AUBURN — There were cheers. There were laughs. There were tears. 

It was a whirlwind of emotion Friday night at St. Dominic Academy where more than 100 people showed up to witness nine months of hard work by University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth freshman and former St. Dom’s goaltender Zack Roy, a digital media major. He was aided on the project by Riley Whitcomb, an intern at Praxis Production Studios, and Casey Clement 

The 45-minute documentary, titled “Behind the Black & White,” served as a season in review for the St. Dom’s boys’ hockey team as well as a tribute to the Saints’ fallen teammate, Casey Cloutier and his father Gus, who were killed in a head-on car crash on U.S. Route 202 in Leeds in late December. The film featured game footage, off-ice interviews, exclusive in-game looks into the Saints’ locker room and touching reflections on the Cloutier family. 

“It was emotional, especially because over the last four years we’ve put so much time and effort into this team,” St. Dom’s senior forward Caleb Labrie said. “Family, I feel, isn’t the correct word. I feel like they don’t have the right word to describe how close of a team we were. Knowing it’s over, you still get choked up about it now. It’s just amazing what Zack put together and truly showed what our team was about.” 

Labrie, dressed in his baseball attire, having come directly from a home game against Wiscasset, and senior captain Brad Berube addressed the audience prior to the unveiling of the documentary. They discussed their time with the hockey program, the highs and lows, and talked about how much Casey Cloutier meant to the team.

From there, the crowd got to see just how much work Roy put into the film. Roy said the idea for “Behind the Black & White” came from watching “NHL 24/7” and “Behind the B.” Roy said there were long nights and early mornings, but it was all worth it to see the finished product on the big screen.

“The process was long, driving back and fourth from school to film the games,” Roy said. “Editing took the longest. Fourteen-hour nights for about two to three weeks straight. It was exhausting, and when I finally got it done it was so rewarding.” 

Roy drove the nearly 200-mile one-way drive to the Twin Cities from Dartmouth to film select games and practices. Among the game footage were regular season contests against Bangor and Lewiston and playoff matchups with Edward Little, Lewiston and Scarborough. 

Mixed in with the game footage were snippets of interviews with the 24-man roster. They talked about team chemistry, losing to Falmouth in the 2014 state title game and discussing their favorite hockey lingo. 

There were plenty of feel-good moments in the documentary, with knocking off Lewiston to win the Eastern Maine title topping the list. Laughter echoed the commons room at times as well. The crowd got a good laugh when players were asked about who got picked on the most during the season and freshman Gavin Bates was the leading vote-getter. 

But there were tear-jerking moments that quieted the crowd, hearing nothing more than the occasional sniffle and the sound of tissues being passed around. That came at the halfway point of the film as well as at the end with a slide show of Casey and Gus Cloutier together given to Roy by the Cloutier family. Some of the photos were from Casey’s recent playing days, but others were of a much-younger boy with his father. 

“We have a tragedy and we realize how quick and precious life can be,” St. Dom’s coach Steve Ouellette said. “That was the bigger picture at the end of the day from watching this. It shows how tight and close we were and how people can rally. Zack’s done a great job. People in the community through the season did a great job when the tragedy happened, rallying at our home games, and their contributions.” 

Said Roy: “I’ve watched it three or four times and it’s still emotional. It was emotional seeing the family reacting to it.”

Roy said what was represented on the screen was less than half of the footage he had to sort through during the editing process. He had three or four final cuts he had to go through before the product was complete. Roy said the DVDs weren’t even burned until Wednesday.

“I took a whole day or two and just sat going through footage, picking out good clips, where they get a good shot or they scored,” Roy said. “There were some nights I was up 14 hours working on it. I’d get a couple hours of sleep, go to class, come back and work on it again. It was difficult, but I like the outcome of it.” 

All proceeds from Friday’s showing will be donated to the Cloutier family. Copies are now on sale for $10. 


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