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Belfast: A Closer Look

by Taylor Walker / Boston Bruins - The Boston Bruins departed for Belfast, Northern Ireland immediately after Wednesday night's game against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden, and on Saturday afternoon, the B’s will take on the Giants Selects.

It is expected to be a packed house on Saturday, with the Odyssey’s 10,000 seats filled for the intercontinental showdown.

Belfast, a city of just under 600,000, will host the Bruins in the Odyssey Arena, home of the Belfast Giants. As the country’s capital, Belfast is often the first stop for travelers in Northern Ireland.

Belfast is the region's transportation hub, featuring a rail system that runs to Londonderry and Dublin as well as buses that allow tourists to explore the more rural areas, including Northern Ireland’s magnificent coast.

Traveling along the region's coast is an eclectic experience and includes the magnificent volcanic landscapes of the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrickfergus, Ireland’s best-preserved Norman castle, are found among old checkpoints set up by the armies that have occupied the area throughout its history.

Beyond it's natural beauty, many influential and internationally recognized artistic talent continues to be produced by Northern Ireland.

Actor Liam Neeson, singer Ruby Murray, author C.S. Lewis, musical group Snow Patrol, and world renowned singer/songwriter, Van Morrison have all called Belfast their home and incorporated their Northern Irish heritage into their respective works.

“Take Back the City,” by Snow Patrol sets the determined optimism of today’s Belfast residence to music. Reminiscent of a revival meeting, Snow Patrol urges the people of Belfast to take back their city—a place rich with culture and art -- but haunted by a tumultuous past.

After over a century of political and religious power struggles, Northern Ireland continues to be on the road to independent and peaceful rule.

Still, from the struggle come a rich culture and a persevering population, many of whom will be in attendance when the B’s pust the UK's best hockey players from the Elite League to their limits this weekend.

The Elite League is the professional hockey league of the United Kingdom.

Formed in 2003 after the Ice Hockey Superleague, the Elite League's ten teams compete against one another in a single conference.

For the game this Saturday, Belfast's team took the best players from each of the league’s ten teams to form an all-star squad that will face the B’s.

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