Rebecca Belleau wanted a surprise celebration for her son and husband.

The mother of Lewiston hockey player Michael Belleau and wife of head coach Jamie Belleau had an idea for their birthdays — Jamie turned 49 last Tuesday and Michael turned 17 on Friday. She reached out to senior captain Ryan Pomerleau about getting to the team together for what has become one of the popular trends during the time of self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic:

Lewiston High School head coach Jamie Belleau and his son, Michael. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

A birthday parade.

“You can’t celebrate it any other way,” Pomerleau said. “A lot of other people I have seen doing it, too. So it was good, it was fun.”

As a team captain, Pomerleau said he was glad to lead his team one more time. The team had about five days to plan.

“(Rebecca) reached out (last) Monday,” Pomerleau said. “I made a group chat with the team — except for Michael, so he would be surprised. I told (the team) don’t say anything to them.”

Friday afternoon, Michael’s birthday, the team rolled past the Belleaus’ house in their vehicles, honking horns to celebrate their teammate’s and coach’s birthdays.

Michael said his mom was suddenly in a rush to get him outside.

“I was getting ready and getting dressed and she was like, ‘You need to get outside right now,’” Michael said. “I was like, ‘Why?’ She was like, ‘Get your shoes on, let’s go.’ I was rushing and I got out there when they were coming down (the street).”

Pomerleau said 17 players took part in the parade. A couple had to miss the celebration due to work obligations.

What made the socially distant gathering even more special for Jamie Belleau was that it had been 41 days since the team was last together, when the Blue Devils completed the perfect 21-0 season by capturing the Class A state championship with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Scarborough on March 7.

“It was a big surprise, but I am not surprised because my wife tends to do stuff like that,” Jamie Belleau said. “That was the first time Mike and I basically have seen the kids. It really brought I tear to my eye, and I am sure it’s special for Michael to see his teammates, even though it was from a distance.

“For me, and Mike knows this, we live it, (the team) is a part of my family, and to see them was extra special.”

This year’s team made sure that family feeling of Lewiston High School hockey was in full affect with last week’s celebration.

“We wanted to make sure they felt appreciated and made sure we show our support and love for them by wishing them a happy birthday as well,” senior forward Kurtis Pelletier said.

Junior forward Logan Tripp even made sure Michael received a birthday card.

“We have played every year (together), basically, in hockey, and we are in the same grade, so we are pretty close,” Michael Belleau said.

ACTIVITIES POSTPONED

The state championship game was March 7, the NBA postponed their season March 11, and the rest of the sports world followed suit in the following days.

The Lewiston boys hockey team hasn’t had the typical postseason award ceremony and team banquet yet. The Travis Roy award banquet — Pomerleau is a finalist for the award — has been postponed until May 17.

“Clearly there is more recognition and celebration for these kids,” Jamie Belleau said. “For them to finish the season 21-0 is extra special, and to win a state championship. We were looking forward to celebrating with the kids. Like everybody is going to tell you, these are tough times, the virus is something that’s bigger than us, individually and as a team.

“It has certainly has put a damper on things, we have to put things in perspective and what’s important right now. The most important thing is to follow the rules to keep people safe, keep the kids safe.”

The team considered meeting up prior to Friday’s parade, but ultimately thought better of it.

“We were supposed to meet in the parking lot and try to have every kid meet the person sizing the ring up,” Jamie Belleau said. “We’ve changed our mind and we made steps to have individual ring size kits sent to each kid.”

While team understands safety comes first because of the coronavirus, the players are anxious to have their team celebration.

“We all still communicate and stuff, but we all miss each other,” Michael Belleau said. “We all want to get together because we are all good friends — not just in hockey, we are all good friends (outside of) hockey. We all hang out with each other. It’s hard, because we can’t do anything.”

The Blue Devils are glad that they were at least able to finish the season. Maine, Vermont, Colorado and Minnesota were the only states to complete their high school hockey seasons.

“That one day winning states is so surreal. It was a dream, that whole day,” Pelletier, who scored the game-winning goal, said. “Just going in there, I felt like our whole team was ready and focused. I was just happy we were able to finish our season. To win it all, that was the best moment.”


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