The annual Guns vs. Hoses charity hockey game between Wilmington’s police and fire departments was cancelled because of COVID-19. Therefore, a summer event was held on Sunday at the Wilmington Ice House to keep fans engaged.
“The energy in the arena is always great,” said Alan DeSerres, player for the Port City Fire. “People banging on the walls, people banging on the glass.”
The showdown featured three exhibition games with teams from the Wilmington police and fire departments, the Wounded Warriors Project and the United States Marine Corps.
Family members of players say the sport is a good outlet.
You just need some place to get rid of that extra energy and frustration,” said hockey mom Carolyn Hannon. “Take your mind off what could’ve potentially been a bad day just to bring back the good in your life.”
All proceeds from the event will go to support youth hockey programs in the Wilmington and New Hanover County region. Those at the event were happy to help the area’s hockey community, a sport parents say isn’t cheap.
“Hockey is a very expensive sport,” said Hannon. “People don’t realize between the equipment and the ice time and everything else, it costs a lot of money.”
The grand finale was a game between the Wilmington police and fire departments. Players say the matchup is a notable rivalry.
“It’s either you are red or you are blue,” said DeSerres. “It’s definitely divided in the crowd and that’s always a fun time.”
The Guns vs. Hoses Charity Game is planned for next March with an official date to be announced.