PORTLAND, ME – March 2nd, 2021 – The fourth annual “Checking For Charity” will take place on Sunday, March 14th at Troubh Ice Arena, and the Maine Mariners will be strongly represented. Riley Armstrong, Terrence Wallin, and Ted and Brian Hart are all playing in the tournament, while Michael Keeley will be broadcasting the event online.
The first of three games is the Red Riot Challenge at 11:30 AM, featuring South Portland High School hockey alumni players and coaches. Next up at 1:00 PM is the South Portland Firefighter Classic with firefighters from South Portland and the surrounding communities. Finally, the Former Pro Showdown at 2:30 will feature former professional and high level college players, including all four Mariners participants. Armstrong and former Assistant Coach Anthony Bohn participated in the 2019 event, with players Louie Rowe, Dwyer Tschantz, and Derek Pratt serving as “celebrity coaches.” The 2020 event was cancelled because of COVID-19.
“It always feels great for myself to get back in a locker room setting where you’re just telling stories, being with the firefighters, they’re pretty much a hockey team,” said Armstrong. “They’re all tight-knit and they have some good stories of their own.”
In addition to the four current Mariners representatives, Ben Freeman and Trevor Fleurent will also be playing in the Former Pro Showdown. Freeman, a 6’5 forward and native of Falmouth, signed with the Mariners out of the University of Connecticut this past summer. After the Mariners season was cancelled, he joined the Wheeling Nailers and played in seven games before being released. Fleurent is from Biddeford and made local headlines by trying out for the Mariners in their inaugural season of 2018-19. While he never played a regular season game for Maine, he has played professional hockey in the Southern Professional Hockey League as well as in Norway.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s “Checking For Charity” will run a little bit different than past events. Without spectators permitted, this year’s charity hockey event will be streamed online. Mariners play-by-play announcer Michael Keeley will broadcast all three games, with University of Maine hockey voice Jeff Mannix serving as color analyst.
“With nearly a year between hockey broadcasts, I’m really looking forward to calling these games,” said Keeley. “I’m also excited to work alongside Jeff Mannix who has as much knowledge as anyone about hockey in Maine.”
The game will be streamed on SeasonCast, with a link available on the Checking For Charity website and social media, as well as the Mariners pages.
This year’s Checking For Charity is dedicated to Travis Roy with a “generous” portion of proceeds raised going to his foundation. Travis, who tragically suffered a life changing injury in his first college hockey shift in 1995, while playing for Boston University, passed away on October 29th, 2020. He was born in Yarmouth, Maine, and became an inspirational speaker after he was left paralyzed from the neck down. He started the Travis Roy Foundation in 1996 with the goal of funding research for spinal cord injuries.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to what this event is about, and that’s raising money for those in need,” said Mike Norton, South Portland Firefighter and Checking For Charity committee member. “This year’s event is going to be a special one aimed at celebrating the life and work of Travis Roy, and we have some great tributes planned to honor him.”
The primary way that the public can support this year’s event is through their online raffle, merchandise store, or with monetary donations. A pair of Mariners jerseys will be included in the raffle. More information can be found on the Checking for Charity website.
About Checking For Charity
Checking For Charity was born out of a love for hockey and a desire to give back to the community. In 2017, two South Portland firefighters hatched up an idea: A charity hockey event with a couple of games and a focus on South Portland. Through the support and hard-work of many firefighters and community members the event has grown and raised over $40,000 in its first three years. The event is the largest fundraiser the South Portland Professional Firefighters conduct each year. All of the money raised is donated to a variety of non-profit organizations and charities. Although some money is donated to larger organizations, the vast majority of the money is donated to local groups.
Mariners season ticket packages (full, half, and 12-game mini plans), along with 10-ticket flex plans for the 2021-22 season are now on sale, starting at $170. Fans can call 833-GO-MAINE or email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact a sales representative. The Mariners hockey operations staff are raising money for local businesses affected by COVID-19 through “Pro Shop Saturdays” and the “Armstrong Skills Competition.” Click here to read more. As always, shop the latest in Mariners merchandise at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop. In-office pickup is now available.