What happened on the ice at Ice Line Thursday evening paled in comparison to what happened off the ice.
The Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference game between Malvern Prep and St. Joseph’s Prep, a 4-1 win for the Friars, was preceded by a dine-and benefit event which raised funds to support the fight against Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, or RTS, a genetic disorder that causes intellectual and developmental disabilities that affects one in 125,000 children.
Connor Keenan, the 3-year old soon of Malvern Prep coach Bill Keenan is afflicted with the syndrome.
The dine- donate event, which included a 50-50 drawing, was held at Ice World’s Goal Line Pub prior to game time; a portion of the evening’s receipts will be donated to a foundation that is focused on treating and finding a cure for RTS.
During the pregame warmup, both teams wore specially designed jerseys highlighting the fight against RTS and Keenan and his family, including his wife Sarah and Connor, and, along with 6-year old Olivia and 8-year old J.J. took part in a ceremonial puck drop just prior to game time.
Keenan expressed her appreciation for the hockey community’s support of her family.
“It’s very humbling,” she said. “We really feel the love from the whole community, and it just goes to show what a great community the hockey world really is.”
Sarah Keenan spoke of the challenges the family has faced since Connor was diagnosed with RTS last year.
“It’s been overwhelming,” she said, “but we’ve made a lot of progress in the last year. Connor has shown us a lot and taught us a lot too.
Keenan noted the importance of educating the public about RTS.
“It’s very rare,” she said. “So, it’s important just make people aware of it for inclusion purposes and to get that research really going to see if they can help kids with the syndrome out.”
Bill Keenan expressed his thanks for the support he and his family have received.
“The community has been great,” he said. “It’s all new. It’s rare. So, to have a night like this is good and hopefully we can do it in years to come.”
The Keenan family; J.J. Olivia, Bill, Sarah, and Connor join Malvern Prep’s Steven Getsie (left) and St. Joseph’s Prep’s Jeffrey Hammond for the opening faceoff.
• The game—Four different players scored goals for the Friars, who closed the regular season at 8-6 (2-5-0-1 in the APAC. Caiden Canale, Gavin Wilson, Ryan Clark, and Brady Doyle all found the back of the net. Doyle also added two assists.
Caiden Kelly scored for the Hawks (14-5-2, 3-4-1-0)
St. Joseph’s Prep 0 0 1—1
Malvern Prep 1 2 1—4
First-period goal: Caiden Canale (MP) from Brady Doyle, 10:05
Second-period goals: Gavin Wilson (MP) from Aidan Kelly and Canale,: 15 (pp); Ryan Clark (MP) from Doyle, 1:00 (pp)
Third-period goals: Caiden Kelly (SJP) from Jeffrey Hammond, 1:59; Doyle (MP) from Kelly, 16:43 (en)
Shots: St. Joseph’s Prep 25, Malvern Prep 33; Saves: Ajay White (SJP) 29, Brandon Novabilski (MP) 24