After surviving a few hairy final seconds against the Jets Sunday night, and flying back from Winnipeg for a wee-hours arrival, seven Bruins and Coach Claude Julien hopped on another plane Monday afternoon for a short flight that they hoped would make long-lasting memories.
Andrew Ference, Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Rich Peverley, Chris Bourque, Adam McQuaid, and Daniel Paille all boarded Jeremy Jacobs' private plane bound for Newtown, Conn., site of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left dead 26 students, teachers, and educators, and a community the Bruins wanted to help in its healing.
"We wanted to come here and let the kids be kids and have fun," Julien told the Stamford Advocate. "If that's what we've accomplished, then we've accomplished something.
"I have all the time in the world for these people."
In becoming the latest sports outfit to lend a hand by visiting Newtown -- the Red Sox and Revolution among them, recently -- The Bruins played floor hockey with kids at the Newtown Youth Academy, while the Stanley Cup the team earned in 2011 also made an appearance. Additionally, members of the organization hosted street hockey clinics and had an hour-long clinic with the Newtown High hockey team (which gave the Bruins some sweaters).
Suffice it to say, it was a nice way to use an off-day in the middle of a five-game road trip.
"It's amazing, the fact that the Bruins have taken a day out of their busy schedule to be here with us, and to make our community excited and fun and happy really means a lot," Natalie Hammond, the lead teacher at Sandy Hook who was wounded while defending her students, told the Advocate. "It's really incredible."
"I can't even fathom what people are going through," Ference told the paper, which pointed out that the defenseman is a father of two. "I can't even begin to understand it."
What an amazing day with lots of smiles...Many thanks to Newtown for hosting us so graciously...^CS twitter.com/NHLBruins/statâ€¦— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 19, 2013
The day in Newtown is off to a great start, with street hockey, photos with the Cup & lots of smiling faces...^CS twitter.com/NHLBruins/statâ€¦— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 18, 2013
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