Schoolcraft Hockey raises $5,000 in charity game
By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor
Pictures by Atticus Laird
It is not always about winning or losing the game; sometimes it is about playing for a cause.
On Friday, Feb. 24, the Ocelots hockey team hit the ice at 3 p.m. for a charity game against the Michigan State Police (MSP) at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.
This was no ordinary game for the Ocelots, but rather a heart-warming charity game to raise money for the Michigan State Police Fallen Trooper Fund. All proceeds from sponsors, donations, ticket sales and the 50/50 raffle went to this fund. The goal was to raise $5,000, and the Ocelots reached that goal after the game when additional money came in and was counted.
“This event is good for the team. They are growing and extending into public service to help out, which is great. It really is great to see this event bringing together the team and it brings together the college as well,” said Schoolcraft College President Dr. Conway Jeffress.
The Fallen Troop Fund
According to the Michigan State Police website, the Michigan State Police Fallen Trooper Fund was established to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. The funding campaign began in the fall of 1999. Groundbreaking for the Memorial began in the late spring of 2001. The dedication ceremony was Oct. 16, 2001. With the help of the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, a special Michigan State Troopers Assistance Fund was established to handle all contributions for the Fallen Trooper Memorial.
Since 1917 when the Michigan State Police were created every member takes an oath to, “preserve, protect and defend,” the Constitution as well as the traditions of the MSP and the public safety for the citizens of Michigan. Fifty-two members have fallen in the line of duty. This fund is a way to honor, teach and inspire future generations with the last full measure of devotion and honor these members gave.
This memorial was constructed on the ground of the Michigan State Police Training Academy near Lansing and was funded entirely by private donations. For more information on this fund visit the Michigan State Police website at Michigan.gov/msp.
“Everyone involved in this event had a great time from the fans, staff and the players. We are ecstatic with the overall outcome of the event. The media team did a phenomenal job and everything was extremely professional. We almost reached our goal, and the money is going to a fantastic cause,” said Assistant Coach Andrew Lindsey.
In addition to the cause, Lindsey had the opportunity to lace up his skates one more time as an Ocelot and play against his older brother, Robert, who is a Michigan State Trooper and was playing for the MSP team.
“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to play against my brother for the first time. Just being able to lace up as an Ocelot one last game is something I will be forever grateful for and for this being our first attempt at a charity event we reached our goal. Things can only go up from here for the team and everyone involved.”
In the end, the Ocelots came up a goal short on the scoreboard as they fell to the MSP, 5-4 in the shootout. It took three fifteen-minute periods, two five-minute over time periods, and a dramatic shootout to crown a winner.
The first period started as a back and forth match with both teams scoring back-to-back making it 1-1 at the end of the first 15-minute period. A short intermission was taken to resurface the ice and then the second period commenced. The MSP took the first goal of the second and Ocelots shortly followed with a goal by assistant captain and right-winger Vince Glenn. The MSP came back to score two more goals taking a 4-2 lead at the end of the second period.
The Ocelots were not down for the count, though. The team rallied in the third period with the Ocelots scoring two goals. Forward Owen Hund scored his second of the game making it 4-3. Netting the game-tying goal was Nick Oliveri making it 4-4 at the end of regulation.
Both teams forced a five-minute overtime. Momentum shifted back and forth but neither team could hit the back of the net. After two attempts at OT (the second featured a 3-on-3 format) it came down to a shootout to declare a winner.
After five shots on goal and two sliding past the Ocelots net minder, the Michigan State Police (MSP) took the win. Scoring in the shootout for the MSP were David Tasker and Jon Tibaudo.
“It is great to have the public reach out and is incredibly humbling to have support and donations at an event like this. This fund is not very well funded, so getting Schoolcraft’s support is making a huge difference in the lives of a first responder, an officer or the families of those serving in a tragic time of need when money is the last thing they want to think about,” said Sergeant Robert Schwalm, President of the Michigan State Police Troopers Association.
The event was not about winning or losing at all though. It was about bringing people together to raise funds for a great cause and enjoy some friendly competition while doing so. The Ocelots could not have asked for a better way to end their season, from here, it is about growing as a team, a community, and moving toward a bright future.
Photos by David Vega
*Previously the article had stated that the Ocelots had not made their $5,000 goal, but when donations continued to come in after the game and were counted, the amount was over $5,000 and so the article was updated.