"It's really special," senior defenseman Billy Glynn said. "I knew people were going to reach out but I didn't expect this. Wherever you go, if you're with Norwood hockey, everyone will come up to ask you how you feel and ask how Matt is. It feels great to have everyone behind us."
"It's good for the kids to get them all together and bonding," coach Bill Clifford said. "What the Bruins' Foundation is doing it just incredible. It's great for the Brown family and for the kids."
The team came to the Garden one night after topping Dedham, 3-1, in its first game since senior Chris O'Brien suffered a severe concussion in the game following Brown's injury.
Initial reports said O'Brien, who was walking around the Garden in a neck brace Thursday, would be out for the rest of the season, effectively ending his high school career.
Thursday, O’Brien said he hoped to have the brace off soon, and was optimistic he’d be able to return to the ice this season.
As for the team, the focus now is on continuing a season that was off to a promising start –– the team is now 8-5-2 and is hopeful to be playing in the state tournament later this month.
"It's helped us," sophomore Patrick Clifford said about the support from the community. "It's given us motivation. We’re trying to move past this and playing with him in our heart."
"I feel like we’re back to normal now," senior Sean Keady said. "We went out, we had a good game yesterday, we won, and I feel like everything's back to normal now."
In addition to Thursday’s Bruins' game, Norwood youth hockey players were at Monday's first-round Beanpot games at the Garden, where they raised $8,200 in a 50/50 drawing, and the youth players will be back again next Monday for the Beanpot finals.
The support from the community, while financially obliging to the Brown family, has also touched the Norwood coaches and players, and everyone on the team agrees that the support has genuinely helped the team.
"I've been getting calls from coaches all over the state asking if they can do anything –– do 50/50s or something," Bill Clifford said. "The support has been overwhelming. I guess the hockey family or community always sticks together through bad situations, and it's awesome the support we’re getting.
"It's a good feeling to have a lot of people that will help and support you, and the kids understand that, too."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.