BOSTON — With both Boston University and Providence advancing to the Frozen Four, there was the potential for some obvious local connection between residents of the area and the competitors on the ice.
For BU captain Matt Grzelcyk, however, the connection to playing in the arena on Causeway Street runs deeper than anyone else. His father, John, serves as a member of the fabled “Bull Gang” tasked with the care of the home arena of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics.
“It’s really great to play in front of everyone,” said Grzelcyk. “[My dad] works hard every day, and he really showed me the ropes. I haven’t really had a chance to fully think about it, but it’s something that I know I’ll reflect on at some point as being a great highlight.”
“I love watching hockey, and I love watching college hockey,” John Grzelcyk said. “I’m anxious for my son [to play well] and now I can watch these games with something at stake. I’ll get to watch the game as a typical dad. I realize how hard it is to get to this point and the amount of work he’s had to put in. It’s really big [for him], and it should be really big.”
The elder Grzelcyk is in his 48th year as a member of the Bull Gang with a career that started “right after Bobby Orr.” His first year at the Garden was in the old Boston Garden in 1967, one season after the famed No. 4 arrived in town.
“College hockey back then was much more regional,” he said. “You had Minnesota, Michigan and Minnesota. Now it’s all over, and there’s some great hockey.”
A third Grzelcyk, John (Matt’s older brother and John’s middle son), also works on the ice during Bruins games, making this weekend very much a family affair.