New deal saves Orange County hockey team that was skating on thin ice

MONROE, New York (WABC) -- A high school hockey team in Orange County that was skating on thin ice is back from the brink.

Last month, we reported on how the district wanted to cancel the program at Monroe-Woodbury High School.

The team says that our report, in part, helped lead to a new deal that will allow the students to keep lacing up their skates.

It looked like a free agent signing, but a school superintendent was being treated like an MVP Wednesday, something that two weeks ago seemed impossible when the Monroe-Woodbury school district announced it was canceling its long-standing ice hockey program.

But a deal has been worked out to save the sport.

"Really relieved, like super happy that it's staying," said high school junior Anthony Pirraglia.

"It's definitely a sigh of relief, I think the smiles and the pictures and the atmosphere in the room says it all," said high school junior Ryan Urtz.

The agreement comes after parents reached out to the media and elected officials, whose attention they say helped "move the puck along".

The Crusaders Booster Club will fund raise about 25 percent of the $61,000 needed to pay for the program.

"Being able to sit down at the table and speaking with our families saying, look, this is the situation that the district is in, we want to continue this program, how do we continue this program, how do we make it a viable program for years to come," said schools superintendent Elise Rodriguez.

Some aid from the state legislature will help, and the district will be getting ice time at a reduced rate.

"In a short amount of time, we were able to put together this blitz on both the assemblymen, the state senator and the school board and got their attention," said parent Steve Pelosi.

For the hockey families, it's an off-season victory so that the kids now can focus on winning games on the ice.
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