Verren: 'I've bought into' B's hockey

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Running back Shane Vereen enters his third season with the Patriots, and also his third season as a Boston Bruins fan. He simply wasn't exposed much to hockey growing up in California.

"It's very new for me," Vereen said Tuesday during a break in the Patriots' offseason program. "I'm still learning the game a little bit. In California, hockey is not the biggest thing -- a couple of my friends played -- but coming out here hockey is life. I've bought into it. I went to a game a couple of days ago, the atmosphere was unbelievable, and I saw the game last night. I'm in."

Like most sports fans in New England, Vereen was still buzzing about the Bruins' dramatic overtime victory over the Maple Leafs on Monday night. When the Bruins were down 4-1 midway through the third period, Vereen recalled his thoughts.

"I'm trying not to turn the channel, because the competitor in me wants to give them a chance all the way through," he said. "Thank God I didn't, because I witnessed something that probably might not ever be duplicated again in the history of hockey."