Players get ready for a puck drop at the Power Play for Heroes in 2022, as service dog recipient Matt McMurray and his dog, Cobalt, stand ready for the faceoff.

Players get ready for a puck drop at the Power Play for Heroes in 2022, as service dog recipient Matt McMurray and his dog, Cobalt, stand ready for the faceoff.

Photo provided by Paul Sabatini

Power Play for Heroes set to face off Nov. 10

Proceeds to benefit Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 27, 2023


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Team Stahls’ and the Detroit Red Wings Alumni will go on the “Power Play for Heroes” Nov. 10 to help raise funds for a recipient in need of a service dog.

Paul Sabatini, concept development product and business specialist/sports initiatives at GroupeSTAHL, said this is the seventh-annual game in the charity hockey series. Players on the ice will include Detroit Red Wings alumnus Darren McCarty. Former NHL Zamboni driver Al Sobotka and WXYZ Channel 7 Sports Director Brad Galli will also take part in the event.    

The game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 at the St. Clair Shores Civic Ice Arena. Admission is $10 and kids 10 and younger are free.

There will be activities at the game including face painting as well as raffles and various memorabilia from the Detroit Red Wings Alumni and others. Sabatini said there will also be a food truck and open concessions.

Funds are raised for Guardian Angel Medical Service Dogs through the hockey game and an open house at the Stahls’ Automotive Collection. Ted and Mary Stahl have often given donations as well, said Mary Lamparter, Michigan’s regional coordinator for Guardian Angel Medical Service Dogs. All of the funds combined raise the $25,000 needed for a service dog.

Sabatini said they try to make it more of an experience rather than a hockey game.

“What’s cool, too, is we’ll have ‘Sweet Caroline’ playing in between the periods so the crowd and everybody will all sing it together,” Sabatini said. “The alumni guys are out there singing it. So we try to make it more of an experience and a fun event for anybody that’s attending and all raising money for a great cause.”

The Veterans Day open house, hosted the day after the game, on Nov. 11, is at Stahls’ Automotive Collection in Chesterfield Township and is open to the public, Sabatini said. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We honor those who have served (in the military) and those who are currently serving and it’s a great collection of cars and historic musical instruments,” Sabatini said.

Sabatini said he’s excited for the game.

“It’s almost like I’m planning a wedding every year,” Sabatini said. “So I’m looking forward to actually when the puck drops but all the planning and everything. We started on that months ago.”

Sabatini said in previous years, members from the city have gotten involved in the hockey game and they try to get the St. Clair Shores community involved as well.

“We’ve got a relationship with a special needs hockey program that’s out of St. Clair Shores Civic Arena. We invite them to the game,” Sabatini said. “We invite them onto the ice with us afterwards to join us with a photo with the Detroit Red Wings alumni.”

Lamparter said Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs started around 13 years ago. During its service, they have paired more than 400 service dogs in 40 states around the country.

The recipient of a service dog doesn’t have to pay for the dog and the money comes from fundraisers hosted by companies like Stahls’ and donations.

The approval process for a service dog can take a number of months and even up to a year, Lamparter said. It starts with a one-page application and after the application is reviewed, an interview process starts. The person asking for a service dog must meet certain criteria and they also have to complete training.

“There’s a lot of things that they obviously have to know and that whole process, as I said, can go on for a number of months before a dog has been identified that would be a good fit for that person,” Lamparter said.

Lamparter said the family members are impacted as much as the recipients because of what a recipient goes through.

“When a service dog comes into that recipient’s life, it changes it so much that they’re able to go out of their home, they’re able to participate, they’re able to be in public again,” Lamparter said. “Those children, spouse(s), their life changes dramatically also because they end up getting their husband or wife or their family member back.”

Lamparter said it’s our obligation to help veterans and first responders who have made a huge sacrifice.

“And because of that, coming to the hockey game, supporting financially and just supporting in public by being there is very, very important,” Lamparter said.

Tickets for the Power Play for Heroes charity hockey game are available at To inquire about group tickets, email