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Bruins goalie Rask earns tribute in insect form: report

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Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask already has reached hockey immortality with his name being engraved on the Stanley Cup.

Now he's carved his name into the pantheon of a whole other realm.

A new species of wasp, discovered in the Teita Hills of Kenya, has been named Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski, in honor of Rask, according to the Boston Globe. The finding will be published in the April edition of the scientific journal "Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae."

"This species is named after the acrobatic goaltender for the Finnish National ice hockey team and the Boston Bruins, whose glove hand is as tenacious as the raptorial fore tarsus of this dryinid species," the authors wrote in the paper.

According to the Globe, among the researchers who discovered the insect was Robert S. Copeland, an entomologist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, who grew up in Newton, Mass. He moved to Africa more than 25 years ago but told the newspaper he still follows the Bruins.

Another reason Rask fits as a name for the new wasp is that the government of Finland underwrote the discovery of the species. The wasp is yellowish and black, similar to the Bruins' colors, and the grasping front legs of the female have claspers that look vaguely like goalie gloves.

Rask told the Globe that he knows of fans throughout New England who have named their pets Tuukka, but nothing like this.

"That's funny," he told the Globe. "That's pretty neat."

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