WEST NEWBURY — The Govenor’s Academy girls hockey team will play St. Paul’s Academy at Fenway Park today as part of the Frozen Fenway series.
Adding to the nostalgia of playing on a rink created within the legendary ballpark, 93 Governor’s Academy students have chosen to make the trip in support of their team. All-around, head coach Babe Ceglarski knows that this will be an experience that his team won’t soon forget.
“To have almost 100 kids leave school knowing it’ll be cold is just awesome,” Ceglarski said. “It’s the nature of this school. We have about 400 kids, and at least 100 of them will be doing something else with their own practices or games or whatever else, so for all those other kids to give up their free time to watch us play is exciting. It’s a good community in that regard.”
Because of the importance of this game and the excitement it has generated around campus, athletic director Roberta McLain worked to alter the academic schedule to allow for students to make the trip in support for the 1:30 game.
“It’s the first time our boys and girls teams will play at Fenway,” McLain said. “The Frozen Fenway series happens every other year, and this is the third or fourth time it has happened. It’s a tough time slot because the game is in the middle of the day, but we moved our academic schedule around a little bit for the 93 students who are going to watch.”
Of the Independent School League’s 13 girls hockey teams, just two were selected to play at Fenway.
“Basically what happened is Fenway decides which ISL teams they want to compete,” McLain said. “They always have one girls game and three boys games, and we were fortunate enough to be invited to the girls game.”
The Govs boys team will also have the opportunity to play a game on the Fenway Park ice. That game will be played on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., an opportunity that arose after the ice was rented by Governor’s Academy for a game against Kimball Union Academy.
When it comes to preparation for the outside ice surface, Ceglarski knows it is something that will just take getting used to as the game progresses.
“Our home ice rink sits next to a marsh that was flooded and frozen, so I was almost tempted to bring the girls outside,” Ceglarski said jokingly. “Preparation hasn’t been any different because it’s one of those things that you just have to get used to. It’s a different venue and wide open. You have to be mentally tough because it’s going to be very cold. We will see what happens.”
If the Govs are going to leave 4 Yawkey Way with a win and an improved 5-2 record, they know they will have to have their best against a team that beat them just last year.
“I know that St. Paul’s made it to the semifinals as a Division 1 team last year,” Ceglarski said. “They beat us 4-0 last year, and they frighten me this year because they have some really good, young players who remind me of the really good players we had a couple years ago. We have been stingy, though; we only gave up three goals in a tournament over vacation. We have a really good senior goaltender, and I think that’s how we have been successful.”
Win or lose, though, the game promises to be something that is special for everyone involved.
“I think the girls are excited,” Ceglarski said. “For them, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Online updates Follow the Governor's Academy girls as they take on St. Paul's Academy at Fenway Park on Twitter by following @GovsAthletics.