On Monday November 10th, members of the NHLOA (Referees Greg Kimmerly and Tom Kowal with Linesmen Jean Morin and Matt MacPherson) were very pleased to meet Jacob, Audrey and their father Mike prior to a Boston Bruins hockey game. Jacob, who uses a wheelchair and hand braces to get around was proudly sporting his Bruins t-shirt.
Fittingly, with this being the Bruins Veteran's Day Celebration, their Father Mike is an active member of the US Air Force. Mike, the week before had just returned home from a year long posting at "an undisclosed location". We thank-you Mike for your service.
This was the second NHL hockey game for Jacob and the very first one for Audrey. Mike has been a fan for quite some time. The family had spent a portion of their life in the Dallas TX area and Mike had many fond memories of the year that the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup. We had a very engaging discussion about the game of hockey and the official's role within the game. Jacob was most interested in the intensity that the players display on the ice. Being an avid Bruins fan he was keen to hear stories about intense Bruin games against their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens. After spending some time in the Official's dressing room we headed out to sit on the Bruins bench. Being right at ice level gave Audrey and Jacob a completely different perspective of the arena. Here the topic of conversation shifted to the speed of the game, the size of the players and their fitness level. With these ideas in their minds both Audrey and Jacob began to ask a number of excellent questions about how we, as officials, keep up with the game and stay in shape on a daily basis.
Later in the evening the 3 were spotted on the Scoreboard screen as part of the Bruins tribute to US Veterans. It was a great evening for all. The Bruins beat the NJ Devils so Audrey and Jacob went home happy.