ASU women's hockey to host first-ever military appreciation game

The ASU women's hockey team will host Midland University this Saturday in its first military appreciation game

Two weeks ago, the ASU football team donned its “brotherhood” uniforms in support of former Sun Devil Pat Tillman and the armed forces.

From the gridiron to the ice, the support for the men and women who fight for our country will now continue on to Oceanside Ice Arena.

This Saturday, the ASU women’s hockey team will take on Midland University in its first military appreciation game in Tempe.

“I think it’s such a special night, especially for me. I have had my immediate family serving,” ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said. “I know some of the girls will have some of their family here that are veterans, and especially with ASU having the Pat Tillman Foundation and everything so close to ASU, it will be a really special night.”

Earlier this season, ASU wore pink jerseys for its second annual breast cancer awareness game. While the pink jerseys were certainly a favorite among players and fans, the Sun Devils will showcase a new look come Saturday night.

ASU will be wearing camouflage jerseys in support of military personnel, and the team will be auctioning off two of the jerseys during the game.

“They (ASU) have been excited about this since we released the picture (of the jerseys),” Ellis said. “I know some of them got to see the jersey earlier in the season … for them to be able to wear those jerseys, they will be really excited.”

Among other festivities, ASU will have a donation box at the entrance of Oceanside Ice Arena and will be using the donated items to create and send care packages to active duty troops who are serving during the holiday season.

All veterans and military personnel will be granted free admission to the game as well.

“I think it’s really great for the community,” ASU sophomore forward Megan Mroczek said. “When we do things like breast cancer games and military appreciation games, it’s just a way to connect us with the community and give back to our hometown and where we play … It’s really important.”

Mroczek’s father, Rich, served four years overseas in the Marine Corps.

Among others, ASU junior defenseman Madison Quiñonez has a special appreciation for the military and what it means to serve.

Quiñonez’s uncle, Antonio Victor Carreras, served in the Army for 26 years and had three tours in Iraq. He was also a part of operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War in 1991.

Carreras received a Bronze star, a Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Accommodation Medals and five Army Achievement Medals — he is now retired with Sergeant First Class honors.

For a brief period of time, Quiñonez stayed in Texas when her uncle was stationed in Fort Hood. 

“It’s very eye-opening. You know, he (Carreras) took us by all of the tanks and all of the trucks and everything,” Quiñonez said. “It’s a cool experience because you don’t see this stuff — you just know it’s happening, but you don’t really get a first-hand look."

Aside from her uncle, Quiñonez’s cousin, Jason Schrimp is currently in San Diego serving as a lieutenant commander in the Navy.

Quiñonez has the highest respect for what her family has done, and she knows it can take a toll on anyone who has a loved one fighting in the armed forces.

“I don’t think they get enough recognition (the military), and not just the veterans and the heroes that are out there, but the families that have to hold down the fort while they are gone,"  Quiñonez said. "They should be recognized just as much.”

“I have seen my aunt raise three girls while he (Carreras) is away, and that was so tough on her. Not only is she worrying about her kids and everything, but she is also worrying about her husband who is gone, and so I think that’s just as important to recognize how much they sacrifice … entire families do, so that we can have the things that we have today.”

Puck drop for ASU’s first-ever military appreciation game is set for Saturday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. 


Reach the reporter at atbell1@asu.edu or follow @AndrewBell7 on Twitter.

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