By Sgt. Steven Peterson, 10th Mountain Division Journalist April 19, 2012
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The Fort Drum Hockey Club, the Mountaineers, traveled to Canada to play the Royal Military College of Canada's hockey team, the Knights, at the Constantine Arena in Kingston on Friday.
The Mountaineers are composed of active-duty Soldiers, Family Members and Fort Drum civilian employees, but Friday was different for the team. Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, also played for the team during the game.
"This hockey game will help strengthen the bonds with our allies from Canada," Milley said. "It's good to see both American and Canadian forces having fun together outside of their uniforms."
The event started with both the Canadian and the American national anthems being played in the hockey arena.
Once the opening ceremonies came to a close, both teams took to their sides and prepared themselves for the game.
"We have been fighting alongside our American allies in Afghanistan for a while, and we are strengthening that bond here in Canada," said Col. Stephan Cadden, Royal Military College commander.
As the first period of the game ended the teams were tied at 2 to 2 as they skated off the ice into the locker rooms. When the break ended and the second period was about to begin, both teams were very hyped up to take their sides and continue the game.
During the second period, the Mountaineers held a 5-4 lead over the Knights. Both teams had many good shots, but it was on a power play during the final minutes that the Mountaineers scored two points to take the lead.
"We really didn't know what to expect from the Mountaineers team today," said Master Cpl. Kevin Aultman, goalie for the Knights. "But I think we are all really surprised with how good they are."
By the end of the game, the Knights led with a score of 8 to 7, defeating the Mountaineers.
Both teams then went to the middle of the arena and shook hands, posed for team and group photos, and exchanged small tokens of appreciation.
"The game was really good, and I think we would all love to come back and have a rematch sometime soon," said Sgt. Casey Russell, Mountaineers goalie. "It is always fun to play a team we normally wouldn't from outside the Fort Drum area."
The Mountaineers will play a charity game at 1 p.m. May 12 at the Cicero Twin Rinks in Cicero. Admission will be $5 per person.
For more information, contact the Fort Drum Sports Office at 772-6663.