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Hat trick hats go to hospitals @NHLdotcom
It's a classic hockey scene: A player gets his third goal of the game and the home fans salute the hat trick by tossing hats onto the ice -- especially when they've gotten a free hat as part of a promotion. The game stops while rink attendants clean the ice. But what happens to those hats?

In the case of the Carolina Hurricanes, the hats are going to a good cause.

Jon Chase, Director of Community Relations and Promotions for Carolina, announced Thursday that more than 500 Hurricanes hats will be donated to three local hospitals in the next couple of weeks. Chevrolet sponsored a hat giveaway during the April 8 game against the Montreal Canadiens in which the first 14,000 fans received a promotional hat. Hurricanes captain Eric Staal scored three times in Carolina’s 5-2 win -- and after his third goal, many fans threw their hats onto the ice to celebrate.

Staal has chosen to donate all of the hats to Duke Children's Hospital, UNC Children's Hospital and Rex Hospital. Hurricanes mascot Stormy and members of the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad will hand out the hats to child outpatient clinics and will visit inpatient rooms at each hospital. The hats were frozen for three days to meet the hospitals’ sanitary standards.

The hats will be given out during visits to the Duke Children's Hospital and UNC Children's Hospital on Aug. 11 and the Rex Hospital on Aug. 16.
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