|Krejci at camp. (photo by Abigail Seaver) |
And while many of the kids were from the Massachusetts area, others stretched the boundries of the Hub of Hockey as far away as Texas.
Everyone spent the week at Jim Roche Community Ice Arena in West Roxbury and learned on-and-off ice skills such as team bonding, puck handling and skating. The kids were split up by age and player type to allow position specific focus.
“One can never stop learning from good coaching at any stage of your game,” Pro Ambition explains as part of their mission statement and from the looks and sounds of their students in the Boston's burbs, their mission was accomplished.
“Our drills are fun and challenging teaching kids to adapt to the ever changing game of hockey,” explaines Pro Ambition's Jeff Serowik on his website.
“I place a large focus on a facet of the game that is oh so integral - mental conditioning/confidence,” he continued. “Hockey is a game of mistakes - those who learn to rebound quickly from their mistakes will become the great hockey players.”
There seemed to be few mistakes this week, however, as s special part of the sessions allowed campers to meet and greet with representatives from Boston Bruins organization who included General Manger Peter Chiarelli, Assistant Coach Geoff Ward, former Bruins forward and current Harvard University Head Coach Ted Donato and budding B's superstar David Krejci
On Friday, an always smiling Krejci answered as many of the kids questions as possible. Usually he began his answer with, “Well that’s a very tough question,” and, of course, a laugh.
He was asked about the Bruins/Canadians rivalry – to which he had an unexpected answer.
“It’s just another game I want to win,” he told the kids. “That’s it.”
With the season opener happening in Prague, the young fans wanted to know if he was excited.
“Prague (pronounced pra-ha in Czech) is were I am from," he said. "I am very excited.”
Another of the campers wanted to know who broke his hand during the Philadelphia game.
He joked saying, “Well do you know a guy named Mike Richards?” to which the kids all said, "Yeeeeees" excitedly.
“It was him,” he ended, smiling at the crowd as the kids chattered in amazement.
One older camper, Matt Capobianco, is a goaltender for Quincy High School and loved the whole experience.
“I recently broke my hand and my skills weren’t really up to par,” he explained. “I worked with the coaches [here] and they helped me out so much.”
“I’m so grateful, you know?”
Matt's enthusiasm let everyone know, and While many kids were most interested in getting to meet Krejci and the Bruins alumni he was more excited to meet upper level management.
“I would have to say my favorite person who stopped by would have to be Peter Chiarelli,” he said without hesitation. “He gave me a lot of input on next season, so I can’t wait to see if it comes true.”
The campers were able to leave the camp with new skills, new hockey sweaters – signed by all the Bruins speakers of course – and a new insight to a game they all love.
Oh, and they left with even stronger pro-ambitions then before.