(photo: www.usahockey.com)

On January 18, the U.S. National Under-18 Team played a game against Waterloo during their annual Stars Wars Night sporting Darth Vader jerseys. The sweaters were hilariously awesome.

National Team Development Program  Star Wars Night jerseys, usahockey.com

National Team Development Program Star Wars Night jerseys, usahockey.com

While this was USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program’s third straight season hosting Star Wars night, the jerseys weren’t just for fun. Game-worn jerseys were auctioned off online and raised over $4,100 to help C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The Star Wars Jersey auction was a huge success,” said Scott Monaghan, senior director of operations for the NTDP. “Not only were we able to provide our fans with the opportunity to purchase game-worn jerseys, but also raise money to support a local children’s hospital. It has been a great experience and the NTDP is looking forward to raising even more money next year.”

All proceeds benefited C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. Under the umbrella of the University of Michigan Hospital and Health Centers, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals.

Team USA and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital would like to sincerely thank all those who bid. The money raised will go a long way to helping make a difference in a young child’s life.

Fourteen of the 26 auctioned jerseys were worn by players that were highlighted in the NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking and could potentially be selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Among these was projected first-round pick and Team USA star Sonny Milano. Also projected to be drafted high in 2015 draft, Jack Eichel’s jersey was up for bid.

I have to admit, I’m kind of disappointed I don’t have one of these jerseys in my collection… The fact that Darth Vader is basically fist pumping makes it all the more amazing.

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Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.

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