The 2018 JBT Benefit Game, held on March 3rd at the Merrill Fay Arena, turned out to be a special night in more ways than one. With a large crowd of several hundred Wolves fans in attendance, fundraising set a new high for online donations ($22,355.00) for the Cure Starts Now Foundation, March 3rd also became the first day that a Laconia- based Jr A hockey team has qualified for post-season play.
With an afternoon loss by the TA Seahawks, the Wolves officially clinched their postseason berth. ”Our program is building and trending in the right direction. I am very proud of these young men.” Said GM/ Head Coach Andrew Trimble. The former Laconia Leafs Jr A franchise, competing in the AJHL between 2005-2013 never qualified for post-season play. The Wolves program, achieved a post-season berth in 2016 when based in Waterville Valley, but last years Laconia based JR A team finished in last place. This years squad has now set a new high for EHL wins (top division)and will be starting the playoffs next weekend.
”My U19 teams have been successful, but going to the older level this season is a big jump, and I am proud of what these men have persevered through.” Trimble commented.
The Wolves accomplished this feat on a day that fundraises for the Cure Starts Now Foundation, in the name of John Bradley Thompson(JBT) a Gilford boy who passed in 2014 after a nearly year long fight against DIPG, an inoperable brain cancer. Trimble continued, “JBT is in our hearts forever in this community and in our program. This game is always a highlight of our season.”
With local fans and ex- NHLers competing in the intermission 1on 1 competition, fundraisers were able to raise over $22,000 for the foundation, surpassing last years total, and eclipsing the two years previous combined total. Abby Fopiano scored on Wolves netminder Chris Mattone to take the mini 1v1 trophy in the 2nd intermission. “We can’t thank the Thompson family enough for allowing us to hold this event and give back.” Trimble said.
The Wolves start the EHL playoffs next weekend vs the Walpole Express. The EHLP team, also playoff qualifiers, starts the EHLP playoffs this week vs the Valley JR Warriors. For more info log on to- www.americanhockeyinstitute.com