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GI hockey alumni to face off

by jmaloni
Fri, Jan 7th 2011 02:00 pm

The third annual Grand Island High School Hockey Alumni event will take place Saturday, Jan. 22, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion in Niagara Falls.

This year, the alumni from the 1970s and '80s will take the ice at 7 p.m., and the '90s and '00s alums will follow, squaring off at 8:30 p.m. There will be plenty of food and refreshments after each game as well as door prizes, raffles.

Proceeds from this fundraising event will go to the Grand Island hockey program.

"It's great to see all the faces from many years ago come out and renew acquaintance, and in some cases, rivalries," said Director of Hockey Alumni Operations Gene Kozek. "We have guys that will just kill themselves traveling to get to this one event. Why, some guys come all the way from North Carolina just to play."

The game will showcase talent and coaching from the dawn of the Grand Island High School hockey program under Coach John Goodfellow's stewardship back in the early '70s, all the way up to the 21st century.

"It's also great to get a sense of how much these guys are dedicated to the game," added Kozek. "Especially when you get to the older guys, the smell of Ben-Gay usually covers the smell of their old equipment. Also, this year, from a strategic standpoint, we are putting the older guys on in the initial game. First, they don't cut up the ice much, so we probably won't have to resurface the ice after their game. Second, we wouldn't get as much participation from that age group if we put them on later, since it's past their bedtime. And, lastly, it gives the younger guys an opportunity to watch them, be inspired, and say to themselves if I work hard, I can play at that level some day."

Tickets are available at the door. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

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