“It’s a good event,” Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton
said. “It was good last year, and I think the fans really enjoy meeting the players, taking pictures and getting autographs.
"It’s a good day, they get to skate on the ice too so it’s been fun.”
There were four sessions, each an hour and a half long, and fans got to skate on the ice for 45 minutes before getting to get autographs from the players. After a chance to skate on the ice, they also received a tour of the Bruins locker room.
Benoit Pouliot, Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara, Shawn Thornton and Dennis Seidenberg were in the 9:30 session; Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly, Nathan Horton and Joe Corvo were at 10:30; Rich Peverley, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were at 12:00; Brad Marchand, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask and Johnny Boychuk were at 1:30; Adam McQuaid, Zach Hamill, Tyler Seguin and Steven Kampfer were at 3:00.
The players from each session also sat on the Bruins bench while fans skated, giving them an opportunity to approach and talk to the players.
“It’s an awesome chance to come out and get an awesome experience,” Ference said. “[Fans got to] meet some of us and see we’re pretty normal guys. We’re not too far removed from them, dreaming about playing in the rink. It’s great.”
When Taylor, an avid Bruins fan, was younger she remembered skating on the Bruins ice, and at age 15, she said the Slice the Ice event was an experience she’ll never forget.
“I loved it this time,” Taylor said. “Taking pictures with Horton [was my favorite].”
Alex, another 15-year old Horton fan, also enjoyed getting her shirt and skates signed by the B’s forward.
“It’s nice to give back to the fans, they’re there for us all year long,” Horton said.
Forward Patrice Bergeron said he enjoyed getting a chance to see the fans and interact with them as they visited the players bench.
“It’s always fun to come here and have a chance to meet them, take pictures and say a couple of words,” Bergeron said. “I’m sure they enjoyed skating on the ice and seeing the locker room, so it’s a nice day for us.”
Chris, an 11-year old from Natick, was excited to meet players like Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. Although he plays center for the Natick Comets, Chris enjoyed getting autographs from his favorite goaltenders.
Bergeron, the Bruins alternate captain, said he enjoys events because it’s a nice way to express gratitude to the team’s supporters.
“We’re regular people, and we want to do stuff that gives us some chances to spend some time with them and meet them,” Bergeron said. “It’s easy to do – it’s not much of our time and it’s always nice to say thank you to people that watch us night in and night out.”
--- Anthony Gulizia