Partly cloudy

Winnipeg, MB

27°c Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

NHL

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sombre, proud return to ice

Bostonians can have fun again as Bruins play

Posted: 04/18/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Advertisement

  • Print

BOSTON -- Emerging from a moment of silence with a deafening cheer, fans at Wednesday night's Bruins game paid tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing with a stirring national anthem and a thunderous chant of "U.S.A.!"

The sold-out crowd at the first major sporting event in the city since Monday's attack lined up for metal-detecting wands and random car inspections to get into the TD Garden. Once inside, they watched a sombre video with scenes from the marathon that ended with the words, "We are Boston, We are Strong."

The players on the ice for the opening faceoff banged their sticks in the traditional hockey salute, drifting back off the blue-lines so that they, too, could see the video. The Boston Fire Department Honor Guard brought out the U.S. flag to honour the first responders who rushed to the aid of the three killed and more than 170 injured by the twin bombs at the marathon finish line.

Longtime Boston Garden troubadour Rene Rancourt took his place for The Star-Spangled Banner. But he sang only the first few lines, allowing the crowd to carry the tune while he pumped his fist to keep time.

It was an emotional return to normal life for the city, which has been dazed by the attacks on one of its signature and most beloved events. Monday's scheduled NHL game against Ottawa was rescheduled, and Tuesday night's Celtics game was cancelled outright.

The Bruins said they were determined to help the city move on.

"You're trying to live your life in peace, and there's people trying to disrupt that," coach Claude Julien said after the team's morning skate. "The people trying to live their life in peace are going to stick together."

Players on both teams wore "Boston Strong" decals on their helmets, and the Garden was illuminated outside in blue and yellow, the colours of the marathon organizers, the Boston Athletic Association. Another thunderous cheer welcomed the first responders from the state and local police were recognized in the second period.

"I'm sure tonight will be full of emotion," forward Chris Kelly said Wednesday morning. "If we can go play hard to help the city of Boston in any way we can, I know everybody in this locker-room would be willing to do that.

"We love the city. We want to help in any way we can -- if we can give them 10 minutes of joy, or 20 hours of joy -- anything we can do."

That was already accomplished 5:45 into the first period, when Daniel Paille's goal to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead over the Buffalo Sabres brought a raucous chant of "We are Boston!" The chant was repeated in the final three minutes but interrupted by Cody Hodgson's power-play goal with 26.6 seconds left in regulation that sent the game into overtime tied 2-2.

The Sabres won in the shootout, but the point was enough for the Bruins to clinch a playoff spot. After the game, the players came off the bench and went to centre ice, raising their sticks to the fans, who began another "U.S.A.!" chant.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs pledged $100,000 to the One Fund Boston, the charity established to help families affected by the bombing; the Garden, the NHL and the players association pledged $50,000 each. Ads on the dasher boards and the video screens gave the website address for the fund.

Bruins players and staff collected 80 tickets to the game to donate to the first responders. Forward Brad Marchand raffled off his own suite for the team's first playoff game, with the proceeds to go to the family of 8-year-old Martin Richards, who was killed in the blast.

During the game's first break, public address announcer Jim Martin asked any runners from Monday's race to stand up; many were wearing their finishers' medals. He then asked for applause for anybody who has ever ran; by the time he recognized anyone who has ever volunteered or watched the race, virtually the entire crowd was standing.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 D5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.