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B's Street Brigade Starts Summer With a Bang

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
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A sniper sets up a shot...
On Thursday, May 15th the Boston Bruins Street Brigade, in conjunction with The Sports Museum and the Stand Strong Program, hosted a free street hockey clinic at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club in Chelsea for 25 middle school children.

Throughout the year, Street Brigade serves to introduce children throughout Massachusetts through street hockey.  The Bruins, in coordination with NHL Street, donate complete sets of street hockey equipment to centers and youth programs throughout Massachusetts. As such, the Bruins donated a full set of street hockey equipment, including two nets, plenty of sticks and goalie gear, to the Jordan Boys and Girls Club to continue its street hockey program.

The B's Street Brigade also gives clinics on how to use the equipment. The sessions are conducted by a member of the Black & Gold and give the children a chance to learn from a player, coach, or alumni and the equipment stays at the center to allow the children to further develop their street hockey skills.

Last Thursday's clinic, led by former NHL hockey player and current Boston assistant coach Doug Houda and his son Kris (a fixture at the B's practice rink in Ristuccia), provided instruction on street hockey shooting, stick handling, and passing skills and finished with a very lively scrimmage.

NHL Street began in 1994 and has provided a fully funded network of structured youth recreational programs for over a million kids, ages 6-16, free of charge.

Motivational speaker, author, and Boston University graduate Travis Roy joined Houda & Son at the Chelsea clinic to provide some pre-practice insight into attaining goals and cultivating self-respect.

"I don't think there is a better way to stay motivated, over a period of time, other than setting goals," said Roy. "And there are two primary incentives that you have to have in order to achieve your goals.

"The first incentive…is wanting to see how good you can be at whatever it is you choose.

"The second incentive -- and certainly since my accident it's pushed me -- is having pride," he explained.

In 1995, Roy, a former BU Terrier hockey player, was paralyzed just eleven seconds into his first college hockey shift. A paraplegic, Roy has dedicated himself to helping and educating others, not only through site and school visits like at the Boys and Girls Club in Chelsea, but also through The Travis Roy Foundation.

"I think that pride is knowing that you tried your best," said Roy. "It's knowing that you didn't let your teachers down, knowing that you didn't let your parents down and…your friends, your coaches and your teammates, too.

"It's knowing that you didn't cheat and that you didn't cut corners.

"Pride is having reasonable or justifiable self-respect -- you have to believe in yourself and you have to respect yourself in order to attain goals," he said.

One of the most respected men in New England, through his foundation Roy works to help spinal cord injury survivors regain their independence by providing adaptive equipment grants, education and research support.

Beyond goal setting and self-respect, to his enthusiastic audience Roy also emphasized that 'attitude' was one of the most important aspects of his recovery and later successes and as he concluded his talk, he gave the children who heard him speak quite a bit to think about during, and after, the hockey portion of the day.

"[After my accident] I realized that I still had far more living left to do than I ever thought possible as a paraplegic," said Roy. "I hope you live every day with a positive attitude and with an optimistic attitude, no matter how difficult the challenges you're facing."
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