Throwback Thursday

The Black Bear Men’s Ice Hockey team begins their 2013-14 season this coming Sunday with a warm-up game against Dalhousie. As we highlighted in our season preview last week the hockey program is at a turning point with a new coach and a reborn enthusiasm for what it means to play for Maine. However, if you truly want to talk about a transitional period for the team you will have to travel back almost 90 seasons.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday we take a look at the 1923-24 hockey team; the last group of players to wear the Maine letters on the ice for over a half century. You see, back then the team played on an outside temporary rink between Corbett Hall and the Memorial Gym, open to the weather and limited to use during just the winter months. After a 4-8 season with wins against Bowdoin and Boston University the administration decided that the ice hockey team would be discontinued until an indoor rink could be constructed. While most of the other major hockey programs in the northeast already had indoor facilities, like Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth, the Black Bears would be relegated to having just a club team. That indoor rink eventually arrived at Orono in the form of Alfond Arena which opened in 1976, 53 seasons after the 1923-24 team hung up their skates for the last time. 

So while many fans would argue that the last few seasons of hockey have been a near death experience, those years don’t compare to time the program actually ended for good. So for this Throwback Thursday we salute those players from the early years of the Black Bear hockey program and those current players who will bring us back to greatness.

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