“Rangers Lead the Way.”

The motto stuck with Andrew Ference after befriending Staff Sergeant Lucas Carr and a group of Army Rangers in 2007.

“I go, ‘if you’re ever going to take anything out of it, take that, because that’s the one that’s going to give you the cutting edge to never quit,’ ” Carr said.

Ference never forgot. After every playoff victory, the Bruins player with the best game parades around in a customized Army Rangers jacket: Bruins logo and American flag patch on the right arm, and Ranger and U.S. Army patches on the left.

The tradition started two years ago during the Stanley Cup run, when the player of the game would wear an old-school Starter jacket. Last year, it was a large chain with a Bruins lock.

“This year’s is a little more serious,” Ference said. “For us, we have a lot of respect for what (the Army Rangers are) doing. We know that we provide entertainment for them and a lighter part of some of their days.

“I think most guys feel pretty honored to get that after the game.”

Throughout the Cup run, Ference kept in touch with a group of Rangers. He received pictures from Afghanistan of forces proudly waving a Bruins flag, and was told tales of how they’d come back from battle eager to watch the games.

To show his support, Ference wore an Army Rangers T-shirt throughout the playoffs. That summer, he was invited to Fort Benning in Georgia, touring the base and going to both a graduation ceremony and sniper school.