After growing up as Bruins fan, Blues' Zach Sanford shares Stanley Cup with New England

Gabby Guerard
August 05, 2019 - 5:20 pm
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DERRY, N.H. -- When the Bruins lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, nearly all Boston fans were devastated. Except one former fan: Blues left wing Zach Sanford.

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Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Sanford grew up a big Bruins fan.

“Yeah, I went to a decent amount (of Bruins games), watched most games on TV with my dad and my mom, and yeah I was definitely a huge Bruins fan growing up,” Sanford said Monday, after bringing the Stanley Cup back to his high school, Pinkerton Academy. “But not so much anymore now,” he added, chuckling.

While clearly that’s no longer the case, he spent most of his life rooting for the Bruins. So naturally, when he helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup, he had always dreamed of that moment going slightly differently.

“Yeah, it was kind of crazy. I mean like growing up, you always picture yourself doing it on the Bruins, and then to do it against the Bruins, I guess it was the second-best option,” Sanford said. “But yeah, it was pretty crazy getting to do it at home kind of with my whole family and all my friends there, and it was just an awesome feeling.”

The 6-foot-4, 24-year-old competed in eight games with the Blues during the 2018-19 playoff run. During that time, he scored one goal – though, he did it when it mattered most: Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

“That was crazy too, that was a moment I think we all knew we had won, and I remember scoring and I turned around and my linemates came over and were just jumping, screaming like little kids, like we were so happy,” he said. “Just one of the best feelings of my life.”

Off the ice, Sanford can usually be found playing Fortnite, but decided to drop in to Derry, New Hampshire, to be able to celebrate the win with his community. And while some Bruins fans might still be a little bitter about the loss for Boston, it didn’t show on Monday, when he brought the Stanley Cup back to Pinkerton Academy.

“I knew he was a special player right when he got to Pinkerton,” said then-Pinkerton Academy boys’ hockey head coach Casey Kesselring. “I mean, dynamic, scored a lot of goals, I mean, by his third year, guys on our team were almost fans of his, like he was so good… You know, he was a high school kid, so you knew he was good, I thought he’d be a Division-I player. I mean, would he ever win the Stanley Cup? I’m not going to lie and say ‘yeah, he’s going to win the Stanley Cup,’ but he was obviously a good, special player in high school.”

“I like the Bruins, but having somebody you coach and have an influence on win, and think you had a small piece of that is pretty special,” he added. “So it was definitely cool.”

And even though there were a lot of Blues t-shirts lined up to meet Sanford, there were a handful of Bruins shirts mixed in as well.

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