George O’Connell displays some of the artifacts collected throughout the years including President’s Cup Lewiston Maineiacs 2006-07 championship banner which will be reraised to the rafters prior to this Saturday’s Nordiques game for L-A Hockey Heritage night. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

When the Lewiston Maineiacs disbanded after the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League bought the franchise in the spring of 2011 from owner Mark Just, a piece of Lewiston-Auburn hockey history left the rafters of Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

After the team left town, the two banners — the 2006-07 President’s Cup Championship and the 2006-07 Jean Rougeau Trophy — came down from the ceiling of the then 52-year-old building because the banners were property of Just.

Nine years later, the President’s Cup Championship banner, representing the team winning the league championship, is heading back up to the rafters of the Colisee on Saturday night as part of Lewiston-Auburn Hockey Heritage night when the Maine Nordiques host the New Jersey Titans at 7 p.m.

The Jean Rougeau Trophy banner represented the Maineiacs recording the most points in the QMJHL in the regular season (106) with a 50-14-6 record, and at this time that banner isn’t being raised.

George O’Connell, who volunteers with the Nordiques and was the Maineiacs’ corporate ticket sales manager, bought everything Just had in storage for the Maineiacs shortly after the team left town. He brought up the idea of having a heritage night and the Nordiques organization thought it was a great idea.

“I have been talking to people the last few years. I have had this idea of having (the banners) back up there,” O’Connell said. “Of course, when I brought it up at one of the meetings for the Nordiques and everybody thought it was a good time that it gets up in the rafters, where it belongs, because it’s a very storied past and there’s a lot of history with that team, of course with (goaltender Jaroslav) Halak with the Bruins and all those other guys who are still playing at that level.”


While Halak wasn’t on the Maineiacs team in 2006-07 — he spent a season in Lewiston in 2004-05 — two players on that championship team are still playing in the NHL, in forward David Perron (St. Louis Blues) and goaltender Jonathan Bernier (Detroit Red Wings).

Also taking part in the festivities will be Jeff Guay, who was an assistant coach with the Lewiston Maineiacs that season, as he will be dropping the puck in a ceremonial face-off along with Allan Globensky, who played for the original Maine Nordiques in the 1970s, and other local hockey legends.

Guay, who spent seven seasons with the Maineiacs organization, mostly as an assistant coach, is excited to see the banner back up.

“I think it’s a good thing, it’s good history, its a part of the Lewiston-Auburn (hockey) history in the Colisee,” Guay said. “It will always be remembered. When you go to any other ice rinks in North America there’s banners and championships from numerous teams. It’s a part of history that should remain up there in that building.”

It has been quite a year for members of the 06-07 team, highlighted by Perron winning the Stanley Cup last season, and the head coach of that team, Clem Jodoin, will be inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame this spring.

Guay saw a lot of the players on the team this past summer when Perron had his day with the Stanley Cup.


“David invited all the coaches and the Maineiacs players, and I think there was 12 or 13 of them that showed up, it was a good thing,” Guay said. “We reminisced that ’07 year. Like you always say, when you win championships, you walk in the sunset with those guys forever, all 20-25 guys. You will remember those guys until the day you die…David is a class act, he didn’t have to do that but Lewiston was a big part of him being so successful coming from (junior) AAA (in Quebec) to the Q, and the next year in the St. Louis organization for round one.”

Perron played Junior A hockey in the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League in 2005-06 and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 QMJHL draft by Lewiston. He made the Maineiacs team out of training camp and he led the team in scoring with 83 points (39 goals, 44 assists). In June of 2007, the Blues drafted him in the first round of the NHL draft and he made it to St. Louis team as a 19-year-old rookie in 2007-08. He has had three separate stints with the Blues in his 13-year NHL career.

O’Connell feels enough time has passed since the Maineiacs left town that it would be the perfect time to celebrate the team.

“Some people haven’t gone to the rink in years, some people have had a bad feeling when the Maineiacs left,” O’Connell said. “It was probably justified for a lot of people, but time heals all wounds, so, let’s get on with the new.”

O’Connell believes it’s also the right timing with Tier II junior hockey on both sides of the Androscoggin River, with the Nordiques in Lewiston and the Twin City Thunder in Auburn.

Remembering the past may help inspire the current Colisee tenant to put a banner up of their own in the future.


“I want these young men who are playing now to realize that you are a part of our history here, we will celebrate your accomplishments also,” O’Connell said. “The Maineiacs entertained us for a number of years, we saw top quality (hockey).”


In addition to the President’s Cup banner heading up to rafters, items, photos and jerseys from the original Maine Nordiques, the senior league teams and high school teams will also be featured Saturday night.

“With the help of the University of Southern Maine (Franco-American Collection), I have a lot of the old pictures of the older teams and of the construction of the old St. Dom’s Arena,” O’Connell said. “We also have pictures of it on fire. We will have pictures of all the old high school state champs, Lewiston, St. Dom’s, and (Edward Little).”

The current Colisee was built after a fire burned down St. Dom’s Arena on November 18, 1956.

The Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame loaned some items that will also be on display, like jersey, from the senior league teams that played in Lewiston in the ’50s and ’60s, such as Country Kitchen, the LA Twins and Bates Mill.

In all, 40 different jerseys will be on display.

“A lot of old timers will be glad to see it,” O’Connell said. “Also, like (Maine Nordiques defenseman and Lewiston native) Cole Ouellette, his grandfather played at St. Dom’s in the ’60s and he played for the Twins, you can see his uniform and stuff.”

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