In preparation for the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park on Jan. 2, between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, a film crew from the NHL will be shooting a feature on the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys ice hockey team, with a focus on what winter on the Island is like.
NHL senior producer Will Cunningham told The Times Tuesday that the filming will begin Wednesday evening, documenting the MVRHS athletes as they travel back to the Island after an away game against North Attleboro High School.
“We wanted to do a local story,” Cunningham said of the project. A frequent Vineyard visitor, Cunningham said he’s “always had an interest in doing something about hockey on the Vineyard.” He said he looks forward to showcasing the unique nature of the Island in the off-season, and “how it differs from the hectic summer life.”
“Aside from documenting the hockey team,” a letter from NHL producers to the Edgartown select board states the goal of the project is “to film the beauty of the Island in the winter, and show why it’s so much more than a summer getaway.”
The crew is set to gather various scenic shots over their visit, with plans to see the Chappy Ferry, Edgartown Harbor Light, and Federated Church, among other locations in downtown Edgartown.
The small crew is set to film between Wednesday and Saturday, and will be at the arena for the varsity team’s home game against Whitman-Hanson Regional High School on Dec. 10.
“We just want it to be authentic,” Cunningham said, “and catch what it’s really like at the games there.” He said he expects a good turnout at the arena, and welcomes a hearty turnout in support for the student athletes, and for the feature. “The more the merrier,” he said.
On when the feature will be aired and on what platform, Cunningham said that it is to be determined, but it will definitely be available to watch on the NHL’s website.