The Friends of University of Maine Hockey present the annual “Skate with the Bears” programs Saturday, Dec. 11 in Orono and Saturday, Jan. 1 in Portland.

Join the 2010-2011 UMaine men’s and women’s ice hockey squads on the ice Dec. 11 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Alfond Arena in Orono. The family event is an opportunity for fans of all ages to meet the players and have their pictures taken. Pick up a free player autograph sheet and gather as many autographs as possible.

Friends of Maine Hockey board members will be on hand to answer questions, take photos and make custom photo pins. People also can pick up the new UMaine hockey player cards and meet Bananas the team’s mascot.

On New Year’s Day, Saturday, Jan. 1 from 2 to 3 p.m., join the UMaine men’s hockey team on the ice at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth.

The Weight Watchers Bears of Tomorrow program sponsors this year’s Skate with the Bears.

The skating events are free and open to the public.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at