As the New York Islanders welcome back Anthony Beauvillier Thursday night, there’s one moment from his seven-year tenure that fans will never forget.
On June 23, 2021, Beauvillier blew the roof off the Nassau Coliseum barn as his overtime goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning kept their dreams alive, forcing a Game 7.
CRAZINESS AT THE COLI! 🔥
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 24, 2021
That goal served as the final goal the New York Islanders would ever score at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and one that still gives his now former teammates chills.
“You’re just so pumped. Those are the moments that you remember, and the locker room afterward, and still gives me chills thinking about it,” Matt Martin told NYI Hockey now. “So, just a huge goal. Obviously just came up short in the next one, but yeah, those are the types of experiences that when you’re done playing, you’ll think back on those bonds that you have with people and the groups that we’ve had over the years, that will last a lifetime.”
When asked if it’s a goal that creeps back into his mind from time to time, Martin said that social media has had its effects.
“Well, nowadays, I think with social media, it gets posted every now and then, and you rewatch it probably every year. I think it’s posted on the anniversary of it,” Martin said. “And I’ve seen it a lot lately with him being traded, people posting the thank you for this moment type stuff, which is pretty cool.”
Mathew Barzal said that even highlights give him chills.
“Still get chills thinking about it. I posted a video of him coming back into the locker room. I had chills watching it, like I can remember it so, so vividly,” Barzal said.
Netminder Semyon Varlamov was in between the pipes for Beauvillier’s overtime goal and shared what he felt that night.
Beauvillier coming back to town after being traded “brings a lot of memories back” for Semyon Varlamov, who was in between the pipes for that monumental overtime tally.
“That was one of the most important goals I think he’s scored for Islanders. That was definitely a highlight for the night and for the playoffs,” Varlamov said. “There was a lot of emotions after the game. The game was really intense, going to overtime.
“We were down in the series, so it was very exciting when he scored.”
Despite the ups and downs for Beauvillier during his times with New York, he held a special place in the hearts of his teammates.
“We love Beau, and he was a big player for this team and scored some big goals for us,” Martin said. “For him, it’s going to be a very emotional night, and for Bo (Horvat) as well. A little bit different because it’s not their buildings, but it’ll be an emotional game for those guys, and I remember my first time back here. (It’s) a lot to process, lots to take in, but we look forward to playing him.”
Ryan Pulock shared that he had become quite close to Beauvillier over their time together.
“Beauvillier had been here for a while and created a lot of good friendships in this locker room,” Ryan Pulock said. “I think he’s a guy that’s very easy to get along with and very easy to become friends with. I think over the years, for myself personally, we became pretty good friends, and so when you go out there battle against them, it’s sometimes fun.”
“There’s ‘s a little different challenge to it, and looking forward to it tonight.”
Barzal and Beauvillier are the best of friends, and that’s not going to change with Beauvillier no longer with the team.
After being traded, Beauvillier had this to say about their relationship.
“It’s been a hell of a ride with him, and he’s gonna stay one of my best friends forever.”
When we got to speak with Barzal for the first time since the trade, he echoed his best friend’s sentiments:
“I’m always going to be a big fan of his, as a player and as a human. People that know Beau know he’s just a special guy. And yeah, one of my favorite teammates of all time.”
Barzal shared Thursday morning that they text almost every day.
“Fans are obviously going to give him a big ovation. So I’m looking forward to the reaction tonight,” Barzal said.
The emotions are surely going to be high for Anthony Beauvillier, his teammates, and the fan base when the New York Islanders welcome him back with a tribute video.