By Larry Austin
A charity hockey game to support Relay For Life will honor an Island man who passed away from cancer earlier this year.
The Daniel McBride Memorial Cup will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. May 17 at HarborCenter's feature rink. McBride was a longtime fundraiser for the Relay For Life who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Two teams will battle it out on the ice, with all proceeds of off-ice basket raffles and drawings going to Relay For Life.
Tickets are $5 the day of the event. The game will include skills events for the players, such as a shootout and slapshot competition.
Bob Duggan, chairman of the fundraiser and a goalie the night of the game, said this is the third year the company he works for, American Coradius International, will sponsor the charity hockey game to raise funds for Relay For Life. This year, though, the game will also memorialize McBride.
"Dan was very involved throughout his battle with cancer with the Grand Island Relay For Life, and the two years that we did the event, he was just a huge supporter of the event," said Duggan, the chief operating officer at American Coradius International.
Two teams will play, with a twist: One team gets an amateur goalie, Duggan, who will suit up and make what is for him a rare appearance in goal. Meanwhile, the other team in the game will feature a former National Hockey League goalie.
"It's kind of a joke," Duggan said, saying the NHL goalie, Ryan Vinz, works for the Buffalo Sabres and was called on to dress and sit on the bench for one game when the team traded goalie Ryan Miller.
After holding the charity game the past two years at a different rink, HarborCenter has donated ice time for the game.
"I think it should be exciting," Duggan said of playing at HarborCenter. "It's an NHL-size ice rink. It's a beautiful venue, so it should make for a really nice event."
Duggan is hoping people who knew McBride will make the trip to downtown Buffalo for the game. He described McBride as "high-energy."
"He was a cancer fighter and a cancer survivor in the entire time that I knew him," Duggan said. "He brought a passion to the Relay event that I really think kept a lot of people here motivated. He kind of had an energy about him that really got people excited about the event."
McBride was a big supporter at the two previous hockey fundraisers, Duggan added.
"He would have done anything for anybody for this event, and this is kind of our way to give back to him and his family as kind of a 'thank you' for the commitment that he had to the Relay for the last several years," Duggan said.
For more information, visit the Daniel McBride Memorial Cup Facebook page, or email Duggan at [email protected].