After University of Detroit Jesuit beat top-ranked Birmingham Brother Rice, 3-2, in hockey Tuesday night, the losing Warriors squad skated by spectator and 1983 Brother Rice graduate Paul Apap, and lifted their sticks to salute him.
So did the U-D Jesuit squad, which includes junior Teddy Apap, who scored the winning goal in a game that raised $5,400 for research into ALS, the debilitating neurological condition that his father has battled since 2010.
“The Brother Rice team went over to the glass and did a stick wave testimonial to Mr. Apap, and our guys did the same thing,” said Rick Bennetts, the U-D Jesuit coach. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the stands based on the tremendous sportsmanship both teams showed to Mr. Apap.”
After the game, the teams dumped ice water over each others’ heads, a take on the popular “Ice Bucket Challenge” that debuted last summer to raise money for the research into ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“We couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Maureen Apap said of the memory made by her husband watching their son play for his school and this cause.
She said her husband, who played hockey for Brother Rice, kept telling her how lucky they were to be part of it. She thanked Brother Rice for its graciousness and generosity in donating the game’s admission fees, and to others who made donations.
Teddy Apap hurt his shoulder after he scored the game-winning goal, but didn’t tell the coach, his mother said, because he wanted to stay on the ice for the game being played for his dad. “He left the game in a sling,” she noted.
Several hundred fans packed Oak Park Ice Arena for the game between the Catholic League rivals to honor Paul Apap, 49, a Bloomfield Hills attorney.
Brother Rice hockey coach Lou Schmidt was disappointed with the game’s final score, but not with the teams’ sportsmanship and the crowd’s generosity. Rice has a 17-5 record, and U-D Jesuit stands at 14-6-1.
“It just puts everything in perspective,” said Schmidt, whose grandfather Harry Hoenselaar, the founder of HoneyBaked Ham and its trademark spiral slice, died of ALS in 1974.
“Although there were some unhappy kids in the end,” said Schmidt, the current president of HoneyBaked Ham Michigan, “I think they were happy that they could play and show support.”
Proceeds from the game are going the ALS Therapy Development Institute in Massachusetts. Contributions in Paul Apap’s honor can be made to ALS TDI, Attention: Terri Handler, 300 Technology Square, Suite 400, Cambridge, MA, 02139 .
Contact Patricia Montemurri: 313-223-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @pmontemurri.