By Phillip Goodman
The Ice Raiders split their squad across two teams and blended in a mix of fireman, highway patrol, and sheriffs for the first ever Reno First Responders Hockey Classic presented by LeBleu’s Painting last Saturday night at Reno Ice.
Players came from Folsom Fire, Sparks Fire, Washoe and Plumas County Sheriffs, Elk Grove Fire, Sacramento Fire, Roseville Fire, and Nevada Dept. of Corrections. Ice Raider regular Julian Hererra, a San Joaquin County Sheriff, also participated.
The teams donned white or black jerseys with greyed American flags, save for one red and one blue stripe each and the First Responders game logo filled the Ice Raiders’ crest on the front.
Team Black built a 5-0 lead close to halfway through the second period. Team White called a timeout and the break mustered quite the inspiration. From the 8:25 mark of period two to 12:42 of period three, Team White outscored Team Black 9-1 to go up 9-6 late in the third. Team Black netted two more late for but Team White fought off the late push to hold on for a 9-8 win.
LeBleu's Painting of Dixon, CA poured in $125 per goal scored, racking up $2,125 in donations. To cap it off, LeBleu’s Painting just simply decided to round it up to $2,500 by night’s end. At the end of the second period, Norman LeBleu, owner of LeBleu’s Painting, put up a challenge for one first responder to fire one puck from center ice for an extra $1,000 donation. TNT Yard Service of Reno matched LeBleu’s $1,000 on that under-pressure goal.
Because the event was completely sold out, Ice Raiders General Manager Jess Peterson and Reno Ice General Manager Cameron Sorenson were able to present a check for $5,000 to Michaelangelo Aranda of the American Red Cross Northern Nevada Chapter. In total, over $7,000 was raised for the victims of the Caldor and Dixie Fires. Battalion Chief Brad Jensen from the Reno Fire Department and Chief Officer Greg Herrera from the Washoe County Sheriff's office were also on hand to drop ceremonial pucks.
Ice Raider Simon LeBleu got in contact with Jake Bisetti of Folsom Fire months ago through a mutual friend and together they were able to coordinate making this event happen.
“The crowd and Reno fans were truly amazing!” said Bisetti. “The atmosphere was electric! Thank you all, it was an amazing event!”
Jake, thank you and all the first responders that keep us safe.
Brewer’s Cabinet maker of the Ice Raiders Brew, Power Play. Was also on hand and collected over $250 to sweeten the pot even more. Once again the Reno Ice Raider’s couldn’t do any of this without our other sponsors and supporters. All of which you can find on our website and in the bottom of this email.