By Rachel Epperly
Normally, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs play their home games at the Berglund Center. Based in Roanoke, the Rail Yard Dawgs are members of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Dawgs had their first home opener game on October 21st with a sold out crowd, but on Saturday, January 19th, the Berglund Center hosted the annual Guns and Hoses charity hockey game. This game has been helping raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for many years. These firefighters and cops have been going head to head on the ice every year for sixteen years now. Of course both sides want to win, but the main goal of this event is to see how much money they can raise for the cause.
According to Ralph Berrier of the Roanoke Times, last year's game made almost $45,000 for the MDA, which brought the fifteen-year total to more than $300,000 raised. This hockey game is not only for a good cause, but is also one of the most entertaining hockey games to watch. As family members and employees of the departments get on the ice there to play a game that will keep you on your toes, family, friends, and fans gather to show their support for the fellow red and blue.
This year to start the game off, members of the Roanoke County honor guard came out on the ice for the presentation of the colors. This included (from left to right) Janet Smith, Chad Epperly, John Kaylor, Peter Begley, and Brittany Johnson. Janet then amazingly sang the National Anthem making the crowd go wild.
Although this game is a charity event, there is still sure to be lots of trips to the penalty box. This year amidst the throwing of punches, there was even a fight that ended with both players losing their helmets. Even though some players are older than others, you can’t tell by how they all bring it on the ice.
For the past two years the hoses have been on a winning streak, but this year the guns crushed their streak winning with a final score of 6-3.
This game, always guaranteeing to draw a crowd, was not only fun to watch, but it was also for a good cause that helped out the community. All in all, this game is worth going to annually and should be a tradition for your family.
The guns team included: Head Coach Caitlin Francis and assistant coaches Tom Gallagher and Dave High and players Andrew Palmer (2), Dave VanOsten (3), Chris Kuyper (4), Nick Harper (6), Kevin Smusz (7), Eric Charles (8), Brian Corcoran (10), Bob Carpentari (17), Brock Newton (19), Eric Flagg (20), Greg Staples (25), Joseph Muha (29), Daniel Gallagher (30), Pat Pascoe (31), and Michael Polley (63). Along with two hurt players: Kevin Assenat (13) and Erik Johnson (29).
The hoses team included: Head Coach Leo Hirsbrunner and assistant coaches Tom Mougin and Steve Mills and players Dan Goodwin (1), Jake Lavoie (2), Brian Reger (4) , Issac Wilson (7), Jayson Anuszkiewicz (8), Danny Irvin (9), Josh Hull (10), Thomas Mougin (13), Chris Murry (17), Matt Moomey (19), John Ferron (22), Barry Cornet (23), Nicole Martin (26), Mike Moomey (27), Kenny Malloch (51), and Barry Beckner (82).