While they are fierce rivals on the ice, the Christian Brothers Academy and Don Bosco Prep hockey teams will come together in January for a great cause: Military Appreciation Night.
On Wednesday, January 6th, CBA will host Don Bosco in a Gordon Conference match-up at Jersey Shore Arena, which will serve as the appreciation night. The game starts at 5:15 p.m.
The teams are working in conjunction with the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Foundation, an organization that was founded in memory of the CBA graduate who was killed in action in 2005. The Foundation hopes to raise $15,000 in order to fund the purchase of a service dog for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"We are honored to be partnering with Don Bosco and the Zilinski Foundation for such an important cause," Director of Athletics Vito Chiaravalloti said. "Dennis was such an incredible individual and a heroic American. He made the ultimate sacrifice and his family has had the courage and strength to help so many military families in his honor."
We are asking for a $20 donation for admission and both the Colts and Ironmen will wear special camouflage jerseys for the game, with the CBA team auctioning off their jerseys after the contest.
Limited edition t-shirts, featuring shield logo seen above, will be sold by both teams prior and during the game.
Proceeds from the tickets, jersey auction and t-shirt sales will go towards the Zilinski Foundation's goal of a service dog.
"We are beginning a tradition at CBA, with the hockey program, of giving back to the men and women that have sacrificed so much," head coach Ryan Bogan said. "Hopefully each year, our 'thank you' to our service men and women grows larger and larger."
While the evening will mean something greater, the game between state power programs will certainly be worth the price of admission. Coach Bogan made sure to point out that Don Bosco could be the team that the Colts have the most to prove against this season, despite CBA being the defending state champions.
"Although at the end of the night there will be a team that wins and one that loses, both sides will be giving their all to honor those who protect our freedom," Chiaravalloti said.