The Ice Flyers naturally made their season-opening game a celebratory occasion for winning a championship five months ago.© Bill Vilona/Special to the News Journal The Ice Flyers attracted nearly 4,000 for their season-opening game Oct. 16. They will have a special "Pink In The Rink Night" for cancer awareness on Friday in game against the Huntsville Havoc.
They wanted to ensure Friday’s second home game was about recognizing an important cause.
For the first time in several years, the team will have a “Pink In The Rink Night” at the Pensacola Bay Center, as part of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Ice Flyers play the Huntsville Havoc in back-to-back games this weekend.
For Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game, the team will incorporate utilizing their video boards, in-game announcements and activities, along with sale of specialty items to further a message of combating cancer. The Ice Flyers are asking ticket holders to wear pink attire.
“We had planned to do this last season, but then everything changed (due to coronavirus pandemic) and our schedules were changed to start in late December, so it couldn’t happen,” said Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris. “A lot of seasons, we only had one game in October, so it made it difficult to do something like this.
“This year, with how our schedule laid out having three games in October -- something I can’t recall happening before -- we were able to bring all of this together. And help pay tribute to all those affected by breast cancer.”
More Hockey: Ice Flyers begin a new season
More Hockey: Ice Flyers begin a new season
Ice Flyers players will have a pink ribbon logo affixed to their helmets. Players will have pink tape on their sticks. There will be autographed pink hockey sticks, pink hockey pucks for auction.
Fans will be able to order a specialty pink jersey with donations to local non-profit organizations.
“We are going to be doing some fundraisers throughout the game where people can get different things and do different things,” Harris said. “And us donating to non-profits.
“We want to help create awareness of local resources that people can access for themselves, for family, for friends and get testing down, exams done, support groups, all of those kinds of things.”
The Ice Flyers opened their season last Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win against Birmingham before a crowd of nearly 4,000 at the Bay Center. Prior to the opening faceoff, Harris addressed the crowd and a championship banner was raised to the arena ceiling.
Friday’s game gives the Ice Flyers a platform to engage fans in a different way. The team will pivot on Saturday into a children’s theme with “Hero And Princess Night” with kids encouraged to wear costumes as part of upcoming Halloween.
“There is ton of awareness already with breast cancer and this month being cancer awareness,” Harris said. “But it’s more about us as an organization recognizing those who have gone through breast cancer, battled through it, and survived it and remembering those who unfortunately did not make it.
“I think it’s hard not to know someone who has been personally affected by it,” Harris said. “Or know someone who has knows someone impacted by it.
“If one person from our game gets valuable resources or something that could help them in their life or their family, then it’s a complete success.”
Last Saturday’s season-opener, combined with the University of West Florida’s football homecoming game at Blue Wahoos Stadium, brought more than 11,000 fans to downtown venues less than two miles apart.
“That’s such an amazing effect that sports in our community can provide,” Harris said. “To be able to bring multiple sporting events to downtown and bring businesses downtown customers is a great thing.
“So many people go to restaurants and bars before and after games. It’s such an amazing effect that local sports can provide.”
Bill Vilona is a retired Pensacola News Journal sports columnist and current senior writer for Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He can be reached at [email protected]
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Pensacola Ice Flyers hockey
WHO: Huntsville Havoc vs. Ice Flyers
WHEN: Friday and Saturday, both games start at 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Pensacola Bay Center
RADIO: Fox Sports Pensacola (101.1 FM).
TICKETS: Prices begin at $15.
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Pensacola Hockey: Ice Flyers To Hold Pink In Rink Night For Special Cause
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nhl/pensacola-hockey-ice-flyers-to-hold-pink-in-rink-night-for-special-cause/ar-AAPPJK61126