Thornton booted from O'Connor's corner in TD Garden fight


Thornton booted from O'Connor's corner in TD Garden fight

WILMINGTON, Mass. Shawn Thornton was named after the John Wayne character that bare-knuckle boxes in The Quiet Man and makes no bones about his love for the sport of boxing. He did everything he could to help support local boy Danny Bhoy OConnor during his big fight against New England title holder Derek Silveira at TD Garden last night, and that included agreeing to be the spit bucket guy in his corner during the fight.

Thornton engages in boxing and jujitsu training during the summer and offseason to train for his role as an NHL enforcer, so he was excited to get an up-close-and-personal look at a big-time boxing match.

O'Connor, a IBF and WBC-ranked welterweight, scored the 10-round decision over Silveira. He was awarded scores of 100-89 and 97-93 while the third judge scored the bout a draw at 95-95. O'Connor improved his record to 20-1 with seven KOs after Saturday nights victory.

So the good guy ended up winning the fight, but unfortunately Thornton had to watch from a ringside seat after the second round. OConnors camp was told by the refs that they had one too many people in his corner, and the Bruins fourth liner was the guy told to vamoose.

I paid my 50 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I filled out all the necessary paperwork and I got permission from the commission along with the wrist band that I needed, said Thornton. But the officials came over to our corner in the second round and told us we had too many corner people there.

So I was the one to go, but they still took my 50. Im expletive rattled. Maybe I can get a refund from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick?

Thornton said the Fight Night at the Garden was a huge success with close to 5,000 people attending in the lower bowl as they set tables up around the ring while utilizing half of the hockey rink.

It was pretty loud, said Thornton. There were a lot of people there. The walking out with the OConnor entourage and hanging out with him while he got ready for the fight, Ive done all of that a few times before. But its still a really cool experience.

Its amazing how relaxed, but focused he is before a fight. Hes just watching all of the fights and really chilling out. I was probably more nervous than he was. I wish I could have gone the whole 10 rounds, but they took my money and ran.

The good thing: Theres always next time when Thornton can perform the role as spit bucket guy for OConnor.

Young Bruins 'really excited' for preseason opener tonight


Young Bruins 'really excited' for preseason opener tonight

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins aren’t going to have anything resembling an All-Star lineup when they take the ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night at TD Garden for their preseason opener. But they'll take a long, lingering look at their future with a game-night roster full of prospects and young players who still get butterflies at the thought of putting on an NHL sweater for an Original Six club.

Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Jakub Zboril, Robbie O’Gara, Peter Cehlarik and Brandon Carlo are among the top B’s youngsters that will be in the lineup, and will be cranking up the energy prior to puck drop against the Blue Jackets.

“Everybody is really excited. I woke up this morning with a big smile on my face knowing that I get to put the B’s jersey on and get to go out [on the ice] at TD Garden,” said Brandon Carlo, who will be paired with John-Michael Liles as he has been throughout the start of training camp. “I probably won’t have much of a nap today because I’m so amped up.

“I feel like I’m moving my feet out there, and I want to show that I’ve gotten better at things I worked on over the summer like moving the puck. I definitely want to show a little bit of physicality out there as well.”

The young players are the ones who also provide the most unknown variable for the coaching staff at this point. So the first preseason game is largely about how those hopefuls respond to faster, more physical and intense competition.

“You’re looking to see effort and energy tonight. If the effort and energy is there everything else will take care of itself,” said assistant coach Joe Sacco. “You don’t really want them to think too much out there tonight. This is a game where players are trying to showcase their talent, and we want them to do that.”

Sacco said Anton Khudobin will play the first two periods and Zane McIntyre will wrap things up. Here are the line combos and D-pairings expected to take the ice against the Blue Jackets: