12 Fans is Better Than None


Talia Goodman, Managing Editor

Last Friday, as I walked into the Pingree ice rink, I was greeted by the familiar rush of cold air I’d grown accustomed to, but not with the silence that has become commonplace when attending a Pingree hockey game this season. 

Instead, Coach Dan Gordon was waiting by the door to say hello, and behind him were 12 parents, an unfamiliar sight in the time of the pandemic. 

This was the first Pingree boys’ hockey game allowing parents. 

I felt a smile grow underneath my mask because I had no idea that this would be an anomaly of a game, and I was happy to hear the laughter of parents who finally got to see their sons play the sport they love. 

The decision was made based on the visiting schools protocols which allow parents at their home games, and a mutual agreement to allow senior parents to attend that night. 

“Kudos to both athletic departments for making it happen in a safe and socially distant environment,” Gordon said. 

The team’s warmup music was blasting, but the parents were cheering even louder, making conversation with each other, and enjoying what may be the last time they see their sons and each other at a Pingree hockey game. Everyone was standing (six feet apart, of course) and discussing how grateful they were to be there through the unknowns of the last 12 months.

“It’s been difficult for everyone due to COVID-19 this year and last,” Christopher Collins, senior Kyle Collin’s dad noted after the game. “We appreciate that Pingree allowed us the opportunity to attend in person. This may very well be the last time we get to see Kyle on the ice in a competitive environment.”

Senior Cam Brown started in net, and Pingree’s first line is composed of three seniors, so the parents had plenty of time to watch their sons play. 

Pingree had an electric start, outchancing their opponent, Governor’s Academy, 8-3 in the first half. There may not have been any goals on Pingree’s end to cheer for, but there was still a lot of offensive action.

The senior-studded first line had numerous breakaways and some great shots on goal. It wasn’t a lack of high-danger shots that fed them a loss, but unfortunately, the puck just couldn’t find the back of the net and Pingree came out of the game with a scoreless loss. 

“It was a close game until the final buzzer,” Gordon noted. “I’m proud of the way all the boys played, especially the seniors in front of their parents.”

Parents are hoping to be able to see the team play again this season, but either way, they’re simply grateful for the opportunity to watch them play at least once this season. 

Pingree hockey may not have won that night on the ice, but having fans in the rink at last was definitely something to celebrate.