Lawmakers top lobbyists in annual hockey game

March 6

There’s no rulebook for the Congressional Hockey Challenge, the annual charity game that pits members of Congress against lobbyists. So we can’t say officially that it was a sneaky move for Team Lawmakers to import a few ringers from Canada to give them a boost in Wednesday night’s matchup.

Whether or not the strategy was totally kosher, it worked. The members of Congress, with an assist from three members of the Canadian parliament, beat Team Lobbyist, 7-5.

No one was complaining, though. Despite the competitive air, the event was for a good cause: proceeds benefit two youth hockey programs, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club. And it also included players from the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program, an organization for wounded veterans.

Three U.S. lawmakers laced up for the game: Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.). Peter Bondra and Alan May, two former Caps players who helped round out the roster for each team, named Meehan the most likely lawmaker to play in the NHL.

Not surprising, since Meehan’s a former professional hockey referee.
Paulsen said he’s played since he was a kid, and Bucshon only picked up the game 12 years ago when his son started playing. In addition to their friends from north of the border, the lawmakers were joined by Mark Little, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee, who snagged MVP of the game for his goal against the lobbyists.

Secretary of State John Kerry, a noted hockey devotee, served as the honorary captain of Team Lawmakers. You could have found the former Massachusetts senator on the ice in years past, but his new job (that pesky Putin!) is interfering with his playing time lately.

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Emily Heil | March 6