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Peninsula Panthers raised thousands to help young fan amid cancer fight

Game result second to helping Ronan Lougheed
Panthers #15 Malcolm Fletcher has Islanders #16 Easton Sandberg and #3 Eric Stinson draped all over him in 2nd period action last Friday night. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart Photography)

Sometimes life is more important than the game

The Peninsula Panthers came out second best Friday night as they dropped a 5-3 decision against the Kerry Park Islanders in the friendly confines of the Panorama Recreation Centre. The game was all knotted at 3-3 into the 3rd frame but the Islanders found a way to put two more pucks past Panthers’ goaltender Tanner Ferrill and the rest was history. But the outcome paled in contrast to what the evening was truly about.

Around 7 p.m. a large crowd began to filter into the Panorama for the 7:30 p.m. start and the fans were more than prepared to open up their hearts and their wallets.

The Panthers had pegged this date as a fundraiser in support of 11-year-old Ronan Lougheed and his family. Lougheed is currently in BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver fighting a type of cancer that inordinately affects children: Burkitt Lymphoma. Lougheed has been in the hospital for two months and is expected to remain there until sometime next April. This situation has obviously caused some financial issues for the family and the Panthers jumped at the opportunity to bring some support. Lougheed currently plays hockey with the Peninsula Minor Hockey Association and is a big fan of the Peninsula Panthers.

Two weeks ago, three members of the Panthers travelled to Children’s Hospital – Ethan Lingard, Julien Phillips, Malcolm Fletcher, as well as head coach and GM Tyler Stanton – and presented the youngster with a signed Panthers jersey. The players on the club each provided a short video message and the compilation was also gifted to Ronan.

The fans were asked to dig deep into their wallets and purses for the 50/50 draw and a full house did just that. At the end of the evening, the Lougheed family were presented with $3,129.

“The hockey community on the Peninsula is amazing,” quipped Panthers owner Pete Zubersky. “The Peninsula Minor Hockey Association folks were everywhere and they helped with much of the legwork at the game. Coreen and I left the game feeling lucky that we were able to provide a means to make this happen and we will all sit back now and send positive wishes to the Lougheed family and watch the progress Ronan will make.”

The Panthers are back at home Friday night when they host the visiting Westshore Wolves with the puck set to drop at 7:30 pm.