The CSU ice hockey club is hoping for a strong turnout at the second annual Samantha Spady Firemen vs. Police Charity game tonight at Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC) at 7:30 p.m.
The Rams (9-8-2), who had another great fall season, finishing second out of eight teams in the Western Classic Championship tournament, hope to score more than just a few goals at tonight’s game.
The team will join forces with the Sam Spady Foundation to educate the public about the tragedy of Samantha Spady’s 2004 alcohol-related death and warn people of the risks of alcohol abuse. Half of the night’s proceeds will go to the Samantha Spady Foundation.
“It raises money and awareness of not only alcohol abuse and alcohol poisoning, but the Poudre Fire Authority, the Fort Collins Police and, of course, the CSU hockey team,” said coach Joe Sharrock.
The Police beat the Firemen 5-4 last year in an overtime shootout. Sharrock said that it’s just a fun style of play.
“I think they try to get under each others skin a little bit, but for the most part they’re playing for the same team and this is just a fun evening,” he said. “The entertainment is both on and off the ice.”
Last year, the event came in at second in the Fort Collins’ Community Civility Awards. The team hopes to be even more successful with this year’s event.
“It was very successful last year,” Sharrock said. “We want it to be even more successful. I’d love to raise more money for the Spady foundation. They do a great job and what they do is very important.”
Patti Spady, Samantha Spady’s mother, was in attendance for last year’s event and is looking forward to returning to Fort Collins for tonight’s game.
“I think it’s awesome that (the hockey team) has chosen to participate with the Foundation,” Patti Spady said. “I appreciate all the efforts that are willing to be put forth to make this event happen.” she said.
K-9 and SWAT demonstrations will accompany a silent auction of donated merchandise from the various sponsors.
“It’s a fun atmosphere where a lot of good work is put together,” Patti Spady said.
The list of items to be auctioned off include framed artwork by Samantha Spady, a Colorado Avalanche hockey stick signed by Wojtek Wolski, a team-autographed Colorado Eagles jersey from their 2006-2007 championship season and gear from the Poudre Fire Authority and Fort Collins Police.
Sharrock says that it’s an important event to open up the eyes of CSU and the citizens of Fort Collins.
“It’s a conglomeration of groups that I would like to think opens the eyes up of the community,” he said. “A hockey team can make a big difference by making a couple phone calls and getting the right groups together.”
This group of Rams wants to be more than just a hockey team.
“We’re not just a bunch of guys that play hockey and party on the weekends,” Sharrock said. “That’s the lesson I’m trying to pass on to these guys. They can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives by doing this.”
Sports reporter Brandon Owens can be reached at email@example.com.