Boston University hosted the 4th Annual Comm Ave Charity Classic on Friday, August 24th 2018 in the Walter Brown Arena. The Charity Classic was setup by Boston College Alumni Pat Mullane and Andrew Orpik where they invite fellow alumni now playing in the NHL/AHL to compete for a great cause. “Current and former NHL players face off in this BC vs BU alumni hockey game in honor of Pete Frates, Dick Kelley, Travis Roy, and all those who have been affected by ALS and spinal cord injuries. All proceeds benefit Compassionate Care ALS, Pete Frates Home Health Initiative, and the Travis Roy Foundation. The game has raised over $180,000 since its inception in 2015.” This year’s Classic set a record raising $78,432 to be added to the sum of past years.
Outside the Walter Brown before the event, the players had to walk from the parking garage across the street to enter the arena where swarms of children and fans waited to greet them. The players all stopped to get pictures and sign shirts, programs, and other memorabilia while still carrying their bags, gear, and sticks. And since it was at an intersection, we all got to see a lot of children almost get hit by cars. A grown man also stopped one of the players in the middle of the street to sign his program while cars were trying to drive through the intersection. Like it’s cool, he wanted his autograph and everything I get that but let’s not put his health and career at risk by getting him hit by a car on his way to a charity game, okay?
At the beginning of the game itself, Travis Roy spoke, welcoming and thanking everyone for their attendance and support. He kept his speech short and sweet as he was ready to watch some quality hockey. Also going on was a silent auction and basket raffle of autographed memorabilia of the present alumni and ticket packages for each school. Additionally, they sold Comm Ave Charity Classic t-shirts and I was super happy to see they were donated (I assume, they were donated with it being a charity event and all) by ’47 brand as their shirts are suuuuuper soft and durable.
Being a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, it was fun to watch all the new, current, and former Penguins compete with and against each other as they were well represented. Nick Bonino played for Boston University while Brooks Orpik, Brian Dumoulin, Brian Gibbons, Jimmy Hayes, and Philip Samuelsson participated as Golden Eagles. Being one of the newest Penguins, Jimmy Hayes had a lot of pressure placed on him (mainly by myself) and he held his own out on the ice. Although, little brother Kevin put on a better show.
The outcome of the game could’ve been better but Boston University topped Boston College 10-5. However, Boston University couldn’t field a full roster with just their committed alumni for this year’s Classic so they invited NHL players Jimmy Vesey, Ryan Donato, and Adam Gaudette to play for them. It was a good thing they did as the three put up five of BU’s goals. So technically, BU’s alumni only scored five goals which means that they did not beat BC but tied them 5-BU, 5-BC, 5-Harvard/Northeastern.
Overall, this was a really great experience and the trip from Pittsburgh, PA for the game was definitely worth it. I highly recommend that everyone attend a type of charity game like this one!
Joe Pearce / G / 2007 / Boston College
Mike Mottau / D / 2000 / Florida Panthers
Ian McCoshen / D / 2017 / Florida Panthers
Noah Hanifin / D / 2018 / Calgary Flames
Mike Matheson / D / 2016 / Florida Panthers
Brian Dumoulin / D / 2013 / Pittsburgh Penguins
Jimmy Hayes / F / 2012 / Pittsburgh Penguins
Brian Boyle / F / 2007 / New Jersey Devils
Kevin Hayes / F / 2014 / New York Rangers
Stephen Gionta / F / 2006 / New York Islanders
Brian Gibbons / F / 2011 / Anaheim Ducks
Colin White / F / 2019 / Ottawa Senators
Chris Kreider / F / 2013 / New York Rangers
Paul Carey / F / 2012 / Ottawa Senators
Patrick Brown / F / 2014 / Carolina Hurricanes
Zach Sanford / F / 2018 / St. Louis Blues
Philip Samuelsson / D / 2013 / Charlotte Checkers
Chris Venti / G / 2012 / Boston College
Ryan Fitzgerald / F / 2017 / Boston Bruins
Nathan Gerbe / F / 2009 / Columbus Blue Jackets
Brooks Orpik / D / 2002 / Washington Capitals
Charlie Coyle / F / 2014 / Minnesota Wild
Brandon Hickey / D / 2018 / Buffalo Sabres
Matt Grzelcyk / D / 2016 / Boston Bruins
Kevin Schaeffer / D / 2007 / Providence Bruins – Retired
Brian Strait / D / 2009 / New Jersey Devils
Adam Gaudette / F / Northeastern 2019 / Vancouver Canucks
Clayton Keller / F / 2021 / Arizona Coyotes
Danny O’Regan / F / 2016 / Buffalo Sabres
Nick Bonino / F / 2011 / Nashville Predators
Jack Eichel / F / 2019 / Buffalo Sabres
Ryan Donato / F / Harvard 2019 / Boston Bruins
Drew Melanson / F / 2018 / New York Rangers
Jimmy Vesey / F / Harvard 2016 / New York Rangers
Jay Pandolfo / F / 1996 / Boston Bruins
John McCarthy / F / 2009 / San Jose Sharks
Evan Rodrigues / F / 2015 / Buffalo Sabres
Charlie McAvoy / D / 2019 / Boston Bruins
Mike Condon / G / Ottawa Senators