Sacred Heart hockey team plays game in honor of local star

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BRIDGEPORT -- The Sacred Heart men’s hockey team is calling the Webster Bank Area in Bridgeport their home ice this year for the first time, which is significant and very important for the program.

This weekend, the Pioneers will play two home games against Mercyhurst University. But it's Saturday’s "home” game -- which won't quite be home -- that the team is looking forward to.

That game will be played at Avon Old Farms, and will be played to benefit the Connecticut Hockey Foundation in memory of Jason Pagni, who died in 2014 in a car accident.

Pagni played for coach John Gardner at Avon Old F arms school, and played on the 1989 New England Championship Hockey team.

In an obituary written by the school, they wrote, "Today, Avon Old Farms School is widely recognized as the most prestigious prep school hockey program in the country, but that would not be the case if it was not for Jason Pagni."

Pagni was also an advocate for Connecticut youth hockey and prep hockey players. He was also good friends with Sacred Heart Coach C.J. Maratollo.

Some tickets for the game are still available. You can email  or call (203) 878-5881.

"Just to be able to continue his legacy and to help kids, and that's what Jason was about. And all that money that we raise ... will go towards young hockey players that want to move on to play hockey in secondary, to fray any costs," said Justin Danforth, of Sacred Heart.