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Hornets rally for former player

By Paul Walsh, 12/15/11, 12:04PM CST

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Edina fundraiser to help 2005 graduate Chace Johnson in his battle with colon cancer


A fundraiser for former Edina player Chace Johnson, center, will be held during the Hornets' game against Eden Prairie on Saturday night.

Just as any hockey player would come to a teammate’s defense during a scrum in front of the net, Edina’s Hornets are rallying for one of their own during a difficult time.
 
Chace Johnson, a 2005 graduate of Edina High School, is barely two months into an aggressive battle with colon cancer. Despite such a formidable foe, Chace continues to work and lead as normal a life as possible while enduring the side effects of chemotherapy.
 
To say the least, it has been a shock for Chace’s family and friends to grasp that such a healthy, intelligent and charming man could have this disease diagnosed just a few weeks shy of his 25th birthday.
 
All the more baffling is the fact that Chace’s diagnosis came just four days after he completed the Twin Cities Marathon, his second 26.2-mile race in just four months.
  
Just like the scores of boys and girls who have worn the Edina hockey sweater, Chace is Green through and through -- a mite-to-high school Hornet hockey product.
 
Despite the undeniable thrill of realizing the dream and playing Varsity hockey for such a prestigious program, Chace says his best Edina hockey memory was before he came under Hornets coach Curt Giles’ tutelage -- winning the 2000 Pee Wee A state tournament.
 
Hard to argue, considering the huge contribution he made to making that championship possible. Chace scored four goals and added two assists in the three-game tournament, with a goal and an assist coming in the 7-2 title victory over Roseville.
 
“We were really good buddies in middle school,” said Nate Hagemo, one of Chace’s Pee Wee teammates. “Chace was always a very talented hockey player, and we had a blast winning state together on a really special team. I wish him all the best, and he will be in all our prayers.”
 
As Chace takes on a battle more formidable than anything he ever faced on the ice, today’s Edina High School hockey players are asking the community to do their part Saturday night during the Hornets’ home game against Eden Prairie.
 
There will be a Chuck-a-Puck fundraiser for Chace between the second and third periods. Each puck costs $5, and the winner will receive four Club Level seats with a parking pass to the Feb. 26 game between the Minnesota Wild and the visiting San Jose Sharks. The money raised will go toward Chace’s substantial and accumulating medical bills.
 
Contributions on Chace’s behalf can also be made to the "Chace Johnson Benefit Trust" at the Wells Fargo branch, 5116 Vernon Ave. S., Edina, MN 55436. Please include the last four digits of the account (5586) with your gift. 
 
For more about Chace and updates on his health, visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/chacejohnson.

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