FALCONS TO PRESENT GOLDEN STRIPES AWARD
FALCONS SET TO PRESENT GOLDEN STRIPES AWARD
--Ceremony Part of “Referee Appreciation Night”--
Springfield, MA – The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today they will host their 4th Annual “Referee Appreciation Night” on Friday, March 20 when the Falcons host the Manchester Monarchs at the MassMutual Center. On this special evening, the fourth recipient of the “Golden Stripes Award” will be honored prior to the game. The “Golden Stripes Award” will be presented this year to Mr. Joe Buchholz.
Beginning in 1968, Buchholz refereed many games including those at the High School, Division 1 and 2 College, and ECAC levels. He also served as the National President of NIHOA (National Ice Hockey Officials Association) for several years.
“It’s with tremendous honor that we present this special award to a gentleman so well deserving,” said Falcons Vice President of Business Operations Bob Oliver. “His devotion to the duties of officiating, the sport of hockey and our community is something that we all strongly admire.”
Buchholz began his lifelong passion for the game of hockey as a youngster skating on a field that was made into a skating rink in Blunt Park in Springfield. When he was 10, his father bought the kids some jerseys and they were off and running. In high school, he played for Springfield Tech until he graduated in 1943. As a senior, he became captain of the team and helped them win their 13th consecutive city championship. Upon graduation, he entered the service and became a navigator on a B-17 bomber.
When Buchholz entered American International College in 1948 as a freshman, he played football, baseball, and was a forward on Bill Turner’s new hockey team. In his four years at A.I.C., he won All-East honors for two years, All-New England for three years and All-American in his senior year as captain of the team. According to a Springfield newspaper, what made him an All-American was “his heart and endurance.” Dave Forbes, who went on to play for the Boston Bruins, came within a point of Buchholz’s 152 point record, but Buchholz did it in 19 fewer games. His scoring record of 3.1 points per game holds to this day.
In 2003, Buchholz was named into the Cathedral High School Sports Hall of Fame followed by the A.I.C. Hall of Fame in 2005. Buchholz, at 84, still skates with friends at the Smead Arena in Blunt Park. He lives in Wilbraham, with his wife Patricia.
The “Golden Stripes Award” will be awarded annually to an On-Ice Official whose work within Western Massachusetts has selflessly demonstrated the essential characteristics of dedication, fairplay, positive attitude and communication skills. This individual has also shown an overwhelming desire to “give back” to the officiating community by volunteering his time off the ice as well, all the while leaving a positive lasting impression on his peers.
11th ANNUAL N.E. SLED HOCKEY TOURNAMENT READY TO TAKE
AMELIA PARK IN WESTFIELD BY STORM
Amelia Park Arena in Westfield is proud to announce that they will be hosting the 11th Annual New England Sled Hockey Invitational Tournament from April 17-19th. The tournament, held for the seventh time at Amelia Park, will consist of adult and junior divisions competing throughout the weekend from 7am-11:30am (Friday & Saturday) and championship games (Sunday) from 7am-2:30pm.
Attendance to the tournament is FREE and will showcase 200 athletes and coaches from eight states and Canada. Past Paralympian & current National Team Players from both US & Canada will be participating. One of those teams, the San Antonio Rampage, is comprised of military veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this most inspiring event and bringing the great game of sled hockey to the folks of Western MA,” said Albert Ferst, Chairman of the Board of the Amelia Park Arena. “It is so wonderful to see these athletes of all ages shine.”
The Pioneer Valley will have its own team, the Springfield Sliders, participating in the junior division. The Sliders, consisting of local patients from Shriners Hospital, practice weekly at Amelia Park. The Sliders are also supported by the Springfield Falcons Hockey team as their players and coaches have assisted the athletes throughout the season. On Sunday, March 29th, the Sliders will be putting on a post-game exhibition following the Springfield Falcons v. Portland Pirates game.
The weekend tournament not only includes competition by athletes but opportunities for fans to interact with the athletes as well. Informal meet and greets with athletes will take place each day courtesy of Women’s Law Enforcement Association (WLEA).
The New England Sled Hockey Invitational would not be possible without sponsors or volunteers. If you are interested in being a part of this event, please contact Carole Appleton at 413-348-6372 or www.ameliapark.org.
Sled Hockey, or sledge hockey as it is known internationally, is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. Sled Hockey was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden at a rehabilitation center. It is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
Amelia Park Ice Arena is an ice arena/sports complex and memorial garden, financed by Westfield, Massachusetts philanthropist Albert F. Ferst, in memory of his wife Amelia. The Albert & Amelia Ferst Operating Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit entity, was formed in 1998, with the expressed purpose of building a recreational facility and garden in her memory.