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Speed Dating With Seguin

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
LOWELL, MA -- As exciting as his young NHL career has been, there must be times when even Tyler Seguin has to find himself at least a little surprised at where his hockey journey finds him.

"Speed Dating Night With Tyler Seguin" certainly had that feeling as the 20-year-old forward drove down from his offseason home in Toronto to take part in the unique event hosted by the Lowell Spinners, the Class-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Although Tyler admitted that he never played much baseball growing up, the B's winger has thrown out a first pitch or two, most notably after he signed with the B's following the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

That said, the ever-confident Seguin sounded a little shaky as he prepared to get the game, and his night of dates, rolling.

"I got a couple buddies in town here and they want me to go underhand or use my left hand to make it look funny," said Seguin, on throwing out the first pitch. "But I’ll probably just pitch it normal.

"I’m not very good though," he joked.

That certainly didn't matter to the excited New England sports fans who cheered for Seguin as he took the mound in his No. 19 Spinners jersey.

But even as he prepared for that first pitch, Seguin's mind drifted back to the summer before his rookie season and the butterflies he was fighting in front of a packed house at Fenway, and that didn't help his nerves - even in front of a more intimate gathering at LeLacheur Park.

"Fenway’s obviously pretty big and it was my first time going into Boston," said Seguin. "It was very nerve-racking and I still feel pretty much the same way -- still butterflies -- but it’s a fun experience."

There were plenty of nerves throughout the park as female fans awaited news on whether they would be chosen to meet Tyler.

One guaranteed spot was available in an eBay auction, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to benefit Lowell Spinners Charities. One fan was picked from the Lowell Spinners Facebook. Other fans had a chance to win a spot at the game itself by purchasing a gameday program and some winners were even selected at random.

The last spot was "earned" as four female fans at the game who wore Seguin shirts participated in a between inning challenge.

For his part, throughout the festivities and the numerous visits from his "dates" and their families, Seguin seemed to just be enjoying the scene from the box seats.

"I’m still like 'What’s this all about?'" admitted Seguin just before the game began. "I’m still looking to see what’s going on, to be honest.

"Hopefully the players don’t make fun of me too much," added Tyler with a laugh.
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