Mark’s love for hockey came not long after he began walking. He laced up his first pair of skates at the age of 4. in the Hyde Park rink where he and twin brother Mike were pushing chairs at the learn-to-skate class. Later in quick succession he played for the Mites, Squirts, Pee Wee’s and the Bantam’s. Most days Mark and Mike spent their time at the end of the driveway practicing shots into a regulation hockey net. One their Dad had taken from a local rink so his beloved twins could shoot pucks for hours at a time.
As the years past, Marks talents were blossoming. By the time he joined his high school hockey team at Catholic Memorial, it was obvious to many that he was destined for a bright hockey career. His twin brother Mike, also prospered while at Catholic Memorial and together they helped CM win three state championships in the late 1980’s. During his senior year, Mark was named a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic. It was the crowing achievement for a school boy hockey star. After a postgraduate year at Cushing Academy, where he was a New England Prep all-star, Mark embarked on a successful career at Boston University.
In four season at BU, from 1989-1993, Mark tallied 34 goals and 51 assists for 85 points and twice received the Bennet McInnis Award for Team Spirit, sharing the honor each time with his brother, Mike. The Terriers advanced to the NCAA Tournament all four year, reaching the semi-finals on three occasions, and played in the 1991 NCAA Championship game. The Squad also won three Beanpot titles and one Hockey East Championship.
A ninth-round draft pick of the New York Rangers, Mark played three years in the American Hockey League – Binghamton, Frederick, and Providence – then two seasons with the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League, the first of which was memorable because Mark and Mike were together again, team mates for the last time. They knew their playing days were nearing and end, but they were never going to leave the game.
Playing the game was something Mark always enjoyed, but his interest later shifted in a different direction toward something even more rewarding…coaching. His hard work paid off and he landed his first assistant coaching position at Brown University. The following year he joined the storied Harvard University hockey program as assistant coach. Mark was thrilled; “I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be at one of the best institutions for academics and hockey in this country.”
After a few years at Harvard, his coaching skills caught the eye of another pro team, the Chicago Freeze. He commanded the Freeze bench for two years until a big break came in 2000 when the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings brought him in as an assistant scout under director of pro scouting and former Boston Bruins hockey legend Garnet “Ace” Bailey.
Mark was not only a great player but a great judge of hockey talent. While scouting for the Kings, he was instrumental in helping the team taking a talented center from Ohio State, Dave Steckel, in the first round of the 2001 NHL Draft.
Mark made many on ice assists during his hockey career, but it was those off the ice the he found equally rewarding. During the 1980’s and 90’s. Mark became a mentor to a great many youngsters who were just starting out in youth hockey. Mark was extensively involved in the Massachusetts USA Satellite Program, working as a coach for five years before being named program director. Mark also had a ten year commitment to be an instructor at the International Hockey Academy. In 2001, Mark opened his own hockey summer camp located in Canton, Massachusetts to help children excel both on and off the ice. Mark was always available to help a youngster with a problem, and at the same time assist them with their performance both athletically and academically.
Mark Bavis left behind the memory of unyielding character and devoted friendship, of brotherly love and athletic passion, of strong family values and unshakable faith.
We will never forget Mark Bavis
Family and Friends
Having family and friends around him was very important to Mark. Thier love and support helped instill in him the values that made Mark such a special person. He in turnwas always there to help them in any way he could. Here are a few photos of Mark doing what he liked to do the best; enjoy the company of the people he loved.