Working Undercover: Boston College Hockey Mascot Stays Cool on the Ice

Maddy Manahan enjoys portraying Baldwin the Eagle, Boston College's men's ice hockey mascot. 

Above: Manahan enjoyed every moment as the school’s hockey mascot. 

By Ed Rabinowitz

When the athletics department at Boston College initially approached sophomore Maddy Manahan to fill the role of Baldwin, the men’s ice hockey mascot, she was less than enthusiastic.

Maddy is dressed in an eagle mascot costume where you can't see her face. She waves a Boston College flag
Maddy Manahan carries the Boston College flag prior to the start of a game.

In fact, she turned the offer down. Then she reflected on the opportunity.

“I talked with my friends and thought, this could be so much fun,” Manahan recalls.

At Beanpot, the annual men’s and women’s ice hockey tournament between four major U.S. college teams in the Boston area — Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University and Northeastern University — she donned the costume for the women’s games.

“I figured the women’s games would be a little less intense,” Manahan says. “I did it, and it was so cool.”

For the next three years she loved every second of it. No surprise, since Manahan has been a presence on the ice since she began skating prior to her third birthday.

“I wanted her to have the opportunities I didn’t have,” says Maddy’s mother Ann Marie, a Learn to Skate USA® coach at Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. “So I got on the ice with her at seven months pregnant. I wanted her to become comfortable with her skates on.”

Manahan doesn’t remember much from those early days other than eating grilled cheese sandwiches at the snack bar. But she does recall the moment, at age 5, while being coached by U.S. Figure Skating gold medalist Jennifer Perry, which brought skating to the forefront in her mind.

“[Jennifer] recommended getting me into a pair of hockey skates, because I was on my toe picks a little too much,” Manahan says. “I tried them on and they were more comfortable.”

Soon after, Manahan began developing her hockey skills, eventually playing for Tom McLaughlin and the New Jersey Colonials, and earning a varsity letter as a freshman at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. She also began competing in lacrosse in third grade and won two NCAA Division I championships — most recently in May 2024 — as a goalie for the Boston College women’s lacrosse team.

But Manahan says being on the ice was her first love.

“I’m just a little rink rat,” says Manahan, noting that she has spent several summers coaching on Nantucket for the Riley Hockey Clinic. “It’s a lot of fun, and it’s so rewarding seeing the same kids come back every year, seeing how much they’ve improved over time. It’s so gratifying to see their joy in the sport.”

Maddy poses with an NCAA championship trophy. The trophy is wood with glass in the front. She has long brown hair and she is wearing a grey sweatshirt
A goaltender with the Boston College women’s lacrosse team, Manahan hoists the NCAA championship trophy.

After Manahan’s test run during the women’s hockey games at Beanpot, she took to the ice as Baldwin the Eagle, the men’s ice hockey mascot at Boston College. She says it was an awesome experience, and a great workout as well.

“You burn so many calories, because you’re wearing maybe 20 pounds of gear and carrying a seven-foot flag,” Manahan explains. “But it was also an endorphin rush.”

And it presented a fair share of challenges. The mascot’s eyes are positioned high on the costume, so the skater is restricted to seeing through holes in the eagle’s beak.

“You can only see down,” Manahan says. “You basically have to be able to skate blind or going off the markings on the ice with 20 pounds of costume on. But I was able to get around pretty well.”

Part of Manahan’s routine as the mascot was to wave the school flag at center ice while the giant screen played a video to get the crowd excited. Then, when the opposing team’s players were introduced, she would cover her eyes with her hands and shake her head. For the home team, of course, it was all about clapping and cupping her hands to her ears as a way of telling the crowd, “Let me hear you.”

“You definitely have to be animated,” Manahan says. “That was the biggest learning curve for me because it’s not really my thing. But I had a lot of great mentors and friends who helped me out with that.”

Manahan, who graduated from Boston College in May, may be uncertain about some aspects of her future, but she doesn’t see herself removed from skating in general, and hockey in particular. She’s even planning to stay in contact with the mascot program at Boston College where she was captain of the squad for the past two years.

“I love it so much,” she says. “I’ve never gotten burned out. And eventually when I have kids, they will most definitely be skating.”