Editor in Chief
The 31st-annual Pigs-N-Heat game took place last night, March 12, at Lakeview Arena. Unfortunately for the local firefighters, the police officers were the hot team, winning 7-1.
"Well we didn't show up," said Kurt Hillier of the MQT City Fire Department. "They had a good team this year and we had a couple bad lines and they took advantage of it."
"I'm young, some of these guys are a little older, a little more seasoned," Benson said. "I still play hockey, so its not too much for me to come out and skate."
At the start of the second, the Heat found the back of the net courtesy of Mark O'Neill of the MQT Township Fire Department. O'Neill was able to score off a quick pass in front of the net by Brian Phillips of the MQT City Fire Department. The tie game was short lived as Jim Harrington of the MQT County Sheriff's Department went the full length of the ice for an unassisted goal.
The Pigs piled it on after that, scoring two more in the second from Benson on another breakaway and Kody Carlson of the MQT County Sheriff's Department getting a good look from a faceoff in the Heat zone.
The Heat were iced early in the third when the Pigs scored three goals in the first 2:21 of the period. Michigan State Police officer and former Northern Michigan University Wildcat Jason Welch ripped a shot off of Heat goalie Charlie Bleau of the Negaunee Township Fire Department and Drew Ogle of the MQT Branch Prison punched in the rebound. Welch would put in another goal shortly after by putting in his own rebound.
It was a turnover that came to me, I threw one on net," Welch said. "(The puck) came back so I tucked it in the side."
Benson added his third unassisted goal of the night for the final score.
In net for the Pigs was Mike Roth of the MQT Police Department. Goalie stats were not officially kept, but MQT Social Scene's unofficial stats had Roth making 36 saves on 37 shots.
"Our goalie obviously played well tonight," Welch said. "He was our advantage."
The night showed great fanfare in celebrating the accomplishments of the MQT area. Honored at the game were the two youth girls state champion teams, police officer of the year and firefighters of the year.
MQT Social Scene's Three Stars
3) Drew Ogle MBP - One goal. Also returned a chuck-a-puck to a child in the press deck that dropped it over the edge into the Pigs bench
2) Jason Welch MSP - One goal, one assist; 16-year veteran of the Pigs-N-Heat game
1) Nick Benson MCSD - Three goals, all unassisted. MVP of game in first appearance
MQT Social Scene also live Tweeted the game. To see the play-by-play breakdown, visit our Twitter page twitter.com/MQTsocialscene
In addition to the chuck-a-puck and the ticket sales, a silent auction was also ran. There were over 90 items in the auction. Reading the winners over the public address system took so long, it spanned the entire second period and into the beginning of the third.
"People rely on this fund and to raise money is the main reason why we play," Welch said. "It was a great turnout and we are so thankful to the community and the fans."
Despite the result, it was also a feeling shared by Hillier and the Heat team.
"At the end of the night the score doesn't matter. For 31 years now we've been out raising money for fire victims. It's a great cause and great event."
Brice Burge is the Editor in Chief of MQT Social Scene. He can be reached at briceMQT@gmail.com.