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Acciari the Panther to Get Native-Born Hockey Award
Providence, RI (7/3/2019): Noel Acciari may be going South for the winter, but he'll be sticking around Rhode Island at least through Sunday, August 4, when he'll receive the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society's native-born hockey achievement award at Goddard State Park in Warwick. The event is part of the society's 19th annual reunion of fans and former players.
A native of Johnston and former Providence College standout, Acciari became a valuable, physical member of the Boston Bruins' fourth line over the past few seasons. He did have offers from the Bruins before his contract expired at the end of this past season, but as a free agent this week he accepted a three-year, $5 -million contract with the Florida Panthers.
He recently helped lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals against the St. Louis Blues. He turned pro with the Bruins in 2015 and, except for a brief stay with the Providence Bruins, he has been a Boston fan favorite since his signing.
Acciari attended Bishop Hendricken high school where he was a member of a state championship team in his freshman year. He went on to captain the Kent School team before playing three seasons of NCAA Division I hockey at Providence College. He helped the Friars capture their first ever NCAA National Championship during his senior year. That title came in April 2015 after a 4-3 victory over Boston University at the Bruins' home, TD Garden. Little could Acciari imagine that less than a year later he would be back skating at that arena, this time in a Bruins uniform, making his NHL debut against the Calgary Flames.
Acciari played a valuable role for the Bruins, serving as a tough stalwart on the team's defensive "checking" line. In that role this past season he played in 72 games, doling out 233 "hits" for an average of 3.1 per game -- 2nd highest on the Bruins and 18th highest in the entire NHL. He also "played hurt" for the Bruins. An example: He took his regular shifts with a broken sternum and a painfully injured foot during the entire 7-game Stanley Cup finals series against St. Louis.
The Aug. 4 Goddard State Park event will feature as guest speaker colorful Paul Stewart, former NHL player and official. The program will include onstage introductions of former Reds and other ex-professional hockey players, presentations of special awards, a delicious buffet luncheon and memorable music from the good old days of Reds games at the old Rhode Island Auditorium. Admission to the event at Goddard Park is $40 for adults, $15 for children ages 6-12 and no charge for ages 6 and under.
As part of the reunion weekend celebration, the Reds society will also host its traditional annual dinner-dance at the 12 Acres banquet facility in Smithfield on Saturday night, August 3. Greg Bouris, former communication's director for the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and the MLB Players Association, will be guest speaker. Tickets are $50 per person.
For more information about the two reunion events contact Mal Goldenberg at email@example.com or call 401-864-6191. Deadline for each event is extended now to July 25. No tickets will be sold at the gate.
For further information call 401-230-5905 or e-mail RIREDS15@gmail.com.