WILMINGTON – After Bruins practice had ended this morning, an extra goaltender took the ice. Maddie Santosuosso, 9, from Topsfield, spent some time with Tuukka Rask this morning, taking shots from the forwards and getting some pointers on her butterfly as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Rask had met Santosuosso about a week ago to pick up some hockey gear at a store in Norwood, and she got a chance to use it for the first time for about 15 minutes after the team practice was over at Ristuccia Arena.
“I was pretty impressed,” Rask said. “That was her first time wearing that, and she was skating around stopping pucks, so I was pretty impressed with her. It’s always fun to brighten up a kid’s day.”
Rask helped pick out the same type of gear that he wears. He said he was just disappointed they ended up having to get her a mask in the Canadian colors.
“It’s good for us that she likes goalies and I had a chance to help her out,” Rask said. “It means a lot. You always try to be a role model for the kids, and to do something like that, it’s great.
“We just talked about hockey stuff, how does it feel to be a goalie, and what do we do in the locker room. She’s not scared of the puck, which is a great start. I just told her to stand tall and try to catch as many pucks as she can. She was loving it.”
It’s a full day of charity work for the Bruins, who have their annual “Cuts for a Cause” this afternoon at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, with 21 of the Bruins having their heads shaved by auction winners to benefit the Shawn Thornton Foundation, the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
Thornton said they have raised more than $105,000 already, which would set a new record for the event.
Asked if it was a tough sell to get his teammates to shave, Thornton quipped, “Just bad guys. Like Loui [Eriksson] and [Brad Marchand]. They’re bad people. Everyone else is great.”