May 26, 2018
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Bangor hockey teams to add Boston Bruins ‘home ice’ to Sawyer Arena

By Dave Barber, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Sawyer Arena will be the site Saturday afternoon of a ceremonial spraying of water that was shipped to the city of Bangor by the Boston Bruins.

The ceremony, which is not expected to include any Bruins players or staff members, will take place at center ice at 3 p.m. before the start of Bangor High School’s exhibition hockey game with Riverview Redmond of Nova Scotia.

The spray of water will be a local re-enactment of the act performed by injured Bruin Nathan Horton before Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Horton, trying to do what he could to help the team, sprayed water on the ice a few hours before the game to help give the Bruins some feeling of home-ice advantage.

The Bruins defeated the Canucks 4-0, and the players became the first Bruins to have their names etched on the Stanley Cup since 1972.

Saturday’s ceremony is the Bruins’ version of the fan appreciation trophy stops around New England by the New England Patriots after their first Super Bowl victory in 2002 and by the Boston Red Sox after their World Series victory in 2004.

The present came as a complete surprise. The Bruins didn’t send out any advance notice to the recipients.

“We got the package from the Bruins less than a week ago,” said Tracy Willette, director of Parks and Recreation for Bangor.

The box contained a Gatorade bottle like the one Horton used with “6-12 ounces of water in it,” said Willette.

“It just showed up,” added Willette. “They wrote a nice letter explaining what it was about. It’s something a little different.”

After winning the Stanley Cup, the Bruins melted the rest of the TD Garden ice and preserved it. They since have shipped packages throughout New England so local teams could share in the Bruins’ “Home Ice Advantage.”

“My understanding is 300 went out [around New England],” said Willette. They generally are going to arenas that support youth hockey, including a couple of other sites in Maine.

“We sent out invitations to Bangor Youth Hockey, Bangor High School, Maine Freeze and John Bapst,” said Willette.

Cheryl Derrah, president of Bangor Youth Hockey, is excited about the gesture.

A couple of Bangor youth teams will be playing before the high school contest and “we’re going to get a couple of kids to participate,” said Derrah.

Derrah had been given a heads-up when the trophy came through Bangor on its way to Canada, but she had to keep that to herself until just before it arrived at Bangor International Airport.

There was no such restriction this time.

“I sent out a notice by email to let people know it was happening,” she said.

“This is very exciting for the kids, and grownups, too,” Derrah added. “I think there’s probably going to be a pretty good turnout.”

“Hopefully, this will extend [the Bruins’] luck to our teams throughout [the season],” said Willette. “We appreciate the Bruins including Bangor.”

Admission to the game is $4 for adults, $2 for students and senior citizens, and youth hockey players wearing their jerseys get in at no charge.

Freeze Bantams win tourney

The Maine Freeze Tier III Bantams (ages 13-14) won the 14th Subway Series tournament in Saint John, New Brunswick, recently.

The Bantams went 2-0-1 in their first three games of the nine-team tournament and earned the No. 3 seed for the semifinals.

The Maine Freeze rallied in the third period to defeat the No. 2-seeded Bedford Blues 3-2 in the semis, then took a 3-0 lead over the top-seeded Dartmouth Whalers before hanging on for another 3-2 win in the championship game.

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