Thursday, December 5, 2013
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Brian Petrovek says he is determined to realize his goal of improving the facility that's home to his Pirates hockey team.
Many Maine hockey fans were holding their collective breath last year as Petrovek and his partners were wooed by the folks running Albany's expansive and impressive Times Union Center. At one point there were reports the Pirates were weighing anchor and heading west.
But Petrovek hung in there, in part, he says, because he loves Maine and is committed to contributing to its residents' quality of life.
And in part because even at age 56 he is still the same fierce competitor that was a two-time all-Ivy League and one-time all-American goalie at Harvard.
Back then his dream was to help Harvard win the Beanpot hockey championship, which he did as a senior. Petrovek in 1977 was named MVP of the tourney, which culminated with Harvard's 4-3 victory over Boston University.
Later, as a sports executive, he helped Lou Lamoriello turn the New Jersey Devils into an NHL Stanley Cup-winning franchise and helped build the foundation on which the USA Hockey program has become an international power.
You don't have that kind of success without being driven. Petrovek, a Norwood, Mass., native and Yarmouth resident, is now driven by his quest for a renovated Civic Center for his team and its patrons.
Having reportedly been rebuked in his attempt to buy the Civic Center from Cumberland County, he now considers a successful renovation his way of "getting the job done."
"Having gone through the Albany situation, I'm more determined than ever to finish the job. I see it as a finish line on which I am very focused.
"I've put 11 years into this and I have my eyes on a finish line that is absolutely vital not only to us but to the community."
Scott Wasser is executive editor of MaineToday Media. He can be reached at: