FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask took the outdoor ice at Gillette Stadium on New Year's Day, he donned a special Winter Classic mask that paid homage to the New England Patriots in front of a crowd of more than 67,000. Shortly after the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Rask's Patriots-themed mask was delivered to The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, where it will be on display in The Hall's Building Blocks exhibit until June.
"It came out nice," Rask said of the Winter Classic mask. "We wanted to pay tribute to [the Patriots'] success and some of their players and make the biggest part of the mask about the Pats. It's a special event so we wanted to do something special."
The mask, designed by Bruins equipment assistant Matt Falconer, featured imagery of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Julian Edelman and kicker Stephen Gostkowski. It also included a black and gold adorned Pat patriot and an image of the old Boston Garden.
"We are thrilled that Tuukka Rask has allowed us to display such a unique item that he wore for just one game in our Hall," said Hall Executive Director Bryan Morry. "The attention to detail is incredible and fans now have the opportunity to see what is truly a work of sports art. We are so fortunate to live and work in such a great sports market and I can't imagine a market that has a better collaboration among its professional sports teams. We are thankful to Tuukka and Matt [Falconer] for giving us an opportunity to display the mask for our fans."
While Falconer chose the design, the mask was painted by Montreal artist Sylvie Marsolais, who also painted one for Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens.
Brady, who will lead the Patriots into the 2015 postseason with an AFC Divisional Round game on Jan. 16 at Gillette Stadium, thanked Rask on Facebook for including him on the custom goalie mask with the following post:
Prior to the New Year's Day game, Rask and teammate Patrice Bergeron shared what it meant to play inside the home of the four-time Super Bowl champions.
"Coming here [to Gillette Stadium], you can definitely sense the professionalism they bring and you've seen all the guys and coaches, how professional they are," Rask said. "So I think we're just happy to be playing in the stadium where they've won so many championships in front of 70,000 fans."
Said Bergeron: "I think it' special to be here. [The Patriots are] definitely an organization that we respect a lot. Just with the success that they've had over the years, year after year. So it's a special moment. I mean, especially here at Gillette Stadium with 60,000-plus fans, that's something that we don't get to experience at all. So we're going to try to take everything in and enjoy that moment."
The Hall is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and active military and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children 4 and under receive free admission. Check **www.thehallatpatriotplace.com** for schedule updates.
ABOUT THE HALL AT PATRIOT PLACE PRESENTED BY RAYTHEON
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and artifacts never before viewable by the public, The Hall showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England and promotes math and science education for thousands of schoolchildren each year. The Hall's signature exhibit and premier photo opportunity is The Super Bowl Experience. Visitors to the interactive exhibit can re-live each of the team's four Super Bowl championships, view the four Vince Lombardi Trophies and Super Bowl championship rings and re-enact Malcolm Butler's Super Bowl XLIX game-winning interception. The Hall received a Gold MUSE Award from the American Association of Museums and The Hall's signature film, "Patriots Way," won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. The Hall was named to Boston Globe Magazine's Best of the New, and was a Yankee magazine Editor's Choice recommendation. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit **www.TheHallatPatriotPlace.com**, visit "The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon" on Facebook or follow @TheHall on Twitter.