Florida Panthers alumni and members of the Coral Springs Police and Fire departments faced off in the Pucks for Bucks charity hockey game this past Saturday at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, Fla.
The Pucks for Bucks charity game gave Panthers fans the opportunity to see Panthers alumni lace up their skates again as well as seeing local police officers and firefighters showing off their on-ice skills.
Panthers alumni that participated in the game were: Ed Jovanovski, Bryan McCabe, Tomas Vokoun, Radek Dvorak, Marco Sturm, Ray Sheppard, Bill Lindsay, Anders Eriksson, Serge Payer and Denis Shvidki. Olli Jokinen coached Team White and Vice President of Broadcasting and Panthers Alumni Randy Moller, coached Team Red.
At the end of the first period, Team Moller was down 6-1 and Moller traded his goaltender for Vokoun before the start of the second period. Team Moller strengthened during the second and won 8-7 against Team Jokinen.
“The chatter between the benches was fun,” said Moller. “You can still see the skill of the alumni that participated, but I was really impressed with the skills of the amateur players in the police and fire departments.”
Over 500 attendees were in the stands and Pucks for Bucks raised $6,500 for the Coral Springs Community Chest. The Coral Springs Community Chest funds nonprofits that have services and programs benefiting the community of Coral Springs. Throughout the years, Coral Springs Community Chest has funded more than one million dollars to nonprofit organizations.
“The Community Chest really does a lot for our community,” said Coral Springs Chief of Police Anthony Pustizzi. “For the cops out there and the firemen, we really appreciate you (Florida Panthers) stepping up and playing with us. A lot of us grew up playing hockey and with the rink being here and training center all these years, it’s been great.”
Additionally, a 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction were held with weekend getaways, signed hockey sticks, gift certificates and more.
“It was nice for the Alumni Association to give back and help out the police and fire departments,” said Moller. “Overall, it was a highly competitive, entertaining game and that’s what we had hoped for and that’s what it was. From fans, players and the community, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”