By Jane Fusco
On April 11, 2015, then senior Noel Acciari was on the ice with his Providence College Friars teammates as they celebrated the school’s first NCAA National Championship after a 4-3 victory against Boston University.
The venue was the TD Garden, home of the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins.
Fast forward to March 28, 2017, same place, same ice, but this time, Acciari is now wearing the uniform of the Boston Bruins – and scoring his first NHL career goal against the Nashville Predators.
The 25-year-old forward scored during the third period when the Bruins had a breakaway and Acciari successfully received a backhand pass from Riley Nash. Quickly shooting it over the shoulder of Nashville’s goaltender Pekka Rinne, he brought the Bruins’ up to a 3-1 lead. The Bruins would go on to win it with a final score of 4-1.
A Johnston native, Acciari first caught people’s attention playing for Bishop Hendricken High School, where he was the team captain in 2009.
He went on to Providence College, and finished his intercollegiate hockey career with a total of 65 points (32 goals and 33 assists).
In June 2015, Boston Bruins signed Acciari to a two-year entry-level contract, starting him in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. He closed out his first season scoring 19 points in 45 AHL games.
In March 2016, he received the call to come up to majors and made his professional NHL debut wearing No. 55 for the Boston Bruins.
After his first goal-scoring game, Acciari received a surprise from teammate David Pastrnak, who interrupted a media interview to surprise him with a shaving cream pie to the face, shouting “Congratulations!” to celebrate his achievement.