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BOSTON (CBS) — Throughout the Bruins’ 2013 postseason run, the team awarded a special Army Rangers jacket to the player of the game for each of Boston’s 14 victories. The jacket was a physical representation of the team’s collective mind-set, which followed the mantra of “Rangers lead the way.” Though the Bruins came up just short of their final goal, the jacket — which was given to Andrew Ference by Army Sgt. Lucas Carr — was something that was most definitely an important part of a memorable playoffs.
And now, with the playoffs long over, Ference has awarded the jacket to one final winner.
Ference, now a member of the Edmonton Oilers, tweeted Thursday that he gave the jacket to Matt Brown, the Norwood teenager who was paralyzed in a hockey game in 2010.
“This jacket represents a lot of great things. I couldn’t think of a more worthy final recipient than you bud,” Ference tweeted at Brown’s Twitter handle, @mjb_3.
Brown is an ideal person to don the Rangers jacket, not just for his perseverance and strength but also for his connection to Carr. The duo teamed up in the past to run the Boston Marathon, raising funds for the Boston Bruins Foundation in 2012.
“When I first got hurt, I never thought … I could do it,” Brown told WBZ-TV before beginning that 2012 Marathon. “But now it’s something I’m going to be finally able to cross off my bucket list.”
The benefits of running clearly went both ways for Brown and Carr.
“To give Matt the exposure of a marathon and the opportunity to get back in athlete mode, this is a perfect chance,” Carr said during marathon training last year. “And it’s such an honor.”
Brown said the message he and Carr tried to send by completing the marathon was simple: “Never quit.”
“Don’t let anything hold you back. Nothing. Nothing at all,” Brown said. “If you want to do something, put your mind to it and do it.”
Matt Brown and Lucas Carr Discuss Marathon Training:
Brown was also honored at the TD Garden in March 2012, when dropped the ceremonial first puck. Now, he’ll forever own a meaningful piece of Bruins history.