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Bruins Week Ahead 10/1 - 10/8, Belfast Edition

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
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THIS WEEK'S NEWS, NOTES AND NUMBERS:

BRUINS IN BELFAST: After touching down in Belfast at approximately 10 a.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) on Thursday, the Bruins had their first practice at Odyssey Arena yesterday afternoon. They hit the ice Friday for another skate in preparation for their game on Saturday against the Belfast Giants Selects.

WHO ARE THE BELFAST GIANTS SELECTS?:
-The Belfast Giants Selects are a team comprised of the best players throughout the United Kingdom's Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Many players have experience playing collegiately in the US and in North American minor leagues such as the American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League.

-The Giants Selects boast two players who call towns in Massachusetts home, as Mike Hoffman (Scuituate, MA) and Josh Prudden (Andover, MA) both hail from the Bay State. Prudden played collegiate hockey at the University of New Hampshire and played four years in the AHL.

-They are coached by Doug Christiansen, who is the Head Coach of the Belfast Giants. A former AHL player himself, Christiansen owns the distinction of fighting Shawn Thornton on October 15, 2006 while Thornton was a member of the Portland Pirates and Christiansen a member of the Manchester Monarchs.

A LITTLE ABOUT THE BELFAST GIANTS…
-They were founded in 2000 and have captured six championships in their 10-year-history.
-Their team colors are white, red and teal
- The Giants play their home games at Odyssey Arena in Belfast, which has a capacity of 7,100.
 -Former NHLer Theo Fleury skated for the Giants during the 2005-06 season. He is described as the "most talented" player ever to play in the United Kingdom."
-Their captain is forward Colin Shields, a 30-year-old Glaswegian who was named the player of the year last season in the Elite League after tallying 34 goals and 53 assists and helping lead the Giants to the league title.
-General Manager Todd Kelman has called Saturday's game "the biggest game we have ever hosted in Belfast."
-Their season is already underway and they currently sit atop the standings with a 6-1-1 record in their first 8 games.

PRAGUE ON DECK: The Bruins will depart for Prague on Sunday and have four days of practice and one exhibition game before opening their season against the Coyotes on Saturday. Please note that the start times of the two regular season games will be 12 noon ET on Saturday and 10 a.m. ET on Sunday. Both games will be televised on NESN and broadcast on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

THE COUNTDOWN...

PRAGUE: 2 DAYS
SEASON OPENER: 8 DAYS
DOMESTIC OPENER: 15 DAYS
HOME OPENER: 20 DAYS

NOTEWORTHY: The Bruins are staying at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. According to a fact sheet provided by the Belfast Giants to all the Bruins guests, the "Europa is notorious for being the most bombed hotel in Europe." The note continues "but fortunately, the only thing booming in Belfast these days is business!"

WEEK AHEAD RELATED LINKS:
The Bruins have a horde of media traveling with them in Europe… check out some of their coverage here…

BruinsTV goes behind the scenes with Tuukka Rask (http://tinyurl.com/2vy8jnd)

Boston Globe's Kevin Dupont gives the low down on Day 1 (http://tinyurl.com/28s7fk)

Steve Harris of the Boston Herald catches up with some Belfast locals (http://tinyurl.com/2wsuvas)

Comcast's Joe Haggerty thinks the trip is important to lay the foundation for success (http://tinyurl.com/36f9a6g)

WEEI.com's DJ Bean takes a look at the Irish connection between Shawn Thornton and Patrice Bergeron aka "Patrick Cleary" (http://tinyurl.com/332lzku)

NESN.com has a handful of photos from the trip to date (http://tinyurl.com/32bv7du)

The 2010-2011 Boston Bruins season is presented by the Massachusetts State Lottery. Fans interested in learning more about Boston Bruins players, or ticket options, should visit the team website at www.bostonbruins.com or call 617.624.BEAR (2327).

AROUND TOWN:

WHAT: Prague Season Opener Viewing Parties
The Boston Bruins will host the first viewing parties of the 2010-11 season on Saturday, October 9 beginning at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday, October 10 at 9:30 a.m. to watch the Bruins take on the Phoenix Coyotes in their season opening series in Prague, Czech Republic. These free events will take place at The Fours on Saturday and Jerry Remy's Sports Bar and Grill on Sunday and are open to all ages. The Bruins mascot, Blades, the Bruins Ice Girls, and the Bruins Street Team will be raffling off autographed memorabilia and other great prizes.

WHEN: Saturday, October 9 from 11:00 a.m. through the end of the game
WHERE: The Fours, 166 Canal Street, Boston, MA 02114
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Bruins mascot, Blades and the Bruins Ice Girls

WHEN: Sunday, October 10 from 9:30 a.m. through the end of the game
WHERE: Jerry Remy's Sports Bar and Grill (1265 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02215)
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Bruins mascot, Blades and the Bruins Ice Girls
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