During the season, every day is a great day for hockey. But when the hockey comes in the form of a charity game in July, it’s even better. Hockey players are no strangers to supporting local and national charities. Perhaps marked some of the best professional athletes in sports, it is well documented during the season when hockey players do good within the community. But what happens when the season ends and summer sets in? Players don’t stop giving back to the communities while they’re “off”, instead, they take a break from training to lend a glove and have some fun while doing it.
The sixth annual Big Assist charity hockey game faced off in Stamford, Connecticut on Wednesday evening. While the event drew big names to the ice, it drew even bigger crowds off of it and all for the benefit of the Obie Harrington – Howes Foundation. This year, the event sold out.
“Obie was my youth hockey coach, he shared the passion for sports and was a significant part of my upbringing, he had an injury at Jones Beach that left him in a wheelchair. This foundation started from that injury,” said Ryan Shannon, Big Assist founder. “From there, I was fortunate enough to win the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. With the cup comes a lot of attention and the opportunity to do something charitable. One of the ideas that we came up with was to put all the proceeds of people seeing the Stanley Cup to the Obie Harrington-Howes foundation.”
While winning the cup spurred the initial game, the event has skated onto something far bigger, attracting new faces in the locker room looking to participate. 2014 marked the sixth year that local hockey players or players training in the area, from the NHL , AHL, overseas and college, have taken the ice in support of the charity. Some of this years participants included, Torey Krug (Boston Bruins), Matt Moulson (Buffalo Sabres), Martin St. Louis and Ryan Haggerty (New York Rangers), James Van Riemsdyk and Colton Orr (Toronto Maple Leafs), Cam Atkinson (Columbus Blue Jackets), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis Blues) and Nathan Gerbe (Carolina Hurricanes).
The game is a must attend event for any fan in the New England area. Supporting a great cause, keeping cool and watching hockey, you can’t go wrong.
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