Middletown Now Rich in Hockey Tradition

first_imgBy Jay CookAboard the fittingly-named family boat “Breakaway,” a 20 person entourage joined Trevor van Riemsdyk for his journey to the docks at the Salt Creek Grille in celebration of his championship season with the World Champion Chicago Blackhawks.Over 160 friends and family awaited the arrival of the Middletown native van Riemsdyk to celebrate his day in showcasing the Stanley Cup to his hometown.Hoisting the cup way above his head on the bow of the family boat, amidst countless cheers from ashore, it seemed to be the perfect culmination to a long day of festivities.8. Trevor van Riemsdyk holding up the Stanley Cup in front of crowd at the Salt Creek Grille. Photo: Jaclyn ShugardWhat a day it was. Making numerous stops, consisting of visits to the Brick Stars Challenger Youth program, Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft and the Middletown Arts Center, van Riemsdyk had proudly showcased the Stanley Cup trophy to those who helped him reach this point in his career.The final showcase to a long and widely-celebrated day was the aforementioned boat ride entrance, in conjunction with blow horns blaring and music booming.“It’s the only way to come in that made sense to us, considering the amount of time we spend on the water as a family,” said Frans van Riemsdyk, Trevor’s father.While certainly a fitting arrival, it almost did not happen. In a day filled with whipping winds and, at points, torrential downpours, it seemed as though this one-of-a-kind entrance may not have occurred. “Luckily the weather broke as we were making our final decision on how to arrive,” van Riemsdyk said.Fortunately enough for the Salt Creek Grille as well, owner Steve Bidgood was glad that the weather subsided. “We actually lost power back an hour ago, if you can believe that,” Bidgood said. “We’re lucky that the weather slowed down.”With the fresh sun glaring out from behind the clouds, van Riemsdyk’s family and friends showered him with countless hugs and cheers as he made his way from the dock inside to the downstairs banquet hall.Tables decorated with black, white and red tablecloths, a collage of van Riemsdyk’s postseason glory and a photo op area for the Stanley Cup trophy were all included at the exclusive party.“As myself being a local guy from Middletown, I feel honored that the van Riemsdyks chose to have this celebration here,” said Bidgood. “It’s a priceless feeling to have the Stanley Cup here.”Once inside, the festivities quickly began. Music on the stereo was cranked way up, and a line began to get a one-on-one picture with the Stanley Cup and the champ himself.The Stanley Cup at CBA.“It’s a surreal feeling. Really hard to put into words,” said Matthew Kessig. Kessig who has been a next door neighbor and close friend to the van Riemsdyk’s over the last 13 years, spoke about what this means for Middletown.“This is extremely important, and brings a lot of pride to the town and puts us on the map. The van Riemsdyks are the poster children for New Jersey hockey, if you ask me,” he said.In a day with no shortage of excitement, smiles and true appreciation, Trevor van Riemsdyk showed Middletown the love and support that he had seen from them for so many years. “Trevor is truly humbled and so proud of where we all live,” his father said.last_img

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