LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When the Maine Army National Guard hockey team faced-off against the Maine Air National Guard squad on the ice at the Lewiston Coliseum, the gloves were off once the game was on.
"Last year, I think we handed it to them," stated Lt. Col. Steven Michaud, with the Maine Air National Guard. "I will literally say we spanked them last year."
To the Army Guard's defense, they put together their team just days before the annual International Fire, Police and Military Winter Games, according to Maine's Adjutant General James Campbell.
"The Army guys found out about this tournament sort of at the last minute last year and put together a scratch team just before the game, and they got blown off the ice by the Air Force," said Brigadier General Campbell. "So this year, the Army guys decided to take it seriously, and they put a team together several months ago and they have been practicing and playing some games to get ready for it, so it should be a really good game."
While the Army Guard scored first, they fell behind early in the game and fought to tally the equalizer, but could not, losing 4 to 2.
"I think they were looking for some payback and they were a lot better team this year and they surprised us," said Lt. Col. Michaud. "They were a very good team this year."
"It got a little chippy, we had fun though," said Army Guard Private First Class, Matt Therrien. "It is always a good type of hockey when you can get out there and be competitive."
"There's healthy competition between the services and there is a lot of smack talking that goes on and everything," explained Gen Campbell. "These guys are all on the same team and they know it, but of course each service wants to win."
The ultimate goal of the game wasn't about bragging rights, but raising money for charity. Organizers of the games hope to raise more than $3000 for the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Boston.
It didn't hurt that the competition also helps create friendships between men and women called to serve their country either.
"We've got airmen, soldiers deployed all over the world doing the mission. It is a good time to let their hair down, have a good time and take part in this tournament for a good cause," said Lt. Col. Michaud.