“It can get very out of control if you let it.” – Heather Moon of Auburn.

Kathy Cloutier would never miss her kids’ hockey game.

“I come to every game. That’s the rule,” said the Lewiston mother of 7-year-old twins Charlotte and Max and who works nights. “I just lose sleep. Other parents have to miss work.”

Youth hockey has the reputation of being a time-consuming, money-eating lifestyle that makes hockey parents laugh and warn rookie parents about.

“I would not discourage anyone from getting into it. But be educated about it beforehand,” Heather Moon of Auburn said. “It’s a little crazy. It really is,” said the mother of 7-year-old Keegan, a hockey player for the Lewiston Junior Maineiacs Mite Red team.

Moon attends three to four games each winter weekend, some as early as 7 a.m. “It’s definitely a commitment,” Moon said. “But he (Keegan) loves it and that’s what’s important.”

Donnie D’Auteuil of Lewiston took a week off from work to watch his three children, Isabella, Jaden and Marciano, play during the weeklong 39th annual Lions Hockey Tournament. “I’m going back to work to take a break,” said D’Auteuil, who programmed the time and location of his kids’ eight games over the weekend into his phone to keep track of where he needed to be. “We go through a full tank of gas each weekend,” D’Auteuil.

Diane Gagnier of Lewiston had some time away from being a “hockey mom.” Her son Dennis played youth hockey, but is now 33 years old. That all changed when Dennis had three sons of his own.

“I think they came out of the womb with skates on,” Gagnier said of her grandsons Drew, Cooper and Daxton. “It’s just as exciting. I’m on the edge of my seat, just not as nervous as when I was the parent,” she said.

She and her husband, Greg, had the boys while their parents were out of town for five days. Greg took 9-year-old Drew to a state tournament in Augusta while Diane shuffled the 6-year-old twins to their Lions Tournament games.

“Six games since Friday night,” Gagnier said Sunday morning. “They have hockey in their veins. It’s been hockey, hockey and more hockey,” she said. “My shift ends tonight at 6:30, then the parents take over,” she said with a laugh.

Rick Cloutier did not grow up in Lewiston, but quickly realized he moved into a hockey town. “This stuff is like a cult,” Cloutier said of his chosen lifestyle.

Cloutier’s 8-year-old son Ethan is a goalie for Mite Red and was ready to protect the net during a Saturday morning game. “We were here at 7:15 for an 8 a.m. game,” Cloutier said.

“That’s a late game. We got to sleep in,” Cloutier’s wife, Daphne, said. The Cloutiers are headed to Massachusetts for a three-day tournament next weekend. An entire motel wing is reserved for kids coming from the Lewiston-Auburn area.

“Very little,” Cloutier said when asked how much sleep they will get during the tournament.

“None,” Daphne said.

A cup of coffee in one hand and a mammoth bag full of hockey equipment in the other is common among parents each weekend morning at Ingersoll Ice Arena in Auburn and the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. “Hockey becomes part of your life,” Rick Cloutier said.

“It can get very out of control if you let it,” Moon said.

“There are two types of (hockey) parents,” Kathy Cloutier said. “There are those that are psychotic and those of us that like to have fun.”


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