While I currently live in Maine, I was born and bred in Uxbridge, MA, Masshole and proud.
Next to my house was a small depression that would fill with water. A perfect little frozen puddle to shuffle around on, double runners strapped to my boots. My parents were not worried about the ice breaking since the whole thing froze up solid back then. As I got older i would take the short walk from my house to the nearby pond that would freeze over beautifully. Every day after school I was out there with skates on, stick in hand, puck at my feet.
I dont recall the first time I heard or watched my first Bruins game on tv. My best friend and neighbor who was 2 years older than me had started watching. My first memory was in 1991 in his back yard, sitting in the lawn chairs, a radio between us, listening to Bruins playoff hockey. Hearing the legendary Fred Cusick calling a game, the excitement in his voice of each Bruin's goal was a wonderful initiation to the sport. The magic and dominance of Ray and Cam, Oates's passes, Moog's AWESOME mask quickly became parts of my daily life.
My 16th birthday brought me my first tickets and a brand new Starter jacket (which i still have, though only used for winter "cleanup"). vs the Capitals. I dont recall the final score, though the Bruins won. Sitting behind one of the nets, the Garden was electric! Chants of BEAU-PRE raining down on the Cap's failing goalie. I knew I was in heaven!
Years later I find out my parents used to watch Bruins games religiously. Every game was an event with friends gathering. Mom's beloved Gary Doak, Sanderson, Chief and Bobby their heros.
Years go by, each spring ending with a playoff loss without a Cup becoming almost habit., to be expected. The teams were competitive, just not championship worthy. But i watched, I rooted, I cheered and I cried when the horn signified the end of the final 3rd period of the season. "Next year!"
Spring 2010 and im watching game 7 at a bar in Portland. Bs are up 3-0! Phew..no epic collapse, but man did they make the fans nervous the past 3 games! Philly scores...and you can tell not only did the entire bar's atmosphere change, but you could SEE it on the Bruins on the ice. Season over..
Feb 2011, met a girl who shares my love for all things Black n Gold.
June 15, 2011. Back at that same bar, jerseys on, tires inflated, Game 7. This time it was the Canucks who deflated the instant the first goal was scored. By the time Bergeron crashed into the end boards with his shortie, you KNEW it was over. Chara with the Cup over his head is forever burned into my brain.
Two years later, to the day (couldnt have been any other day!), our wedding colors, naturally, Black n Gold, complete with a Stanley Cup cake, which we cut wearing our jerseys. Now our daughter asks for "hockey time?" and says "go go hockey!"
Back in the playoffs this year, no real Cup hopes, if you're being honest or realistic. But the future looks quite bright. If even half of the prospects pan out as hoped, there'll be another Cup in the next decade.