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St. Paul’s hockey supports the troops

Calling all local veterans and active-duty servicemen and women, and summoning all area hockey fans as well! A prep school hockey game will be held tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Matthews Arena at St. Paul’s School, during which the St. Paul’s School boys varsity hockey team plans to honor our troops before and during its tilt against Dexter School. Considered by many the “cradle of American hockey,” St. Paul’s is proud of its rich hockey heritage, which includes the likes of Hobey Baker himself, who also served in our armed forces.

With this in mind, members of the school’s boys varsity team made a conscious decision this season to support a charitable effort that felt relevant and meaningful, and they happened upon just such a program: “Sticks for Troops,” which began at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan nearly two years ago. A street hockey rink was created there and then a league was formed. For many of the servicemen and women, this pastime has made their otherwise stressful experience in the desert location more tolerable.

As the St. Paul’s players wrote in their letter to the opposing teams with whom they hoped to partner in this effort, “Finding hockey sticks in Afghanistan, however, isn’t easy, and the sticks endure a lot of wear and tear and don’t last long. We’d like to send these folks as large a supply as we can to keep this awesome pastime going for them.”

Game by game, the team has collected street hockey sticks for the troops overseas. They wish to publicly thank the many hockey opponents who have participated in this effort, as well as Total Sports Repair, which has donated a number of sticks to the cause.

The team’s next hurdle is to ship the sticks overseas, which can be costly. The sale of special “Sticks for Troops” T-shirts to their St. Paul’s comrades, as well as the game tomorrow night is meant to support that part of their effort. In addition, while there is no charge to watch the game, cash donations at the door will be greatly appreciated and all proceeds from concessions sales (cash only) will go toward the cause as well. The team wishes to extend its gratitude to all of the fans for their support!

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