Two members of the Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake girls’ hockey team have been tabbed to skate in the Shriners All-Star Classic.
Hanson residents and WHSL captains Mel McAleer and Hannah Tracy will be representing the co-op as members of the South roster in this year’s event on Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m. at the Canton Ice House.
The Shriners All-Star Classic features the best players in the state and squares off the North against the South. each player is tasked with raising money for Shriners Hospitals for Children, a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals.
WHSL head coach Kevin Marani said he couldn’t be more proud to have two of his players in this prestigious contest.
“It means a lot to our program because of the game and what the game represents,” Marani said. “I’m very happy.”
For McAleer, this will mark her second straight trip to the event.
“I would say being nominated for the Shriners [All- Star Classic] twice was absolutely my biggest achievement on the ice,” McAleer said.
McAleer, who has scored a lot of goals — 110 to be exact — in almost four seasons competing for Whitman- Hanson/Pembroke and then WHSL said it’s a great honor to be known as one of the best hockey players in Massachusetts but that says little about her as a person.
“Being able to be use my ability to create [an] opportunity to give back to those who really need it as much as I do is a greater accomplishment that any number of times I can put a puck in a net,” McAleer said.
With the Division 2 state title game slated to take place in mid to late March, this will be the final time McAleer skates as a member of the Panthers.
“I am most excited for the game because it will be a great completion and it will ultimately be the last time I represent WHSL on the ice,” McAleer said.
For Tracy, who was on the bubble of cracking the roster last season, this will be her first time in the Shriners All-Star Classic.
The Whitman-Hanson senior said she received word of her nomination while skimming through her email and almost accidently deleted it.
“I was excited that I’m going to be playing up against the best in the state in a game that has such a strong meaning behind it,” Tracy said. “Playing next to some of the best and some of the girls I’ve played with over the years is exciting, so it will be a fun time.”
Tracy has racked up 21 goals and dished out 22 assists thus far this season and has been an integral part of WHSL’s success since its inaugural campaign in 2014— helping the co-op reach the postseason for its third straight year. In this contest, she said she isn’t worried about the final score.
“The most exciting part about playing in this game is even if my team wins or loses we still win by helping out the Shriners Hospital,” Tracy said.
The 1-2 duo of McAleer and Tracy is split up most of the year due to their instant impact on whoever they play with, and Tracy said she is hopeful the two can skate on the same line in this event.
“It’s a good feeling knowing you can play with a teammate,” Tracy said. “We don’t play together much during the season, but when we do we are unstoppable.”
In lieu of the game, the two participants have set up GoFundMe campaigns to raise money for the Aleppo Shriners Children’s Transportation Fund.
McAleer’s page can be found at: https://www.gofundme. com/shriners-all-starclassic- hockey
Tracy’s page can be found at: https://www.gofundme. com/3c9qoa8?lang=en-US