Nov 122006
Authors: Aaron Schoonmaker

Even though only one will count in the standings, the CSU hockey team really won two this weekend.

A “sloppy” 3-1 victory, said senior forward Jared Hillier, over Montana State on Saturday night was slightly – or perhaps greatly – overshadowed by the event that began the weekend.

Friday night, the CSU hockey team held the first of what Head Coach Joe Sharrock hopes will become the annual police vs. firemen charity game with much of the proceeds going to the Sam Spady Foundation.

“This night is just fun for everyone,” Sharrock said. “I would like this to happen every year.”

A silent auction of many signed and game-worn memorabilia from the Eagles, Avalanche and Rams as well as Sam Spady’s own artwork was up for bidding in what was a fun evening of hockey and awareness.

“It is a fun event,” said Sam’s mother, Patty Spady. “I just thank the police and fire departments and the CSU hockey team for coming together. Events like this aren’t easy to put together and they’ve been very kind to me.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by the participants.

“The game was more than just that, it also educates people on the dangers of alcohol,” said Fort Collins Police Sergeant Jim Hoyne. “It’s good to get out here and do something good for the soul and for fun, but when its for a good cause it’s especially nice.”

Patty Spady, who won the bidding on the fire helmet emblemized with “Spady 1,” even participated in the fireman dress-up contest and finished ahead of Rams center Garrett Hanson.

“That was one of the wackiest moments I’ve had in the last couple years,” Spady said. “I knew youth would conquer age though.”

The event, which drew a crowd about equal to many season games, raised more than $500 for the charity and the team.

“This night was a success for the Sam Spady Foundation,” said Hoyne, who was also the captain of the police team. “It was great for the cops and the students to get together for a good cause.”

In the end the police squad, energized by the “Bad Boys” song that is one-in-the-same with the television show “Cops,” scored with 11 seconds on the clock in regulation and won in a shootout on Fort Collins Police Department officer Rich Tews’ goal on CSU’s Brian Minor.

“This night was for the foundation, the police and fire men and the community,” said center Tim Stiller. “The highlight of the evening was having Mrs. Spady here and having fun.”

Assistant Fire Marshall Holger Durre got the evening started with the national anthem, and when goaltender Jeff Ronkoske made a save on a breakaway chance early in the first period, the arena knew it was hockey for a cause.

“I feel a strong sense of support from the CSU community,” Spady said.

With their win over Montana State on Saturday night, CSU improved their record to 10-3-1 on the year. Ahead for the Rams is the first ever Western Classic Tournament, which will be held at Edora Pool and Ice Center. The teams making the trip to Fort Collins include Colorado-Boulder, Eastern Washington, Nebraska, Idaho and New Mexico.

Sports staff writer Aaron Schoonmaker can be reached at

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