Surprisingly, the St. Mark’s and Salesianum ice hockey teams don’t see much of each other because they play in different leagues.
But you can be sure they will still play Thursday’s DFRC-sponsored “Hockey for a Cause” game as if they were bitter rivals, but all for a good cause. The event will be held at the Fred Rust Ice Arena on the campus of the University of Delaware.
“This is our fourth year with it and we’re very excited because our efforts are benefiting a much larger cause,” Spartans head coach Bob Teeven said. “I think the players know, after meeting with a lot of the families sponsored by the DFRC, that we’re playing to help out deserving people.”
“This is very exciting because it’s for a good cause and the players get to see their friends over on the St. Mark’s side,” Sals coach Alex Carey said. “For our seven seniors, this is their last time to play in this game.”
The Spartans play in the Delaware Scholastic Hockey League while Salesianum plays in the Inter County Hockey League which is made up teams from Pennsylvania schools. The difference in leagues doesn’t leave time for a lot of in state meetings, especially between rival schools.
The Spartans are very strong on defense, led by senior captain defenseman Joey Wagner and junior defenseman Alex Tan on the back line. The St. Mark’s offense is led by senior forwards Jake Lano and Brandon Hughes.
Teeven says he would like to see improvement on the offensive end of the ice in terms of moving the puck around.
For Sallies, Carey declined to name specific players, but said every player has a role on the team and is fulfilling that role well in a year of fighting through adversity.
“That’s our skill set right now,” Carey said. “We just want to keep fighting and everybody on the team plays a huge part in our success.”
Carey hopes that the Sallies varsity and JV squad (who will play Delaware Military Academy in the second game of the DFRC doubleheader Thursday night) can still earn an invitation to the prestigious Flyers Cup tournament in which local schools from around the Delaware Valley face off for a trophy sponsored by the Philadelphia Flyers organization.
In the meantime, both coaches are excited to play each other in a friendly game for a very good cause. The previous three DFRC games have raised over $15,000 targeted for special needs children and families.
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“I’m excited that our kids get to play in this game and play against their friends on the other side of the ice,” Carey said.
“They’re always a strong program and DFRC is a big part of this,” Teeven said.
E-mail Chris Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org