Thunderbirds’ Hockey Challenge takes center ice on Feb. 15

Thunderbirds’ Hockey Challenge takes center ice on Feb. 15

Full day of games benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska

  • Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:42pm
  • Sports

The Seattle Thunderbirds and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska (RMHC) present Hockey Challenge 2020 on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the accesso ShoWare Center.

The T-Birds play the Vancouver Giants in a WHL game at 6:05 p.m. followed by the local Celebrity and T-Birds Alumni All-Star Game featuring Team Olczyk vs. Team Patterson.

Ricky Olczyk, the assistant general manager of the NHL Seattle franchise, will coach against Ed Patterson, a former Thunderbird and NHL player and father of T-Bird Max Patterson.

Five Challenge games will be staged before the T-Birds-Giants game. The Challenge will feature a team from the NHL Seattle office – the “Seattle 32’s” – consisting of employees of the NHL’s 32nd franchise, which has yet to be named and is expected to begin play in 2021.

The 32’s will play Breakaway Crew in the first game of the Challenge. The Crew is comprised of players who took part in the fifth annual RMHC Breakaway Challenges on Aug. 17 at Sno-King Arena Kirkland and Jan. 11 at the Kent Valley Ice Centre.

The Breakaway Challenges pitted youth and adult skaters against players who have never played goalie. Each breakaway on a new goalie required a donation to RMHC. If a skater scored on a new goalie, that skater received a free breakaway against an experienced goalie. If the experienced goalie gave up a goal, the goalie donated to RMHC. There was no limit to the number of breakaways a skater could take against a new goalie.

At this year’s Breakaway Challenges, a skills competition was added for youth and adult skaters to raise funds. More than $16,000 was raised for RMCH through the two Breakaway Challenges this season, bringing the five-year total to more than $50,000 raised. The skaters and goalies who raised the most money for RMHC at the two Breakaway Challenges this season will have a final competition during the first intermission of the T-Birds game.

Single-game tickets are on sale online and at the ShoWare box office. A ticket gives fans access to all Challenge events, including all the games.


Former T-Birds, including Jamie Huscroft, Danny Lorenz, Lloyd Shaw, Jim McTaggart and Ed Sprague will be divided up among Team Olczyk and Team Patterson. Former Tacoma Rocket Jamie Butt and former professional hockey players Tavis Hansen and Doug Kirton, who is the Sno-King Hockey director, will also play in the All-Star game. …

John Barr, the creator and manager of the grassroots “NHL to Seattle” group, is in his 16th year supporting RMHC. Barr is organizing the Challenge game between NHLtoSeattle Black vs. NHLtoSeattle White. … Molly Doner who lives in the area, is a hockey instructor and played four seasons with the University of Wisconsin Badgers, returns for her second All-Star Game. …

Ian Furness and Matt “Slickhawk” Mikolas from 950 KJR Sportsradio will host and emcee the All-Star Game. …

This is the 22nd anniversary of the Hockey Challenge, which began in 1998, when hockey-playing Microsoft employees, with the help of the Thunderbirds, took an in-house rivalry public and decided to raise money for the RMHC. Since inception, the Challenge has raised more than $6.4 million for RMHC, which provides a “home-away-from-home” for children and their families during medical treatment, making each day a little easier.

Hockey Challenge 2020 schedule

Saturday, Feb. 15

Game 1: Seattle 32’s vs. Breakaway Crew, 8:35 a.m.

Game 2: Katie’s Krushers vs. Manny’s Mayhem, 10:15 a.m.

Game 3: Developer Relations vs. XBox Live, 11:55 a.m.

Game 4: Azure vs. Office 365, 1:35 p.m.

Game 5: NHLtoSeattle Black vs. NHLtoSeattle White, 3:15 p.m.

Game 6: Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Vancouver Giants, 6:05 p.m.

Game 7: Celebrity and T-Birds Alumni All-Star Game, immediately following T-Birds/Giants game.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Photo of camp instructors and atendees from a previous camp. Photo courtesy of Auburn Hoops.
Auburn Trojans Basketball Camp returns this June

Students from kindergarten to ninth grade can learn from the state champions.

Auburn High School boys basketball team poses for a photo after winning the state championship game against Rainier Beach. Photo courtesy of Auburn High School basketball
Auburn High School basketball team competes in the national championship game

After winning the state championship in Washington, Auburn High School’s boys basketball… Continue reading

Emerald Downs to hike purses another 10% for 2022 season

Track management expects more fans at Auburn track

Athletes from Auburn’s three high schools were celebrated for winning state championship tournaments in a variety of sports. Photo by Henry Stewart-Wood/Auburn Reporter.
Auburn celebrates state champions

Athletes from Auburn’s three schools were celebrated outside of city hall on Monday.

Cait Carr, left, and Aly (Carr) Lacey pose for a photo in their varsity jackets. The sisters played together at Auburn Mountainview High School, but now coach girls basketball at Auburn Mountainview and Kentlake High School, respectively. COURTESY PHOTO, Marla Carr
Two sisters, once teammates, now coaching against each other

Carr sisters coach high school girls basketball at Kentlake, Auburn Mountainview

Auburn High School boys basketball team poses for a photo after winning the state championship game against Rainier Beach. Photo courtesy of Auburn High School basketball.
Auburn High School wins state basketball championship

The Auburn High School boys basketball team made history by winning the… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Richard Sherman takes plea deal on charges stemming from July 2021 incident

The former Seahawks player will not have to do any additional jail time.

Photo courtesy of Auburn High School.
Auburn High School basketball team ready for state tournament

The team recently won its first district championship in 35 years.

NPSL Boys Basketball All League Team 2021-22

These are the 2021-22 NPSL Boys Basketball All-League teams. Most valuable player:… Continue reading

Design rendering of future Sounders FC facility in Renton. (Courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC)
Seattle Sounders FC announce new HQ at Renton’s Longacres site

Facility is expected to open in 2024, before Seattle potentially hosts FIFA World Cup games in 2026.

WIAA launches bias reporting form in response to discriminatory incidents

Inappropriate behavior seen, heard or witnessed at any WIAA member school event can be reported.