Features | 1/22/2013 1:36:21 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS
|Photo: Micheline Veluvolu
A daylong tribute to Rochester’s First Responders ended with the Rochester Police Department coming out on top with a 13-6 win over the Rochester Fire Department in a hard-fought hockey game at The Blue Cross Arena on Monday afternoon.
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The Amerks held a “Hometown Heroes Day” on Monday as a salute to police officers, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians in our community who serve as heroes each and every day with the admirable work they do. As a way to thank them, the Amerks offered a free ticket to first responders for Monday afternoon’s game against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The afternoon got off to a quick start. After a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner by Rochester Police Officer Michael Ciulla, during which 40 members of the RPD, Spencerport Fire Department, Webster Fire Department and Webster Police Department displayed a large American flag on the ice, the Amerks got the fans on their feet.
Wearing jerseys adorned with commemorative West Webster Fire Department patches, Rochester scored twice in the first 53 seconds of the game on goals by Kevin Sundher and Kevin Porter. Then just 42 seconds later, Nick Tarnasky went toe-to-toe with Bulldogs tough guy Zack Stortini to set the tone for the game.
An entertaining game ended with the Amerks downing Hamilton by a 6-3 score in front of hundreds of area First Responders and thousands of Amerks fans. The jerseys worn in the game by the Amerks are currently being auctioned off, with the proceeds going to benefit the West Webster Fire Department. There were more than 40 members of the West Webster Fire Department on hand at the game.
Following the completion of the Amerks game, the Rochester Police Department and Rochester Fire Department squared off in an intensely played exhibition game. First, there was a ceremonial puck drop by Dennis Kessler and Josey Boscarino, executive board members of the Rochester Police Foundation. The newly-formed Foundation works with business and civic leaders and the community at large to raise awareness and funds to support the Rochester Police Department in areas of public safety, community and youth outreach, and crime prevention. The Foundation was on hand throughout the afternoon and played a key role in this year’s Hometown Heroes festivities.
In addition to the police officers and fire fighters who suited up, several Amerks Alumni played in the game to show their support for our First Responders. Scott Metcalfe, Ray Maluta, Daryl Drader, Brian McKinnon and Jim Wiemer played for the Fire team, while Jody Gage, Rory Fitzpatrick, Steve Langdon, Chris Palmer and Ken Soble dressed for the Police squad.
Tied 3-3 late in the second period, the teams traded goals and, midway through the final frame, the RPD team was clinging to a 6-5 lead. Late in the game, however, the Police gained control and came away with a 13-6 win over the RFD.
The Police team was captained by Sgt. Ralph Montinarelli, while former RIT standout David Bagley led the Fire Department team.