Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Well, it was up and at 'em early this morning. And it was a good thing too. Winter decided to make an appearance overnight in Burlington Vermont. It snowed quite heavily during the night and the conditions were blizzard-like. We had encountered some snow and ice in southern Oklahoma back in December, but this was our first taste of "real" winter in our travels so far. The snow was coming down very hard and was real wet and heavy. As fast as I could clean off the car, it was covered again. We wanted to be in the Boston area by mid morning, so we got moving as soon as we got up. I once again can't comment much on the surrounding scenery, since visibility wasn't the best. And not because it was dark, it was snowing pretty hard. Travellers on the highway were driving with caution and the plows and sanders were out in full force. As we moved along through Vermont, the snow started to fall more slowly and soon it wasn't snowing at all. As we neared the border of New Hampshire it had stopped snowing altogether and the sun was shining and the sky was bluer than blue. Go figure. One of the things I have enjoyed while travelling in all the different States, is the many unusual signs along the roadside. While driving through the snow in Vermont, it was disconcerting to see signs that said - Moose crossing for the next 15 miles. There were also the usual deer crossing signs and then one very different one. It was the first time I saw a sign that said Bear crossing. I was really hoping that we didn't see a moose, deer, or a bear crossing the road in that blizzard. As we drove closer to the New Hampshire border, there was a sign for the next rest stop. Then a sign that said you could buy your liquor at the State Liquor Store - at the rest stop. An unusual spot indeed to be selling booze. My all time favourite though is the one I saw near Baton Rouge that said - no swimming or crossing this canal, alligator infested waters! No further instruction needed. Anyway, we did arrive at the Bruin's practice facility just north of Boston and on time. Graham attended the practice and their public relations director, Kerry made sure our posters got signed and made all the arrangements for us for the game the next day. We left the practice facility and made our way to Marblehead by way of Salem. I wish we had more time to explore. I would have liked to tour around Salem. Buildings in the area date back to the early 1600's and people are still living in them. Now that is an old house. We were staying with the McEachern family for the night (in a newer house). Sean was the captain of the Thrashers when Dan was there and was a big part of guiding the team through a very difficult time. His wife Andrea and the kids Allie, Maddie, and Mike made us feel welcome and then after supper out settled us in their guest room. The next day, we drove into the city and found the TD Bank Gardens. The arena was right near the water nestled in the heart of downtown. We did a small tour in the afternoon and saw the site where Paul Revere started out on his midnight ride many, many years ago at what is now Charleston Square. The foundation of the original house at that location is still nestled in the ground in the middle of the square. Paul Revere started his famous midnight ride on April 18, 1775. Then we drove over to Fenway Park to check out the team store. Graham had misplaced his Carl Yazstremski t-shirt and wanted to replace it. As luck would have it, they had the "Yaz" t-shirts in stock and Graham was a happy camper. Back to the rink, we enjoyed a delicious supper at the Legends Restaurant. The local fresh cod fish and chips were very tasty. A very nice surprise was in store at the beginning of the game. Marc Savard had been named the NHL player of the week recently and the Bruins organization gives a $1,000.00 donation to the charity of the winning player's choice. Marc asked that the donation go to the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation. We were presented with a cheque by Dan Zimmer, VP of Business Operations and Marc before the game started in a small ceremony on the ice. We were very grateful to the Bruins and of course to Marc Savard for their generous donation. The hockey community continues to support us in so many ways. We are truly grateful. The Bruins couldn't pull out a win and were defeated in the shootout. Our record now moves to 12-7 This is stop number 19. A mere 11 more to go.

Graham's Game Report

Jan 11, 2007
TD Banknorth Garden
New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins

Three times the Bruins grabbed the lead tonight only to have the Isles come back and even things up. Eventually New York prevailed on the fourth round of the shootout. The first period was all Boston as they dominated play and opened up a 2-0 lead on goals by Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard. It was 2-1 after two periods and early in the 3rd the Isles scored to tie the game. A couple of defencemen, Chara and Mara, gave the B's leads in the third but both times the Isles responded to knot the game with the final blow coming with under two minutes remaining in regulation time. Boston outshot the Isles 9-1 in overtime but could not put one by DiPietro. The best chance fell to Glen Murray who had the tender down and out but somehow couldn't find the strength to lift the puck over his outstretched stick. Toivonen was spectacular in the first two periods for Boston but faltered down the stretched and I'm sure he'd love to have the final goal back as it just trickled between his pads and across the goal line. Marc Savard was the first star on the night with a goal and two helpers as he seems to be responding well to the pressures of being the offensive leader in Beantown. The Bruins look close to becoming a contender again but need to really tighten up the defensive game if they are to gain the playoffs in a very tight Eastern Conference. It was good to catch up with Dan's former teamates Savard and Shean Donovan (Thrashers) and Wayne Primeau ( Owen Sound) at the practice on Wednesday. Their generosity was very much appreciated.

No comments: