MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Lord Stanley’s Cup is perhaps the most sought after prize in all of professional sports. After all it is, without a doubt, one of the oldest trophys professional athletes compete for every year.
The Carolina Hurricanes, the National Hockey League team whose name was permanently etched on the cup at the end of last year’s season, hosted a military appreciation night Jan. 6 on its home ice in the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., to show support of our nation’s military.
"It was pretty awesome to be able to go to the game and have everyone cheering for service members," said Cpl. Lucian Friel with Camp Lejeune’s II Marine Division and a combat veteran. "It lets us know what we do is appreciated and people still support us."
Videos showing Carolina Hurricanes’ team members thanking our military members played on the Jumbotron above center ice during the game.
In the second period of play, a minute was taken for the crowd to thank service members, as they gave a standing ovation and a round of applause.
Mike Dunham, the reserve goaltender for the New York Islanders, said it was nice to be at Saturday’s game, and he was glad he could be a part of the event. "They do so much for us," he said. "It’s nice to do something in return, we should really do more."
At the intermissions, four lucky service members were given a ride on the two Zambonis as they cleared, cleaned and laid down a fresh sheet of ice for the following periods of play.
This was the third year the Hurricanes hosted their military appreciation night. For this year’s event they distributed around 4,000 tickets to military service members around the state of North Carolina. At the end of three periods, the game concluded in a 4-2 victory for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, bringing Carolina to 22 wins and 18 losses so far this season.