WATERVILLE — As people were starting to form a line at Colby College’s Alfond Rink on Tuesday morning, Andy Saucier’s day with the Stanley Cup was beginning at his mother’s house, shortly before noon. Saucier’s day with the Cup was actually going to be around 13 hours. At midnight, the Cup would be on the road to Boston and Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.

“It’s Cinderella. When the clock strikes midnight, it’s gone,” Saucier says. “We’ll try to enjoy it while we can.”

A Waterville native, Saucier is the Penguins video coach. When Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup last season, Saucier, like all players, coaches and front office personnel, won a day with the Cup. That was Tuesday. As part of his day with the Cup, Saucier held a public viewing at Alfond Rink.

“I grew up playing youth hockey here, school hockey here,” Saucier said. “I spent a lot of time in this rink.”

When he arranged to have the Cup on display at Colby for two hours, Saucier wasn’t sure how many people would show up. Turns out, there are plenty of folks in central Maine eager to see the best trophy in sports. An hour before the Cup arrived, there was already a line in the lobby of the rink. Saucier and the Cup ended up staying an extra half hour to accommodate all the fans.

“I had no idea how many would come, to be honest,” Saucier said about a half hour into the display. “There’s lots of Bruins jerseys. This guy’s got a Tampa Bay Lightning hat. They probably all hate me, but they love the Cup.”


The Stanley Cup is the ultimate selfie prop. Throughout the afternoon, it’s kissed, hugged and touched like a long-lost love. Some run up and touch it quickly, almost giving the Cup a high five. Others approach the Cup hesitantly, as if it has magical powers.

The Cup does wield a kind of magic, of course. Anyone in its presence can’t help but smile. Three teenage boys approached Saucier to shake his hand.

“We just want to say thank you for bringing the Cup,” one says, adding that they drove from Bangor to see it.

Saucier’s grandfather, Jack Kelley, coached Colby in the first game played at Alfond Rink, against Bowdoin. Kelley sat about 10 yards to the right of the Cup, watching people wait in line for their moment with it. Kelley was president of the Penguins from 1993 to 2001. Pittsburgh made it to the Eastern Conference finals twice when Kelley worked in the front office, but never played for the Cup.

“It’s amazing to see everybody’s individual reactions to it,” Kelley says. “Look at the little kids kiss it.”

For Kelley, for the entire family, really, Stanley Cup celebrations are becoming a rite of summer. Mark Kelley, Jack’s son, is the vice president for amateur scouting for the Chicago Blackhawks, and has been a part of three Cup-winning teams since 2010. That means his name is on the Cup three times. In September, when the Cup goes to the engraver, Saucier’s name will join his uncle’s. Kelley remembered the first time Mark had it, the first time he saw the Cup up close.


“When it got out of the car with Mark, I welled up. I’m not ashamed to say that I got a little emotional,” Kelley said.

Not far away, Howie Borrow and Matt Parolin keep an eye on things. They are the Hockey Hall of Fame’s official Stanley Cup escorts. They are not bouncers, though, and they neither hover over Saucier when he carries the Cup, nor do they linger around the Cup watching fans too closely. Howie and Matt might have the coolest jobs on the continent.

“Everybody says that,” Matt says. “It’s a new experience every day. This is my first summer on the Road Show.”

This is Howie’s seventh summer touring with the Cup. They’ll be out with the Cup for a week, before the Hall of Fame sends two other chaperones out. By and large, everyone who comes into contact with the Cup is respectful. Occasionally, there’s a fan who wants to lift it over his head. That’s a no-no, a right reserved only for the winners.

“Most of the time, it’s when alcohol’s involved,” Howie says. “It’s about limiting the wear and tear.”

Over the years, Howie has seen nothing too crazy with the Cup. Lots of food eaten from it: pirogies, chicken wings, cereal. One guy took it fishing and stored his catch in the Cup. Babies have been christened in it. On Monday, Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy had the Cup in Hanover, New Hampshire. Lovejoy’s daughters ate ice cream from it, Matt says.


“We try to be a fly on the wall as best we can,” Matt says.

Around 3:30, the line that was a steady stream has become a trickle, and then, it’s over. Saucier places the Cup in its custom made box and helps Howie and Matt wheel it out to his truck. It will spend the rest of the day with Saucier and his family and friends. Next Tuesday, the Cup will be back in Maine, when Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin brings it to his hometown, Biddeford, for a parade.

“I hope it keeps coming back to Maine,” Saucier says, “and I hope we’re the ones who keep bringing it.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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