Men And Women's Ice Hockey Teams Visit Local Elementary Schools

HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's and women's ice hockey teams along with Boomer the Bobcat visited local elementary schools this week to read and visit with the students. Both the men's and women's teams visited Ridge Road School in North Haven on Wednesday, while the women's team also went to Nathan Hale School in New Haven on Thursday morning.

"One of our top priorities this year is reading," said Ridge Road Principal, Kathleen Peters-Durrigan. "When we were offered the opportunity to bring the hockey teams here to Ridge Road it was completely in sync with our institution's primary objectives. It shows the children that even though you're involved in sports and you're on a team at the collegiate level, that reading and academics are important. The kids were very excited to have the hockey players here."

At Ridge Road, the two teams split up into groups of two or three and went to different classrooms to read to classes of kindergarteners through third graders. Boomer stopped in each classroom to take pictures with each class and group of players.

"It's great for everyone involved," said men's ice hockey captain Jean-Marc Beaudoin (St. Paul, Alberta). "It takes our minds off hockey and it gives back to the community and there's nothing better than that."

At Nathan Hale, the women's team gathered with groups of pre-schoolers and kindergarteners to read their favorite children's books in the school's gymnasium. After the reading session, the school's third graders came in to ask the team how they prepare for games, as the students are in preparation mode for their upcoming CMT state-wide exam. Boomer was on hand for the day's activities as well.

"This is such a great activity for both teams," said women's ice hockey captain Kallie Flor (Farmington, Minn.). "It's great to be here and to show the kids how important academics are to athletes of all ages."

The Bobcats return to action tomorrow night in a Quinnipiac hockey doubleheader. The women kick off the event when they host Dartmouth College at 3 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center. The men will follow as they take the ice at 7 p.m. against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.