BOSTON (WHDH) — Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has won nearly 59% of all face offs he’s taken in his career. It’s safe to say that when he went up against some of his fans at Faneuil Hall Tuesday afternoon, that number was a little bit higher.
Bergeron took on fans outside the popular marketplace as part of his sponsorship with Geico. Every time Bergeron wins a faceoff in an NHL game, the insurance company donates money to his charity “Patrice’s Pals.”
“Wow! Patrice Bergeron,” said B’s fan Jeremy Bellefeuille after going toe-to-toe with number 37. “One of my heroes. Like, so amazing.”
The veteran center went up against dozens of chilly fans, like Joel Quinn of South Boston who said he’d have to be tough to beat Bergey at a face off.
“I wish I was wearing gloves,” he joked. “I’d take the gloves off, throw ’em off, pull his shirt over his head. But I’m not wearing glvoes…so I don’t know.”
Others, like Kennedy Ottenbreit, who played college hockey at Dartmouth, took a more straight forward approach, using the skills she’d honed on the ice over the years.
“He’s been my role model forever so it was great to see him and play against him,” she said. “I mean, obviously he let me win!”
Her skills didn’t go unnoticed by Bergeron himself.
“You could tell she knew what she was doing,” he said after the event. “She was really good. I was not surprised to hear that she was a hockey player.”
“Patrice’s Pals” brings kids from local hospitals and children’s organization to the T.D. Garden to watch the Bruins in action from a luxury suite.
“It’s been going on for over ten years,” Bergeron said of the charity. “It’s been a lot of fun for me.”
But Tuesday was most fun for the few fans who now have bragging rights, having beaten one of the NHL’s best in a face off.
“I beat him twice!” said 11 year-old Liam King, who was visiting Boston on a vacation with his family from Canada. The entire clan are big Bruins fans and they attended two games while in town. The chance meeting with Bergeron happened just as they were about to leave for the airport.
As for Quinn, of Southie, he claims to have come out victorious.
“It was a hard fought win,” he said. “I got the puck.”
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