REPRINTED FROM THE ORTONVILLE INDEPENDENT
WEDNESDAY MARCH 14, 2007
Zach's team keeps title in memorial hockey game
The third annual Zach Kafka Memorial Hockey game was held Saturday, resulting in Zach's team winning the crown for the second straight year. Zach's team won the game with a final score of 6-4. The skaters on both teams had a lot of fun on the ice and many fans from the area enjoyed cheering them on. Busting things loose for the first goal of the game, was Paul Tinklenberg of Willmar, formerly of Ortonville, for the challenging team. MBA Storm Squirt Coach Jeremiah Day of Morris scored the second goal for the challengers off an assist from Ron Sharstrom of Morris. Josh Benck put Zach's team on the board first with a goal off an assist in the first period by Ortonville's Jason Oakes in the first period. Zach's team took the lead in the second period with three goals. Oakes scored with an assist from Brian Shelstad of Ortonville, Luke Backstrand of Ortonville scored off an assist from Oakes and Cody Haukos of Ortonville shot a lone goal. Nick Thymian scored the challenger's only goal in the second period. Sharstrom scored a third period goal for the challengers. The last two goals for Zach's team were shot by Shelstad, one of which was assisted by Benck.
Coaching Zach's team was Bob Johnson, who bellered, “I love this game!” throughout the day. Playing for Zach's team were: Kole Arndt, Cody Haukos, Luke Kafka, Nick Stolpman, Josh Benck,Corey Tollefson, Nate Raffety, Brian Shelstad, Christina Shelstad, Luke Backstrand, Cody Backstrand, Josh Zahn, Jason Oakes, Kyle Taylor, Brent Hanratty, Dalton DeWitt, and tending the goal for Zach's team was Steve Raffety.
Coaching the challengers was Dick Raffety. Their roster consisted of Nick Thymian, Jeff Watson, Aaron Zahn, Garth Haukos, Stacy Homan Jeremiah Day, Troy Kennedy, Eric Thomes, Rich Raffety, Kor Mulder, Paul Tinklenberg, Ron Sharstrom, Nick Anderson, Keith Gimberlin, Casey Haukos, Mike Morales and blocking the net was Scott Boise.
“Everyone had a great time,” said Dan Kafka. “It really didn't matter who won or lost, it was about remembering Zach and having fun with the sport of hockey.” So many people shared memories with me of Zach and past games. It's neat how it has become an annual event that everyone looks forward to. That's what it's all about,” said Dan. He and his family thank everyone for making the event possible Held at the Lee Ice Arena in Morris, the game is played in memory of Dan's son Zach Kafka, who died suddenly at the age of 18 in 2004.
Dan organized the event, which is held the second weekend in March each year. Zach played goalie for the Big Stone Lake Area Junior Varsity team, and loved hockey, so Dan decided to hold a game in his memory each year.
Zach's teammates come back to play in the game and play a challenging team.
Dan has also created the Zach Kafka Memorial Fund in his son's memory dedicating a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior. The 2007 Zach Kafka Memorial Game raised another $1,358.00 for the Scholarship Endowment.
Next Years game is set once again for the second Saturday in March (March 8th, 2008) at the Lee Community Center in Morris, MN.