Players from the Minuteman Flames 2001 AAA Hockey Team are taking some time off the ice to participate in the upcoming One Mission Kid's Cancer Buzz-Off, an event to raise money for children and their families fighting pediatric cancer.
The talented group of 11-year-olds, who also won the 2012 EHF AAA Championship in March, will travel to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, June 3 to shave their heads and donate to the Locks of Love charity.
The select group from the Eastern Hockey Federation is led by head coach and former NHL San Jose Shark's player Kevin Sullivan, Team Manager Peter Boyd, and assistant coaches Paul Carpenter, Dave Sloan and Brian Jefferies. They play teams across Massachusetts including Boston and Springfield, Connecticut and as far as Toronto, Canada.
"It's a huge commitment," Assistant Coach Paul Carpenter of Auburn said.
Typically, from September to March, players practice for 90 minutes, twice a week at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough in addition to weekend games and hockey clinics.
According to Team Manager Peter Boyd of Auburn, the team, coaches and management decided the Cancer Buzz Off would be a great way to teach the boys a valuable lesson during the off-season.
"This supports pediatric cancer. We thought the kids could relate to that - supporting other children," Boyd said. "We've had families on our team directly affected by cancer. So this means a lot to these families. The kids have really stepped up - there has been no complaining."
Since April, the team has raised over $6,000 in donations. The young players have also dug deep into their own pockets to contribute including Boyd's son, Jack, who donated $100 from his own personal savings.
According to Boyd, this is the first year the team has participated in the Kid's Cancer Buzz Off, but hopefully not the last.
"We only had a month to fundraise but we're trying to find something that we can support every year," Boyd said. "We have a great group of people. It starts with the head coach and his philosophy - teaching the boys to become men on the ice but also off the ice. That has been a tone set from day one."
Anyone who would like to donate to the One Mission Kid's Cancer Buzz-Off, should visit The Flames 2001 Fundraising page. All proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital Boston and the vital programs and services they provide to help kids beat cancer.
Team players include Jack Boyd and Cam Carpenter of Auburn; Danny Holloway of Shrewsbury; Vinny Pascale and Casey Sullivan of Westborough; Matt Mahan of Worcester; Tim Farley of Paxton; Jack Sloan, Bobby Petracca and Luke Glidden of Hopkinton; Jackson Hornung of Ashland; Tyler Wilson of Hamden; Colby Doiron of Leominster; Kevin Kelly of Holliston; Ethan Thorpe of Woodstock CT; Alex Jefferies of Lunenburg.