A recent Maine Observer column by Martha Williams suggesting that ice hockey came to Maine via Massachusetts, introduced to us by preppies, belies the real origin of the sport in our state (“Maine Observer: When hockey came to Maine,” March 2).

Ice hockey came to Maine via Canada, following the same route as the snowy owls that have been spotted here this winter – from north to south.

As French Canadians moved from Quebec to the mill towns of Maine (Rumford, Waterville, Lewiston, Biddeford, etc.), they brought with them their traditions, including playing ice hockey.

And it has been played as a high school sport in Maine for a long time. My father starred on a Waterville High School team (circa 1940) that played in the finals of the New England high school tournament, losing 2-1 to Melrose, Mass.

While our friends to the south may have taught us how to drive a car with a hockey mentality, they didn’t introduce ice hockey to Maine.

Jeff Madore



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