As far as meeting expectations, Saturday’s inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer charity hockey game at Eddie Edgar Arena was twice as nice.
Close to 600 spectators turned out to cheer on the two featured teams, who consisted of current and former Livonia Hockey Association coaches.
The pink team pulled out a thrilling 12-11 victory in overtime, but the final score took a back-seat to the final amount of money raised for the St.Hospital’s pediatric unit.
“We were expecting to raise around $5,000, but we nearly doubled that, so we exceeded our original goal, for sure,” said Eddie Edgar arena manager Justin, who helped orchestrate the event along with members of the arena’s staff. “All of the feedback I’ve receive from players and spectators has been overwhelmingly positive, so I’m pretty sure we’re going to do it again next year.”
The feel-good event was spearheaded by Eddie Edgar employee Jason Bruce, who is battling colon cancer.
“Jason’s son plays football in Walled Lake and his team held a similar fund-raiser last fall,” said.
Each of the 40-plus skaters were representing a family member of close friend who has battled cancer.
An outpouring of donations and volunteerism made the event a success,emphasized.
The LHA paid for the players’ jerseys and socks in addition to making an additional financial donation. Senate Coney Island and Mexican Fiesta were other Observerland-area businesses who made significant contributions.
“The refs worked the game for free; everybody pitched in,”added.
There was no admission fee to the game. Money was raised by monetary donations and from a 50/50 raffle.
Along with witnessing an exciting game, fans got to watch former Detroit Red Wing Johntake turns skating for each of the teams.
Jerry Brown netted the game-winner in OT for the pink squad.
“The crowd was really into the entire game, but especially in overtime,”said. “They were cheering every shot and save.”