​CMU club hockey team to put on ugly sweater event for fellow hockey brother


Club hockey players celebrate after a goal during the first period against Michigan on Nov. 13, 2015 at the Mount Pleasant Ice Arena. The Chippewas won, 8-2.

Central Michigan and other club hockey teams across the country are coming together to support Andrew Lay, a University of Michigan-Flint hockey player who suffered a severe neck injury on Nov. 20.

Central Michigan will host "Ugly Sweaters for Andrew” at 3 p.m. for this Saturday’s game against Grand Valley at the Isabella ICE Community Arena to help raise money and show support for the Lay family.

Lay, a senior and captain, took a hit as he was going to get a puck at the boards which sent his head straight into the wooden boards. He broke two vertebrae in his back, with one pressing against his spinal cord. He underwent hours of surgery.

“It means a lot to us for us to hold this fundraiser for Andrew because he plays in the same league we do,” said junior forward Cody DeLorenzo. “On the ice we play hard, but off of it, we’re all friends. We kind of picture it as if it happened to one of our boys, and (are doing) what we would do for them.”

After the game, the team will hold a holiday-themed open skate where people can wear ugly sweaters, listen to Christmas music and skate alongside players from both teams. Students can get into the game free.

“We all need to support each other and help each other out,” said Director of Broadcasting for CMU hockey Shawn Bednard. “This is one of our brothers in our conference, in our league, just on the ice, and if he goes down, who’s going to have his back? He has his teammates support, his coach’s support, but we have to let him know just because we don’t play on the same team, it doesn’t mean we aren’t part of the same team.”

Bednard and Tyler Marcotte, the director of video and media content, thought this would be a great event to get the community involved in and show support for Lay.

“We wanted to do something in December to interact the community,” Bednard said. “And when this came up, it was perfect because we can get the community out here and help a brother in the hockey community.”

All proceeds that the arena will receive during the game and the event following, including admission, skate rental and proceeds from Brotherhood Hockey’s gear sales will go toward Lay’s medical fund at www.gofundme.com/arbkft3w.