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Hockey Night In Kabul

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
(January 7, 2003) -- Leafs alumni Dave "Tiger" Williams, along with Canadian gold medal Olympian Cassie Campbell and former Vancouver Canucks goalie Kirk McLean spread some Christmas cheer for Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan.

The goal of the top secret visit, code named Operation Hockey Heroes, was to help raise troop morale and honour the two Canadian soldiers, Cpl. Robbie Beerenfenger and Sergeant Robert Short, killed in the line of duty in October when their jeep hit a landmine.

Williams, who played for the Leafs from 1974 to 1980, as well as the Canucks spent time visiting the troops and distributing 2000 Leafs Nations T-shirts at Camp Julien in Kabul. Williams even participated in a pick-up road hockey game between the senior officers team against the junior ranks, but unlike in his NHL career, he did not incur any penalty minutes.

The Leafs, Canucks and Ottawa Senators donated autographed jerseys to be raffled with all proceeds raised benefiting the Canadian Landmine Foundation, which sponsors de-mining projects in Afghanistan.

Tiger Williams, Kirk McLean & Cassie Campbell just after arriving on a CC130 Hercules cargo aircraft at Kabul Afghanistan International Airport. The hockey ambassadors are outfitted in CADPAT combats and all passengers on the flights into and out of Afghanistan must wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) flack vests under body armour.

The troops pose with their Maple Leafs Jerseys in Kabul, Afghanistan along with Kirk McLean in Canucks Jersey, Cassie Campbell in Team Canada Jersey & Tiger Williams in Maple Leaf Jersey.

The official "Ball Drop" at the First Annual Sgt. Short Cpl. Beerenfenger Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament in Kabul Afganistan.

Tiger, Kirk & Cassie being interviewed by TSN just prior to boarding a military Airbus at 8 Wing Trenton.

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