Thank you from Comet Goalies!

The following is an article that was featured in the Metrowest Daily News about The Comets team of Goalies that raised over $9,000 in the October Saves Goalie Challenge.  

Please note Goalie totals may be more or less since time of the articles publishing.

Group of ice hockey goalies from Natick combine to raise money for cancer research

NATICK — Brody Whalen likes having goals. Even if his position in ice hockey is dedicated to stopping them. 

For the fourth straight year, the goaltender from Natick participated in the October Saves Goalie Challenge – where goalies of all ages across North America gather pledges for each save they make during the month. The goal of the challenge is to raise money for cancer research.  

Just this year, Whalen didn’t want to do the challenge alone. So the Natick High freshman corralled – with the help of his mother – six other hockey goalies from Natick to participate in the challenge last month. 

With family and friends either donating per save or making a one-time contribution, Brody’s bunch made a total of 1,058 saves while raising $7,870. 

The total surpassed the group’s original fundraising goal of $5,000. 

“You should always have goals because if you do, you’ll more than likely reach them,” Whalen said. “I’m glad we did more than the goal. … I like helping out people.” 

Playing with a greater purpose 

Last year, Whalen participated in the goalie challenge in honor of his aunt, who battled breast cancer. She’s now cancer-free. 

“I’m glad (she) beat it,” Whalen said.  

Jane Brunell, who is also a freshman at Natick High, was one of six other netminders from Natick to join Whalen’s group this year and perform the goalie challenge.  

Brunell’s aunt was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. So Brunell had added extra motivation last month to make every save she could.  

“I feel like she’s always been passionate about me doing things that interest me,” Brunell said of her aunt. “She’s one of my favorite people. So it was really hard to hear (her diagnosis) but I'm glad I'm doing this for her.” 

Meet the team

Ninth graders Brunell and Whalen were joined by three eighth graders, a seventh grader and a fourth grader in the group of Natick goalies performing the challenge in October.  

Let’s meet the entire contingent and see how they did: 

Brody Whalen Grade: 9 

Team: Natick Comets U16 Midgets and Boston Jr Eagles U15 Platinum 

Money raised: $3,040 

Saves: 266 

Quote: “It meant more to me that I could do something in my wheelhouse to help those battling cancer.” 

Jane Brunell  Grade: 9  Team: Girls Natick Comets U19 and U16 South Charles River Blazers 

Money raised: $1,198 

Saves: 141 

Quote: “It just helped with motivation.” 

Jack Goldberg Grade: 8 Team: Natick Comets Bantam 1 

 Money raised: $736 

Saves: 72 

Quote: “It feels good because people in my family have breast cancer and it’s good to fight for it.” 

Michael Smith  Grade: 8 Team: Natick Comets Bantam 2 

Money raised: $618 

Saves: 116 

Quote: “We’re raising awareness and helping raise money for cancer (research).” 

Mickey Vickery Grade: 8 Team: Natick Comets Bantam 2 

 Money raised: $664 

Saves: 149 

Quote: “I just think it’s good to support the cause.” 

Philip Sheehan  Grade: 7 Team: Natick Comets Pee Wee 

Money raised: $841 

Saves: 210 

Quote: “I just go out on the ice and do my job and try to get more saves to help this cause.” 

Nora McMakin Grade: 4  Team: Natick Comets U10

Money raised: $505 

Saves: 104 

Quote: “I (was) always wondering what my saves (were to keep track of my fundraising).” 

Army of goalies growing in Natick

With the month of October now over, the pledge to raise money for the October Saves Goalie Challenge has concluded. 

But Whalen doesn’t plan on this being a one-time act for the Natick netminders. His goal is to get every single Natick goalie involved next year – and in the Octobers to follow.  

“It is a great cause, a fun way for us to be conscious to make as many saves in net and bring awareness to our teams and community,” he said. “I want more people to join and help out.” 

His mother, Megan, agrees. She’s happy to see her son build a small army of goalies in Natick who have teamed up to combat cancer.  

“It makes the month extra special for the goalies knowing their (saves are) making a difference in the game and in the bigger life picture,” Megan Whalen said. “Cancer is touching everyone and this is something the goalies can connect on.”  

Tommy Cassell is a senior multimedia journalist for the Daily News. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @tommycassell44.