Coming off a loss in their season opener last week, the Red Foxes were primed for a win at Saturday’s Pink the Rink game against Clarkson University. As they do annually, the team partnered with Marist Sorority Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ) to raise money as a part of breast cancer awareness month. The team swapped out their red jerseys for pink getups, and every fan in attendance made an attempt to have pink somewhere in their wardrobe. The support for the team was evident; the support for the cause was rampant and strong.
The game, though, was brutal right from the start. Marist had the first penalty after one player lost his stick, but continued on without it until the end of the play 20 seconds later. Marist’s first goal came with 11 minutes left in the first period, as Clarkson was playing with a man down.
With less than two minutes left in the first period, a Clarkson attacker scored to tie the game. But one minute later, Marist’s Bryce Gomez responded with a goal of his own, putting Marist ahead at the end of the first period, 2-1.
Halfway through the second period, the Red Foxes penalty box was a tad overcrowded as two men found themselves behind the glass. Down by two players on the ice, the Red Fox defense held it together long enough for their team to score another goal once both men were back in. Clarkson immediately returned with a goal of their own. Through two periods, Marist held a 3-2 lead. The break featured a bit of in-game entertainment: a Zamboni driver honking and waving to the roaring fans, much to their delight.
“So far, all of our systems are working pretty well. Defensively we’re really strong,” said Freshman defender Tucker Redstone. He’s waiting for his upcoming 18th birthday, which will grant him the eligibility he needs to officially join the team. His support was unwavering, though; he could be found among the bleachers on Saturday, cheering on his team in a jacket, tie, and pink button-up.
The first 15 minutes of the final period consisted of a lot of back and forth, with plenty of shots but no goals. That was until Bryce Gomez — again — scored with five minutes remaining. Clarkson would score once more, a last-ditch effort to push the offense forward and get within one of Marist’s four. The Golden Knights pulled their goalie with 36 seconds left, but the offense wouldn’t respond to the change. Marist skated off winners by a final score of 4-3.
Fans had plenty of reasons to enjoy the afternoon. The teams were evenly matched, the competitive game matching the atmosphere inside the arena. A Clarkson player’s fist nearly made every hockey fans’ dream come true, coming close to starting a fight. But for many, Saturday was much more than a mere hockey game.
“My grandmother had breast cancer. It means a lot to me,” said Redstone. Sigma Sigma Sigma has been working with Marist Hockey Team for three years on the Pink the Rink event. As a sorority, the Sigma sisters arrive before all the other fans do and decorate the rink, pink balloons and streamers cluttering the bleachers. They also organize a raffle, sell shirts, and donate every fan’s $5 entrance fee to benefit breast cancer awareness.
“Three years ago we had a sister whose mom passed away from breast cancer,” senior Sarah Lewis said. “She was really passionate about the cause so we decided to team up with the hockey team and do the Pink the Rink for the first time.”
Twelve years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it, but unfortunately, she is fighting it once again. We won’t be as lucky this time. I love Marist and the people here. Seeing my friends and classmates support not only each other but this amazing cause has me beyond words.
I’ve seen first hand what the money that helps fund research for this disease can do. I’m so lucky to have had the last 12 years with my mother due to the research and the care she received. Now, the treatments are even better than they were then and she’s receiving better care than we could have ever asked for. With wonderful people like those here at Marist making an effort to support this cause, it will only continue to improve.
Edited by Will Bjarnar