By Mike LaCrosse

MIDDLETON (CBS) – The Frates family dropped the puck kicking off the sixth annual Pete Frates Winter Classic. “For us, all the memories keep now flooding back,” said John Frates, Pete’s dad.

The tournament is hosted by Frates’ high school Saint John’s Prep. It features four local Catholic high school hockey teams and holds special meaning this year, coming just a few weeks after Frates passed away.

“God bless him I know he’s at peace right now and this just enables us to forget a lot of the pain and suffering involved with his struggle with ALS,” said John Frates.

Frates is best known for his skills on the baseball field but he was also captain of St. John’s hockey team.

John and Andrew Frates drop puck at 6th annual Pete Frates Winter Classic (WBZ-TV)

“Strong character, strong willed young man that was great in the locker room, hard worker,” said former St. John’s Prep Hockey Coach Bob Marinelli.

“It’s one of the biggest games of the year especially this year because of everything that’s happened, even bigger for the team and for the family too,” said St. John’s Prep player Ryan Hart.

Friday’s hockey tournament came one day ahead of what will be the final Plunge for Pete at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester.

Pete Frates (Family photo)

Related: St. John’s Prep Students Line Streets For Frates’ Funeral Procession

“It’s going to be classic Pete, it’s going to be fun,” said John Frates.

Money raised from the plunge will help the Frates family cover Pete’s remaining medical bills as they continue to spread his message.

“We have a nice surprise for everybody I have a hundred buckets in the van we’re going to do a quick seaside ice bucket challenge,” said Frates.

John Frates is confident there will be a cure for ALS during his lifetime.

Mike LaCrosse

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