ORONO – A very special birthday is taking place this weekend in Orono as Alfond Arena is turning 40.
The University of Maine will honor the historic home of Maine hockey this weekend during its series against rival New Hampshire.
Many players and coaches will be back in Orono this weekend for the festivities that include a luncheon on Friday as well as the Alfonds dropping the puck before Saturday nights tilt with the Wildcats.
Deemed as one the most daunting arena’s in college hockey for the opposition Maine men’s hockey has raised two national championship banners there. The Alfond has also been a launch pad to the careers of many NHL stars.
“You know its going to be real special, just the fact that we’ll have so many alums back in the building and everyone has so many memories as to what this place meant to them,” Maine men’s hockey associate head coach Ben Guite said.
The celebration has an added kick to it as the men are taking on UNH. Maine athletic officials say the doubleheader this weekend is trending towards a sellout. For Guite and the rest of the alumni the weekend will be one they cherish for a long time.
“The fact that we get the chance to play UNH a lot of the guys especially the guys in my generation most of the big games we played were against UNH and you know it was a pretty heated rivalry so the whole thing is going to pretty special considering how many people are going to be in the building and who we’re playing against,” Guite added.
Puck drop for Friday is set for 7 p.m.