Senator Kennedy, proudly wearing a D’Youville Spartan hockey jersey, and his son Connor, who had his own hockey game later that day, participated in a ceremonial puck drop before the game with Medaille College, a league rival.
Kennedy, a graduate of D’Youville College’s program in Occupational Therapy, has been a strong supporter of the team from its inception in 2010 to today, according to Head Coach Edward Draper.
“As a graduate of D’Youville College and a resident of South Buffalo, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to drop the puck at the Spartans’ hockey game at Cazenovia Ice Rink,” said Senator Kennedy. “Hockey is an important part of our community. So many Western New Yorkers grow up playing the game, and even more are lifelong fans. The game Sunday brought many of the D’Youville and Medaille players back to their home rink, where they learned their skills growing up. It was be a great opportunity to celebrate D’Youville hockey and the sports’ prominence in South Buffalo and throughout Western New York.”
In addition, the game represented a homecoming for Cazenovia Park Hockey alumni from both teams. A number of players and coaches on both teams began playing hockey at the noted South Buffalo rink located at the corner of Abbott Road and Cazenovia Street across from Mercy Hospital.
Cazenovia Park Hockey alumni recognized from the D’Youville team were: Clark Betyn, Brian Cieslik, Matthew Diflavio, Justin LaRusch and Duff Maloney. Athletic Director Brian Cavanaugh, Draper and assistant coach Bill Unger were also be recognized.
Medaille was represented by former Caz Park players Matthew Cieslik (brother of Brian who plays for D’Youville) and Joshua Smith.
The game ended as a D’Youville victory with a final score of 9-5. Leading the way for D’Youville were Cazenovia Park Hockey alumni Justin LaRusch, who scored twice, and Clark Betyn, who added another goal. Also scoring goals for D’Youville were Jeff Spors (2), Kyle Meringer (2), Jeff Monnin and Nate Wiles. Goal scorers for Medaille were Kyle Lamich, Simon Fedak, Brian Levick, Mike Givrradavid and Tyler Mclaughan.