Winter Classic presents an inclusive brand of hockey

The Winter Classic hockey game was played on Avon Pond Sunday. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS

AVON — Hockey is for everyone, a crowd chanted Sunday afternoon at Avon Pond.

On a warm, sunny, Feb. 3 afternoon, a large crowd gathered for the 8th annual Challenger Winter Classic hockey game between the Brick Stars Challenger Ice Hockey team and the U.S.A. Warriors.

The game is played in good fun. The Brick Stars Challenger program is meant for those with a variety of developmental disabilities, and the U.S.A. Warriors program is a 501[c][3] nonprofit for wounded veterans.

Gathered on the ice were various high school and youth hockey players, special guests from the National Hockey League [NHL], mayors of Avon and Point Pleasant Beach, a gold medal Olympian and many others.

“Today is really celebrating [that] hockey is for everyone,” said Alex DePalma, coaching director and founder of the Brick Stars.

While the event was free to attend, any donations made benefit the Brick Stars Challenger Youth Hockey Club.

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