HEBRON, Maine — Hebron Academy will celebrate 90 years of ice hockey in a special ceremony Saturday when melted ice from the TD Garden in Boston will be poured over Hebron hockey pucks in the academy’s Robinson Arena.
The event will symbolize the blending of the near century-old Boston Bruins and Hebron Academy tradition of ice hockey, school officials said.
Hebron Academy received one of about 300 bottles of melted TD Garden ice that was taken after the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship game and have been distributed to ice rinks throughout New England to give young hockey clubs the Bruins’ “home field advantage.”
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the academy’s Robinson Arena, 339 Paris Road. It will be followed by the annual alumni-parent hockey game. The event, which is open to the public, will include remarks from Hebron Academy athletic director Leslie Guenther and the unveiling of hockey Hall of Fame and Hebron alumnus Eddie Jeremiah’s scrapbook.
“This ‘Home Ice Advantage’ initiative rings true to the academy’s legacy of hockey excellence and competition since its Stanley Arena dedication in 1926, which unveiled the nation’s first covered school ice rink,” said Hebron Academy communications director Liza Tarr in a statement about the event. “In the years following, Hebron Academy has been deemed a New England ‘hockey haven’ and lauded for its rich tradition and longstanding commitment to the sport.”
Hebron Academy boasted the first covered secondary school rink in the country in 1926 when trustee and former alumni Freelan O. Stanley built the indoor rink. As a trustee from 1911 to 1940, Stanley insisted on the construction of the indoor school hockey rink and designed it himself, according to information Hebron Academy archivist David Stonebraker.
Freelan O. Stanley and his brother F.E. Stanley developed the Stanley Steamer and a photographic dry plate business they sold to Kodak in the late 1800s.
The academy has since been through two more ice rinks after the original Stanley Arena and the subsequent indoor rink imploded when the roof collapsed under heavy snow.
From 1961 until 1992, teams were forced to play on what school officials called an inadequate outdoor rink which suffered terrible wind from nearby Mount Washington in New Hampshire, Tarr said.
While the name “Stanley” used in the original indoor ice rink is not related to the Stanley Cup, Tarr said Hebron Academy boasts two Boston Bruin alumni, Hebron alumni Eddie Jeremiah, Class of 1926, and Danny Sullivan, Class of 1936, are former Boston Bruins. Both are deceased.
As part of the ceremony Saturday at a postgame luncheon, the community will have an opportunity to view U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer, former Boston Bruin and Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award recipient Jeremiah’s 1926 scrapbook, which is part of the school’s archives. Jeremiah went on to coach Dartmouth College hockey for 40 years after coaching at Hebron.
“One of Jeremiah’s many crowning achievements is still standing: the all-time college hockey winning streak of 46 straight games between 1942 and 1946,” Tarr said.
The “home ice advantage” was begun last year by Bruins forward Nathan Horton who before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup games poured some melted ice from the TD Garden onto the Cannuck’s rink in Vancouver to give them “home ice advantage.”
It apparently worked. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
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A Timeline of Hebron Academy Hockey:
1922-23 — Hebron hockey is born at a “grass-roots” level when tenured teacher Charles Dwyer helps students flood a rink in the campus bowl.
1925 — Hebron officially recognizes hockey and competes interscholastically; the team is coached by Carl P. Rounds and led by hockey hall of famer Eddie Jeremiah ’26, who would later become Hebron Coach, Boston Bruin and United States Hockey Hall of Fame inductee.
1925 — Stanley Arena is built, funded by F.O. Stanley, a devoted Hebron alumnus and former President of the board of trustees.
1926 — Stanley Arena is dedicated.
1929-1930 — Hebron hockey team goes undefeated under the leadership of Fred Harlow ’31; team wins New England Championship.
1930-1931 — Hebron has another undefeated season, wins New England Prep School Championship.
1934-1935 — Eddie Jeremiah coaches at Hebron before going on to coach at Dartmouth, where he compiled a record which still stands today: all-time college hockey winning streak of 46 straight games between 1942 and 1946.
1943 — Hebron hockey program is suspended due to WWII. Team record is 193-35-5.
1952 — Stanley Arena roof collapses on March 6 due to weight of the snow after a blizzard; Ladd MacMillan is head coach at the time and narrowly misses being crushed by the implosion.
1953 — New rink (renamed Stanley Arena) is constructed; rink is dedicated on Jan. 10, 1953. The tradition of Hebron’s alumni hockey game is born.
1960 — Stanley Arena “II” roof collapses; makeshift outdoor rink set up but proves inadequate.
1961 — New artificial ice rink across from the Red Lion erected and dedicated.
1992 — Hebron hires Jeffrey G. Weber, a Colgate University graduate who had played on the 1990 Colgate team and for an NHL minor league affiliate. Weber pieces together a club team made up of players from surrounding towns in an attempt to revive Hebron’s hockey tradition. Weber later spearheaded Hebron’s athletic recruiting efforts, attracting hockey students from Canada, greater New England and California.
1992 — The John B. Robinson family of Oxford, full of Hebron alumni and supporters, offers to construct an arena over and around Hebron’s existing outdoor rink.
1993 — The Robinson Arena is dedicated in October, marking an epic turnaround for Hebron hockey.
1993-1995 — Hebron wins back-to-back New England Prep School Division II Championships under the leadership of co-captain Jamie Roche ’95. This feat marked the only time in the history of the New England playoffs that a team had won back-to-back championships.
1998 — Hebron institutes a girls’ hockey team that finished its inaugural season with a 14-3-1 record.
2000 — Hebron girls’ hockey team wins New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association Division II Championship.
2006 — Hebron boys’ hockey team wins New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association Division II Championship.
2009 —Hebron boys’ hockey team wins Holt Conference Championship 2009.
2011 — Hebron brings on James LeBlanc ’02 to coach the boys’ varsity hockey team.
Courtesy of Hebron Academy.