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‘Bundy Cup’ brings friends together

  • A Bundy Cup championship ring rests atop the first Bundy Cup trophy during the street hockey competition’s 30th anniversary Friday. The ring was given to Tom “Hubbs” Brand, the cup’s only six-time champion, on his 40th birthday. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Tom Downie, left, fist-bumps with Tom “Hubbs” Brand before the start of the 30th annual Bundy Cup, a street hockey game, Friday. Barry Dwyer, center, sips a Bud Light. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Seated from left, Fran McClellan, George Dwyer, Emily Drapeau, Nathan Ormsbee, 10, and Sarah Brand watch from the lawn of Dwyer's home as the players gather for the start of the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Scott LaFlamm, front left, and Matt Drapeau, front right, go to the ball as Tom Downie, left, Scott Maxwell, center, and Sean Dwyer watch their moves during the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Bundy Cup team members Sean Dwyer, from left, Scott Maxwell, Barry Dwyer, Matt Drapeau, Scott McClellan, Jeff Ormsbee and Tom Downie gather at the start of their 30th annual game Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. In the background, friends and family watch from the lawn of George Dwyer's home. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Corey Boyle looks at items on a table, including the first Bundy Cup trophy, far left, used from 1989-1994, the current trophy, center, and another used until 1998. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Tom Downie, left, and Matt Drapeau go to the ball during the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Tom Downie, from left, Matt Drapeau, Scott LaFlamm, White Team goalie Sean Dwyer, Scott Maxwell, Barry Dwyer and Brett Orzel play in the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Scott Maxwell raises his hand after scoring during the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayley Downie, 12, and Jake Magee, 9, watch the action from the bed of a pick-up truck during the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jason Salls, left, and Matt Drapeau, second from left, defend Scott McClellan as he looks for a shot against White Team goalie Sean Dwyer during the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Barry Dwyer, from left, Tom Downie, Mark Murphy, Matt Drapeau, Scott Maxwell, Scott LaFlamm and White Team goalie Sean Dwyer play in the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Red Team goalie Sean Krause, left, blocks a shot amid Barry Dwyer, from left, Corey Boyle, Brett Orzel and Jeff Ormsbee during the 30th annual Bundy Cup, Friday, June 15, 2018 on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



For the Gazette
Monday, June 18, 2018

EASTHAMPTON — In the mid-1980s, a group of neighborhood kids went out to play some street hockey.

In 1989, as those kids became teenagers, it got a little more serious — and the “Bundy Cup” was born. Every single year since then, the same group of friends returned to Easthampton to fight for the coveted title of Bundy Cup champions.

Sean Dwyer is the founder of the annual event, and this year the group played for the last time.

“We just went out as kids and played some street hockey,” Dwyer said. “It built from there. It’s always been about bragging rights.”

The name Bundy Cup came from a nickname that Dwyer had as a kid, given by his hockey buddies. Growing up, Dwyer was on the heavy side, so his friends gave him the nickname “Bundy” after professional wrestler King Kong Bundy.

“They were mean,” Dwyer said.

The last game was Friday, and it was quite the spectacle on Zabek Drive in Easthampton. There was a crowd of 20 people; there were concessions; there were past and current issues of The Bundy Globe, the event’s commemorative newspaper; and most importantly there was a highly competitive street hockey game.

The clicking of the wooden sticks against the pavement was unmistakable for hockey, and in typical Bundy Cup fashion, there were frequent, good-natured sarcastic taunts.

The dimensions of the “rink” were intensely accurate. There were goals, face-off circles, blue lines in chalk and bench areas for the teams complete with logos. Back in the early days, Dwyer used spray-paint for lines instead of chalk without consequence from his family or authorities.

Dwyer is clearly the stat-keeper, with his notebook always handy to write down statistics. As years went on, the stats went from scribbles in a notebook to a few clicks away on the official website for the event. The website has just about every statistic for hockey and they go back all 30 years.

One aspect has always stayed the same throughout the years: the fiery desire to hoist the Bundy Cup.

“Everyone wanted to win then and everyone wants to win now,” Dwyer said.

Even with the advanced age of the players, bodies were hitting the pavement with alarming frequency and slap shots whistled through the air. It’s like after the face-off, they aren’t men anymore and they go back in time and become teenage versions of themselves.

Scott McClellan is part of the “original 10,” and travels from Maryland every year to play with his old buddies. The original group lost two of its members in Eric Clayton and John Beauchmin, who passed away. There is a memorial golf tournament for Clayton the following Saturday after the Bundy Cup.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” McClellan said. “The talk starts a couple months beforehand, but it doesn’t get real until a week or two before.”

Both Clayton and Beauchmin are members of the Bundy Cup Hall of Fame. Dwyer was the first inductee in 2010.

McClellan’s Washington Capitals faced a 2-0 deficit against Dwyer’s Vegas Golden Knights as the sun began to set on Friday.

“We are about to get a little more serious,” McClellan said.

In the past at the Bundy Cup, tensions have risen on occasion in the heat of the moment.

“There has been some pushing and shoving, but it’s all in good fun,” McClelland said. “Deep down we come back because we love each other. You can’t ever replace something like this in our adult life. This is something we will show our kids and our grandkids. We can’t thank Sean enough for all these memories.”

While the final game produced a good turnout, the men involved in the tournament certainly don’t play for the notoriety. In the 1997 All-Star game, the attendance was listed as three, with “an occasional kid riding by on a bike.” Sean Krause was the MVP of that contest, with a 44-save performance in net.

With Dwyer moving to Las Vegas and a lot of the members getting up there in age, the group decided to call it quits this year.

“Their bodies can’t even do it anymore,” Dwyer said. “But I convinced them to do one more year, for the 30th anniversary.”

In the final Bundy Cup, the Capitals stormed back to beat the Golden Knights. Mark Murphy’s wrister from just inside the blue line beat Dwyer top shelf to give the Capitals the 3-2 lead.

The Capitals added another and the final score was 4-2.

The victorious team hoisted the shimmering Bundy Cup after the game. In a scene that would make Alex Ovechkin proud, McClellan’s Capitals took turns taking large swills of champagne from the trophy, all while the Golden Knights begrudgingly watched.

Original 10 member Scott Maxwell was sad to see the game end.

“This is something we have done all our lives,” Maxwell said. “I hate to see it go. I probably won’t see a lot of these guys anymore.”

When the cup celebration ended, the two teams got together for once last group picture. While the games are officially over, this group of friends has enough hockey memories to last a lifetime.