River.
The common thread between all those ‘Bs’ is that Dan Turgeon has played for them all.
It stands to reason, then that the talented junior winger would attach himself to another beastly B bunch – the Bengals of Buffalo State.
Turgeon has blended into his new spot in hockey’s menagerie quite nicely, too, after having previously put in two years at Monroe (N.Y.) County Community College. (No B’s there, alas. MCCC skaters call themselves the Tribunes.)
He leads Buff State scorers with 11 points (six goals, five assists) and stands just three points off the SUNYAC scoring lead.
“You put the puck on his tape,” said Bengals’ coach Nick Carriere, “and he knows what to do with it. He’s been great on and off the ice. You can talk to him like a man.”
Well, Turgeon is a ripe 23-year-old whose wizened demeanor has earned him the nickname “Uncle Turge.”
And his performance has merited the Arvada, Colo., native a spot on the Buff State top line.
“It’s a great program,” said Turgeon. “He [Carriere] put me into a pretty high role right off the bat and he’s kept me up there, so I must be doing something right. I’m just going to keep trying to produce.”
As you might guess, Turgeon’s path to Buffalo was a meandering one, one that took him through five time zones and a few years of searching for the right spot.
“I was trying to find the best place for me,” he said. “I was all over the place in juniors.”
The trail led him to Rochester, N.Y., and the realm of juco hockey, a place where for most, hockey dreams go to die.
“I needed a spot and had nowhere to go,” Turgeon said. “They [MCCC] made me an offer and I jumped on it.”
And because of the buzz that began to build about Turgeon, his dreams gained new life.
“I heard about a big kid at MCCC who can score,” said Carriere, who admittedly doesn’t take in too many community college tilts. “And then I heard from someone else about him. I said that somewhere down the road, I’ve got to see what’s going on and see him. It’s tough to judge because that level is inconsistent, but he was a guy who can handle the puck and can skate and he had maturity on the ice. It was well worth taking a risk on him.”
At this stage, it hardly seems like a risk.
It’s more like a no-brainer.