SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Over in Springfield Saturday night, the Thunderbirds will be playing for a cause as they host their annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night, while they face off the top seeded Charlotte Checkers.

This year’s hockey fights cancer game will have a deep and meaningful connection to the community, but also to Thunderbirds winger Will Bitten. Saturday night’s big question, who are you fighting for?

“Today I’m really here for my friend Billy Sullivan. He passed away yesterday from brain cancer so it hits home an its really meaningful game,” said fan Anthony Shea.

Bitten’s Cousin Maritn Piché  bravely battled cancer for seven years and unfortunately passed away back in 2021. In the hopes of commemorating Piché’s Legacy The Thunderbirds started Bitsy’s Army, and they will be wearing special warm up jerseys before the game. These uniforms will go up for auction with a portion of the proceeds going towards the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada.

“Cancer sucks and it’s affected all of us and so to be able to lean into what the NHL does with hockey fights cancer program it just provides another opportunity to us to do the right thing and give back to people that are fighting,” said Nathan Costa president of Springfield thunderbirds.

For fans attending the game on Saturday, there will be numerous ways to show your support for Hockey Fights Cancer. From participating in the 50-50 drawing, the auction, or even in the Chuck a Puck Contests.

“It’s really about all cancer awareness you know we’ll have I fight for signs that fans can come out and fill out who they fight for our players will be doing that they’ll have then done on the ice we try to find cause that’s close to us and our team,” said Costa.

Fans can also pick up specials Bitsy’s Army Merchandise items such as apparel and
commemorative pucks. All donations will go towards local cancer based charities.

“I fight for Michelle and my grandma. stop cancer,” said fan Destiny Shea.

We all fight for someone in our life whether its for ourselves or for somone we love.
Brain and other nervous system cancer is the 10th leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.