Stephen Caban Memorial Game

By Dominic George ’19 and Alex Clark ’20

On Friday, December 21st, 2018 the Bellarmine community gathered together at the SAP Center to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Caban. The charity hockey game has been running for two years now ever since Stephen Caban passed away from cancer in December 2016. The event started with a speech given by Mrs. Luscher, followed by Coach Mike Yost, Mr. Serrania, and Fr. Mario all offering thoughts and prayers for Stephen Caban and his family.

Mr. Tom Clerkin is one of the individuals who helped organize the charity game. He has strong ties with the Bellarmine hockey team as his son played for the team. Overall, he thought the charity game was a success and was glad that everyone came out and supported the event.

When asked about how he got involved with the Stephen Caban charity event, Mr. Clerkin said, “A few years back my son was playing hockey for Bellarmine. A couple of the coaches asked me to help with the event and they wanted to retire Stephen’s jersey… so I said yes and we had a group of volunteers to help. Stephen passed away shortly after the first memorial in December 2016. After that, we’ve continued to have this charity game for two years now,” he said.

Mr. Clerkin also added that Stephen Caban received his cancer treatment at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, which is where the proceeds are going. “The proceeds are split between Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Bellarmine funds which support hockey and many other things,” he said.

Henry Lissner ‘20, Bellarmine’s starting goalie, provided some context on playing in the charity game. Henry has played Bellarmine hockey since he was a freshman and started playing for the varsity team when he was a sophomore.

Henry felt that playing at the SAP Center was a unique experience from what he was used to. “I mean it definitely feels different… You notice the consistency of the ice is different, the skates work differently and all that. It’s also more spacious and definitely feels a little more daunting,” he said.

When the hockey game started, Valley Christian came out firing on all cylinders, while the Bell’s offense looked nonexistent. By the 3rd period, the Bells were down 7-2, but their offense finally woke up when junior Angus Evans ‘20 scored 2 unassisted goals. Junior Chris Smails ‘20 scored another goal, but despite a late push the Bells lost 7-5.

When asked about the 3rd-period comeback, Henry responded, “I’ll put it as my coach put it, the entire game we were not playing our best hockey. Valley Christian is definitely better then us, but we can hang with them and we can beat them if we play our best hockey… we didn’t do that tonight. But after we got that first goal in the third period our whole team rode the momentum, and that’s what fueled the comeback,” he said.

Henry believed that playing for Stephen Caban made the game special. “It feels a little more important because most games you are going towards that one goal of making it to the end of the season and hopefully playing in nationals. But this one felt more by itself… we’re playing for [Stephen] because he loved hockey,” he said.

Overall, the 2nd annual Stephen Caban Memorial game was a huge success. There was a strong showing of Bells that came to support the event. We offer our condolences to Stephen Caban and his family.