Synnex and Tech Data face off in charity hockey game

Synnex vs. Tech Data hockey faceoffDistribution rivals Synnex Canada and Tech Data Canada took to the ice Monday night in what was likely (unbelievably enough) the first-ever hockey game between two Canadian distributors.

The idea for a charity hockey game came from Tech Data’s United Way fundraising committee, who tasked Tech Data Canada president Rick Reid with reaching out to Synnex Canada chief Mitchell Martin with the idea. It didn’t take long to get a reply, Reid reports.

“It was an instantaneous yes,” said Reid, who captained the Tech Data squad. “I was very pleased that they decided to play, that we could put our business differences aside and mutually raise some good funds or the United Way.”

Synnex captain Mike Gazdic, vice president of marketing, said he was “thrilled” when Tech Data approached him about the game, and even more thrilled at the prospect of raising additional funds for charity.

On the ice, Synnex started strong, jumping out to 2-1 lead in the first, on goals from Brano Molnar and Chris Arnold. Tech Data’s Pedro Fernandez had the lone first-period goal for Tech Data.

The story was much the same in the second period, with Synnex bumping the score to 4-2 on two goals by Cory Letourneau, while Mike Clelland responded for Tech Data.

But in the latter half of the second period, Tech Data came on strong, heading to the final period tied at four on goals by Joel Hinderle and Matt McCrory. And they continued to pour it on in the third period, including two goals by Alex Bruno, Clelland’s second goal of the night, an empty-netter from Yvonne McIntyre and a final goal from Chris Arnold to finish the evening with a 9-4 victory.

Reid said his team’s numerical advantage on the bench played a significant role in the game-winning late-game surge for Tech Data.

“They were ahead, or tied, until near the very end,” Reid said. “The fact that we had 19 players and they had 13, that made a big difference as the game ran on.”

In the end, both sides said it wasn’t about the competition, as much as about the $3,000 the distributors were able to raise both through admission tickets and a raffle.

“It’s not fun to lose, but it’s nice to get out there and compete, and what more fun can you have than getting two competitors out there, having a little fun and raising a whole lot for the United Way as well?” said Gazdic.

Reid said the “whole exercise was about finding a new and unique way to raise some money for the United Way,” and in that, the night was very successful.

So for the moment, Tech Data Canada has the bragging rights, but will they be able to hold on? Both sides of the game signaled they’d like to do it again… and maybe get others involved as well.

“Our guys are already planning the rematch,” said Gazdic. “They want a little bit of revenge, if you want to call it that. They want to get back out there.”

Over at Tech Data Canada, Reid said he’s besieged by co-workers who want to get out there and play, and talent from the distributor’s Montreal and Vancouver locations also want to get in on the action.

“At a minimum, we’ll do the same thing next year,” Reid said.

And beyond that? Both sides openly pondered how many of their peers in the Canadian distribution market could also assemble the team for a little hockey for charity. was on hand for the evening’s festivities, and caught these video highlights of the action.


Slideshow from the game

(Photos courtesy Tech Data Canada).

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