Hockey teams from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson hit the ice for a large, shiny trophy and bragging rights at the inaugural Army vs. Air Force Hockey Game at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex March 15.
Played before a standing room only crowd, the game was a fast-paced, physical and extremely competitive.
The Air Force won 5-4, coming from behind during in the third period to score three goals.
The Air Force’s first lieutenant Jacques Lamoureux was all over the ice and high scorer for the team.
That’s probably because he’s been playing hockey since the time he learned to walk.
“I have five brothers and sisters and grew up playing on a pond by our house,” he said.
The Air Force team, he said, was pretty much thrown together at the last minute.
“We practiced two times,” he said. “We’re a hodge-podge group.”
The team didn’t have problems developing rhythm, though. Since all were experienced players, they soon found their groove.
And they wanted to win. They really wanted to win.
“We didn’t want to hear about it for a year if they had beat us,” he laughed.
Yet, the biggest goal of the day was to have fun.
“And I think we did just that,” he said.
Army major general Michael Shields, who wore jersey number 17, said that the Army put a team together earlier this year. They previously dropped the hockey team due to the wartime deployments.
“It’s good to come together,” he said.
The team practices once a week on outdoor ice at JBER.
The game, he admitted, was strongly competitive.
“We’re great soldiers and we’re very competitive,” he said. “We were really going at this 100 percent.
He believes it was an evenly-matched game.
“It was a one goal game,” he said. “Each team wanted that trophy.”
The Army team was coached by Army Captain Matthew Hickey and the Air Force by Royal Canadian Captain Stuart McCubbin.
Admission was free and spectators were encouraged to bring nonperishable food donations fro the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Food Drive.
The game was sponsored by JBER Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, a private Army organization named for soldier and movie star Audie Leon Murphy, who became a national hero after earning 33 awards during World War II. Additional sponsors included Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Lithia, Palmer Elks, First Command, Matanuska Telephone Association and others.