“Pink the Rink” more than just another game

Castleton's Rachel Bombardier and Molly Howard don pink uniforms while battling for a loose puck during Saturday night's "Pink the Rink" game.
Christopher Williams / Castleton Spartan

Every team wants to win, but for some lady-Spartans, a hockey game can be so much smaller in the large scheme of life.

Over the last five years, the Spartan hockey teams, along with many Spartan supporters, have been able to raise nearly $35,000 for the Rutland Regional Medical Center and the Foley Cancer Center in the fight to prevent and put an end to Breast Cancer.

Once again these two organizations partnered up with Castleton to not only support the fight against cancer, but to bring the community, college, and other supporters together for a one-day-event at Spartan Arena in Rutland to relay the message letting people know just how serious this disease can be.

To a great number of fans, students and opposing players, this may just be another 60 minutes of hockey, but for many Spartan players like goalie Jess Cameron, it’s bigger.

“This game means more than just any other game. It’s for a bigger cause and we are playing for those who have been affected by Breast Cancer. We want to raise awareness and do whatever we can to contribute and help the cause,” Cameron said.

The Lady Spartans once again donned their special Pink and Green jerseys against the UMass Beacons last Saturday. Once a year these jerseys make their way on the ice to represent the support, dedication and loyalty that Castleton has towards the fight against breast cancer.

“It is an unreal feeling putting on that jersey,” junior Forward Taylor Steadman said. “It’s not just about the jersey, it’s about the meaning behind the jersey. We are privileged to play.”

Having been on a on a three-game losing streak Castleton at (8-8-1, 3-5-1 Conference), knew it wasn’t going to get any easier going up against a talented Beacon team, which entered the contest (8-5-4, 5-2-2 Conference). Knowing they needed the victory, what were the Spartans look forward to entering this event and game and what will they have to do to secure a win against a well-coached Beacon team?

“I’m looking forward to seeing our team overcome adversity and work together this weekend,” Cameron said before the contest. “UMass is going to give us a good game and I’m looking forward to seeing our team battle for the win, how much money we were able to raise, and all of our fans dressed in Pink for the cause.”

The Spartans delivered money from their jerseys and a 2-1 win on two Anna Daniels goals.

For an event that has brought on so much success, hope and inspiration, a few Spartans know this will be their last “Pink the Rink“ game as a Spartan. One of those athletes is senior forward and Vermont native, Molly Howard.

 So just what will she miss the most about this special experience?

“Even though I will miss a lot more than just this event, I would have to say the feeling it brings. When we deliver the donation check to the hospital, it’s a pretty amazing feeling to know what you’ve accomplished in the last four years being here.”


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