ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s hockey game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday night was missing a regular feature of the Alfond Arena experience.
The UMaine student who was scheduled to play the role of the school’s mascot, Bananas T. Bear, did not make his appearance. The student was a passenger in a car driven by another student, who was arrested by University of Maine police for allegedly driving while intoxicated, according to UMaine spokeswoman Margaret Nagle.
The arrest took place at 7 p.m., the same time scheduled for the opening faceoff of the game.
Nagle said in a statement that the student who had planned to serve as Bananas T. Bear “was asked by UMaine PD not to complete his performance at the game. Both students have been referred to the UMaine Student Conduct Office.”
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UMaine won the game 4-2.
The Bananas program is directed by the Sigma Xi Chapter of Alpha Delta National Fraternity. Bananas T. Bear serves as a source of school support and entertainment before, during and after sporting events such as hockey, football and men’s and women’s basketball games.
Bananas T. Bear also appears at community events that aren’t sports-related.
During hockey games, Bananas skates onto the ice with the team at the start of the contest and sometimes skates between periods.
The mascot also often mingles with the crowd and has pictures taken with fans as they do at the other sporting events.
Bananas will have a busy schedule next weekend as the men’s hockey team entertains national runner-up Quinnipiac University on Friday and Saturday nights. He also will appear at Saturday’s noon homecoming football game against the University at Albany.