Starting a New Tradition: Theta Chi’s Charitable Hockey Tournament

Beginning a new tradition, Theta Chi hosted their first annual 3v3 hockey tournament on Tuesday, April 5 at the Class of 1965 Arena as a fundraiser for charity. The fraternity raised $2,865 from the event, which is more than double their original goal of $1,200. Theta Chi plans to donate 60% of the funds to refugees suffering from the crisis in Ukraine and 40% to the village of Hamilton’s local ice rink.

In an effort to combine a good time with a good cause, Sophomore Brian Zhang took initiative to organize the event, making sure to allow for inclusivity. Each team of three paid an entry fee to participate in the event, and competed to earn bragging rights against one another. The games spanned fifteen minutes and followed simple rules: no checking, no slap shots, no high sticking, no pads, no goalies and hit the bar of a tipped net to score. To ensure parity in playing level, each team was only allowed to include one men’s varsity hockey player. As a result, the tournament kept a level of lightheartedness while playing closely. 

“Brian Zhang did an immaculate job setting up the event, however, his performance on the ice could only be described as subpar,” sophomore James Leake said, poking fun in the spirit of competition.

Though the event revolved around the hockey games, students without experience could buy shirts or pay spectator fees to donate to the event. Furthermore, the tournament itself followed backyard hockey rules, which erased the need for serious equipment or meticulous understanding of rules. Those participating only needed skates, gloves and a stick to join. Zhang accredited the successful fundraiser to the help of many around him.

“I’m glad we were able to hold such a wonderful event that everyone enjoyed and I couldn’t have done it without the help of C.J. Molina, Jack Consiglio, Liam Stuart and Michelle Reese,” he said.

Out of twenty teams, “The Pigeons,” including junior Jack Donovan and first-years Cole Hanson, and Tucker St. Lawrence, prevailed as the winner. On their path to victory, The Pigeons took down five other teams – most notably, “The Mallards” in the final. The Pigeons will look to defend their title next year.

Colgate men’s hockey defenseman and sophomore Nick Anderson, who participated in the event, reiterated his enthusiasm for what he hopes will become an annual tradition.

“I think the games were as competitive as they could be and the teams were as equal as they could be. It was awesome to see students in the stands supporting the event and cheering on fellow classmates,” he said. “All in all, I thought it was a fantastic event and would strongly encourage everyone involved to continue to do this on a yearly basis – the bonding was amazing and all of the donations went towards a great cause, so it would be awesome to participate again in the future.”

Another highlight of the event were the tacos from the food truck, Brake From The Grind. Started by friends in 2018, the mobile restaurant is driven by the general belief that life should be enjoyed, according to their Facebook page. The “farm to truck” restaurant provided an expansive menu and allowed students to support a local business. Inspired by the philanthropy of the event, Brake From the Grind also agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to the two charitable causes.

The hockey tournament proved to be a success, drawing great crowds and play while encouraging students to think about the ways in which they can give back, whether that be by supporting those displaced by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, or by looking inward to the local community in Hamilton. Theta Chi hopes their efforts to help Ukrainian refugees, as well as giving back to the local Hamilton ice-rink will provide benefit and inspire others to do the same. As the event continues, new causes could be added to the fold to adapt with changing needs in the local community and around the world.