RIT, Plattsburgh and Norwich all playing for a cause

Three of the top programs in D-III women’s hockey will be gearing up to play for a cause over the next two weekends.

Top-ranked RIT will host No. 4 Plattsburgh State for a pair of ECAC West games that are being dubbed “Black Out Heart Disease” weekend.

The Tigers will be wearing special-edition black jerseys that are currently up for bid on this nifty website that RIT has created. Seriously, you have to take a look at how the school set up this website for the jersey auction. It’s definitely the most impressive jersey auction I’ve ever seen. You can view the website here: http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/fingerlakeshealth/bidding.php

Yes, that’s Katie Stack’s jersey going for $500 at the moment and here’s a link to a great article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on the senior forward as she nears the RIT career goals record: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011101130319

“Anytime you can team up with a great organization like Finger Lakes Health and bring awareness to heart disease and the impact it has on so many families is a good thing'” said RIT Head Coach Scott McDonald. “This is a win-win situation for Finger Lakes Health, RIT and our community. This is going to a huge event between two talented teams, raising awareness for a very important cause.”

On Jan. 21, Geneva General Cardiologist Dr. Joe Gomez, and RIT President Bill Destler will drop the ceremonial first puck. There will be raffles and special giveaways during both contests. Friday’s game is a SAAC Tiger Den Event, with special black and orange rally towels to be handed out before each game. Following Saturday’s contest, the Tigers will hold a special autograph session at the RITz Sports Zone, where fans can obtain a 2010-11 team photo to be signed by members of the squad.

-Courtesy of RIT Sports Information-

Norwich will also be holding an awareness night this weekend as the Cadets host St. Michaels on Saturday in the “Cadets Skate For The Cure” Night 2011.

This marks the second straight season that Norwich is holding a cancer awareness night. The Cadets will don special-edition pink jerseys for Saturday’s game with all proceeds set to go to the SD Ireland Cancer Research Fund, which has raised over $1.8 million to date since its inception in 1999.

“Our league (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) has done a cancer awareness week in the past so we wanted to get on board and help bring awareness to the hockey world,” Norwich coach Mark Bolding said.

“This is the second year we’ve done a fight cancer night and it’s nice to have an in-state rival like St. Michael’s come in and join together to play hard for a good cause so that a game of hockey came help bring a little more awareness and money to cancer research.”

The Norwich athletic community was recently hit hard by cancer with the loss of a student athlete earlier this year.

Mackenzie Pratt, a standout pitcher for the NU softball team passed away on Oct. 10 from complications related to cancer. The 21-year-old from Hyde Park, Vt. would have graduated this spring.

-Courtesy of Norwich Sports Information-

Plattsburgh will go from being the visiting team this weekend for an awareness event, to hosting its own next weekend when the Cardinals take on Oswego.

The Cardinals, like Norwich, will “Pink the Rink” and wear special-edition pink jerseys in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Plattsburgh is auctioning off the jerseys as well and there are still a few available for purchase on the Cardinals’ website. They also have a “buy it now” feature and you can own a one-of-a-kind jersey for $200. You can find the bidding page here: http://www.gocardinalsports.com/sports/2010/12/27/WHOCKEY_1227104351.aspx?path=whockey

The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team will join forces with Off the Field Sports, Hampton Inn & Suites and Della Honda in an effort to “Pink the Rink” and raise awareness for breast cancer on Saturday, Jan. 29.

As a fundraising effort, admission to the event is $5.  Fans can also support the cause by participating in a 50/50 raffle or purchasing a limited edition “Pink the Rink” t-shirt, which will be on sale at the event. All proceeds from the event and the online jersey auction will go to the Fitzpatrick Cancer Center Treasure Chests Fund of CVPH.

-Courtesy of Plattsburgh Sports Information-

I find it remarkable that these types of events are starting to occur more and more often and my hat is off to all three programs for taking up the fight against heart disease and cancer.

Hopefully this is only the start and more programs pick up playing for a cause in the coming years.

Lastly, does anyone have $510 they’d lend me so I can be the new high bidder on Stack’s jersey? ;)