Image courtesy of CUA Ice Hockey Facebook
By Sarah Beretich
Catholic U Men’s Ice Hockey hosted the Washington Ice Dogs and York College in CUA’s 2nd annual charity hockey game at the Gardens Ice House in Maryland, where York took the game in overtime 7-6.
The event took place to raise money for the Washington Ice Dogs, a hockey program dedicated to players experiencing physical and developmental disabilities and a part of the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA). Its mission encourages the advancement of physical hockey skills as well as character growth through teamwork. The game brought in $1,583 for the Ice Dogs program, over twice as much as last year’s game.
The program initiated a partnership of ASHA with the Washington Capitals in 2014 when, according to the NHL, “Alex Ovechkin befriended Ann, a player on the Washington Ice Dogs, during a skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.” The Ice Dogs are one of over 50 ASHA programs in the country.
The players, who encompass a wide rage of ages and abilities, worked with Catholic during warm ups and the puck drop, allowing them to participate in the initial phases of gametime and see the energy surrounding the rink.
CUA junior forward William Tishuk, #21, has played for the Cardinals for all three years of his time at Catholic. The involvement of CUA with the Special Hockey program is extremely beneficial for both parties.
“The morning of the game we participate in the Ice Dogs’ practice where the CUA team helps kids learn basic hockey skills such as passing, shooting, and skating,” said Tishuk. “It’s a really good time that all the CUA players always enjoy.”
While the charity event is relatively new, Tishuk says that the game is already very important to both the Cardinals and the Ice Dogs.
“Having the opportunity to help them out is truly an honor. In years past the practices have been fifty minutes,” said Tishuk. “This year they cut the practice to thirty minutes because of financial issues. It is even more important that we are there to help in any way we can.”
A large part of the Dogs’ experience in the rink is the energy in the stands, which CUA Hockey broadcaster John Schepis, who covered the game this weekend, said was particularly strong.
“Both teams had a large amount of fans at the rink,” said Schepis. “It definitely helped out the Ice Dogs a lot and you could see the joy and enthusiasm from the kids warming up in a packed house.”
During the game, York played catch-up with Catholic’s scoring, with the Cardinals leading or tied throughout the game. The first period ended with a score of 1-1 and the third ended 6-6, bringing the teams into OT.
When the score was not tied, the Cardinals took the lead, taking 1-0 with 16 minutes left in the 1st, 2-1 with 10 left in the 2nd, 4-3 with 18 minutes left in the 3rd, and 6-5 in the 4th, with 7 minutes remaining. York continued to match the scores, only pulling ahead after the end of regulation, where the game ended 7-6 to York.
To donate or for more information on the Washington Ice Dogs and Washington Special Hockey, visit the Ice Dogs online: https://www.washingtonicedogs.org/