Fighting Blue Crabs

The Fighting Blue Crabs ice hockey team after winning the championship.

Sports fans relate certain traits, sounds and images when they think about ice hockey. The sound of the puck as it hits the net, the sound of skates gliding over the ice, and fans cheering loudly when one player body-checks another. 

But what if that all changed and the images transformed into a child lying in a hospital bed smiling, while clutching their first Blue Crabs T-shirt? The Baltimore Fighting Blue Crabs ice hockey team is supporting a trend found quite often in the tough world of hockey, charity. Fans of ice hockey, health, and happiness can go online to purchase Blue Crabs' merchandise and help contribute to the University of Maryland Children's Hospital's Pediatric Oncology fund.

Keith Zurbuch, a co-captain and co-organizer of the Blue Crabs, is also a member of the UMMS team. He works as a physical therapist in an outpatient facility and teaches at the University of Maryland Medical School as an adjunct professor. Zurbuch is a Buffalo, NY, native whose participation in the sport of ice hockey only began in the last 8 years. He organized this club team with Nate Hays, another team member, in May. They played their first season this summer and took home the championship.

The team felt a strong desire at the beginning of the season; it was the desire to help. They wanted to raise money for a worthy cause while spreading the love of ice hockey. In July, the team made a decision to start selling a variety of merchandise bearing their logo. The Blue Crabs' logo can be found on clothing items such as tank tops, T-shirts and sweatshirts as well as on pins, stickers, and mugs.

When asked why the team chose Pediatric Oncology, Zurbuch said, “To watch a child face such a terrible disease is practically impossible.”

The team will continue to sell the merchandise through their winter season and plans to continue the fundraiser year-round in the future. Help the Blue Crabs help children with cancer fight their debilitating disease. Support this cause by going online to and ordering your very own “crab gear” today.

-- by Katie Campbell