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The best Tim Thomas tribute we’ve ever seen at the beach

The Stanley Cup Playoff performance by Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was inspiring enough to earn him the Conn Smythe Trophy for postseason MVP. Clearly, the inspiration didn't end there.

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This Thomas-as-sandman creation was seen at the Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition in New Hampshire last weekend (photos here).

Greg Grady Jr., son of the competition's founder, battled cold and rainy conditions for three days to fashion this tribute to the Bruins goaltender and 2011 Vezina Trophy winner.

On Saturday morning, he needed to reconstruct portions of the sculpture that had fallen apart due to heavy rain on Friday night.

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"To be able to make something so quick for other people to enjoy is awesome," said Greg Grady, Jr., a Londonderry resident and son of Greg Grady, the founder of the Hampton competition.

The pride is something that also rubs off on the spectators, as many drove from all over New England last week to view the creations.

"Each one has their own style and variations," said Kim Riley, of Auburn, Mass., who said Grady Jr.'s sculpture of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was her favorite. "The detail is amazing."

Well, it's certainly better than our Keith Ballard sculpture, which consisted of an overturned pail of sand that we fashioned into a pylon.

Alas, neither our creation (which didn't exist) nor Grady's (which clearly did) made the cut for an award at the competition, whose winner received a plane ticket to the World Championship of Sand Sculpting in Fort Myers, Fla.

This failure to earn an award can only mean one thing: Roberto Luongo's goaltending style is obviously better suited for sand creations. He's not saying Tim Thomas isn't a good model, but he would have easily made that sculpt.

s/t to NESN for the story and to Brittany Rose for the image.

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