Back to Military Life

Dream comes true

Army vs Navy hockey game, Feb. 4

Army will play Navy in a hockey game Feb. 4 in Everett. Photo credit: Gail Wood

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Growing up playing hockey and having served in the Navy, Sean Joyce had a dream.

He wanted the Army and Navy to play hockey against each other.

For the second year in a row, Joyce, the intramural sports coordinator for Naval Sports Everett, will get his wish when Army plays Navy, Feb. 4, at Everett's Xfinity Arena.

Joyce grew up with a hockey stick in his hands: He played through high school and a year in college before going into the Navy.

"Hockey has always been a thing for me," he said.

While he was active-duty, he never had a hockey team.

"I tried," he said. "I'd write emails to all-Navy sports to see if we could get an all-Navy hockey team. But nothing ever came to fruition."

When Joyce heard there were enough players from both the Navy and the Army to have a team here, it got him going. He approached the Everett Silvertips, a pro team in the Western Hockey League.

"I floated the idea out to them," Joyce said. "They liked it. So I received funding for the event from MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation)."

This year's rematch will be played on the Everett Silvertips home ice starting at 2 p.m.    

Last year, a group from the USS Nimitz that played hockey went up against an Army team from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The Army team, which will be coached this year by Marcel Alvarez, won last year's game 9 to 4.

Both teams will have 15 skaters and two goalies. The Army team is made up of soldiers from JBLM.

"Army is a really good team," Joyce said. "It's my understanding that they had four or five guys play together at West Point, so they have some really good players. This year's team for the Navy should be a lot faster. (They) should be able to keep up with them a lot more."

Just as it was last year, this will be a non-checking game. That restricts contact and reduces the chance of injuries.

"I'm sure there will be incidental contact around the net and around the boards," Joyce said, "but on any open ice, checking will be penalized."

Getting a chance to get back onto the ice and play a game is a morale boost for both sides.

"I think this is just another thing for them to come together and have an outlet that gets them away from work and do something that they enjoy and probably have been doing for a long time in their life," Joyce said.

Pitting two military branches up against each other adds to the drama.

"It's kind of an esprit de corps," he said.

There are other regional sports face-offs between the Army and Navy. There are flag football and softball games, for instance, and there is a possibility of having a basketball clash in the future.

"As a region sports program, myself and the other region sports coordinators (are) building a regional program that will compete against the other services," Joyce said.

Army vs. Navy hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 4, doors open at 2 p.m., free, Xfinity Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett, for more information, go to

Read next close

News Front

Heroes to be recognized next week

comments powered by Disqus