All-women's hockey tournament pairs hockey with hope

You could call this girls’ weekend at the rink, but an all-women’s hockey tournament in Blaine paired hockey with hope.

The 19th annual “Stick It to Cancer” tournament wrapped up Sunday afternoon with all proceeds benefiting the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center.

“We put hockey second and the cause first and foremost,” tournament director Kristi King said. “It’s much more important than the game of hockey and putting on a tournament. It is to change people’s lives.”

The event hits close to home for many participants. For some it’s a yearly reminder to remember loved ones lost, but playing hockey is a story of survival for others.

“I played in this tournament long before I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Menta Macey said.

Menta Macey frequently plays in “Stick It to Cancer”, but her last four years of playing hockey have been part of her remission process.

“All of these people are kind of supporting me in a way,” Macey said. “I just want people to know that it’s a devastating diagnosis but it is not the end. You just keep on going.”

The fight is not Menta’s alone. All it takes is one look at the ice to see all of the support on the ice, where every goal scored is one step to a bigger goal.

“I see some ladies here who are actually battling cancer,” King said. “They have come up and said how special we’ve made them feel and how it gave them the extra push to keep on fighting.”

“Stick It to Cancer” says it has raised $763,478 to benefit cancer research during the previous 18 tournaments leading up to this year. The goal is to reach $1,000,000 in donations in the near future.