Amherstburg Police Service takes ice against Admirals for charity game
By Justin Prince
Members of the Amherstburg Police Service traded in their badges and uniforms for hockey pads and skates to raise money for a good cause.
The police service raised more than $400 for the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics after playing a charity hockey game against the Amherstburg Admirals June 5. They played in front of more than 40 people at the Libro Credit Union Centre. It was the second time in the game’s 29-year history the town’s police service played against the Admirals. Prior to 2014, the police team’s opponents included the Amherstburg Fire Department and the General Amherst High School boys’ hockey team. The police service has been holding the charity game since 1986. The Admrials won the game 12-7.
“It’s always a pleasure to play against these young men,” said Sgt. Mike Cox, torch run coordinator for the police service. “It’s always a lot of fun and we keep it a lot of fun. Obviously we don’t take it too seriously because obviously they would totally destroy us because they’re a good hockey team.”
Players from both sides showed they were having fun as the game progressed, but the police didn’t make it easy for the Admirals. Both teams scored three goals each early in the first period. The Admirals would later respond by scoring three more goals before intermission. Goaltender Const. Nick Damore could be seen looking at the scoreboard behind him after allowing his sixth goal of the game.
In the second and final period, the police service team was able to get within two goals of the lead with 20 minutes to go, but the Admirals would go on to score four goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to secure the victory. For some members of the Admirals, it was the first time they had played in a game since losing to the Essex 73’s in the Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League finals in March.
“It was fun,” said Admirals captain Luke Gangnon after the game. “It’s always a good thing to get out there with the community. I think it’s good for the community to have a charity event like this in our hometown.”
The Amherstburg Police have raised more than $5,000 for the torch run so far this year, according to Cox. The service has raised the funds through donations, bagging groceries and by hosting other events. The donations are used to raise funds to benefit a number of programs and raise awareness for the Special Olympics. The run has been recognized as the charity of choice for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police since 1987. Cox said any donations they received would be a plus.
“The Special Olympics torch run is one of the most important things that we can raise money for in the town of Amherstburg,” said Admirals assistant general manager Matt Dumouchelle, who will be starting his second season with the team this September. “The town itself is a very giving community and certainly loves to step up and take charge in great events like this. We’re just happy to be a part of it and happy to put our name towards such a great cause.”
Cox said he hopes the charity game continues to be held by the Amherstburg police and is successful for a long time.
“We’ll be here hopefully for another 29 years, hopefully 100 years,” said Cox. “If we can help some people and affect a positive change in our lives, that’s what it’s all about.”