10th annual alumni hockey game draws big crowd

Christy Fitzptarick, Special to The Houlton Pioneer Times, Special to The County
14 years ago

    HOULTON, Maine — Flying skates, bouncing pucks, action from end to end on the ice. Big smiles, handshakes, and hearty backslaps. It was hard to tell which was the bigger attraction at the 10th annual Houlton Hockey Alumni Game held Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Millar Arena.

ace up the skates was part of the fun, getting a chance to reconnect with old friends and teammates was also a big part of the day. Twenty-eight players from the most recent 2009 graduates to skaters who last played Houlton Hockey in the early 1990’s took to the ice for the annual holiday event.
Three teams were assembled from the skaters and three hard fought, but friendly, games were played.  Each game had its own special flavor.
Game One saw Team A headed by Goalie Aaron Fitzpatrick take on Team B anchored by goalie Nic Joslyn. The 20-minute contest was a duel between the two goalies as each turned away shot after shot. Team A took the lead on a goal scored by Chris Austin with an assist from Eric Brewer. For a while it appeared that the lead would hold up, but Sharif Abouleish scored for Team B with assists from Grady Anderson and Morgan Hall to tie the game with a final score of 1-1.
Next, Team A took on Team C led by goalie Luke Joseph. Team C struck early with a goal from Sam Wright, assisted by Ian Pasquarelli.  Team A came back when Vernon Beasley found the net assisted by Austin and the game looked destined for another tie. However, with less than ten seconds to play, Taylor Martin corralled the puck, broke away from the defense and scored the winning goal for Team C for the 2-1 final.
The final game pitted Team B against Team C. This matchup was a wide-open, shooting contest with lots of action on net at both ends. Joslyn came up with some huge saves for his team, limiting Team C to one goal scored by Wright with an assist from Pasquarelli. At the other end, Grady Anderson pulled off a hat trick, which combined with goals from Sam Tweedie and Morgan Hall gave Team B a 5-1 victory.
Based on the number of goals scored, Team B was declared the overall 2009 Alumni Game Champions.  Members of Team B included Joslyn in goal, Alex Mooers, Sam Tweedie, Ben Tweedie, Jeff Gallop, Jon Pottle, Grady Anderson, Hall and Abouleish.
Skating for Team A were goalie Fitzpatrick, Eric Brewer, Elliott Mooers, Chris Joslyn, Beasley, Billy Policano, Mitchell Hall, Lowell Matthews, and Austin.
Team C included goalie Luke Joseph, Eben Thompson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Taylor Martin, Tony Marino, Andrew McPartland, Ian Pasquarelli, Tyler Hutchinson, Sam Carter and Sam Wright.
In addition to the skaters who participated in this year’s game, other jobs need to be covered to make the event a success. Timekeeper Josh McGuire ran the clock, Andy Mooers acted as announcer and official photographer. Sam Wright organized the event. Many thanks to Bernie Reese and the rest of the Millar Arena staff for their help in making the event happen.  Thanks also to the spectators whose donations go to support the Houlton Hodgdon Blackhawks Hockey team.
It’s not too soon to begin making plans for next year.  Next year’s 11th Annual Houlton Hockey Alumni game will be Sunday, Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. There are plans to have two divisions next year – one for skaters over the age of 30 and one for skaters under 30, so mark your calendars, keep your skates sharp and come ready to share the ice with old friends.