GRAND RAPIDS. Mich. (WOOD) — You have the chance this weekend to see the Grand Rapids Fire Department take on the Grand Rapids Police Department on the ice at Van Andel Arena.
“Last year was a really good game. Came down to the last couple of minutes. We expect this year to be a tough, hard-fought one,” Officer Richie Lee said.
This is the second year the two teams with go head-to-head on the ice, raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“The fire department union … has a longstanding history with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, so this is just a way for us to raise more money for them,” firefighter Mike Walker said.
Last year’s was a close game, with GRFD coming out victorious 4-3.
“I don’t want to go into it with any sort of bragging at all. It was tight last year and it’s going to be tight again this year. We know they have been skating a lot. We’re going to grind it out and hopefully get the win,” Walker said.
While they are amateur players, many are on recreational leagues. They have also been hosting practices to get ready. GRPD posted on Twitter that almost all its players have a background in competitive travel hockey or high school or college play.
“It’s going to be a fun game, beer league-level hockey, nothing better than that. But last year there was a fight; a lot of people that like hockey like a fight so maybe you’ll see another one,” Lee said.
Last year, more than 1,000 people attended the game and the groups raised more than $13,500 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, with $5,000 of that coming just from ticket sales. The departments hope to exceed those numbers this year.
“Come on out if you like hockey at all. Even if you don’t like hockey, if you want to come on out and have a good laugh at a bunch of old guys trying to play hockey and look tired while doing it, it’s the perfect opportunity to do that. It’s a great thing for the kids. It’s a great way to see the fire department, police department in a different light and it’s for a good cause. (The) Muscular Dystrophy Association does a of stuff locally for a lot of local families,” Walker said.
The game is at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Van Andel Arena, with tickets ranging from $22 to $32. Tickets purchased for the charity game will also get you into the Grand Rapids Griffins game Saturday evening.