Hammonds Plains, N.S., is more than a thousand kilometres away from the Boston Bruins’ home arena.
But for NHL all-star Brad Marchand, the quaint Nova Scotia community is where his career began and his family still cheers him on.
“Here we are, cheering on our nephew. I’m getting emotional now just talking about it, but it’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time,” said Leigh O’leary-England, Marchand’s aunt.
O’leary-England and Marchand’s aunts and uncle are going to be in the TD Garden arena for Game 7.
It’s a feeling reminiscent of the 2011 Stanley Cup final when Marchand brought the Cup back to his hometown community to celebrate with family, friends and province-wide supporters.
“Celebrating that with all of the Hammonds Plains people and as well as with Halifax and Nova Scotia, it’s a nice feeling, it’s a great feeling and it’s great that Brad could bring that home for the entire community,” Ken Marchand said.
Brittney Griner released from Russian custody in prisoner swap
Mysterious 24-metre structure discovered under sand on Florida beach
WATCH: New book about local hockey star Brad Marchand launches this week
Ken Marchand is an elementary school teacher who often hears from students about the inspiration his relative brings to youth aspiring to pursue their own goals.
“I hear from the kids all over the place that you have this person that exemplifies great heart, determination, perseverance,” he said. “You hope that the kids take all of those qualities that Brad really exemplifies in our community and really take that on and own it and see that a kid from our community made it, and it can happen to anybody as long as they persevere.”
The former Halifax Moosehead is one of several NHL all-stars from Nova Scotia.
Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon are also part of a celebrated list of NHL stars hailing from Canada’s east coast.
For family members, though, it’s one game at a time and nothing is bigger than a Stanley Cup final Game 7.
“It can’t get much better than this. It is a very emotional moment here and a good time in Brad’s career,” said Gerry England, Marchand’s uncle.