Lawmakers trounce Lobbyists in annual charity hockey game
After the House of Representatives gaveled out for the week on Wednesday, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) traded voting sheets for a sheet of ice and laced up for the Congressional Hockey Challenge.
Emmer and the rest of Team Lawmakers beat Team Lobbyists 8-3 after taking an early lead, marking the fifth consecutive win for the lawmakers in the 13th annual charity game.
“When you’re on the bench, doesn’t matter who you are … Doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican. Politics don’t matter. You just come on, you play, and it’s for a great cause,” Emmer, a noted hockey lover in Congress who played for the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, said on the ice after the game. He was all smiles as he held the event’s trophy.
“Let’s face it, ice only exists in one place that’s in heaven,” Emmer said.
The GOP representative was technically the only lawmaker to play in Wednesday’s game at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., with the rest of the team made up of Congressional staff that included Rob Wagener from Rep. Scott Fitzgerald’s (R-Wis.) office and Amber Moore from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) office.
“More of the worthy members of Congress would play if there wasn’t a fly-out night,” said Emmer, who has played in the event since he came to Congress in 2015. House Democrats were also out of town at their annual issues retreat in Baltimore, Md.
The Washington insiders on the ice got some assistance from three hockey Olympians: 2018 gold medalist Haley Skarupa played for Team Lawmakers, while 2018 gold medalist and 2022 silver medalist Megan Keller as well as 2022 silver medalist Hayley Scamurra played for Team Lobbyists.
The Team Lobbyists roster included Trevor Hanger of Forbes Tate, who made headlines a few years ago as an emergency backup goalie for the Washington Capitals.
The Congressional Hockey Challenge has raised more than $1 million for charities since 2009, and organizers said it raised nearly $150,000 this year. Beneficiaries include the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association to support the growth of women’s and girl’s hockey, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in Washington, DC, Capital Beltway Warriors Hockey Program, USA Warriors Hockey and the annual “22 Hours of Hockey” event, hosted by the Tampa Warriors.
Emmer teased that he will use his hockey-guy skills in the new House GOP majority as Whip.
“They ain’t seen nothing yet,” he said. “We play a little different. We like conflict. We like to mix it up a little bit. People tend to – let’s say they get a little juices going, they tend to tell you what they really think, and then you can figure out what the problem is and solve it.”
“I can’t wait for next year. I think I gotta play well into my 70s,” said Emmer, 61.
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