Hockey for a good cause: Game supports local boy with cancer

Feb 6, 2022

BOURNE — The stands at the Gallo Ice Arena were packed on Saturday afternoon — both for the game between Wareham and Old Rochester Regional and to support Shane McColgan, a classmate currently fighting cancer.

Shane, a 15-year-old from Carver, attends Carver High School with many of the players on the Wareham/Carver team. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and has been in the hospital since.

McColgan is the founder of the Shane Gives Thanks Food Pantry, and just as he has helped the community for years, the community showed up to support him.

Before the game, volunteers were busy selling t-shirts and tickets for a 50/50, raffles, and a chuck-a-puck. The proceeds went to support Shane and his family.

“One thing about this team — they come together for causes like this,” said Gina Valatkevicz, the wife of the Wareham coach and one of the fundraiser’s organizers.

Shane’s aunt, Monica Cole, said that Vikings have a special meaning for Shane and his family. When Shane was born, his grandmother called him a little Viking, and predicted he’d change the world.

Shane was able to listen to the game in the hospital, where he has been undergoing chemotherapy. If all goes well, he’ll be receiving a bone marrow transplant. 

“He’s such a strong kid and he does so much,” said Cole. “He’s always giving.” 

She said seeing the outpouring of support from the community has been wonderful.

Once the game began, the Bulldogs sprang into action, scoring four times in the first period. 

The Vikings scored their only game in the second period. The Bulldogs won the game 8-1.

“It’s been a tough year on the ice,” said Vikings Coach Rich Valatkevicz. “My kids continue to skate hard, continue to play hard, and that’s all I ask of them.”

Valatkevicz said that his team is young, and injuries and covid have made the season hard. He hasn’t had a full team for most of the season.

“That’s my biggest win of the year is being able to support this young man and what he’s going through,” Valatkevicz said.

Bulldogs Coach Zach Ledogar said that the win was “a good bounce back for the team” after a tough loss on Wednesday.

“We were able to play every single one of our players, so that was awesome,” Ledogar said. So far, the team has a 6-5 record, and Ledogar said the team is hoping to head to the play-offs.