The Bangor High School Rams and the Brewer Witches played before 1,675 fans at the Fill the Alfond promotion night in Orono on Feb. 17, 2004. Credit: Michael York / BDN

It began on Feb. 17, 2004.

That was the first time the Bangor High School and Brewer High School hockey teams played their first “Fill the Alfond” game at the University of Maine’s Alfond Arena in Orono.

Bangor won 6-1 in front of 1,675 fans, which is at least three times more than the teams would draw at their smaller home rinks, the Penobscot Ice Arena in Brewer and Sawyer Arena in Bangor.

The Fill the Alfond game had been an annual event but hasn’t been played since 2019 for a variety of reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will return at 7 p.m. Friday.

“The kids are really looking forward to it,” Brewer coach Lance Ingerson said. “It is a huge opportunity for them to play in that atmosphere. You won’t see many high school games with that many people watching it. They’re pretty excited about it.”

The Class A Rams are 1-1-1 and are coming off an impressive 5-1 win over St. Dom’s of Auburn.

Class B Brewer is 2-1 and shut out Houlton-Hodgdon 4-0 on Wednesday night in its last contest.

Ingerson and Bangor coach Quinn Paradis said it is a game the players circle on their calendars.

“It’s a great place to play,” Paradis said. “You get large numbers of students. The whole community supports it.”

It will be the first such game for players on both teams, since the seniors were eighth-graders when the last one was played in January 2019.

Bangor won 7-2.

The two teams are comparable, according to Ingerson.

“It’s the same scenario, we both have young teams,” Ingerson said. “And it will be something new to all the players.”

Paradis has been pleased with his team’s play so far and said the move of senior defenseman Mike McLean to center between junior Miles Randall and sophomore Marc-Andre Perron has been a positive one.

Perron had two goals and an assist against St. Dom’s.

Junior Jackson Guimond anchors a solid defense corps in front of senior goalie Liam Doughty.

“It will be a great game,” Paradis said. “It’s a rivalry but we respect each other.”

Paradis has another scoring line featuring the Moscone brothers, Philip and Michael, along with Ty Walker and he has a strong checking line with Andrew Slocum, Zachary Lindquist and Lucas Lindsay.

Ingerson’s top line features Grady Vanidestine with Cam Dostie and Nick Tozier and he has a good second line composed of Owen Spaulding, Cade McKenney and Dominic Stecher.

High-scoring Jed Gilpatrick headlines the defense corp. Chase McKenney, Cade’s brother,  and Hunter Merrithew complement Gilpatrick on the blue line.

Junior Ethan Hanscom will start in goal.