NMU hockey: Marquette’s Justin Florek called back up to Boston for West Coast swing
MARQUETTE – Marquette native and former Northern Michigan University captain Justin Florek was recalled by the NHL’s Boston Bruins on an emergency basis for a second time in three days Monday morning to join the team on its week-long West Coast road swing, starting with a game Tuesday night in Anaheim.
Florek, 23, became the first Marquette native to play in an NHL game when he made his debut with the Bruins in a 4-1 victory Saturday over the Winnipeg Jets at the TD Garden in Boston.
“I take a lot of pride in where I’m from – the U.P. and Marquette,” Florek said Saturday after the game. “To be the first coming out of Marquette is a great honor because there have been so many great players before me that came through.”
The 6-foot-4, 199-pound former Marquette Electrician Midget and American Legion Bantam player was credited with two hits, a shot on goal and an even plus/minus rating in 10 minutes and 14 seconds of ice that included a stint on the Bruins’ penalty kill.
His biggest contribution Saturday didn’t show up on any box score, however. His screen of Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec in the second period allowed the game-winning slap shot of defenseman Torey Krug to get through, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
“He played well,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said to BostonBruins.com. “He’s a good skater, he’s got good size, and obviously on one of Krug’s goals, it was him doing a great job in front of goaltender there, and I thought he had a real good game for us, no doubt.”
Florek was returned to Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, on Sunday morning to play in the P-Bruins’ 8-2 home win that afternoon over the Worchester Sharks. Florek finished with two assists in the rout while former NMU teammate Andrew Cherniwchan had one.
In his second full season with Providence, Florek has recorded nine goals and 13 assists in 35 games. He totaled 11 goals and 16 assists a year ago for Providence.
After Tuesday’s 10 p.m. game in Anaheim, the Boston Bruins play in Los Angeles against the Kings at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday and against the Sharks in San Jose at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. None of the three games are being televised nationally.