Arena

Huskies hockey memento laid at the heart of The Dauphinee Centre

A piece of Saint Mary's hockey history now lays at the heart of The Dauphinee Centre.

In a ceremony this summer the iconic smoking pipe of the late Bob Boucher was laid at centre ice, connecting Saint Mary's storied hockey past with the future of the sport at The Dauphinee Centre.  Bob was rarely seen without his smoking pipe, which became a symbol of the well-loved coach and the tradition of excellence he brought to the university’s hockey program.

An inductee of the Saint Mary's University Sport Hall of Fame in 1998, Bob Boucher was the coach of the Saint Mary's men's hockey team for 13 years. During this time, he compiled an astounding record of 231 wins, 33 losses and four ties and led the Huskies to the national championship game in four consecutive seasons from 1970 to 1973. He also coached the Dartmouth Moosehead Mounties who won the Hardy Cup national championship.

Bob came from an illustrious hockey family with connections to numerous NHL teams. A star junior player with the Montreal Junior Canadiens when they won the Memorial Cup in 1957, and with the Toronto Saint Michael's, an eye injury precluded his promising NHL career. Nevertheless, Bob went on to play senior and semi-professional hockey in Europe and the USA before being joining the Saint Mary's community.

He revived hockey at Saint Mary's, and also started the Saint Mary's Hockey Camp of Champions, a summer program for minor hockey players. He left Saint Mary's in 1980 for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers to be an assistant coach to his former teammate, Hockey Hall of Famer Pat Quinn.

"Sharing the rich hockey history and sports tradition of Saint Mary's makes a difference to our student-athletes," said women's hockey coach Chris Larade. “Ceremonies like today for Bob, honouring his contributions to hockey and the Saint Mary’s community, show our student-athletes the lasting impacts that we have as a team on our community."

The recognition meant a lot to Anne Boucher and her son Robert. Anne is a former figure skating coach who worked out of the Alumni Arena. It was here that she met her husband, Bob Boucher.

"A lot of memories came flooding back today, it was very special to be able to share it with some of Bob's players and today's coaches," said Anne Boucher. "We have fond memories of the old arena, and we spent a lot of our time there. We actually lived on campus our first two years of marriage."

"The arena has always been a special place at Saint Mary’s. The games, the atmosphere, the place was always electric. I am really looking forward to that atmosphere at The Dauphinee Centre.  I know Bob would be very happy to see that passion back on-campus and to be a part of it in a new home for hockey."

Construction notice: The Dauphinee Centre

Construction underway at the Dauphinee Centre

Construction underway at the Dauphinee Centre

As the weather gets warmer, work on the Dauphinee Centre build site is ramping up and will impact some pedestrian routes on campus.

Effective May 13 to July 31, the area between the Student Centre building and the Homburg Centre will be closed off due to construction needs. Here are some alternate routes for accessing the Homburg Centre and the field:


Coming to the Homburg Centre

From Inglis Street lot: Enter around the Student Centre building to the northwest field entrance, use track to traverse to southeast field entrance and follow pathway to Homburg Centre.

From across campus: Enter to the northwest field entrance, use track to traverse to south.

East field entrance: Follow pathway to Homburg Centre entrance.

Entrance to field

Both the southeast gate in the back parking lot and the northwest gate will be available for user groups to gain access to the field. These two entry points will be opened by staff in the morning and closed at the end of day.

Summer Camp Drop Off/Pick Up

Camp pick up/drop off will happen in both the Tower Road and Inglis Street lots with signage leading to the Homburg Centre.

The Dauphinee Centre: On schedule and taking shape

As we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, The Dauphinee Centre continues to make great progress towards its opening for the 2019-2020 varsity hockey season.  The exterior walls are in place, and work is underway on both the inside and outside of the structure. By the end of 2018, the steel roofing will be in place, and in early 2019, more roofing material will be added to ensure it is weather tight. 

“It’s been a busy construction season in Halifax, which has been great for the city but can also be challenging,” said Gary Schmeisser, the Arena Project Manager. “Our partners on this project have been busy doing a great job to ensure that work continues on schedule, which it has, and we are looking at that September 2019 date with anticipation.”

The last of the major tenders for the project will soon be awarded. The tender will include the rink boards, glass, flooring and the maroon seating for spectators. Preparations have begun for the mechanical equipment required for refrigeration as well as for the new zamboni and scoreboard.

“Work on The Dauphinee Centre is really progressing, you can feel the anticipation both on and off-campus,” said Schmeisser. “We are looking forward to the opening, and sharing the centre with the Halifax community. This is going to be an important gathering place for years to come.”

While varsity sport has always been an important part of the university, it’s expected that a new on-campus arena will bring even more interest.

“Anyone who enjoys SMU Huskies hockey, should buy their tickets as soon as possible because tickets to The Dauphinee Centre are going to be hot commodities,” added Schmeisser.

 

About the Dauphinee Centre

The Dauphinee Centre is named in honour of the late Bob Dauphinee, a Saint Mary’s alumnus and community champion, who donated $2 million for an arena through his estate.

The Dauphinee Centre will feature an NHL-sized ice surface with seating and sightlines designed to enhance the fan experience. The centre will have seating for 850 fans with ample standing room that brings the capacity to more than 1200 people.  The building is fully accessible with an elevator between floors and six accessible changing rooms for visiting teams, community-based recreational sports groups and summer camps.

Visit news.smu.ca/arena to learn more. 

Fence signage offers glimpse into the future The Dauphinee Centre

The Dauphinee Centre is sporting a new look thanks to new fence signage on the build site.

Installed in time for Homecoming, the signage showcases various members of the Saint Mary’s community, acknowledges donors, and helps promote the centre slated to open in time for the 2019 hockey season.

The signage is designed to reflect the fact that centre will make a significant contribution not only to varsity athletics but to the wellness of our entire community, with 50% of its usage capacity dedicated to community groups. SMU varsity athletes Marc Terriault and Siobhan Birch are featured wearing their Huskies gear. Another panel pictures Tyler Naugler, Assistant Coach, Men’s Hockey with his daughter as they walk by the Homburg Centre. The Saint Mary’s student body is represented with a photo of students Mohammad Ashiq, Jesus Hernandez, Jillian Taylor, Ashley Brewster and Sehmat Suri.

Additional panels highlight the Saint Mary’s University branding, and promote the arena name as well as the Pseudio Link and the Barbara Holmes Gathering Centre.

The Dauphinee Centre construction on track

A rendering of The Dauphinee Centre.

A rendering of The Dauphinee Centre.

Excitement is building as work continues on The Dauphinee Centre, the new arena at Saint Mary’s that will feature an NHL-sized ice surface and accommodate more than 1200 fans.

With the arena design 95% complete and construction progressing well, the $14.8 million facility is on track to open in time for the 2019 hockey season. This fall, neighbours can expect to see the large, precast concrete walls (about 85 pieces in total) go up on the build site. Work is now underway on the foundations to support the walls and on the underground water and electrical services. 

When completed, the centre will feature an upper-level warming room with an attached fan room overlooking the ice surface, a pedway link to the Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness, and men’s and women’s varsity dressing rooms that are equal to the best junior hockey facilities in the country. These enhancements to the project were made possible by a generous gift of $2 million from local entrepreneurs Glen and Nancy Holmes, parents of two current Saint Mary’s students. Glen and Nancy Holmes are the owners of Pseudio, Samuel & Co and Envy.