Everett, MA --
On Thursday, May 29th the Bruins Street Brigade, in partnership with the NHL Street Program, made its way to the Allied Veterans Memorial Rink in Everett to hold a two-hour street hockey clinic. B's forward Shawn Thornton
tagged along and made his second clinic appearance.
A little under a year ago, on his first trip to Boston after signing with the Black & Gold, Thornton went out to Franklin, Massachusetts to get his first feel for what being a member of the Black & Gold is really like.
“I was pumped the first time, so hopefully it will be the same thing this time around,” Thornton said before the session. “This will be only the second time (I will be playing street hockey) since I was little, so I am excited.
"And if the kids are having fun, I am having fun.”
Clearly, Thornton's enthusiasm was catchy, and the kids from Everett wasted no time before they started having a blast.
The first hour was spent doing different hockey drills: passing, stickhandling, and shooting. In between the drills, the kids had a chance to win a Bruins cap by answering trivia questions.
|Thorts leads a drill. |
There were some smart young B's fans amongst the street hockey players as the youngsters knew all the answers, and consistently raised their hands to share their answers to questions like: What position does Thornton play? Which team did Shawn play for before he signed with Boston? Who led the Bruins in goals?
The children even named three different retired Bruins jersey numbers.
“It is really exciting,” said Jared Surette, a group leader at the event. “When we first started the program last year with the Boston Bruins it was a great success.
"The kids are great and they really appreciate the Bruins being able to keep this program affordable by supplying all the shirts, the equipment, and all the sticks.
“Where else can you play 12 games an hour and get freeze pops and shirts for 8 or 9 dollars, during the summertime?” he asked.
After the drills, the Red and Blue teams used that equipment to face off in a hard-fought scrimmage.
The Blue team seemed to get the majority of the shots, but it was the Red team that took the early lead and, heading into half time, they were up 2-1. However, the second half was all Blue and when the game ended they stood victorious, 4-2.
“There were some really good players that caught me eye,” Thornton said. “One kid was really feeling it out there; he was on both sides of that ball just trying hard.”
|Talking hockey. |
Another player that caught his attention was a goaltender.
“I couldn’t score on her," Thornton said with a self-deprecating laugh.
Following the scrimmage, everyone set up for a picture with Thornton before finishing the afternoon with an autograph session.
When asked what was the best part of the day, Thornton had the answer right away.
“I just like seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces,” he said, wearing the biggest smle of them all.