“Living in Eau Claire I felt like I couldn’t do much to help,” Geiger said. “When we decided to do this I felt like I was actually able to help her cause for the first time since she was diagnosed.”
Pink ribbons and balloons cluttered Hobbs Ice Arena on October 24, when the St. Cloud State’s Hockey Club came to town. The Eau Claire Blugolds supplied pink tape for both teams and some players honored affected friends and family members by writing names on their sticks. Generous students, parents and supporters made donations throughout the game at a table dedicated to sharing Johnson’s story. One-hundred percent of the proceeds went to the Johnson family.
Johnson, alongside a tremendous supporting cast of family and friends, made the trip from Antigo to Eau Claire to be in attendance at the game. The 6-0 Blugolds were trying to stay perfect against a competitive St. Cloud team. St. Cloud dominated the beginning of the first period but the game remained scoreless until none other than Kyle Geiger put one away late in the period.
Geiger said, “that was one of those goals that I could say, ‘That one was for you, sis.’”
The game went back-and-forth and Eau Claire was clinging to a one goal entering the third period. St. Cloud tied the game a minute and thirty seconds into the final stanza. The tie wouldn’t last long. Thirty seconds later, the Blugolds answered the call and older brother Ben Boldenow would set up his little brother Brad Boldenow for the eventual game winner.
The Blugolds advanced to 7-0, but the real winner was the Johnson family. Due to the tremendous generosity of the Eau Claire Club Hockey supporters over five-hundred dollars was raised and will go toward paying for Johnson’s treatment.
In the five years of Eau Claire’s Club Hockey existence this was their first ever benefit game. The flourishing student-run club has grown and improved every season and hopes these benefit games become a staple in the years to come.