Elmira renews friendly rivalry off-ice

More news about: Elmira

By Don Sherman, Elmira College
Special to D3hockey.com 

ELMIRA, NY-The Elmira College men's ice hockey team made its annual visit to the Greater Southern Tier Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) on Tuesday afternoon. The Soaring Eagles took part in the latest installment in what has been a long-standing series between the Elmira men and the Elsmere Eagles Special Olympic Floor Hockey team.
"We look forward to this game every year," said Head Coach Aaron Saul '98. "It's a great event that we've been participating in for over 20 years. Our players enjoy coming to this event. It's a great feeling to compete against a team prepping for the state tournament."
 
The Elmira men's ice hockey team and Elmira BOCES have met each other in a day of friendly competition every year since the mid-1980s. As in previous years, Tuesday's event served as tune-up game for the Elsmere Eagles, who are coming off of a silver medal performance at regionals last week and are preparing for the Special Olympics later this month.
 
"This event from the day it ends the prior year until now, every single week, the kids are asking about it," said Frank Speciale, BOCES staff member and master of ceremonies for Tuesday's event. "This day will be talked about for a long time by a lot of the kids. This is a really special day for them. Some of them do not get many events to play in and this is one of the special ones that they really look forward to all year long."
 
A change in this year's event featured the Soaring Eagles against the Elsmere Eagles Skills Team and the Olympic Team. As has been the case in previous matchups at the BOCES campus gymnasium, the Special Olympians played in front of a packed house with standing room only. Both ends of the gym were filled to see the Elsmere Eagles Skills Team take down EC, 8-5, before the Special Olympic team marched away with a one-sided 11-1 win to extend their win streak and add to their spotless record against the Soaring Eagles. 
 
"The community always comes out to our games, so it's nice to give back," said captain Eddie Nolan '17. "I know our guys look forward to this event every year. It' fun and we have a great time doing it."

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