By: Gayle Troiani | Follow me on Twitter @LadyBruinsFan
For the past seven years, the Boston Bruins Alumni and Matt Light Foundation All-Stars have laced up the skates and faced off in a benefit game to support The Light Foundation in their mission to help young people on their leadership journey. This year the game will take place at Warrior Ice Arena on Sunday, December 18, with puck drop at 4:30 PM.
“This is our annual grudge match,” Light Foundation Board Member and event organizer Bob Loffredo said. “Unfortunately, I’ve never had a good game. One year I’ll coach and not play, but not this year.”
Loffredo said he has every game taped and has individual stats for each player that has played for the Light Foundation and the Bruins Alumni.
“I know I would like to beat them once,” Loffredo laughed. ” We have a great time. We’ve run into a hot goalie for at least a couple of years. In our second year, I believe the score was 22-4. A complete beatdown. But it was a good game, and we raised a lot of money for a good cause.”
Boston Bruins Alumni current Vice President and incoming President Frank Simonetti said the event would be a little more special this year because it will be Rick Middleton’s last game as the President of the Alumni.
“He will be coaching and then heading to Florida,” Simonetti said. “It’s always a competitive, enjoyable game. Our guys get it. They get why we do this. This is one of the games we look forward to each year.”
Middleton is expected to coach Simonetti along with fellow alumni Raymond Bourque, Tom Songin, Joey Mullen, Mark Mowers, Bob Sweeney, Tim Sweeney, Bobby Carpenter, Bob Beers, and honorary member goalie Keith Segee. It’s also possible Zdeno Chara will lace up the skates in his second alums game since retiring this past offseason. Laffardo is hoping Chara will play on the blue line, despite being on opposite teams.
“It would be amazing. They have 45 years of hockey,” Loffredo said. “They were my heroes. I watched Bourque; I watched Chara. It would be the highlight of my hockey career.”
For the Light Foundation All-Stars, Loffredo said his team comprises hockey players he grew up with and, more importantly, good fundraisers.
“I give them a goal to reach. They’re all really good guys that raise a lot of money to play in this game,” Loffredo said. “Anyone can write a check to play in a game like this. These guys make an effort, work hard, and raise a lot of money.”
So with Loffredo and his team raising all the money for the Light Foundation, what exactly does founder and former New England Patriot Matt Light do?
“Matt does nothing,” Loffredo laughed. “No, Matt does everything he can to help. He cares about the Foundation. He puts his heart and soul into it. He gets dirty, and he does the work.”
Loffredo said the game has raised about a half-million dollars over the past seven years, including the Covid years, where the game was played in empty arenas.
There will be a live auction featuring Matt Light as the auctioneer. Items to be auctioned off include autographed player-worn jerseys, DJ packages, power tools, and more.
“There’s not a better ticket in town,” Loffredo said. “No better event before Christmas.”
Loffredo expects the event to sell out just as it has in years past but has a request of the fans.
“If you can’t attend, please donate,” he implored. “We’d love for you to make a donation.”
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $10 for Youth Hockey Parents, children 12 and under have free admission, and sponsor tickets are $200. The sponsor tickets include a meet and greet with Matt Light and other celebrities. In addition, former Patriots Ty Law and Rob Ninkovich are expected to attend. For tickets, visit Boston Bruins Alumni or Light Foundation websites. In addition, Todd Angilly will perform the National Anthem.