By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
The Washington Stealth and the Everett Silvertips got together at Comcast Arena on Thursday night to play the inaugural Comcast Arena Classic, a charity lacrosse game that mixed players from both the Stealth and the Tips into two separate teams in a game to raise money for youth sports groups.
The teams were dubbed “Team White” and “Team Black” based on jersey color and in the end, Team White defeated Team Black 20-16.
But really the only number that mattered was $15,815. That was the estimated amount of money raised with all 100 percent going to clubs such as the Everett Boys and Girls Club, Everett Youth Hockey and more than a dozen youth lacrosse clubs in the area.
What made the night even better for myself and Silvertips beat writer Nick Patterson was being asked by the front office of both teams if we would be assistant coaches in the game. I teamed up with Stealth assistant coach Art Webster to lead Team White and Nick was with Stealth assistant coach Dan Perreault and Silvertips coach Garry Davidson to lead Team Black.
I will take this moment to relish in my first – and probably ever – lacrosse coaching victory.
Actually, Nick and I probably didn’t do much coaching. Well, that’s a lie. I know I didn’t do any. The most I did was marvel at the athletic ability of all the athletes throughout the game. I’m guessing Nick didn’t do much either considering he told me before the game that he didn’t know anything about lacrosse which is probably only slightly less than I know.
The real story of the game was what the players were there for, to raise money for youth sports programs.
The great thing about the Stealth has not just been the great product they put on the floor, but how involved and how willing they are to help with the community. On Thursday, I realized that they weren’t the only team in town that is willing and wants to do so.
This event has the potential to be something that grows each year and can really help youngsters in our community.
On top of that it was great to see the sportsmanship between the two teams. The Silvertips players took the event seriously and tried as hard as they could. By then end of the game it was more than evident how much they had improved throughout the game itself.
Their improvement helped both teams because each goal scored by a Tips player was worth two points, as opposed to just one for a Stealth player.
The Stealth players were more than willing to help their fellow tenants of Comcast Arena learn the game and improve throughout.
The game couldn’t have been any better. Team Black jumped out to a 5-1 lead before our guys on Team White got their act together. Stealth defenseman Kyle Sorensen scored an empty-netter as time expired in the first half to give Team White an 8-6 lead. We finished the second quarter on a 7-1 run.
In the third quarter our guys picked up right where they left off. We outscored Team Black 9-0 in the quarter to take a 17-6 lead.
Team Black did its best to comeback. It came back from an 11-goal deficit with a 10-1 run to make it 18-16 late. Then Silvertips rookie forward Mitch Skapski iced the game with a beautiful diving goal from behind the net late in the fourth quarter.
Not to call out Team Black, but I’m pretty sure some of the Stealth guys were wearing Tips jerseys late in the game in attempt to catch up with two-point goals.
All in the name of fun of course.
The Stealth and Tips nailed this one. It was a great night for the community and a great night for both teams.
I think it is the start of something special.
As for next year, rumor has it the event will continue – this time on ice.
Inside sources tell me many of the Stealth players played hockey when they were younger. It could make for another great competitive night.
If I’m asked back again I just might do it. I feel confident in coming out of coaching retirement for the chance to go 2-0.