Over the five-day camp hundreds of fans beat the heat by attending practices in Wilmington’s Ristuccia Memorial Arena.
Saturday, bolstered by a large number of B’s season ticket holders, the rink was near capacity as fans flocked to Wilmington to witness the annual Black & Gold summer rite of passage.
“Yeah, we had to let them into our little private area,” joked B’s General Manager Peter Chiarelli about the unprecedented necessity to open the media/staff section of the Ristuccia stands to the general public.
He continued, “It was great, they liked the show that was put on.”
When asked why they braved the heat outside and the cold inside to travel to watch Dev Camp’s finest practice, the Bruins loyal season ticket holders gave plenty of reasons.
“It’s free Bruins. In the middle of a heat wave,” said Brian, a fan who has tickets in section 18 for next year. “It’s one of the greatest days I’ve had as a season ticket holder.”
West Roxbury residents Victoria and Paula made it clear they were here to see one player specifically.
“The new guy!” they all said with a laugh, referring to the second overall draft pick Tyler Seguin
Paula also commented on how many fans came to see the prospects play.
“I can’t believe it! It’s packed,” she said. “There are people out the door.”
Quincy’s Dan and John came because they were excited to see a new team dynamic for the upcoming season.
“I’m liking all the moves [Peter Chiarelli is] making,” said John. “I’m hoping it will be a better year.”
Paula ended by saying how special this experience was to season ticket holders.
She said, “Words can’t even describe what this is right now.”
The players had similar sentiments.
“It was crazy, we had fans everywhere cheering is when we got on and when we got off,” said Tommy Cross
on the last day of camp.
“When we came into the camp the whole parking lot was crowded,” said Jared Knight
. “Coming in as a kid you’re not used to practicing in front of a thousand people.
“So it’s pretty cool.”
It sure was – literally and figuratively.