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Today in Boston Bruins History: October 15

Shawn Thornton, seen in 2008, the year when he fought Georges Laraque on October 15. Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Boston Bruins history for October 15:

1935: Willie O’Ree (Willie Eldon O’Ree) is born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. O’Ree’s debut as the first black player in the NHL came when he was called up from the Quebec Aces. To get this opportunity, O’Ree concealed the fact that he was 95 percent blind in his right eye due to an errant puck. After playing for two games in the 1958-59 season, he came back for 1960-61 to play 43 games and score 14 points. He also endured racist remarks in some arenas, but said that they were worse in America than in Canada. Though he didn’t spend a lot of time in the NHL, his career in the minor leagues was long and fruitful, including a 38-goal season twice over, a retired number and hanging up the skates at 43 years old.

After his play career, he also directed the youth development aspects for the NHL’s diversity task force, was given the Order of Canada (the highest honor for citizens) and celebrated at many 50th-anniversary events of his debut in 2008, including that year’s All-Star Game. There is now a community center featuring rinks and other facilities in Fredericton bearing his name.

1950: The Bruins finish off a season-opening home-and-home with the Montreal Canadiens in a less than ideal way with a 2-1 loss.

1953: A meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs doesn’t end well for the Bruins as they lose 4-1.

1955: This time, a trip to Toronto ends in a 2-2 tie.

1958: The start of a road trip to visit every other team in the NHL at the time (it was the Original Six era, after all) begins with a 4-4 tie with the New York Rangers.

1960: Another game on Oct. 15 ends with a tie, this time by a 1-1 score with Toronto.

1961: Yes, another tie game on Oct. 15! This time, both the Bruins and Canadiens put up five goals in a tie.

1967: A common Oct. 15 foe, the Canadiens, lose 6-2 to the Bruins. In this game, Phil Esposito ties a club record as he scores four goals in this victory.

1969: The Bruins build a big 6-0 shutout of the Oakland Golden Seals.

1972: In another big win over a 1967 expansion team, the Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4.

1976: The Bruins take on the Maple Leafs and win 5-3.

1977: A visit to Long Island to play the New York Islanders results in a 3-1 Bruins loss.

1978: Another Oct. 15 game against Toronto brings a 4-2 Boston win.

1980: The Bruins start a big western road trip with a visit to the Minnesota North Stars that results in a 3-2 loss. (The Bruins will lose or tie every other game on this trip.)

1983: The Buffalo Sabres are the Bruins’ last foe at home before taking off on a big road trip. The Bruins leave Boston with a 5-3 win.

1987: The start of another October road trip sees the Bruins in Los Angeles, getting a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings.

1988: Another visit to Minnesota results in another loss, this time by 5-1.

1989: In the midst of another big roadie, the Bruins lose 7-6 to the Vancouver Canucks.

1992: The Bruins begin a western road trip with an 8-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.

1993: Yep, another beginning to a road trip out on the west coast! It starts in Anaheim this time and ends with a 1-1 tie.

1997: Out in Los Angeles, the Bruins beat the Kings 5-3.

1999: In Dallas, the Bruins tie with the Stars 2-2.

2003: Once again in Dallas, the Bruins win decisively 2-0 this time.

2005: Nearing the end of an east coast roadie, the Bruins lose 5-1 to the Ottawa Senators. Patrick Leahy is the lone scorer for Boston. In net for the Sens, Dominik Hasek nets his 300th win.

2008: The Bruins lose 4-3 in a shootout to the Canadiens during the Habs’ home opener. David Krejci has a goal, Marc Savard scores twice and Shawn Thornton has a fight with a Habs newcomer named Georges Laraque:

http://youtu.be/UU_ir-veRp4

2012: The Bruins beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout that is also the only meeting between these two teams for the entire season. Chris Kelly and Nathan Horton score in regulation while Tyler Seguin provides the only shootout goal needed to secure Boston’s win.

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