Friday, 06 November 2009 00:00
On Oct. 10, former Great Neck Bruin players, coaches, families and friends returned to the ice rink they knew as their home when they were growing up to participate in the first ever Great Neck Bruins Alumni Game.
The event, co-sponsored by the Great Neck Park District, was cleverly scheduled in conjunction with the 30th Great Neck High School reunion being held at the USMMA that evening. So players were on hand from all over the country, who normally would not have been able to attend.
For some it was their first time back on the ice in 30 years. Some last skated when they were only kids; now they had their own children on hand to watch and maybe even chuckle at their dads playing hockey. The players’ parents, who did not seem to have aged a bit, reminisced about the good old days, when hockey was hockey.
Prior to the game a ceremony was held to honor six outstanding Great Neck Bruins teams that had won Long Island Hockey Association Division II Championships but never had received the championship banner they deserved. The following teams were honored: 1975/76 Midgets, 1978/79 Bantams, 1978/79 Midgets, 1979/80 Squirts, 1979/80 Bantams and the 1982/83 Bantams.
The banners were ceremoniously raised and are now on permanent display at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink. Players and coaches generously donated the banners.
The game was extremely hard fought and a whole lot of fun for everyone involved. No one was injured, but some of the players might still be experiencing a few aches and pains.
Plans are already being made for next year’s Alumni game.