By Debbie Juniewicz
Dayton Daily News
FAIRBORN, Ohio – Matt Beaudoin had more than a dozen offers across the country.
The pro hockey rookie chose Las Vegas.
“They have a great team and I thought Las Vegas would be a great city to live in,” Beaudoin said.
But after only one game with the Wranglers, the Ohio State University graduate was reconsidering. Las Vegas had acquired a pair of veteran players, and Calgary, the parent NHL team, had sent five more guys down to the ECHL ranks. The rookie forward wasn’t going to see much ice time.
“We had four-and-a-half lines and you can only dress three,” Beaudoin said. “I’m not looking to stay in the ECHL, so I wanted to be somewhere I would get to play.”
Again, the 23-year-old was fielding options. This time, he chose Dayton. The Bombers acquired Beaudoin from the Wranglers for future considerations Oct. 24.
“Being from Ohio State, I thought coming back to Ohio would be nice, and I spoke to the coach and he said I could be a big part of the offense,” the Quebec native said.
After only two days practicing with the team last week, Beaudoin did his part in Saturday’s loss to Wheeling, scoring the Bombers’ only goal. He tallied 52 goals and 37 assists in college.
“Saturday, I was on a line with Bobby Chaumont and Yannick Tifu, so I definitely felt some pressure to perform,” Beaudoin said. “Now, I can relax a little bit.”
The Bombers, however, have no time to relax as they will spend most of the weekend at the Nutter Center. Dayton plays three games in three days starting Friday at 7 p.m. against the 4-3 Johnstown (Pa.) Chiefs. The 0-2 Bombers host 2-4 Trenton (N.J.) at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2-2 Cincinnati at 5 p.m. Sunday.
“We have two losses, but we need to put that behind us,” Beaudoin said. “We’ve got some home games and we need to get things started and get a few wins.”
With playing time and a few wins, Beaudoin won’t even miss the slot machines and sunshine. “I’m scared to lose even $20,” he said with a smile. “I’m better off here.”