UMaine Hockey Excited For Chance To Play At Fenway 

The smell of Fenway Franks in the air. Fans lining the streets of Yawkey Way, walking past old Teddy Ballgame’s statue. But not for baseball. That’s a few months away. Tonight, hockey will freeze over Fenway Park when New England’s four state schools, UMass, UVM, UMaine, and UNH take to the ice. When Black Bears head coach Tim Whitehead heard about this opportunity, he says it was a no-brainer for his team. “It was a slam dunk, to be honest with you. To come down here and play at Fenway…we’d give up a home game again if we had the choice to play at Fenway.”Growing up, many young hockey players learn the game of hockey outside. It’s only when they get to high school and college that the game is moved inside to arenas. That’s why many UMaine hockey players are excited to be playing outside at Fenway Park, because it reminds them of their childhood.”Yeah, the air and stuff. the air is great. It feels great, you feel free. You’re breathing in the good air. Yeah, I mean, it was a privilege to be out there.”And for the guys who grew up as Red Sox fans, including senior captain Will O’Neill, being at America’s most beloved ballpark is something pretty special.”I love the Red Sox. I’ve always been an enormous fan. Like i said, it’s a privilege to be here. I got to dress up in the Red Sox locker room. I’ve got Big Papi’s stall, so i’m pretty jacked up about that. It’s exciting all around, I love it.”Of course, there is a game to be played tonight. The Black Bears will be looking for two important points in the Hockey East standings against UNH. But Coach Whitehead is confident in his team.”Yeah so there’ll be distractions, but like Brian said, we’ll try not to let those affect us. We’ve been in big games before. It’s easier for the coaches probably than the players, especially these New England guys. It’s a pretty big deal for them. It’ll be a challenge for us, but I think we can do it.”