The whistle blew, starting a night of practice at Bowdoin College’s Sidney J. Watson Arena on Thursday for youth hockey players in the Mid-coast Youth Hockey program.

But, this was no ordinary night, as former Boston Bruin Tommy Songin was running this Polar Bear clinic, the result of the organization winning a contest that brought Songin to Maine, 100 youth hockey players to Boston for a Bruins game, and a lot more.

“It was complete luck, an email that went out to all of the organizations in New England, and we filled out the entry form and got an email back, winning 100 tickets to a Bruins game, this clinic, jerseys, a $1,000 check from TD Bank and lots of other stuff,” said Midcoast Youth Hockey president Bill Patterson after the Polar Bears were one of 10 organizations to win the clinic and tickets to a Bruins game. “This is really big. When we went to Boston, there was so much excitement. I think they are almost as excited tonight. They are excited that the Bruins are here.”

MID-COAST YOUTH HOCKEY PLAYERS, along with members of TD Bank (top photo), the Boston Bruins and P.A.S.S, pose at Watson Arena on Thursday after a clinic run by former Boston Bruin Tommy Songin. In the bottom photo, Songin watches Midcoast Youth Hockey players participate in a drill during a clinic at Watson Arena on Thursday. Songin ran the clinic after Mid-Coast Youth Hockey won a drawing, giving the organization a 60-minute clinic, a $1,000 donation from P.A.S.S. and TD Bank and a Boston Bruins game.

MID-COAST YOUTH HOCKEY PLAYERS, along with members of TD Bank (top photo), the Boston Bruins and P.A.S.S, pose at Watson Arena on Thursday after a clinic run by former Boston Bruin Tommy Songin. In the bottom photo, Songin watches Midcoast Youth Hockey players participate in a drill during a clinic at Watson Arena on Thursday. Songin ran the clinic after Mid-Coast Youth Hockey won a drawing, giving the organization a 60-minute clinic, a $1,000 donation from P.A.S.S. and TD Bank and a Boston Bruins game.

The program is called P.A.S.S., or Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters. The clinics are sponsored by TD Bank, with the Boston Bruins as a partner. The winners receive a 60-minute on-ice clinic from a former Bruin, and 100 tickets were provided for the organization to take in a Bruins game. The organization was in Boston Oct. 26 when the Bruins hosted the New Jersey Devils.

“This is our last one this season, and we love the kids and care about what is going on in these local communities in hockey,” said Songin prior to taking over 50 Midcoast youth hockey players through a fun skating practice.

Free-agent signing

After college, the Boston native was signed by the Bruins as a free agent. In parts of three seasons in Boston, Songin scored five goals and dished out five assists in 43 career National Hockey League games from 1978-81. He also suited up in the minors for Long Beach (Calif.), American Hockey League teams Rochester Americans, Binghamton Dusters, Springfield Indians and Erie Blades, before finishing his professional career in 1983 with the Binghamton South Stars of the Central Hockey League.

In 232 AHL games, Songin scored 81 goals and picked up 135 assists.

“I’m from just outside of Boston, went to Boston College and played at the old rink, Dayton Arena, at Bowdoin, and I was fortunate enough to play for my home team” said Songin. “I love seeing how much hockey is coming back, especially after 2011, after the Cup. It is exciting to see.”

After the clinic and a few posed pictures where a $1,000 check was presented to Mid-coast Youth Hockey from P.A.S.S. and TD Bank, the players, and several adults, lined up for Songin’s autograph.

For Patterson, he envisions the players in his organization talking about this experience and playing more hockey in the future.

“These kids will tell their friends about this experience at school, and maybe more kids will come out and play hockey,” said Patterson. “We can’t guarantee that we can replicate this experience next year, but this is something these kids will always remember.”


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