By: Danielle DuBois | Follow Me on Twitter @DanielleDuBois
On Tuesday, March 7, the Bruins held their fourth annual Pucks and Paddles fundraiser. For one day, the Bruins switch out their hockey skills for ping pong skills. The players were partnered with fans who contributed money to benefit the
Special Olympics Massachusetts and the Boston Bruins Foundation.
The event took place in a tournament style with eight ping pong tables across the House of Blues. Before the games started, the Bruins held an autograph session for the guests. Guests could choose between the Gold package, where you meet Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Taylor Hall, and Charlie McAvoy, or the Silver package, including Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk, Linus Ullmark, and David Pastrnak. With Hall recently injured, newly added Garnet Hathaway stepped up to fill his spot.
After the guests met the Bruins, the tournament was ready to begin. Right off the bat, Orlov and Krejci looked hot. However, it was not a fairytale ending for team Orlov as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
After an hour and a half of ping pong, we were down to our final two teams. Team Krejci and team Frederic. While it was a close fight, team Krejci came out on top in the end. The Bruins don’t like to lose, as we have seen this season, and that doesn’t change when it comes to ping pong. “There’s always bragging rights,” Brad Marchand told reporters. “There’s a few guys that are really good. We’ve got a lot of Czech guys that are gifted in this area.”
Once the tournament wrapped up, one last game was played. Pastrnak and Krejci teamed up to play Bergeron and Marchand. The four main “stars” of the Bruins battled it out for ten minutes, but ultimately Krejci and Pastrnak prevailed for the final win of the night.
While the Bruins work hard day after day, they make sure to make time for the community and give back to charities. “You want to give back to your community and be involved,” Bergeron told reporters. “It goes a long way.”
Liam Fitzgerald, the fist-bump kid, played ping pong alongside Bergeron. In 2014, Fitzgerald fist-bumped the team as they made their way off the ice after warmups. The video of him and the team went viral; since then, the Bruins have shown an outpouring of love for him. Fitzgerald is among the few kids who could play with a Bruins player on Tuesday. “It’s always fun to interact, especially with the kids,” Marchand said. “When we come out and see them, they have so much fun.”
Since the first Pucks and Paddles fundraiser in 2018, they have raised around $300,000. This year the Bruins raised just over $150,000. The Bruins will look to return to the ice and keep their ten-game win streak alive on Thursday as they face the Oilers.