Thursday, April 24, 2014
Brian Billett, born in Charleston, S.C., might never have reached Maine, if his father chose Japan over Brunswick.
Mark Billett was in the Navy and had a choice of two assignments, when his son was in the seventh grade.
Going to Maine helped Billett's hockey career along - a career that dad got going years earlier.
When Brian Billett was 5-years-old, Mark bought him goalie pads for roller hockey. He played ice hockey in Charleston and continued when he came to Brunswick.
After his freshman season at Brunswick High, Billett transferred to North Yarmouth Academy. After a year there, he joined the renowned New Hampshire Junior Monarchs team - where Boston College became interested in him.
At BC, Billett is one of four goalies. It is a competitive group, with three goalies already getting starts.
Billett seemed to be cruising along, until he gave up three goals in 1 1/2 periods against UMass. It was not a horrible performance, but Billett was pulled and lost his starting assignment. Billett knows it is all part of development.
"Coach (Jerry) York said it best: Competition turns into success if you take it the right way," Billett said. "If you’re going to turtle and take the competition defensively, you’re going to fail. But if you take it with open arms …
"(UMass) may not have been the greatest game, but you just learn from it. You can always look at the video and find the errors.
"Obviously, I was very frustrated, but I made sure that was not noticeable to the team. I don’t want to make it about myself. We have a bigger picture in mind.
"We have very high expectations. Starting out so successful was really good because it sets the bar high, not only for yourself but for your teammates and coaches … if you can keep that mental sharpness every game - it slipped a bit against UMass - but I'm right back on track to getting where I was."
Billett is back starting. He will be in goal when BC plays Maine today at 4 p.m.
For more on Billett, see Friday's Press Herald story.