No Rest for Some Sharks

altBy Patrick Brown

Worcester, Mass. - Following a busy and successful weekend for the Worcester Sharks in which they earned four points and continued their five-game win streak by moving into a playoff-eligible position in the Atlantic Division, Coach Sommer gave the team a reprieve from practice today.

Similarly, on his 1st birthday, the Sharks executives gave FINZ his first day off since he was born.

However, everybody’s favorite mascot FINZ and fan-favorite player Riley Armstrong just couldn’t help but work. You see, there was a school that qualified for a Reading is Cool classroom visit which had yet to be fulfilled. The school, Mary Rowlandson Elementary is located in Lancaster and the distance from the practice rink coupled with the limited hours the school is in session have made it difficult to schedule a visit.

Armstrong, the Worcester Sharks nominee for the AHL Man of the Year for outstanding community service immediately seized the opportunity.

“I contacted our Reading is Cool department as soon as Coach (Sommer) told us we didn’t have practice to see if we could put this visit together on short notice,” recalled the Sharks forward. “I didn’t mind coming out on my day off because, you know, this was all for the kids, eh.”

So with the school notified and excited, Riley and FINZ made the 25-mile drive out to Sherri Boissoneau’s 2nd grade classroom. The 18 children were literally on their toes awaiting the Sharks arrival. As FINZ entered the children shouted, in unison, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY FINZ!” FINZ responded with his patented ‘thumbs-up’ and hi-five for each of the boys and girls.

The class took seats on the carpet surrounding Riley as he read to them about responsibility from a Berenstain Bears book. The kids sat attentively; captivated by Armstrong’s voice as he read page-after-page to them. When he finished, Riley told the children about his life, growing up in Saskatoon, SK with an older brother (Colby) who also plays hockey. When asked if he sees his brother much, Armstrong said, “He plays for Pittsburg and will be in Boston this week.” He laughed as he continued, “Our team doesn’t do a lot of traveling, but of course we’ll be in Texas when he is in town.” The Sharks leave Wednesday for their “Texas Trip” where they will face San Antonio on Thursday and Houston on Saturday.

FINZ and Armstrong wrapped up their visit by signing autographs for each of the children in the class. Join the Sharks on Friday, April 6th for Reading is Cool Night at the DCU Center as the team takes on the Hartford Wolf Pack. For More information on Reading is Cool, or to purchase tickets to join us for Reading is Cool night, crash the net at

  • St. Vincent Hospital
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