[Feb. 20, 2021: Will Wodka]
Jacksonville firefighters and police officers traded in the uniforms for sticks and skates Saturday to raise money for charity.
The annual Guns and Hoses hockey game was held at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena with a socially distant crowd on hand. This year’s contest was scheduled for December, but both squads elected to move it back to get as many fans in as possible.
Officer Garrett Noble says it’s great to give back to the community in a form that Jacksonville is not used to.
“Its really special to get out here once a year and do this,” said Noble.
Action on the ice was intense from the start with open ice hits and plenty of penalties early on. Fans decked out in past Guns and Hoses gear brought the arena to life.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office got on the board first with an early goal. However, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue steamed forward to keep up the pace.
For as much trash talking on and off the ice, firefighter Bruce Mase says its just great to get back out there with the ‘boys.’
“We look forward to it every year, mark our calendars and its nice to get competitive with the police department,” said Mase. “Some of us haven’t played contact hockey in a while, so it’s a good way to blow off some steam and stress for sure.”
The money raised through ticket sales and merchandise will go to each department’s respective charities. The Jacksonville Icemen are also helping out. Money raised during tonight’s 50/50 raffle, during their scheduled contest against the South Carolina Stingrays, will also supporting both JSO and JFRD charities.
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