The inaugural Asbury Park Press All-Star Hockey Classic is set for Aug. 23, when 42 of the top skaters from Monmouth and Ocean Counties will head to Middletown Ice World to compete in a charitable game that aims to raise funds and support for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen of Red Bank and Toms River.
Presented by Trinity Financial Sports & Entertainment Management, and sponsored by Avon Pond, Beacon Awards & Signs, and the New Jersey Devils, this collection of Shore Conference hockey star power will have the puck dropped at 4 p.m. and are sure to provide fans in attendance an incredible display of skill.
Before this group of home grown talent hits the ice get to know the corps of defensemen patrolling the blue line for Class A Central and A South all-stars squad below.
School: Donovan Catholic
2015 Highlights: The Donovan Catholic captain led all local defensemen in scoring with 63 points on 28 goals and 35 assists, numbers that placed him tied for seventh in overall conference scoring. The Second Team All-Shore selection led his club to both conference and state tournament appearances, before signing a tendered contract in August to play with the Islanders Hockey Club of the United States Premier Hockey League’s Elite Division.
Becoming the role model: “One of the best parts of these types of games is the fact that we get to give back to our community by playing hockey,” Drake said. “It’s something we should do as often as possible, and something our parents and coaches have taught us growing up.”
“You may not know exactly who it’s helping on a personal level, but it could be your neighbor. Regardless, it sends a great message to the younger guys coming up. You always want to be a good role model on and off the ice for them. It’s part of the legacy you leave behind.”
School: Southern Regional
2015 Highlights: The Southern Regional captain led the Rams to its first Class A South division championship in program history, as well as the club’s first State Tournament semifinals appearance. The Third Team All-Shore selection finished with 22 points on seven goals and 15 assists.
Giving back: “Sometimes Southern gets forgotten as a Shore Conference team because we live so far down south by Long Beach Island, but I remember when Hurricane Sandy hit and our community was devastated,” Biegan said.
“We made it through because our school became a shelter and churches were food banks. The community came together and surrounding towns helped us out. These games are cool because we get to do what we love and give back. It’s important.”
School: Red Bank Catholic
2015 Highlights: Chinnici finished fourth amongst conference defensemen in scoring with 48 points on 14 goals and 34 assists. The Second Team All-Shore selection helped lift the Caseys to a Class A Central crown and its second straight conference tournament title.
The last time: “The best part about these games is being able to skate with friends and teammates one last time,” Chinnici said. “It’s sinking in that this is really the last one, the last time to get out there with my guys from RBC. And it should be a competitive game. Everyone is going to go 100 percent for the win.”
The defense: Drake, Biegan, and Chinnici will be joined on the blue line by a trio of sophomores in Matt Kimak (Point Boro), Justin Hulse (Brick Memorial), and Trevor Cear (Jackson Memorial).
Kimak and Cear both helped lead their respective clubs to Shore Conference and state tournament appearnaces in 2015, while the former and Hulse both earned APP All-Sophomore honors for their efforts.
The Details: Presented by Trinity Financial Sports & Entertainment Management, and sponsored by Avon Pond, Beacon Awards & Signs of Middletown, and the New Jersey Devils, the Asbury Park Press invites fans to join the festivities starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23 for this fundraising all-star event.
Tickets for the inaugural APP All-Star Hockey Classic, which will have the puck dropped at 4 p.m., are $10 and will be available at Middletown Ice World on the day of the event, which will feature a free autograph session by former NHL players like Grant Marshall of the New Jersey Devils and Nicholas Fotiu of the New York Rangers.
The event will help raise money and awareness for the JBJ Soul Kitchen, a community-based nonprofit program operated by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which has dining locations in Red Bank and Toms River.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen will be the beneficiary of a charity raffle held on site with 100 percent of proceeds going to the program. Raffle items will include autographed memorabilia from NHL, NFL, and MLB greats — including a signed Devils team stick, and autographed Ken Daneyko and Grant Marshall jerseys — among other prizes.
A portion of funds raised by ticket and program sales will also be donated to the JBJ Soul Kitchen.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen was established in 2011 by Garden State rocker and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi, and founded on the idea that no one should be without a hot and nutritious meal, regardless of their financial situation. With that notion in mind, the JBJ Soul Kitchen’s menu has no prices, instead asking its customer to pay a minimum donation, or to volunteer their time in exchange for a meal.
Stay with the Press and APP.com in the upcoming weeks for more information. If you are interested in getting involved in the inaugural Asbury Park Press Hockey Classic, contact hockey beat writer Chris Rotolo at firstname.lastname@example.org.