MANCHESTER, NH – Team Police couldn’t find a shutout but did find a 5-1 victory in the 15th annual Battle of the Badges Hockey Championship sponsored by the Elliot Perry Foundation at SNHU Arena on Saturday afternoon.
It was a goal from Cody Lappas of Derry halfway through the third period that provided a moment of joy for the boys in red, following police dominance throughout the contest.
The police squad opened scoring 2:23 into the first period of a goal by Nashua’s Cameron Hult. The boys in blue served up a shorthanded goal coming off the stick of North Hampton’s Kyle Manlow just over a minute later and New Hampshire’s finest would make it 3-0 6:59 into the first period thanks to a score by Nashua’s Chris Murphy.
An altercation shortly after that third goal led to a pair of roughing minors for the police and a five-minute penalty for Team Fire’s Jake Paulsen of Candia.
Hampstead’s Bryan Lamontagne made it 4-0 for the police before the teams left for the first intermission and Durham’s Erik Burke provided the only other goal, coming just under two minutes into the second period.
While the scoring dried up after Burke’s goal, the physicality did not.
Team Police’s Kyle Moran of Manchester received a double minor penalty after another donnybrook near the middle of the second period and a third and final fight of the day erupted with just under eight minutes to play in the middle frame. There, Team Police’s Cameron Verrier of Londonderry and Team Fire’s Joey Ryan of Malden, Mass., each received game misconduct penalties.
Team Fire Captain Jeff Clattenburg of Lebanon chalked up the aggression to the longstanding rivalry between the two public service branches.
“It’s been a few years since it’s probably gotten that chippy, but you know when you get fire and police together for any type of event, that’s bound to happen from time to time,” he said.
Lamontagne had a similar assessment.
“There is always going to be that rivalry between police versus fire; it is what it is,” he said.
In the end, the most important part of the game wasn’t the score but the money raised for the kids and families utilizing the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (CHaD).
Over $230,000 was raised through this year’s game, including approximately $150,000 from players on both teams, bringing the all-time total to more than $3.1 million.
“Where would these kids and these families be without the help and the time that we take our of own lives? To be able to fundraise and be able to do this stuff, to make sure they’re able to come to this game or get to doctor’s appointments that they need to get to, or anything along those lines? That’s what really means the most today,” said Lamontagne.
Photos by Kimberly Plourde, an employee of Dartmouth Health.