Giving children a chance to live out their dreams on ice was the cause Saturday night when the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association held its annual Hall of Fame Memorial Hockey Game at the Soldotna Sports Center.
"We hate to see kids that want to play (hockey) not be able to," said Todd Duwe, one of the event organizers.
The funds raised from gate sells would go toward scholarships for children unable to afford the $350- to $375-fee to participate in the youth hockey league. At the time the Clarion went to print, Duwe said he was uncertain how much money was raised, but there were more than 500 people in attendance.
Mark Hall said he started the memorial game six years ago to honor the memories peninsula citizens involved in youth hockey who have died. He included in this group, his son, Levy Hall, who grew up playing hockey with KPHA.
"It's a chance to recognize people who did a lot in this organization," he said.
Hall said games past have usually generated as much as $2,500. He said whatever the amount, his son Travis, who plays professional football for the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons, would give a matching donation.
The teams giving the exhibition -- the Mic-Macs and the Strawberry Lakers -- consisted of peninsula area players, Duwe said.
"We just kind of take players in the area to make the teams as even as possible," he said. "A lot of these kids started playing in the organization when they were young."
Hall said he wanted the best players he could get to showcase the peninsula's talent.
"They were at least high school all stars, or they're not playing," he said. "This is the closest thing this town is going to see to a pro game."
On the ice, the Strawberry Lakers bested the Mic-Macs 6-4. Laker Tim McCarthy led scoring, earning a hat trick with all of his points in the third period.
"I didn't have anything great," McCarthy said. "Just easy shots into the goal. The goalie was shaky."
He said his teammates made all the difference in the outcome of the game, particularly Tim Flanders and Daniel "Boone" Hall, who gave assists on two of McCarthy's three scores.
The Mic-Macs jumped on the board first, with two first-period scores from Jason Kempf. Kempf got an assist from Carl Saltz at the 7:17 minute and from Saltz and Joey Newby at 12:57.
At 2:09 of the second period, however, the Mic-Macs gave up a point in a short-handed play to the Laker's Flanders off of a McCarthy pass.
Boone Hall scored next for the Lakers at the 8:06 minute, slapping a pass from Owen Brewer and Adrian Borchgrevink, respectively, over the blue line. The Mic-Macs returned the favor at 10:41, as Saltz scored off a Ben Dereve assist.
Brewer scored an unassisted goal at 11:49 that was nearly answered by the Mic-Macs on an empty net opportunity at 14:40. But the puck sailed through the crease and just right of the goal.
McCarthy ruled the third period. He logged goals at 2:23 between the goalie's legs, at 11:20 on a rebound in the crease, and on an empty-netter at 14:45.
The Mic-Macs' Jeff Winters interrupted McCarthy's scoring binge, however, with a well-placed shot off the Lakers goalkeeper's shoulder at 6:36. Travis Lehl and Jason Avigo assisted on the play.
"It looks like we skated harder than them," McCarthy said about his opponents.
STRAWBERRY LAKERS 6, MIC-MACS 4
Mic-Macs 2 1 1 --4
Strawberry Lakers 0 3 3 --6
First period -- 1. Mic-Macs, Kempf (Saltz), 7:17; 2. Mic-Macs, Kempf (Saltz, Newby), 12:57. Penalties -- Mic-Macs 1 for 2:00.
Second period -- 3. Lakers, Flanders (McCarthy), 2:09 (pp); 4. Lakers, Hall (Brewer, Borchgrevink), 8:06; 5. Mic-Macs, Saltz (Dereve), 10:41; 6. Lakers, Brewer (unassisted), 11:49. Penalties -- Lakers 3 for 6:00.
Third period -- 7. Lakers, McCarthy (Flanders), 2:23; 8. Mic-Macs, Winters (Lehl, Avigo), 6:36 (sh); 9. Lakers, McCarthy (Hall), 11:20; 10. Lakers, McCarthy (unassisted), 14:45 (sh). Penalties -- Mic-Macs 1 for 2:00.
Shots on goal -- Mic-Macs 12-9-4--25; Lakers 7-14-9--30.
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