The Corpus Christi IceRays have started many new traditions during the team’s first year in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). However, one tradition that’s remained from the team’s pro days is their commitment to the surrounding Coastal Bend community.
There was no better example than on Friday, Feb. 11, when the team hosted its third annual PINK IN THE RINK NIGHT, presented by CC Disposal and Radiology and Imaging, against the Texas Tornado with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
When all was said and done, the team donated $24,250 to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research and awareness.
“Everyone knows someone or has someone in their family who has been affected by this dreaded disease,” said IceRays general manager Pat Dunn. “This is our third year of PINK IN THE RINK and it couldn’t happen without the tremendous support of our terrific fans and sponsors.”
Corpus Christi, second only to Wenatchee in attendance, had 4,485 fans file into the American Bank Center to attend the special night. The team gave away special PINK IN THE RINK team photos taken on a pink camouflage tank to the first 1,000 fans as the team “battled” cancer.
The fun-filled night began with a special alumni game as former IceRays, the “Ex-Rays,” challenged a group of Corpus Christi firefighters in an exhibition game.
Then, a lengthy and emotional pregame ceremony honored a group of women who survived breast cancer with a tribute to all those who have gone through their struggle. They received a standing ovation from the American Bank Center crowd as they dropped the puck at center ice.
During the game, the team held a silent auction in the concourse with many great hockey items available for fans to bid on while they watched the ‘Rays come from behind to force overtime against the Tornado.
However, the marquee event of the evening occurred after the IceRays fell early in overtime as each player came out of the locker room for the team’s nightly postgame skating session with fans where their custom pink uniforms were auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Center Brandon Marshall’s jersey was the most coveted as it went for $1,900.
With this year’s totals, Corpus Christi has now donated an average of $36,000 yearly in support of breast cancer research and awareness.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Dunn. “It’s a tradition we will certainly continue. Pink in the Rink in Corpus Christi was a huge success.”
Click here to see videos from the evening at ICERAYS TV.