W-H junior named to All-Star Classic game
By Nathan Rollins
McAleer shines for Shriners: Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake girls’ hockey is sending a player to skate in this year’s Shriners All-Star Classic. Forward Melanie McAleer has been selected to compete in the event.
The Shriners All-Star Classic is a showcase of the best and most talented hockey players across Massachusetts. The game is played to help raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children, specifically for the Aleppo Transportation Fund. Every year, the event raises thousands of dollars for the hospitals. The event illustrates the devotion Shriners Hospitals for Children has for their patients.
McAleer said being one of a handful of girls chosen to take part in the action is a tremendous gesture.
“To play in the Shriners All-Star Classic Game is truly an honor,” the junior said. “I always knew that the players that were picked to participate are highly respected on and off the ice and it is truly a privilege to be one of them this year.”
The game, which is scheduled for Friday, March 26 at the in Loring Arena in Framingham, held an orientation on Feb. 6 at the Performing Arts Center at Reading Memorial High School. It was there, that the players took team and individual pictures had the chance to meet with their coaches. McAleer said it was an incredible feeling to be among some of the best hockey players around but that’s not the real reason the game is held.
“What inspired me most during the orientation, was the video presentation that was shown of the patients that Shriners has helped,” McAleer said. “Listening to their stories made me understand why they bring us all together. It is awesome to be considered one of the best hockey players in the state, but it feels much better to be looked to with the responsibility of raising money for such a great organization.”
The 17-year-old McAleer said the sport of hockey drew her in at a young age and she has pursued it ever since.
“My family has always been into hockey, but my love for the game was natural,” McAleer said. “I always loved skating and when I was 7-year-old, my mom finally agreed to let me start playing. Ever since then, I haven’t stopped loving it.”
Whitman-Hanson / Silver Lake girl’s hockey coach, Kevin Marani, said McAleer has an incredible amount of talent on the ice.
“[She’s] an amazing strong skater with great stickhandling and a hard shot,” Marani, who coached McAleer for one year in youth hockey, said. “What separates Mel from most of the players is her unselfishness, commitment and leadership. Those three characteristics are paramount to our team’s success.
McAleer has notched 26 goals and complied 13 assists so far this season.