NHL, ex-UNO players set to skate for a great cause

For the second consecutive year, former Nebraska-Omaha players will suit up and take to the ice with current National Hockey League players in an effort to raise money and awareness to aid in the battle against a particularly cruel form of muscular dystrophy which has touched the life of a former Mavericks player.

The second annual Duchenne Cup benefit hockey game will once again be held at the Moylan Tranquility IcePlex in Omaha on Sunday, Aug. 26. So far, players from eight NHL teams — Colorado, Chicago, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Montreal and Washington — are scheduled to be represented.

The inspiration for the event is to help former Nebraska-Omaha hockey player Rob Facca and his wife Nikki, whose son, Louie, was diagnosed with Duchenne disease, a form of muscular dystrophy that strikes one in 3,500 young boys. Former UNO player and current Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation board member David Brisson originated the idea for the benefit game.

“We’re looking forward to this second game because it gives us a chance to help make it grow,” Gary Anderson, the president of the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation, said. “We think it’s an excellent way for us to give back to the community and promote hockey as well as the awareness of Duchenne disease.”

Last year, eight NHL players helped the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame Foundation put on the inaugural game and raise more than $30,000 for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, a nonprofit organization fully dedicated to the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The event will include a silent auction before and during the benefit game. Faceoff is at 2 p.m. while tickets are $15 and are on sale now at Tranquility IcePlex. Roster spots may be purchased for $1,000 by anyone in the general public and a silent auction featuring memorabilia from college and professional teams will be conducted in the outer lobby at Tranquility.

Facca, currently an assistant coach at Western Michigan, requested that donations be made to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy to support research into Duchenne disease. UNO Associate Athletic Director Mike Kemp, who recruited Facca as coach of the Mavericks in 1997, is collecting the donations for the silent auction.

All donations are tax deductible.

For more information, contact Gary Anderson at (402) 289-3865 or (402) 290-8678.