St. Joe Goalie Being Honored by Boston Bruins

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Andrew Leitch, goalie for this year's Crusaders team, will be recognized for sportsmanship by the Boston Bruins on Monday night.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As good as Andrew Leitch was between the pipes for the St. Joseph Central High School hockey team in Pittsfield, some nights went better than others.

But it was on those occasions when the things did not go well that the Crusaders goalie really showed his mettle.

"There's plenty of times when I was upset or there was a situation when I had to get my composure," Leitch said recently. "There were a few times when after a goal I wanted to react.

"But it's a position where you have to keep your composure no matter what."

Leitch's penchant for self-control did not go unnoticed by the coaches of Hennessey League, who named the senior netminder the winner of the league's Boston Bruins-MIAA Sportsmanship Award for the 2012-13 season.

On Monday evening, he will be at TD Garden in Boston, where the B's will recognize sportsmanship award winners from throughout the commonwealth during the second intermission of the game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Leitch, a senior at Mount Greylock Regional High School, was a four-year starter in goal. This winter, he led the cooperative team that plays under St. Joe's banner to the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Division 3A tournament, where they dropped a 3-2 decision to South Hadley.

Although he was not a captain on this year's St. Joseph team, Leitch said he understood his responsibility as a role model.

"I did have a little bit of a leadership role on the team," he said. "The kids looked up to me. I tried to set a good example for them."

St. Joe coach Tim Kelly said Leitch did his job in all phases of the game.

"The whole team, frankly, they feed off Andrew and Eric [Leitch] and the other seniors," Kelly said after the team's season-ending loss last month.

"The underclassmen who are working with these guys all became one team."

Andrew Leitch, who has transitioned from hockey with the Crusaders to baseball with the Mounties, will take a break from the diamond to join his family for a rare excursion to Boston on Monday evening.

"I've always watched the Bruins since I was a kid," he said. "I've watched every goalie they ever had and maybe taken a few tips from them.

"I actually went to [a Bruins game] earlier in the season, but it was the first one in a really long time — since I was a little kid. This will be exciting and fun."
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