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Prospects Become Fan Favorites Off the Ice in Billerica

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins - All week at Development Camp, the Bruins' prospects have been getting a glimpse at what it takes on and off the ice to be a professional hockey player - and more importantly, what it takes to be a Boston Bruin.

On Friday, at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Billerica, a handful of prospects took some time off the ice to give back to the community, a staple of being a Bruin.

The players took to the field for a couple hours of fun and games with the kids on a bright, sunny day. The array of activities included potato sack races, water balloon tosses, musical chairs, three legged races and hula hooping.

Matt Grzelcyk and Colton Hargrove seemed to be among the kids’ favorites during the festivities of the day (and it wasn't just because Grzelcyk enticed a few willing participants into sneaking up on Malcolm Subban with a water balloon!)

“I think it’s nice to always give back to the community and see these kids smiling," said Grzelcyk, who is taking part in his second camp this year, after being drafted by the Bruins in 2012. “They obviously love the Bruins and the Bruins have a big impact on the community.”

By the way Gryzelcyk was interacting with the kids today, it was no secret why the kids took a liking to him.

“I had one kid, I think his name was Aiden, he’s a champ," Grzelcyk smiled. “He was sprinting out there, even though he fell he wanted me to pick him up and run with him so that was a lot of fun.”

Aiden, a camper of the Boys and Girls club, chimed in on his time with the players today as well.

“I had a lot of fun meeting them and hanging out with them…It was really cool," said the youngster, who was also a huge Bruins fan.

Hargrove also enjoyed being a fan favorite, especially around musical chairs. He nearly won, but his new young friend beat him to the final chair at the end.

“It’s pretty special. You always enjoy joking around with younger kids, messing with them, playing around with them," he said.

"To know that you’re their favorite always puts a smile on your face.”

This event was the first time that any team of players with a professional affiliation had been to The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Billerica.

Patty Mahoney, the camp's director, spoke about her reaction to the events of the day.

“I think it was great. The players all got involved, they all played, they were doing potato sack races, they were doing water balloon fights, so I think that was awesome," she smiled.

Patty was also enthralled by the kind of impact - however small - the players will have on the kids.

“Whether they’re doing potato sack races or playing with water balloons, I think they’re role models," she said. "These are older guys, they’re Bruins and they know how to have fun."

“I think it really does impact the kids and they’ll be talking about it for a long time.”

---Story Written by Jenna Gilberti

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