By Vanessa Lynch, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsSeptember 12, 2011
HONOLULU -- The stage was set, and as both teams entered the arena, pride and bragging rights were on the line.
Sure, this hockey game was for charity, but by no means was this event a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition-type of game.
Some serious hockey playing was about to go down on the ice. Hockey players from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard faced off against each other during the second Wounded Warrior Charity Hockey Game at the Ice Palace, here, Aug. 28.
The game pitted the Army/Air Force team, who wore white USA jerseys, against the Marines/Coast Guard/Navy team, who donned blue USA jerseys.
Between ticket sales, concession sales, commemorative T-shirt sales and the silent auction, the event raised more than $14,000. Seventy-five percent of the funds will stay on island to help wounded warriors, and the remaining 25 percent will go to The Wounded Warrior Project.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization that honors and empowers wounded warriors. It raises awareness and enlists the public's aid to meet the needs of severely injured service men and women. The project also helps these service members assist each other.
The charity hockey game was the brainchild of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David Taylor, principal organizer of the event, who works at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
"Last year's event was a huge success, and everyone had a great time," said Taylor, Blue Team captain and president of Warriors for Warriors.
The scheduled festivities for the evening included a ceremonial puck drop at center ice by Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific; Gen. Gary North, commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces; Lt. Gen. Thiessen, commander, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific; and Rear Adm. Charles Ray, commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District.
Two recently wounded warriors from the Wounded Warrior Detachment at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, were also honored during the ceremony.
As the game started, teams began pushing, highsticking, tripping and commencing an all-out battle for puck control.
The Blue Team broke the ice and scored first.
After regaining control of the ice, the White Team tied up the game with a goal scored by Staff Sgt. Casey Santos, 5th Squadron, 15th Cavalry Regiment, 194th Armored Brigade, from Fort Benning, Ga., with the assist coming from Capt. Bobby Lachky, Tripler Army Medical Center.
In between periods, the Ice Palace's youth hockey and figure skating programs entertained attendees.
Going into the second period, the Blue Team broke the tie and scored two more goals back to back. The White Team wasn't able to put any points on the board.
Entering the third and final period and behind by two points, the White Team got its momentum back and scored two more goals right off the bat. The first came from U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rob Woolley, 15th Medical Operations Sqdn., with an assist from Lachky.
The White Team's second goal was scored by Maj. Roger Anderson, TAMC, with a little help from Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Bell, U.S. Pacific Command, and retired Air Force Col. Russ Quinn.
However, the White Team's steam ran out when the Blue Team sank three goals in a row, stealing the title away from last year's victors, the White Team.
"Even though the result isn't what we wanted, we are looking forward for a rematch next year," said Bell, White Team captain. "It doesn't matter who won the game, because the real winners are our wounded warriors."