Boston Bruins make donation to Athol dek hockey rink

  • Construction continues for 202 Street Hockey Association’s new outdoor rink at the old Pleasant Street School, Monday in Athol.  STAFF PHOTOS/ADAM HARGRAVES

  • Construction continues for 202 Street Hockey Association’s new outdoor rink at the old Pleasant Street School, Monday in Athol.  STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

  • Construction continues for 202 Street Hockey Association’s new outdoor rink at the old Pleasant Street School, Monday in Athol.  STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

  • Construction continues for 202 Street Hockey Association’s new outdoor rink at the old Pleasant Street School, Monday in Athol.  STAFF PHOTO/ADAM HARGRAVES

Staff Writer
Published: 8/19/2019 8:56:29 PM

With time winding down to find funding for a new dek hockey location, the 202 Street Hockey Association got an unexpected phone call.

Scott Dubrule, president of 202 Street Hockey Association, received a call from the Boston Bruins Foundation while in negotiations with a bank to secure much-needed funds to give local dek hockey players a place to play.

“I was trying to work on a business plan,” Dubrule said. “They called me right at the same time. They asked me ‘How much do you need to get going?’”

In a press release, the Street Hockey Association announced a $100,000 donation from the Boston Bruins Foundation which helped begin the process of construction of a new outdoor rink located at the old Pleasant Street School in Athol.

“It worked out perfectly,” Dubrule said. “Within a week, we had confirmation.”

Local athletes have played dek hockey in the region since 1994. Had the Bruins not stepped in with the donation, there was a possibility that a new location would not be secured.

“We were trying to be hopeful,” Dubrule said.

The previous location, 202 Sports Complex in Orange, is now under a 20-year lease with Diem Cannabis Dispensary.

Diem is a marijuana delivery service based out of Portland, Oregon.

“It was very bad news but I don’t hold anything against them,” Dubrule said. “It’s business.”

Dubrule was in contact with Michael Dargin, the Director of Youth Hockey & Fan Development with the Boston Bruins. Dubrule also spoke with Bob Sweeney, who is the Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation.

The Bruins have provided equipment in the past, according to the press release.

The Street Hockey Association drafted a letter to the Bruins explaining its situation, and the possibility of losing its dek hockey league if adequate funding could not be secured.

“We just sat down and decided how to write it,” Dubrule said. “We were spit-balling it back and forth. That was the letter we sent out. We were trying to get anybody.”

Dubrule originally spoke with a Boston Bruins intern.

“I was definitely beside myself,” Dubrule said. “I had a difficult time at first. They were really excited about making something happen.”

The entire rink and boards located at 202 Sports Complex were moved to storage, awaiting their new location. There are plans to add lights, a scoreboard and player boxes.

With additional funding, the league could add a pro shop, concessions and a bathroom.

If everything proceeds according to plan, dek hockey could resume for a late fall season beginning at the end of the September. 

“It may be a short season,” Dubrule said. “We will still try to get all the games in. Since 1994, we haven’t missed a season.”

The start of construction is an asphalt pad, before the actual boards and playing surface are installed.

The players leaving the indoor confines of the 202 Sports Complex will now have to deal with the elements outdoors.

“They assured us it’s an indoor/outdoor dek,” Dubrule said. “It’s a newer style. We will see how it goes in the rain. If it’s a little misty, it gets slippery. But if it rains, it’s not so bad. But still, people have to be careful. If it’s a serious game, especially playoffs, we will move it to a different day.”

Most dek hockey is played outdoors, according to Dubrule. 

The fall dek hockey season will begin with a check presentation on site at the new location with a ribbon cutting.

“Hoping to see if we can see some current players there,” Dubrule said. “Hopefully, we will be done.”




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