It all started when…

Two long time Hockey Challenge captains sat down to brainstorm new and creative ideas to raise awareness and funds to as part of the bigger Hockey Challenge for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska (“the House”).

So… who’s going in net?

Only one of the captains was an actual goalie. The other had a great respect for goalies, but had never put on goalie gear. After much ribbing back and forth, it came down to a dare - have the skater suit up in goalie gear for the first time. See if anyone would donate for the chance to score goals and light the newbie “goalie” up. To sweeten the deal, for any goals scored on the newbie “goalie,” the skater would get a free breakaway chance against a more experienced and “marquee” goalie. And hence, they convinced one of their good friends, who was not too shabby in net, to join the shenanigans.

The two goalies for the event would donate money for any goal scored, whether against the newbie or the experienced goalie. Winners would get the chance for a rematch against the experienced goalie during first intermission of the Seattle Thunderbirds game on the day of the main Hockey Challenge.

Much to the captains’ and goalies’ chagrin, the event was much more popular than expected. The goalies sold out the first time slot and had to add a second time slot to face all the pucks purchased.


Rematch in front of a live WHL crowd

With the support of the House and the Seattle Thunderbirds, we offer the winners a “rematch” during the Seattle Thunderbirds game on the day of the Hockey Challenge. Score goals - showcase rematch.

“Upgrading” the experience

New goalies and Upgrades added

Each year, we up the ante to make it more interesting for the goalies and the skaters. We add new goalies into the mix, and find new and entertaining ways to make it harder and harder for the goalies to defend their nets, offering skaters the chance to “upgrade” their breakaway experience in exchange for small incremental donations. It is for charity after all. :D

Upgrades can include options like:

  • Goalie must wear an eye patch

  • Goalie must wear 3D glasses

  • Goalie must use a two goalie sticks (no catching glove)

More goals means more donations, more laughter, more ribbing and ultimately more nights where families can continue to stay close. To date, thanks to our team and the great support from the local community, we have raised over $50,000 to support the House, just lighting up goalies.

Summer Breakaways Edition - Now with Skills Stations!

For Summer 2019, we added skills stations for the first time. In addition to lighting up our our crew of goalies, skaters and non-skaters can also showcase their individual hockey skills.