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Falcons Will Skate for Local Cause

January 31, 2019

FITCHBURG -- When the puck hits the ice Saturday evening at the Wallace Civic Center, a pair of meaningful hockey games will take place.

But even more important than what happens in the confines of boards and glass will be the meaning behind the doubleheader: serving to honor the memory of a local man and to raise money to combat the disease that took his life.

Fitchburg State will host Plymouth State at 5 p.m. in the Glenn Roberts Memorial Hockey game, followed by Fitchburg/Monty Tech squaring off against Lunenburg/Ayer Shirley at 7:30. The proceeds from both contests will go to the ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter and the Glenn Roberts Memorial Scholarship at Fitchburg High.

A $10 ticket gives admission to both contests.

For FSU head coach Dean Fuller, the game has a personal meaning. As a former Fitchburg High teacher himself, Fuller worked with Roberts’ wife, Debra, at the high school. Shortly after being diagnosed with ALS, Roberts died in 2013 at the age of 49.

Glenn Roberts earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology from Fitchburg State in 1992 and worked for more than 20 years at Mount Wachusett Community College, according to an FSU press release. His wife completed degrees at Fitchburg State in 1990, 1994 and 2003.

“We try to do a fundraising game every year and I thought this was a perfect fit for the community and Fitchburg State,” Fuller said Tuesday. “We’ve always tried to do a doubleheader and get the high schools involved and this one makes a lot of sense.

“We’ve made over $50,000 over the last four years for different organizations, so we’re used to being able to give back.”

In the past, the Falcons have held a pair of Pink on the Rink games for breast cancer research, as well as a game for the Wounded Warrior Project and a fundraiser game for Alzheimer’s research in honor of former FSU coach Terry McNabb. Fuller says the Falcons realize that they have an obligation to the community to give back.

“These guys understand what we’re doing and realize what a privilege it is to play in games like these,” Fuller said.

Josh Victor, a senior captain, called the chance to play in a game that will benefit a meaningful cause “an honor.”

“It’s huge. We love to be part of the community, we love to see the stands filled with kids and fans,” Victor said. “We love having the community involved and seeing the support for a cause like this. We’re pretty excited to have a game like this here.”

In addition to raising money, the FSU-Plymouth tilt has major implications in the MASCAC standings. The Falcons are currently fourth in the league, just three points back of their guests on Saturday. Despite having dropped its last two games entering Wednesday, Fitchburg State likes its chance to be able to pull out a win.

“We’re pretty confident. We’ve dropped a couple games that we shouldn’t have and we’ve come out a little slow, so we’re just working on being ready,” senior captain Nick DiNicola said. “We’re pushing hard at practice so that when it’s game time, we’re ready to go.”

Follow Nick Mallard on Twitter @n_mallard.

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