Team Fire earns historic win in the face of COVID-19
BEDFORD — After a whirlwind week, thousands of CHaD supporters tuned in to watch and donate to a reimagined CHaD Battle of the Badges Hockey Championship on Friday, March 13. With the threat of coronavirus COVID-19 forcing the game to be played behind closed doors, Team Fire skated away with a 9-4 victory as over 12,000 viewers watched the game on WMUR.com.
Garrett Meador of the Conway Fire Department and Ricky Gaudreau of the Conway Police Department, played in the game.
The decision to remove fans from the 13th edition of the game came on Tuesday of game week, forcing a modification of the traditional Badges experience. Instead of rooting from the arena, fans instead had the opportunity to watch the game on a live stream thanks to WMUR.
With Jamie Staton calling the play-by-play, this new experience allowed for an international audience while also providing every CHaD kid — all 85,000 of them each year — the chance to watch the game at the same time. More poignantly, kids currently receiving care at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon could catch the game from their rooms for the first time ever.
For those fans rooting for Team Fire — international and local — they were treated to an early goal as former Manchester Monarch Ashton Rome (Salem Fire) scored on a breakaway less than 90 seconds into the game. A tally by Jake Paulsen (Candia) made it 2-0 Fire midway through the first period. From there, the men in red never trailed, building 3-1 and 6-4 leads before a flurry of goals capped it in the third period.
Rome earned first star honors with a pair of goals and an assist. He combined with linemates Matt McGilvray (two goals, an assist) and Micah Ruel (a goal) to score five of Fire’s nine goals.
Second star was Nick Nault of Goffstown Fire (a goal) and two players earned third star status – Fire goalie Jeremy Bonan (Plymouth) and Police forward Kyle Manlow (a goal) of North Hampton.
Other notables saw Police’s Ed Barrasso (Plaistow) and Fire’s Clark Brighton (Portsmouth) tally three assists each. Chris Plummer (Dover PD) registered his 13th career goal and 12th and 13th career Badges assists.
On the fundraising side of the scale, the move behind closed doors had an impact on the game’s total, but it was partly mitigated by the generosity of the thousands watching online. Over $10,000 was donated during the stream of the game, and over $15,000 total has been generated through donations and merchandise sales at CHaDHockey.org.
Team Police was the top fundraising team led by Kyle Daly (Manchester PD), who raised over $27,000. He became just the second player to surpass $100,000 in individual fundraising in game history, taking just five years to do so.
Team Fire was led by Michael Snide with nearly $9,000 raised.
In total, $195,000 and counting has been raised by this year’s game, leaving it within striking distance of $3 million heading into 2021.
For fans who purchased tickets to the hockey game, CHaD is offering the opportunity to exchange those tickets for a ticket to the Battle of the Badges Baseball Game this summer.
For more information, fans can contact CHaDHockey@hitchcock.org.
As New Hampshire's only full service, comprehensive children's hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock (CHaD) is committed to providing outstanding compassionate care for children and their families. Their physician expertise provides primary, specialty, and tertiary care to the children of New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond. CHaD offers inpatient (hospital care) and outpatient (same day care) services at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Outpatient and same day surgery services are available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Manchester, as well as outpatient pediatric specialties at Wentworth‐Douglass Hospital, Dover and in Exeter. Primary care is available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock facilities in Bedford, Concord, Keene, Lebanon, Manchester, and Nashua, N.H., and Bennington, Vt.