SPRINGFIELD- The Springfield Thunderbirds and the Mass Mutual Center will host Southwick Night Jan. 11, in celebration of the Southwick 250th anniversary, before and during the Thunderbirds game against the Providence Bruins.
The Southwick Regional School (SRS) Rams Varsity Hockey Team and the SRS school band will both be featured before and during the Thunderbirds game at 7 p.m.. At 2:45 p.m., the varsity team will take to the Thunderbirds’ home ice to play a regular season game against the Byram Hills Bobcats from Byram Hills, N.Y.
During the Thunderbirds game later in the evening, the SRS band will perform, including a pre-game performance of America the Beautiful before the puck drops.
Rams Coach Chris D’Angelo said that they were approached by the Byram Hills coach over the summer in regards to playing a game against each other during the season.
“Their coach called us and offered to play a game. He said that they like to do at least one travel game a year against a team they do not normally play,” said D’Angelo, “They said that they wanted to play us during the day and then go somewhere as a team at night.”
D’Angelo said that the game was originally being planned independently of the Southwick 250 celebration. As it turned out, the SRS band teacher had been working with the Thunderbirds to have the band perform during a game.
“The school was working with one part of Thunderbirds organization, I was working with another part of the organization. We finally figured out what was happening and decided to do just one night,” said Russ Fox, Selectboard chair and member of the Southwick 250th Anniversary Committee.
Athletic Director Dave Sanschagrin said that the Thunderbirds team is typically given use of the ice most of the day before a home game. However, they sometimes allow outside organizations to use the ice for events such as this, with some requirements.
“They ask each team to sell about 100 tickets for the game,” said Sanschagrin.
Discounted tickets are being sold at SRS and at the Southwick Florist for $13. A ticket allows the holder to attend both the SRS and the Thunderbirds games. The deadline to purchase tickets is Jan. 6.