CONWAY — Featuring Bruins great Rick “Nifty” Middleton, the Boston Bruins Alumni will skate at the Ham Arena in a game against a local All-Star squad at noon Saturday as part of the arena’s 20th birthday celebration.
It’s the fourth time in the arena’s history that the Bruins Alumni have graced the ice sheet at the Ham with their skills.
Saturday’s game will be part of the Bruins Alumni’s 26 games this season.
Proceeds will benefit the non-profit Ham, which opened Dec. 8, 1998, after being built by community efforts and run by West Main Street Recreation Corp.
“We’re really looking forward to having the Bruins back,” said Ham Arena Director Dave Woodbury.
“We’ll have a short ceremony prior to the game to salute our 20th birthday, with board members present, along with Darrell Umlah, who brought the dream of an arena into fruition and ran the arena for the first 17 years through 2014, and volunteer Ron Force,” he said.
Not only is it the 20th anniversary of the Ham, but this year also is the 50th anniversary since the founding of the Boston Bruins Alumni Association.
Between periods, players will be available for autographs. A souvenir program will be available, with empty pages for autograph seekers.
This year’s Bruins Alumni squad will be led by Middleton, 65, a goal-scoring machine in his prime who played 12 years for the Bruins in his 14-year career, who last week was honored by having his No. 16 retired and raised to the rafters at Boston Garden.
He scored 448 career goals (402 for the B’s after being traded from the New York Rangers) and amassed 988 points in his NHL career with a flair for scoring dramatic goals.
According to hockey-reference.com, he’s sixth in history with a shooting percentage of 19.72, and tops among players who played 1,000 games. When he scored his career-best 51 goals in 1981-82, he connected on an astounding 25.2 percent.
“I never had the big shot from the outside, so I wasn’t always shooting,” Middleton recently told bostonheraldcom.
“I would hold the puck, make a play with it or try to beat a defenseman inside and then make the play. So the number of shots per game was cut because when I tried to go around the defenseman, half the time he’d knock me on my butt. The other half I’d make it around or I’d pass it to somebody.
“My shot totals weren’t all that high, but luckily I was able to put enough goals in to make that percentage look good,” Middleton said.
President of the Boston Bruins Alumni Association, Middleton will be joined by former goalie Reggie Lemelin (15 years in the NHL, six years with the Bruins), who will skate as a forward; center Ken Linesman (14 NHL seasons; five and a half years with the Bruins); forward Steve Leach (15 NHL seasons, five with the Bruins); defenseman Bruce Shoebottom (four seasons with the Bruins); and defenseman Frank Simonetti (four years with the Bruins).
Others include forward Andrew Raycroft (11 NHL seasons; six seasons with the Bruins); defenseman Glen Featherstone (nine NHL seasons, three years with the Bruins); forward Joe Mullen (17 NHL seasons, one with the Bruins); forward Tom Songin (Boston College, three years with the Bruins); forward Dave Jensen (four NHL seasons; 1984 Olympic team); forward Joe Mullen (17 NHL seasons, one with the Bruins); forward Graeme Townshend (five years NHL, two with the Bruins), and goalie Shamus Egan (Merrimack College).
They will coached by former Bruins defenseman and frequent Mount Washington Valley visitor Dick Lamby.
The Ham All-Stars will feature players from the Ham men’s league, the women’s league, youth hockey coaches and arena staff.
The team includes Woodbury, Steve Kackley, Julie Rivers, Jonny Elliott, Kerry D’Angelis, Kennett High Coach Mike Lane, Calvin Hunsicker, Pete Rivers, Jim Fagone,Frank Tate, Darron Laughland, Matt Haley, Rich Vargas, Mike Skelton, Garrett Meador, Chuck Seavey, Jonathan Rivers, Jen Moore, Scott Mohla, Jeff Hatch, Thomas Prindle, Mike Mohla, Enis Arriaga, Brian Clark, Brandon James, Talor Graves, and goalies Steve “the Glove” LaRusso, Jonny Parkhurst and Ricky Gaudreau.
The souvenir program is sponsored by Crest Chevrolet/Maine Chevy Dealers/Chevrolet as the title sponsor. Others include John Elliott of Black Bear Realty, Hancock Lumber, Friends of Julie, Jonathan and Pete Rivers, AJ’s Blacktop Seal Coating, AmeriGas, Stan’s Service Center, C-V Machine Company, LLC Precision Machining, Delaney’s Hole-in-the-Wall, the Eastern Slope Inn Resort, Frechette Tire and Repair, Haley Plumbing and Heating, Hurteau Heating Services, the iGuys Tech Shop, Merlino’s Family Steakhouse, Northeast Auto Body Inc., Sherman Farm, Tuckerman Brewig Company, UpCountry Property Services, HEB Engineers, Clearent Intelligent Processing, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Frechette Oil, King Pine Ski Area, Haley Excavation and Landscaping, the Root Cellar, Kringle’s Pizza and Country Store, Mt. Washington Valley Vacation Rentals, JD Tool an Hardware, RWN Inc. Property Services, NAPA Auto Parts, the Rugged Mill, Firepod Pizza and Saco River Brewing.
The game is set for noon-2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ham: adults, $8, 14 and under, $4 and kids 5 and under, free.
For more information, go to hamarena.com or call (603) 447-5886. The Ham is located at 87 West Main Street in Conway Village.
For more information about the Bruins Alumni, go to bostonbruinsalumni.com.