The MV Arena was packed to the rafters Saturday evening for the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Police vs. Fire hockey game. Newly appointed West Tisbury police chief and MVRHS boys varsity hockey coach Matt Mincone showed how it’s done by chalking up a hat trick to go with two assists. Tim Millerick also notched a hat trick, while Mike Snowden, Bob Branca, and Noah Stobie scored a goal apiece for the men in blue. Oak Bluffs EMT and former MVRHS hockey (field and ice) standout Belle Dinning lit the lamp for Team Fire.
As was the case in the inaugural game last year, the police dominated on the scoreboard during regulation play, but the fire department was rewarded for heart, soul, and sweat, and earned a 9-9 tie for effort. In the ensuing overtime shootout, Edgartown Police Officer Zach Townes used some nifty stickhandling to score the only goal.
“It’s not about the score, it’s about people wanting to get involved and people who haven’t played hockey getting to play and, at the end of the day, we’re all on the same team,” said Tisbury Police Detective Max Sherman, who picked up an assist in the game.
The event began with Jamie Douglas playing the bagpipes as the teams took to the ice. The Oak Bluffs Police Department Honor Guard lined up between the face-off circles as Joanne and Samantha Cassidy sang the national anthem.
During the first intermission, the Vineyard Travel Mites showed their stuff to the capacity crowd. Ben Kokoszka tallied twice for the purple team, and Russell Coogan netted a goal for the gold Mites.
Goals and competition aside, everyone, on and off the ice, enjoyed some spirited hockey on St. Patrick’s Day, and the event raised $9,000 for Vineyard House, a sober living residence that helps Island men and women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Additionally, funds acquired through player registration fees and donation boxes raised an additional $500 for Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hockey programs, and a public skate, held prior to the hockey game, raised more than $6,000 to help cover medical costs for Edgartown deputy harbormaster and arena Zamboni driver Mike Hathaway, who was seriously injured after a boat fell on him in an accident on March 12.