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Hamill Strong in Debut

Zach Hamill was sharp in his first NHL game.

Monday, 04.12.2010 / 8:21 AM / Features
By Samantha Wood  - BostonBruins.com
Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Semin (28), of Russia, is shoved by Boston Bruins Zach Hamill (52) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, April 11, 2010, in Washington. The Bruins won 4-3 in shootout. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Bostonbruins.com – It’s your first NHL game, you’re playing the best team in the League, it’s the last game of the regular season, you notch your first NHL point, and you win?

It’s an unlikely scenario, but that was reality for Zach Hamill, the newest Providence transplant.

The 21-year-old centerman was called up Saturday evening to join the Boston Bruins after they locked up the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

With 81 games in the books, the team had one more order of business to attend to—a Sunday afternoon appointment with the Washington Capitals in the nation’s capital, the final game of the regular season.

As Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara had the day off, Hamill and his fellow former Baby-B’s teammates got the nod to fill in and show the NHL’s top team what the young guns in the Bruins artillery cabinet can do.

The energy of Hamill and his teammates helped propel Boston to a 4-3 win over Washington in the shootout. Though the game had no bearing on the standings, it served to shake up the Caps and prove that the Black and Gold can compete with any team, in any circumstance.

It was also the third straight win for the B’s, which they hope will boost their momentum as they head into the playoffs next week.

Flanked by none another than Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler, Hamill saw over 12 minutes of ice time and notched an assist—his first point in the NHL. He even was called upon to bolster the power play squad for a shift.

“I think he’s pretty poised with the puck and he competed hard in our own end. He was pretty good; he was in the right position,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “I thought his focus was good. He obviously got a helper there on that one goal, and that’s what we wanted to see.”

Julien went on to explain his reasoning to include a NHL first-timer on the power play.

“We wanted to put him in some positions there where he had an opportunity to showcase his talent and the power play was part of it and I thought he did well,” he said.

The 5’11” 190-pound British Columbia native was selected eighth overall by the Bruins in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and since has spent the last three seasons with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.

Playing 75 games this season with the P-Bruins, Hamill registered 14-30=44 totals and 24 PIM.

Though he’s usually relaxed under pressure, Hamill admitted that today his nerves were a factor.

“I was fine before the game and all that. I don’t really get nervous,” Hamill said. “Right before my first shift, that’s when my heart rate got a little bit higher.

“I don’t usually get nervous but that was definitely a different scenario for me.”

Though it remains unclear whether or not he will stay on with the Bruins through the postseason, Hamill said he was thankful to get his first glimpse into life on hockey’s biggest stage.

“Obviously playing preseason and then playing the best team in the League is a little bit different, but yeah, you see the speed and the strength of the players,” he said.

“You get a taste and you want more. It gives you something to strive for in the future.”

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
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2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 80 19 50 39 69
P. Bergeron 80 30 32 38 62
J. Iginla 78 30 31 34 61
M. Lucic 80 24 35 30 59
B. Marchand 82 25 28 36 53
R. Smith 82 20 31 28 51
C. Soderberg 73 16 32 4 48
Z. Chara 77 17 23 25 40
T. Krug 79 14 26 18 40
L. Eriksson 61 10 27 14 37
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 36 15 6 .930 2.04
C. Johnson 17 4 3 .925 2.10
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