By Katie Krull
The Saint Mary’s men’s hockey team continues to give back to the community through their annual games to honor veterans and donate teddy bears to Toys for Tots.
This is the second year that the SMU hockey team has hosted a game to honor veterans. This game really hits home for the Cardinals because of an alumnus that had served in Afghanistan and lost both of his legs in a tragic accident.
“We thought that it would be a good way to honor him,” said Head Coach Bill Moore. “And it went over so well we decided to make it an annual event.” The proceeds of this year’s game have been donated to help maintain Vet’s Park at Lake Winona. In addition to dedicating the game to veterans, the players also donated their time to repaint parts of the park.
The hockey team also hosts the “Teddy Bear Toss.” This game, which benefits Toys for Tots, was inspired by watching other teams give back to their communities. For this game, the fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears or buy teddy bears at the game to throw onto the ice after the Cardinals’ first goal or the first period. This event has been taking place for three years, and the SMU hockey team is one of the largest contributors to Winona’s Toys for Tots foundation, according to Coach Moore.
The Cardinals wrap up the first half of their season with all away games. However, students are encouraged to wish the Cardinals good luck and attend the games during second semester.
When the hockey team isn’t donating their time to the community, they are on the ice sharpening their skills in order to maintain a winning conference record.