So many arguments can be made to support the notion that professional athletes make little, to no, contribution to the betterment of society. Alternatively, however, one could argue that what sports provide society in its time of need or darkness is intangible and we couldn’t live without them. Whatever view you might take about athletes and their governing Leagues, you have to admit that the NHL and the NFL as well, are making incredible efforts to push to the forefront, increased awareness of cancer during the month of October. Be it pink shoes, lavender hockey tape on sticks, or a purple “Hockey Fights Cancer” logo on helmets, the professional leagues want it known that they too, want to eradicate cancer.
This year, on their “Hockey Fights Cancer Night,” the Ducks are partnering with the Orange County chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to help raise awareness for LLS. LLS seeks to cure Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkins Disease, and Myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Tonight, in an effort to garner support for this esteemed organization, the Ducks gave out lavender ribbons to fans, will hold a silent in-game auction, and Jason Blake’s wife will sell “Wrap and Remember” bracelets with part of the proceeds going to LLS, among other events and activities. Funds for this organization go toward blood cancer research around the world and providing free information and support services to victims and their families.
The Ducks’ Jason Blake and Sako Koivu are both cancer survivors and go to show that anyone can be affected. Cancer, in all forms, is the cause of death of hundreds and thousands of Americans every year and affects so many more people than just the person who actually battles it. May you, whomever you may be reading this, never have to lose a loved one to cancer and may the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society be successful in their mission. (Rest in peace Maria Nye and Kim Hubbard).
In less important news, but the reason I’m supposed to be writing this blog, the Ducks defeated the Sharks for the second time in two games on 10/17, beating them 3-2 at the HP Pavilion. Relaxed and refreshed, Dan Ellis, stood strong in the net with 41 blocked shots, and Teemu Selanne scored two goals in the first period after only tallying 1 assist in the first four games this season. Francois Beauchemin is sporting stitches over his left eye after that game, when he successfully blocked a shot with his face.
Tonight against the Stars, the Ducks played one of their worst periods of hockey this season, allowing Loui Eriksson to score 13 seconds after the opening draw, rebounding the puck off Hiller’s leg pad and into the back of the net. Mike Ribeiro scored another goal less than 8 minutes later. The Ducks were able to pick up their pace in the second but still suffered from a goal called back due to interference by Corey Perry who redeemed himself off a last second goal (literally) at the end of the second. Despite their attempted come back, Loui Eriksson struck early again in the third to put the Stars up 3-1 for good.
NEXT UP: Ducks are at home one last time on Sunday before a 7 game road trip, playing host to the Phoenix Coyotes at 5:05. The Ducks will welcome Orange County’s first Little League World Series champs from Ocean View on Sunday as well.
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA