The men of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers changed their names to honor the children murdered in the Sandy Hook school massacre as they took to the ice last night.
The hockey team donned all black uniforms with the names of the 20 schoolchildren who tragically lost their lives when Adam Lanza forced his way into the school and began firing.
Before the game, the team lined up on the blue line to observe a moment of silence for the children and the six adults who were also gunned down in the shooting.
Ceremony: Members of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers wear jerseys with the names of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims as they stand for the National Anthem
Remembrance: David Ullstrom of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers wore the name of Sandy Hook victim Jessica Rekos
During the game, Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, was memorialized on the scoreboard
Doing their part: The team announced a week after the tragedy, that any residents of Newtown could attend their home games for free
Left wing Brandon DeFazio told the CT Post that he was overcome with emotion when he dressed with Allison Wyatt’s name on the back of his jersey.
He told the paper: ‘I was kind of struggling with it at the start of the game. You almost feel like you should be stronger, considering what the families are going through.’
It’s not the first time the Sound Tigers, a minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders, have stepped up for the community since the shooting.
A week after the tragedy, the team announced that any residents of Newtown could attend their home games for free.
Moment of silence: The team pauses before the game to honor Sandy Hook’s youngest victims
Honor: Nino Niederreiter wore the name of Chase Kowalski on his jersey
Tribute: The names of James Mattioli and Emilie Parker can be seen on the two players’ backs during the game
Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan said in a statement on the Sound Tigers website: ‘We hope to provide a welcome distraction for families and friends during this difficult time.
‘We want to support the Newtown community and facilitate the healing process.’
Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy blog reported that each of the players will give their jerseys to the family of the child they have represented at the end of the season.
Memorial: The team members will give their jerseys to the families of the children whose names they wore at the end of the season
Lineup: Members of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers stand at the blue line during a pre-game ceremony to honor the Sandy Hook victims