Stahls (UPIC: STAH0001) employees faced off against a squad of former Detroit Red Wing players in a charity ice hockey game benefiting the Clark Park Coalition on January 30 at Detroit’s Clark Park Ice Rink. The matchup ended with the Wings edging out the Sterling Heights, Michigan, supplier’s team with a score of 9-8.
The game was the highlight of the annual Frozen Fish Fiasco outdoor hockey series, and the only game for which admission was charged. Participating Red Wings alumni included Darren McCarty, Peter Klima and Mickey Redmond. Despite the fundraising purpose of the Stahls’-Red Wings match, the Stahls’ team took it seriously. The 17 players drawn from the staff—including Ted and Mary Stahl’s children Dan, Trevor and Kari—all had extensive experience on the ice.
“Within our offices, we have a lot of people who have played hockey, but we had never played together before,” says Stahls’ Sports Marketing Coordinator Paul Sabatini. “We didn’t want to be embarrassed.”
The Stahls’ team enlisted the services of Olympic Gold Medalist and St. Clair Shores native Mark Wells to lead four practice sessions and coach them in the game. Wells was a defenseman on the 1980 U.S.A. Men’s Olympic Hockey team. The Stahls’ team appreciated the chance to work with and play for Wells in this unique opportunity to “pay it forward” to the next generation. “[Wells] had a huge effect on my hockey career,” Sabatini says. “I was 10 years old when he was on that 1980 Olympic team … To have [Wells] share his wisdom with us was unreal.”
All of the funds raised from the event will go to the Clark Park Coalition. The coalition partners with the City of Detroit to maintain and operate the Clark Park Ice Rink, which is the city’s only regulation-size outdoor ice rink, and help keep the park and its various year-round programs open and thriving.
“The game was a great opportunity for us to take part in something that will help kids,” adds Sabatini. “We all remember being young and starting out with sports and having parks to go to. Any help we can give is great.”
Since it was begun in 2010 by members of two adult hockey teams in the Labatt Hockey Detroit “A” League, the Frozen Fish Fiasco has raised more than $75,000 for the Clark Park Coalition. The 2015 event drew 1,500 spectators to the park, which is located at 1130 Clark Avenue in southwest Detroit. Stahls’, an NHL licensee and a manufacturer of garment decoration equipment for professional, college and high school sports leagues, served as the title sponsor of this year’s event. For more information on the 2016 Frozen Fish Fiasco, check www.frozenfishfiasco.com.