Roller hockey’s weekend game more than just another matchup

By Ed Rietveld

Friday evening was about more than playing just another game for NIU’s roller hockey team.

The Huskies played the Chi-Town Shamrocks in a charity game, with the proceeds benefiting the wounded warrior foundation.

The Huskies won 10-9, as junior forwards TJ Wolfe, Zach Tucker and Tom Budcynski all registered hat-trick in the victory for NIU. The numbers on the scoreboard, however, were not the reason why this game was played on Friday night.

Ryan Olenski, NIU roller hockey president and captain, said an event like this helps the club give back to the community.

“It’s really great,” Olenski said. “I mean, it definitely gives us a chance to give back to the community. There’s a bunch of veterans that were friends with and that we know in the community and it gives us a chance to help out and give them money for things that we do.”

“It means a lot to us,” said Sean Conlon, Shamrocks owner and player. “The Army gives us so much and everybody fighting overseas give us so much…there are people who give us their lives, a lot of people, for our freedom. I figure the least we can do is give back a little bit.”

Friday night’s game meant more for Shamrocks’ goaltender John Nuñez, who has a brother serving in the Marines talked about what this game meant to him.

“I’m proud to call him my brother, you know, he does a great job for this country,” Nuñez said.