ITHACA, N.Y. — The star-studded rosters for the fourth annual Racker Rivals Big Red presented by Tompkins Trust Company have been released, including Hockey of Hall of Fame inductee Joe Nieuwendyk, several NHL veterans, fan-favorite program alumni and the captain of the U.S. team in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Nieuwendyk, a three-time Stanley Cup champion over his 19-year NHL career, will again participate this year. He will be joined on Team Cornell by fellow NHL veterans Brian Gionta – a 16-year NHLer who wore the ‘C’ for the U.S. in the recent Olympics – and Brad Chartrand ’96, who played for five seasons with the Los Angeles Kings.
Team Racker will feature several recent Cornell hockey alumni making waves in the professional ranks, plus Alex Tuch – who just helped the first-year Vegas Golden Knights reach the Stanley Cup finals. Joakim Ryan ’15, a rising star who played in 62 games as a rookie with the San Jose Sharks this year, will join Anthony Angello, Cole Bardreau ’15 and Andy Iles ’14. Cornell Women’s Hockey alumna Alyssa Gagliardi ’14 and Amanda Mazzotta ’12 are also scheduled to play.
Cornell fan favorite and former assistant coach Topher Scott ’08, who has been instrumental in the development of Racker Rivals Big Red and will serve as event chair for this year’s game.
Mike Schafer, the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey at Cornell, and Tompkins Trust Company Vice President Greg Hartz will serve as team captains, and both teams will continue to add to their already-impressive team rosters right up until the game. For up-to-date roster announcements, like and follow Racker’s Facebook page.
Racker Rivals Big Red begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Cargill Friends and Family Open Skate, a rare opportunity for the public to skate on Cornell’s famed Lynah Rink ice. The puck drops for Racker Rivals Big Red at 7 p.m., and members of the Ithaca Mites youth hockey program will play an intermission exhibition game at the half.
In celebration of Racker’s 70th Anniversary, tickets for Racker Rivals Big Red are just $7. Children up to the age of 7 will be admitted for free. In addition to the Cornell Athletics Ticket Office, tickets can be purchased through Tompkins Trust Company locations in Ithaca and Trumansburg, Maguire Family Insurance Services in Trumansburg, and the Maguire Family Insurance Agency in Ithaca.
Community members can support Racker by pledging their favorite player. For sponsorship or game information, contact Carrie Carmenatty at (607) 272-5891, Ext. 285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racker, formerly Franziska Racker Centers, has been supporting individuals with disabilities and their families for 70 years by offering opportunities to learn and be connected with others and fostering an environment of inclusion, where all people know they belong.
ROSTERS (as of July 2)
Tony Eisenhut, Mike Schafer, Jan Pajerski, Scott Pronti, Paul Zarach, Charlie Cook, Ben White, Sean Schmidt, Brian Myers, Ben Syer, Joe Nieuwendyk, Sam Paolini, John Ettinger, Brad Chartrand, Brian Gionta, Duanne Moeser, Jeremy Downs, Wayne Mahar.
Alyssa Gagliardi, Roger Dennis, Pat Ouckama, Joakim Ryan, Bob Shattell, Greg Collins, Chris Collins, Anthony Angello, Sean Flanagan, Cole Bardreau, Matt Hedge, Mike Radja, Topher Scott, Amanda Mazzotta, Andy Iles, Dave Iles, Joe Palmer, Greg Hartz, Alex Tuch.