Your Total AC Blog Operation Hat Trick Hockey Game Recap

Last updated: November 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm. Posted by in Atlantic City, Caesars Entertainment, Celebrities, Events. 2 Comments on Your Total AC Blog Operation Hat Trick Hockey Game Recap.

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Saturday’s Operation Hat Trick charity hockey game at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall was a great success. The final amount raised for the three charities (Empire State Relief Fund, New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund, and the American Red Cross) hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s totally gonna be a big number.

The players first order of business on Saturday was to visit some of Atlantic City’s Hurricane Sandy First Responders. Check out this picture with some of the guys from the Atlantic City Fire Department.

Operation Hat Trick 1

The guys also hosted a special meet and greet at Boardwalk Hall before the game for displaced families from Far Rockaway and Staten Island, New York. Here’s Braydon Coburn from The Philadelphia Flyers greeting some folks.

Operation Hat Trick 2

“I think this is a great thing for the players with the lockout that they still care about the fans and the devastation that happened in New York and the Tri-state area,” said fan in attendance, Tommy Moran. “I think it’s a great thing they are doing to lift the spirits of the families and the children. It’s really positive. Hopefully they will play hockey soon so we can watch the games. So far it’s great waiting for the game, but meeting the players is priceless.”

That same positive spirit shined through the rest of the night. Brad Richards’ New York Team took the game 10-6, largely in part to the incredible performance of goalie Henrik Lundqvist who was said to have been playing “playoff hockey”. Team New Jersey captain, Scott Hartnell, responded to that statement in a post-game press conference with pretty much one word…Darn.

Operation Hat Trick 5

Being all unstoppable.

But the score didn’t even seem to matter. The fans in attendance went crazy with every goal scored, making it seem like each one was a winning one. And with a bunch of NHL stars coming together for charity during a November with no hockey, each goal really kind of was.

The sold out crowd made it clear throughout the night that they were not happy about this no NHL thing, btw. Lots of “We want hockey” and “Bettman sucks” chants went on.

The players obviously have similar feelings.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get choked up a little bit with 11,000 people chanting that they want hockey back,” said Hartnell.

“I want to play real games, but it felt really good to be out there,” said Lundqvist. “Probably the best feeling I’ve had in a long time.”

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Having fun.

 

Operation Hat Trick 4

Having more fun.

The end of the night was a bittersweet moment as the players raised their sticks to a standing ovation.

Operation Hat Trick 6

Being unsure of the next time the public would be able to see these favorite hockey stars play again left a little sadness, but the banning together to help a cause perhaps even greater than this made everyone feel real good.

“So many guys get involved in their communities, especially when you go to a new team, you want to try to get comfortable with all your surroundings,” said Brad Richards. “I’m living there [New York] right now and lived through the hurricane, and saw who it affected and knew people it affected. The good thing about it all is that we had time to do some things. All my teammates are coming along for the support, Henrik flying in from Sweden because he knew how important it was to the area… for sure, it’s fun for us to do this stuff and we love doing it, but this was a great feeling today to get back out and see the fans for the cause because we know how important it is for the people in this area.”

Even if you weren’t at the game, you can help too by bidding here on all autographed game jerseys from Saturday. Bidding ends on Sunday, December 2nd at 10 p.m. EST.

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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