WILMINGTON, Mass. --
Bruins forward Brad Marchand
and defenseman Johnny Boychuk
took the ice at Ristuccia Arena with 50 Wilmington Youth Hockey players Tuesday night as part of the team’s Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters (P.A.S.S.).
The clinic gave the kids, aged 8-12, a chance to participate in various drills with Marchand and Boychuk, as well as Bruins alum and director of development for the Boston Bruins Foundation, Bob Sweeney.
“It’s fun,” Marchand said. “I remember back when I went to my first NHL game, and I could just see [NHL players] from the stands, and I was in awe so, you know, kids being able to skate with NHL players, especially ones from their hometown, is pretty special and they’re all pretty excited.”
Being around the children brought back fond memories for Boychuk, who recalled times when he was awestruck around players such as Mark Messier, Mario Lemieux, and Paul Coffey.
“You just looked up to them and you’re shocked that you’re right in front of them. Just to even ask for their autographs you had to rack up the courage to go and ask them. It was nerve-racking to do that and you get to skate with these little guys and that makes it easier to interact with them as well,” Boychuk said.
Sweeney credited the Bruins players for their work with the kids.
“Well I think it’s great… seeing the current guys here come off a long road trip and they’re probably tired, and for them to come out here is a testament to themselves and the Bruins,” he said.
All of the participants in the clinic received a P.A.S.S. jersey and a gift bag. TD Bank also presented Wilmington Youth Hockey with a $1000 donation.---Mike Brown