Setting their skates aside, returning members of the Andover Varsity Hockey teams competed on sleds in a charity sled hockey game at the Harrison Rink last Friday night.
For the fourth year in a row, Andover Boys and Girls Varsity Hockey joined with players from Pike School to play against the Northeast Passage (NEP) sled hockey team as a fundraiser for NEP. The game raised $3468.
NEP, founded in 1990, is a non-profit organization designed to give individuals with disabilities a chance to enjoy sports that they would normally not be able to play. The NEP sled hockey team raises money by playing against other teams at fundraiser events.
Andover charged $4 for admission to the event and sold popcorn and hot chocolate. Pike also raffled off donated items at the fundraiser.
The Harrison Rink staff, Athletics Department and Student Activities Board (SAB) helped put together the event, according to Chris Capano, Director of Student Activities. The Rink staff donated ice time and staff to support the event, the Athletics Department contacted Andover hockey players and SAB members staffed the event.
This year’s fundraiser raised more money than previous years because of Pike’s help. In the past, Andover has only been able to raise enough money for one sled, which costs between $500 and $600, depending on the model, according to Eric Matlin, Harrison Rink Supervisor, who organized the event.
Capano wrote in an e-mail to The Phillipian that Andover will donate at least one sled this year, but the organizers are still unsure of how they are going to spend the rest of the money. Donating the money to the charity may be more valuable because such a large portion of the charity’s funding is spent on getting venues for events.
Kane Goodman, age nine, brother of Pearson Goodman ’13, played for NEP and said that his favorite part of the event was dominating the Andover team.
He said, “I scored the best goal and had the best breakaway… not to mention that if PA wants to have a good record they should not mention that game.”
“[Playing on sleds] is a whole different game,” said Eddie Ellis ’13, Captain of Andover Boys Varsity Hockey. “We are playing hockey all the time, and there are kids who are seven or eight years old who we played against who are much better than we are. We are much bigger than them, but it’s amazing to see what they can do on the sleds. It’s humbling to see them enjoy that game so much.”
“I participated [in the event] last year as well, and I think that it keeps getting better each year. The crowd was incredible! The stands were packed and the enthusiasm was comparable to that of an Andover/Exeter crowd,” wrote Anna Fucillo ’15, a member of Andover Girls Varsity Hockey, in an e-mail to The Phillipian.
“It was also really humbling to see these athletes who have overcome great odds to get on the ice and do what they love,” Fucillo added.
“It’s always been a fun way for the kids on the team to give something back to the hockey community… It’s a great team building activity before the season starts,” wrote Connor Light ’13, a member of Andover Boys Varsity Hockey, in an e-mail to The Phillipian.