UCF's hockey team will be heading to Brevard County to play an exhibition game this Saturday at the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge.
The Knights' opponents: the Wounded Warriors hockey club of Rockledge.
UCF coach Sean Weaver said he expects the game to be high tempo and competitive.
"Win or lose, we are just honored to be invited to play against these guys, and for such a great cause," Weaver said.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.
Comprised mostly of a group of recreational players, many of whom are former pro and NCAA players, the Wounded Warriors hockey club was founded last year by retired Brevard firefighter and Melbourne resident, Keith "Spike" Schneider.
"It all started when several of the guys I regularly played with were curious about the pucks I began using," Schneider said. "After obtaining a random name from a website called 'Remember the Fallen,' I would write it on the puck."
To date, he has more than 80 pucks with names on them. He appropriately calls them his "pucks for patriots."
"The guys told me they were inspired by my gesture and several of us came up with the idea to form this team," he said.
Schneider, who plays goalie for the team, was a witness to the events of 9/11. Ever since, he said he has felt a need to show his patriotism for his country.
"I wanted to do something to honor our fallen soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much for us all," Schneider said.
Ben Gorewich, a former pro who has played for several Midwest teams, said playing on the Wounded Warriors team is his way of doing something he loves while giving back to a great cause.
Schneider said he is hoping Saturday's exhibition will eclipse the previous amount he raised for the Wounded Warriors Project. The inaugural game against the University of Florida raised about $160. The team has plans to play the University of Miami, as well as several teams as far north as Atlanta this coming spring.
Knights' captain and center Jeremy Roberts said he is looking forward to playing with such a high caliber of competitive players and is hopeful that the Knights will become a regular opponent on the Wounded Warriors teams' schedule.
"It's awesome we can use hockey as a way to raise money for this charity," Roberts said.
Want to Go?
WHAT: Wounded Warriors vs UCF Knights Hockey Game
WHEN: Saturday, February 14, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Space Coast Iceplex, 720 Roywall Blvd. Rockledge, FL 32955
$8 for adults
$5 for children under 12
For more information, visit www.SpaceCoastIceplex.com or call 321-504-7500.
All proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.