On Friday at Faneuil Hall, Mayor Marty Walsh honored the Boston Pride, including General Manager Hayley Moore and Head Coach Bobby Jay, for their victory in the Isobel Cup Finals.
Mayor Walsh officially proclaimed that April 22 will now be Boston Pride Women's Hockey Day in the city of Boston. The Mayor proudly noted that this is the second Boston sports championship he has celebrated, as the Pride join the elite company of the 2014 Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots.
Coach Jay took to the mic to thank his team as well, highlighting not only their hockey skills, but their strength of character. "These women have dealt with great adversity . . . Denna's immense, immense grit and determination to get back and our ladies' determination and support to play for her and make her proud was incredibly inspiring for me, the coaches, the fans, everyone," he said, looking over to Laing as he spoke. He also praised the professionalism exhibited by every member of his team, making them ideal role models for his own daughters as well as for young fans.
Laing spoke briefly herself, saying, "Please know that every prayer, every note, flower, hug, keeps a smile on my face and makes me work hard every day to recover. My recovery has become quite a team effort and I will not let this team down. Our Boston Pride team is a reflection of Boston itself — we are a team of fighters, we pick each other up over and over again, and we always have each other's back."
Marissa Gedman, Pride defenseman and Laing's best friend whom she met while playing hockey in seventh grade, then joined Laing at the podium to give her gratitude, but also to remind us why this season was so significant. "We are living in a time when Hilary Knight is featured in Sports Illustrated, a time when people on the street wear Boston Pride shirts and ask for an autograph, a time when youth girls' hockey teams can come and watch professional women's hockey in their home city and can dream of playing on that same ice one day," Gedman said.
Illustrating that last point, the team welcomed several kids from the audience onto the stage for a photo with the Isobel Cup.
Here's to celebrating many more Boston Pride Days, and hopefully most of them will include a trophy.