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School is in Session for Blades & Hunwick

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Blades and the backpacks

Representatives from the Boston Bruins Foundation were on hand Tuesday at the Children’s Museum Boston for the 8th annual Countdown to Kindergarten celebration.

Countdown to Kindergarten is an opportunity for parents and their new  kindergartners to enjoy an afternoon of games, activities, food and fun. The event  focused on helping children and families get ready for kindergarten. All of the kindergartners in attendance wore “I’m going to kindergarten!” Black & Gold colored t-shirts.

Boston Bruins Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs, the founder of the Bruins Foundation, his wife Kim, Bruins Director of Development Bob Sweeney, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and new Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson joined outgoing Superintendent Michael Contompasis for the educational fun.

Oh, and we must not forget Blades the Bruins mascot was there to greet and entertain the children!

In addition to enjoying free access to the museum’s many exhibits, the new students had the chance to climb aboard a real school bus, sign up for library cards, grab healthy snacks, ask last-minute school questions and take advantage of free dental and vision screenings.

The Boston Bruins Foundation provided funding for 1,000 Boston Bruins backpacks and all of the kindergarten students in attendance received a beautiful B's backpack filled with necessary school supplies.

Good luck kids!

Becoming a familiar face
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
Matt Hunwick, late of the Michigan Wolverines and now property of your Boston Bruins, has become an increasingly familiar presence on Wilmington ice this summer.

Starting with the Bruins Development Camp and continuing through this month's preseason tune-ups, Hunwick has shown a desire to be on the ice as much as possible.

Now, with vaunted pros like Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard skating alongside him, the young defenseman is getting just a taste of what a true NHL training camp is like.

"The players at the Development Camp were obviously skilled," said Hunwick. "(The biggest change is) just the maturity of the guys that I am skating with now, like Chara and Savard -- guys who are NHL All-Star caliber.

"Having a chance to play with and against them a little bit, and see more of what the NHL game is like and what it takes to get there, has been nice."

I'll tell you what's been nice, from a Bruins perspective -- seeing how hard Matt works.

However, Hunwick says that he could use the few days left between now and September 13th to get his game in higher gear.

"Development Camp was good, as far as continuity with the young guys," explained Hunwick, "but it's been good skating with the older guys.

"I am happy camp is still a couple of weeks away…I'd like to get my feet under me a little bit more and really get ready.

"It will really be good once more guys get back," he said.

But what about those guys? Is it intimidating to be skating with NHLers?

"I think as a young guy, players are in awe of the guys they watch on TV," mused the former captain of the Michigan Wolverines. "Right now though, it's not too bad. I am enjoying it.

"It's still hockey, you are just playing with different guys.

"It's still the same game," he said.

More from Wilmo, later...
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