SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) Over in Springfield Saturday, the Thundebirds 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.

Bitten’s Cousin Martin Piché bravely battled cancer for seven years and unfortunately passed away back in 2021 at the age of 31. In the hopes of commemorating Piché 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.

“We’re going to be doing things thorough out the night we’ll be raising money to keep local as well and to support our local charities that are focused on beating cancer we try to find a cause that’s close to us and close to our team,” said Nathan Costa, President of Springfield Thunderbirds.

Saturday’s game will give hockey fans a chance to sign a placard indicating who they fight for. During the game, charitable components like the 50-50 contest, jersey raffles, and chuck-a-puck will benefit local cancer charities and the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada in memory of Piché.