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Crotched Mountain Wild player Tim Hogue and Boston Bruins alumni player Bob Sweeney battle for the puck. Courtesy photo.




Boston Bruins Alumni Classic

When: Sunday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m.
Where: Sullivan Arena, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Saint Anselm College, Manchester
Tickets: $10 per person. Purchase at cmf.org/tickets.




Hockey with a purpose
Boston Bruins alumni come to Manchester

02/05/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



Hockey fans who bleed black and gold should make their way to the Sullivan Arena on Sunday, Feb. 8, to watch Bruins players from different eras face off against the Crotched Mountain Wild. 

Alums like Rick Middleton and Bob Sweeney will take the ice for the 5th annual Boston Bruins Alumni Classic, a fundraiser that supports Crotched Mountain’s Accessible Recreation and Sports programs, which help those with disabilities experience sports and other physical activities.
Sweeney, Bruins center/right winger from 1986 to 1992 and executive director for Boston Bruins Foundation, has become a regular at the Alumni Classic.
“We usually have a good crew for that game. It’s always fun,” Sweeney said in a phone interview. “When you first retire and play it’s pretty unique and it’s a cool way to interact with guys that you watched playing. So when I first retired ... I got to play with guys that I was watching as a kid.”
Going up against a team of 12 former NHL players is both daunting and exciting, says Geoff Garfinkle, co-captain of Crotched Mountain Wild and director of therapeutic recreation at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center. He’s been playing and watching hockey since he was 8 years old.
The Crotched Mountain Wild, formerly the Monadnock Wild, is made up of staff, community members and supporters of Crotched Mountain. Most of the players are involved in other leagues and come together as a team to practice and prepare for the annual classic. 
The alums don’t hold regular practices, but they do play about 30 local games each year, including a few trips to Canada. 
“Over the course of the winter you start hitting the ice enough so it’s not something we usually practice,” Sweeney said. “[But] we need some young blood to keep up. … I’m one of the younger guys, and I just turned 51.”
Garfinkle said that each year he looks forward to playing against players he either loved or hated as a kid. 
“For example, Rick Middleton has become an important person to me,” Garfinkle said of the former player, alumni team captain and president of Boston Bruins Alumni Association. “As a kid, I really hated him, as a Buffalo Sabres fan.”
Spectators should come ready to watch a fun, Harlem Globetrotters type of game, Garfinkle said.  
“In the end these guys might trip you and they’re not going to be called, so we have to be prepared for that,” Garfinkle said. “They [Wild players] are really psyched for it and work hard to get prepared.”
Between periods the Bruins players will hit the bleachers to take pictures and sign autographs. 
“We always have fun whether it’s before, during or after the game in the locker room,” Sweeney said. “The best part of hockey is as long as you can skate you can still play and that’s what I think all of us still enjoy.” 
Both Garfinkle and Sweeney said that they’re most excited about helping raise money for a good cause. Garfinkle most looks forward to the chance to share the mission and stories of athletes who have worked with Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center. Sweeney hopes to help bring in a good turnout for the game and also looks forward to bringing former Bruins players together.  
As seen in the February 5, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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