ECHL Community Recap

ECHL teams are always giving back to their local communities. Here's a look at some recent events from select teams.

Adirondack – On Feb. 23, four Adirondack Thunder Players (Alex Carrier, Luke Curadi, Louick Marcotte and Mike Busillo) visited the Washington County Rehabilitation & Nursing Center to play “Wheelchair hockey” with senior citizens. The players showed the residents some tricks and then got into the wheelchairs themselves for a shootout. The residents then came out to the Glens Falls Civic Center on Feb. 28 to watch the Thunder take on Reading!

Brampton – On Feb. 17, the Beast kicked off the Skating and Stories program in partnership with Brampton Library. This is the second season the Beast have partnered with the Brampton Library, one of their biggest community partners. Beast assistant captains Michael Vernace and Jordan Henry started the afternoon reading stories to 50 to 60 grade 5 and 6 students from Mount Pleasant elementary school. The players then spoke about their hockey background, what it takes to be a professional athlete, and how to be a good teammate both on and off the ice. The students were able to ask the players questions as they enjoyed warm hot chocolate. Following the stories and Q & A, Mike, Jordan and the students headed outside to the skating rink. Mike and Jordan assisted the students with tying their skates and joined them on the ice to finish the afternoon with a free skate. This event was a fun afternoon for the students of Mount Pleasant and another great event with Brampton Library.

Kalamazoo – On Feb. 1, the K-Wings took the Stanley Cup to Bronsons Childrens Hospital as part of CCM/ECHL Hockey Heritage Week. The patients and staff members at Bronsons were able to get a photo with the Stanley Cup as well as meet with Wings mascot Slappy and Coach Nick Bootland.

Manchester – Monarchs players have been traveling to local 1st and 2nd grade classrooms all throughout the season to read The Bulliest Dozer (written by Eric Fehr) and talk about bullying in schools. 2-3 players read the book to groups of students, recap the book and then answer questions about the book and hockey. They also talk about the themes and moral of the story: how not to be a bully, what you can do if you’re being bullied, etc. Students in the classrooms get a ticket voucher to an upcoming game, autographs, and have a lot of fun!

Toledo – The Toledo Walleye and Kalamazoo Wings lined up shoulder to shoulder at center ice during the national anthem performance prior to their game on Feb. 21, to honor the victims of the Feb. 20 shooting in Kalamazoo. The Walleye held a raffle of the game worn Hockey Heritage jerseys, raising $8410. Along with a contribution by the team, Walleye is donating a total of $10,000 to the Help Now! Fund set up in Kalamazoo to assist the victims of the shooting and their families.

Wichita – The Wichita Thunder and The Plunder have met up for the past 16 seasons to put together a wheelchair hockey match to benefit Wheelchair Sports Inc. This game is played with wheelchairs on hardwood floors at a local venue. The game this year took place on Feb. 22. Special game day jerseys were worn and sold after this event to help raise additional funds. This year the event raised over $8,500! The goals of WSI are to provide, promote, encourage and engage in sports, physical fitness, and recreational activities designed for individuals with physical disabilities.