Around Orono on Thursday, classes were canceled for the day, power went out, and workers scrambled to get a scheduled game off the ground.
But despite all the effort, the University of Maine’s scheduled men’s basketball contest with Towson University was postponed until today at 2 p.m. if power has been restored.
The Tigers were forced to stop in Boston on Wednesday due to the ice storm that has buffeted northern New England, and were scheduled to meet a bus from Cyr Bus Lines in Portland on Thursday afternoon and head to Orono.
As a result, the game was bumped from a 7:30 p.m. start to a 9 p.m. tipoff.
In Orono, though, officials didn’t know in late afternoon whether the game would be played on Thursday at all: The campus lost electrical power at about 11 a.m. and had yet to regain it.
According to assistant sports information director David Lang, crews were hard at work getting Alfond Arena converted from hockey to basketball.
“They’ve got a generator in the Alfond that is lighting two banks of the lights, which allows them to put the floor down,” Lang said. “But there isn’t enough [light] to play basketball.”
Dino Mattessich, senior associate athletic director for finance and administration, said the America East travel schedule makes it desirable to get the game in if at all possible, because of the way teams are linked together as “travel partners.”
In this case, Towson and Delaware are travel partners and are scheduled to play Maine and New Hampshire, respectively, on Thursday. Then the two road teams will swap opponents for Saturday contests, with Delware heading north to Orono and Towson going south to Durham, N.H.
If Maine and Towson don’t play on Thursday, Mattesich pointed out, they’d both be forced to play back-to-back on Friday and Saturday.
The University of Maine hockey team will play in a couple of historic games this weekend.
The Friday night game at Merrimack College will be broadcast live over the Internet as part of an agreement between Hockey East and AudioNet, a Dallas-based Internet broadcasting company. It will be the first of nine regular-season broadcasts.
The broadcasts are on:http://drew.audionet.com/schools/hockeyeast through AudioNet’s or Hockey East Online at www.hockeyeastonline.com.
More than 130 college programs broadcast with AudioNet but Hockey East will be the first conference in any sport in the nation to develop a league-wide Internet broadcasting program.
University of Maine freshman forward Jessica Lawson, who underwent knee surgery in October, still has not returned to action.
Coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie said Lawson, of Aylmer, Quebec, continues to show progress but has not begun practicing.
The 6-foot-2 standout, who helped lead John Abbott College to the Canadian College Athletic Association national title the last two seasons, would provide more size and versatility up front.
Lawson is the younger sister of Alex Lawson, a standout at Vermont the past two seasons who is playing professionally in Europe.
Guess who has a season pass to every Hockey East game this season?
Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino.
Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna explained that Pitino was quoted in a Boston newspaper as saying he has had only a few days off since taking over the Celtics job and the most enjoyable night off he had was spent watching the Boston University-Boston College hockey game on Dec. 9. It was a 3-3 overtime tie.
“That was a nice endorsement,” said Bertagna, who mailed Pitino a season pass.
Pitino formerly coached basketball at Boston University and Providence.