Boston Bruins history for September 5:
1955: Stan Jonathan (full name Stanley Carl Jonathan) is born in Ohsweken, Ontario. He was drafted twice in 1975–both into the WHA and NHL, the latter by Boston. In his first full-length season, he put up 30 points and 69 penalty minutes in 69 games. However, 1977-78 was probably his high-water mark: he had a career-high 52 points and 116 penalty minutes, plus he won the team’s Seventh Player Award for the player who exceeds expectations. After an injury-shortened 1978-79, he returned for a 40-point, 208 penalty minute season and gradually began to shift into more of a pure enforcer role. Aside from part of a season spent in Pittsburgh, though, Jonathan was always a Bruin until his 1983 retirement. Another interesting fact about Jonathan: he’s full-blooded Native Canadian.
1970: Blaine Lacher is born in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Please note that Lacher is pronounced like ‘locker,’ not a French pronunciation. A goalie, Lacher was a big part of Lake Superior State University making and winning the 1994 national championship. In his last year of college, he led the nation for both save percentage and goals-against average at .918 and 1.98 respectively. However, he decided to leave college before his final year and signed with the Bruins. He came in at a good time and helped the Bruins by losing just once of his starts in the final stretch of the 1994-95 season to get Boston into the playoffs. The Bruins were bounced from the postseason by the eventual Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils, though. Still, for 1994-95, he had a 19-11-2 record (this was in the era where ties were still an acceptable outcome for a game), four shutouts, a 2.41 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. So, a performance like that vaunted him to the starting goalie position–but he struggled under the pressure and even earned a less-than-stellar nickname of “Let ‘Em In Lacher” based on his struggles. After some time in the minors, he hung up the pads in 1997.
2011: Andrew Ference has his day with the Stanley Cup in Boston. Actually, he said it’s not even his day with the Cup–his day, he said, was held when the team won, so this day was for the people of the city. So, first he took the Stanley Cup out on his bike, putting the valued trophy in one of those bike stroller things that was surely once used for his daughters–who rode beside him with their mother and friends in a pedicab. The trip ended at Beacon Hill Nursery School, where his daughter Stella was a student, for what must have been the coolest show and tell ever. He followed the school visit with a hospital visit to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, one of the biggest rehab facilities in all of North America. Ference visited with lots of people, including the father-son tandem of Dick and Rick Hoyt. Rick, the younger Holt, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, but his dad Dick helps him compete in triathlons, marathons and Iron Man events. Dick might help Rick in swimming events by pulling his son in a special floatation device, or assist him in biking events by carrying him in a special seat on his bike, or pushes him so he can run.
Following those visits, Ference made his way to the North End for the Saint Anthony’s Feast parade, which is part of an Italian street festival. It includes a parade, which this year was even more special because Lord Stanley was part of the fun. For better viewing by spectators, Stanley was put on a platform and carried by six people. While in the North End, the Cup made some visits, including to a restaurant co-owned by Ray Bourque, and then Ference used an idea from his daughter Ava by holding what has to be the first flash mob to involve a professional sport’s highest trophy. (Ava thought of it by watching other flash mobs on YouTube.) So once all those festivities ended, Ference went back to his house, where there was a quiet rooftop party for family and friends followed by a big dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, and the night ended with Ference taking Stanley to a nightclub with a balcony so people could see the Cup up close.
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