I remember my first time I attended a University of Maine hockey game.
I know what you’re thinking, and no it wasn’t at Alfond Arena. It was in Portland, Maine at the Cumberland County Civic Center. On January 6, 2002 the Maine Black Bears took on the Dartmouth Big Green at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
At the time I don’t recall going to a hockey game before as I was only 8 at the time, so this was my first hockey game. There’s no better way to see your first hockey game than to cheer for the university that has been part of the family as it’s chalk full of UMaine alum.
Of note the only player in the game that I could recognize by name was Peter Metcalf played; Martin Kariya was out with the flu. Tim Whitehead was the interim head coach of the Black Bears as the death of the great Shawn Walsh had just happened just over three months prior.
Overall I remember it being a great game for the Black Bears as they won handily 4-1. As this was my first game it left an impression on me and what set the stage for my Maine Black Bears fandom in the years to come.
From that point I started attending the annual game at the Civic Center every year. It wasn’t until I came here as a freshman (Fall ’11) that I got to attend a game at the Alfond. It was against Providence around Halloween weekend.
Nowadays, I’m glad the Black Bears are returning games to the Civic Center as I feel it’s important to cater to the southern part of the state that isn’t always able/willing to drive 2 hours and pay $50/$23 per ticket to see a game at the Alfond.
For anyone reading this, feel free to tell me about your first game. Where, when, and who did Maine play would be the basic idea to post, if you have anything special that goes with it feel free to add on.