But Jordan Caron had been waiting even longer to make his Boston debut, and it was the 2009 first-round pick who stole the show with a hat trick to lead the Bruins' rookies to a 5-2 win over the rookies of the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. Caron was unable to participate in training camp last year after suffering a broken collarbone in that summer's evaluation camp for Canada's World Junior Championship team, but he made up for lost time in this one.
Caron opened the scoring 1:01 into the second period with a deflection of a Matt Delahey shot, made it 4-2 in the third with a power-play goal and closed out the scoring with an empty-netter with 37.5 seconds left. After tucking the puck into the open net, Caron reveled in the sight of caps showering down on the Garden ice to commemorate his first pro hat trick.
"It was fun," said Caron. "It was kind of a dream come true even though it was just a rookie game, everybody always wishes to see those hats coming on the ice. It was a nice feeling."
Seguin wasn't exactly a slouch himself in his first Bruins game. He overcame some early nerves and a couple of miscues, including a faceoff loss that led to an Islanders goal, to finish with a pair of assists and three shots on the night.
"It was great, first time in an actual game wearing the Boston Bruins logo, so it definitely felt nice," said Seguin. "I think I was probably just too excited. I didn't feel too nervous out there, but as the game went on, I definitely felt more comfortable. I started getting a bit more rhythm back."
There were plenty of other standouts as well, with tough guy Lane MacDermid chipping in a goal on a nice rush off a pass from Seguin and barreling down the left slot, picking the far corner with a beautiful shot off the inside of the post. Max Sauve added the other goal, banging home a rebound of a Tyler Randell shot.
At the other end of the ice, Adam Courchaine stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced in goal as he played the entire game in goal. And he was helped by a solid effort from the defensemen in front of him, including Steve Kampfer, who wore the captain's C for the game and delivered a strong game in his own zone. The rest of the blueliners showed encouraging signs as well.
"I thought [Matt] Bartkowski played well, he's a smart player," said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, though he did admit that Bartkowski's third-period holding call probably wouldn't have gone over well with coach Claude Julien.
"[Yury] Alexandrov played a smart game," Chiarelli added. "He got caught up in some of the moves he tried to make which wouldn't have worked at the next level, but you can see how smart he is. [Ryan] Button played well. I thought our D played well as a whole."
But this was a night for the offensive stars, and the Bruins' talented young forwards delivered before a raucous crowd that helped fuel the club's effort on the ice.
"[I was] very pleased," said Chiarelli of the turnout. "And I think we gave them a good show. What I was happy with tonight, and I think the crowd could see it, was the skill. We had an energy line, but on three of those other lines there was tremendous skill and a lot of plays were made."
Along with that skill, there was also plenty of toughness on display as the game featured four fights, numerous scrums and plenty of big hits. Antoine Roussel, Ryan Donald, Randell and Matt Delahey all dropped the gloves for the Bruins.
"You're going to see the need for that response in these types of games," said Chiarelli. "Everybody is trying to prove themselves. We had four or five players that stood up for other players and you want that in your team."
The crowd obviously wanted to see it as well, cheering wildly after both the goals and the bouts.
"That's a pretty good number for a rookie game," said Donald when informed of the attendance figure. "They've got a lot of good young talent here that I'm sure everyone is excited to see. … I think early on we kind of used that to our advantage. The first two or three shifts you're kind of going on adrenaline a bit, but after a while you kind of realize it's just another game and everything going on outside the glass can't do anything about what's going on on the ice."
The lone lowlight was seeing 2008 first-rounder Joe Colborne injured in the third period, suffering a facial injury that will keep him out of Thursday's rematch. That return engagement could be just as rambunctious — and just as entertaining — as this one.
"There were lots of fights, so I'm sure that's going to carry over into tomorrow night," said MacDermid. "They're going to be coming out hard. We're going to have to match that or exceed that, but I think we'll do fine."
The Bruins fans that will be back in big numbers Thursday night wouldn't want it any other way.
"It was very impressive," said Caron of the crowd. "They were really into it after the goals and after the fights. I think you can see that Boston is a very good town for hockey."
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