Attacks Remain Fresh in Mind for BU Hockey Members

Boston. April 8, 2015. Media await a verdict outside the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  (Haiyun Jiang/BU News Service)
Boston. April 8, 2015. Media await a verdict outside the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (Haiyun Jiang/BU News Service)

By Pat O’Rourke
BU News Service

BU men’s hockey coach David Quinn wasn’t in Boston when the Boston Marathon bombings happened on Apr. 15, 2013. But that’s not to say the attack didn’t hit home for the second-year coach.

“I was in Colorado at the time so I wasn’t here when it happened,” said Quinn, who was an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche at the time, “but I certainly felt it being in Denver, Colo., with all the family and friends here.”

When the court verdict was delivered on Wednesday afternoon during BU’s practice session, finding Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts, it created a “lighthearted moment.”

“I think it’s starting to give people some closure,” said Quinn. “Now that the verdict has been rendered, and no one will ever move on from it totally, but hopefully events like this help the healing process.”

Ahti Oksanen and Matt Grzelcyk were wrapping up their freshman years at BU when the attacks happened. The two come from opposite backgrounds; Grzelcyk is a lifelong Bostonian, who grew up in Charlestown, just a few miles from where the bombs went off. Oksanen is from a rural community in Finland. But both felt similar emotion.

“I think the positive impact it’s had has kind of brought the city together,” said Grzelcyk. “Especially growing up here, it’s nice to see how people have responded and kind of rallied around each other.”

Oksanen was nearby the scene at the finish line and saw the panic in the aftermath. He also saw how the city responded in the following days.

“I remember watching the Bruins game against [the Buffalo Sabres] on TV, how everyone sang the National Anthem,” said Oksanen. “For me it was just an unbelievable experience to see how people responded to it.”

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