Monday, January 10, 2011

NHL: Bartkowski May Make NHL Debut in Hometown

As if getting called up to play his first game in the National Hockey League wasn’t exhilarating enough, Pittsburgh native Matt Bartkowski may get his first taste of the professional ranks in his hometown.

“I don’t think there’s a better situation for me right now,” the Bruins defenseman said following Boston’s morning skate on Monday. “(Playing my) first game in my hometown is awesome.”

Bartkowski got recalled on an emergency basis from Boston’s top minor-league affiliate, the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, on Sunday night after Boston placed defenseman Mark Stuart on injured reserve.

“I was excited,” he said of getting the call from Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney that he would be joining the team in Pittsburgh. “I called my mom, called my parents, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. Being able to play in Pittsburgh, it’s a special game.”

Bartkowski graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 2006, captaining the school’s hockey team his senior year. He led the undefeated Blue Devils to the 2006 Pennsylvania Cup state championship.

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