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The State of (Maine) Hockey

01/25/2013

Bangor High School, which is the largest high school in the state, has a very  good boys hockey team but their season has certainly taken some bizarre turns.

A local newspaper ranked the team fifth in the state last week with an 8-2 record, all this while losing its coach following an early season bathroom break controversy and having a game stopped last week due to a Zamboni breakdown. This kinds of stuff doesn’t happen in Minnesota.

First the bathroom break controversy: Bangor was scheduled to play Presque Isle, up near the Canadian border. A three-hour bus ride away – using school buses not motor coaches. According to reports, before leaving Bangor, the coach announced the trip was running late and there would be no time for a rest stop. Late arriving teams can be assessed two-minute delay of game penalties.

There were no requests for bathroom stops and, according to the coach, there is no school policy concerning rest stops during long distance bus rides.  The team arrived on time and defeated Presque Isle 15-4.

It was later learned a “pee jug” was used by players to relieve themselves on the back of the bus. A long-standing road-trip tradition, according to the coach.

School officials learned of the incident and launched an investigation.  The coach resigned a couple of days later. You can read more about the pee jug controversy here.

The Zamboni breakdown actually paid off for Bangor.

The team played Cony High School at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault,  about 75 minutes away, in Hallowell last weekend. The team took a 3-1 lead after two periods when disaster struck. During its second period resurfacing, the arena’s new “Icernator” Zamboni got stuck, sprung a leak and melted a large hole in the playing surface.

“The tires were spinning and the Zamboni just stopped. It’s something that happens. It just melted the ice and we couldn’t patch it in time. It just didn’t freeze over. We just didn’t have the time to do it,” said the arena manager in the Kennebec Journal.

The officials deemed the ice unsafe and awarded Bangor a two-period, 3-1 victory. You can read more about the leaky Zamboni victory here.

Did the players sabotage the Icernator with a pee jug? Was the Zamboni driver allowed a restroom break during the second period? I’m sure people looking for a connection between the “pee-jug” controversy and the melting ice at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault, but I’m not one of them. It’s just the way things are in Maine.

I’m not even going to get into the University of Maine hockey situation. The team in 0-8-3 AT HOME and has been outscored 34-14 AT HOME. The Black Bears are 1-9-4 overall in the Hockey East play.

Thank God the NHL is back.

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