The first word out of Eric Perrin’s mouth when the questions began was “we.” For anyone familiar with Perrin and his career, the other person in the pronoun is Martin St. Louis.
The Laval, Quebec, natives had played together in Canada since they were 10, and when it was decided that college hockey was going to be their pre-professional path, it was a given that they would be a package deal. Perrin’s father was a stickler for education, and, having seen countrymate Ian Boyce succeed at the NCAA level (with the University of Vermont), Perrin knew college hockey was a viable option to continue his progression. The only issue to be resolved was which college would be so lucky. Perrin admitted that “Maine was really impressive,” but it was Gutterson Fieldhouse that helped to sway him a bit west. “I think that’s what got us, how the crowd was the game we went to watch. We were both in awe,” Perrin recalled. Also wanting to be the difference makers in a program, the two felt Vermont offered a better chance at a unique legacy.
It didn’t take long to start it. Perrin played his first game at age 17. By the time he turned 18 it was already clear that he was going to be a major factor in any of UVM’s success over the next four years. As he would do all four years, he led the team in goals (and is the school’s career record holder with 107). He insists it didn’t come easily, though. “Every year, it seemed to get harder and harder because teams were playing us really hard and really tight,” Perrin said. “They tried their best to kind of contain us, but Marty and I were students of the game. (We were) always trying to stay one step ahead of everyone.”