PORTLAND, Maine — What do Carrie Bradshaw, Victoria Beckham and Karlie Kloss have in common with the Maine Mariners? They all have very deep and well-stocked closets.
Most sports teams have two basic uniforms for home and away games. But the Mariners are too fashion-forward to stop there. They have accumulated an impressive collection of alternate jerseys that they wear for special occasions throughout the season.
Like so many style icons, the Mariners have their own go-to designer. Ellie Labree from Glenburn is 11 years old. She designed the winning jersey in a contest that was open to kids in the Make-A-Wish program, which helps to make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
The Mariners wore Ellie's design in their 3-2 win over the Adirondack Thunder on February 1. Ellie set the tone by dropping the puck at the start of the game.
"It made the win that much more meaningful," said Mariners forward Michael McNicholas. "I'm proud of the boys for getting this one for Ellie."
And the jerseys continued to work their magic after the game when they were auctioned off for $4,368 with the all of the money going to Make-A-Wish.
The Mariners also drew sartorial inspiration from the pages of comic books. After all, when it comes to quick costume changes, no one does it better than a superhero.
On November 2, the Newfoundland Growlers made the Mariners angry. That's never a good idea, but especially on a day when the Mariners were wearing jerseys inspired by Hulk. Like the green-skinned Avenger, the Mariners drew strength from their rage and came from behind to win 3-2.
When the Growlers returned to Portland on November 30, the Mariners were once again dressed for crime fighting in jerseys inspired by Aquaman. But this time, the bad guys won by a score of 5-2.
After their previous two superheroic stints ended with mixed results, the Mariners went back to what worked -- green skin. They channeled the fighting skills of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles through their specialty jerseys on December 26 for a 5-1 win against the Adirondack Thunder.
With their next uniform swap, the Mariners are asking their fans the question, "Do you believe in miracles?" They'll be wearing the red, white and blue for their game against the Growlers on Sunday, February 23 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. That's the game when Team USA beat a heavily-favored Soviet squad in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Fans should be careful to save their voices for a second round of the "U-S-A" chant. Also included with their tickets is a post-game screening of the 2004 movie "Miracle" on the video board over the rink. Between the Mariners and the actors both rocking the same uniform, fans can judge who wore it better.
The Mariners will fire up the Way-Back Machine for another night of wardrobe-based nostalgia on Friday, March 6. They'll wear the orange and black jerseys that the team sported back in the 1980s when they were an AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Fans got to pick the jersey for Throwback Night in a vote over the summer. The other option featured a yellow color scheme dating back to the Mariners' stint as a Bruins affiliate.
By the end of the season, the Mariners will probably have enough different outfits for a full-blown fashion show. All they need now is a catwalk where they can strut their stuff at the Cross Insurance Arena.