Charbonneau remembered with friends, fun and hockey
Ian Pollock, who was once a neighbor and teammate of Charbonneau said, "It's great that Dave [Fitzgerald] put this together," and that the game was about "coming together with friends and playing with a smile on your face." He also said that "doing something for a person is the best way to remember them by." Kelsey Cone, a friend of Charbonneau's sister and who knew him through hockey, had similar thoughts, saying that the game showed "how much a community can come together to help one family."
Arriving at the event, one would find a packed parking lot, a lobby bursting with energetic excitement and music blaring from in the rink. The two teams competing were nicknamed The Bulldogs and The Red Wings and had rosters very well-balanced as the first two periods would reveal. Before the puck dropped, Charbonneau's old hockey #6 jersey was presented in a display case that will be hung in the rink warming room for all to admire. Cory Herrington, who had once been Charbonneau's coach and suited up to play for the Red Wings, presented the case to Charbonneau's mother, B. J., who was escorted on the ice by referee, Ben Jenkins, and daughter, Danielle.
Following the presentation, Charbonneau's sister Amy Charbonneau did the honors of dropping the puck to begin the game. The game began very evenly, something that extended throughout the game until the last ten minutes, leaving the final score 8-5 in favor of the Bulldogs, who were made up of Danielle Charbonneau, Kelsey Cone, Lou Lou Wheeler, Marie Van Der Kar, Garret Brownlee, Mark Slade, Scott Dommenge, Wayne Hemmingway, Greg Clark, John Sisters, Matt Van Der Kar, Chris Murray, Tim Welsh, Gunner Johnson, Brendan McCarthy, Sooner Dawsen, Ian Pollock, goalie Will Lewis, coaches Carey Lewis, Joe Charbonneau, and Paul Barci. But it was the Red Wings, made up of Aiden Charbonneau, Austin Charbonneau, Greg Wyman, Kevin Hill, Jim Thibodeau, Alex Miskovsky, Miles Nathan, Eric Johnson, Chris Coppin, Ethan Edson, Brian Flanagan, Mark Tashjian, Cory Herrington, Kevin Flanagan, Alex Elias, Jamie Hand, goalies Tim Stewart and Keith Heingartner, and coaches Dick Charbonneau and Don Bierwirth, that struck first.
The Red Wings broke into the Bulldogs' zone and Brian Flanagan slapped home a shot on a pass sent from Chris Coppin two minutes into the second period. The Bulldogs were quick to answer back when John Sisters snuck around Tim Stewart. The game continued in the Red Wings' zone for the first half of the period until the Red Wings broke into the Bulldog zone and Coppin sent a pass to Alex Elias to take the lead. This seemed to be all the push the Red Wings needed as they quickly scored two more in the last minutes of the period, Mark Tashjian scoring one from a Cory Herrington pass as there was an enormous pile-up in front of the Bulldog net and one with four seconds to go by Miles Nathan.
The players took a break from the game to participate in a shoot-out. The players were judged based on how loud the fans cheered when they scored. And though the Bulldogs ended up scoring five goals out of ten to the Red Wings' four, Dick Charbonneau was named winner as his goal had sent the "Fan O-Meter" off the chart.
When the game began again, possession began to change once the third period started and Brian Flanagan scored within the first 45 seconds on Heingartner. The Bulldogs continued to close the gap on the Red Wings when Ian Pollock hit home a Hemingway pass in front of the net. The rest of the game saw a higher level of physicality, though no penalties were called throughout. Hemingway tied things up with a tricky shot from the slot assisted by Sisters. The Bulldogs then took the lead with another goal from the slot by Sooner Dawsen. The Bulldogs would earn three more goals before the end of the game- one a five-hole goal by Brendan McCarthy, one a cross-net deke by Tim Welsh, and an empty-net goal by Pollock with twenty seconds to go. The Red Wings were able only to score once more before the end of the game with a beautiful Miles Nathan pass across the net to a tip in by Tashjian.
The night was concluded with refreshments and live music from the Don't Leave band led by Bill Muench. The ice time for the game was donated by Riley Rink and almost $7,000 was collected to be donated to the Charbonneau family.
Thalia Berard is a senior at Burr and Burton Academy.
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