The 44th Annual NYPD-FDNY Charity hockey game returned to its original home borough of Brooklyn on Saturday night, March 18, 2017, at the Barclays Center before a sell-out crowd. The game was the second half of a hockey double header at The Barclays Center, current home of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders hockey, with an earlier game between the NHL’s Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The series between the NYPD and FDNY started back in 1974 at Coney Island’s Stark Arena, had not been played in Brooklyn since that first face-off 43 years ago. Located in the NYPD’s 78th Precinct, the event was brought to the Barclays Center with the assistance of Precinct C.O. Frank DiGiacomo .
While the game, as is always the case, was spirited and the fans enthusiastic and boisterous, the event began with a somber tribute to FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo who heroically gave her life in the service of her beloved City, a reading of the names of FDNY heroes lost on 9-11, and rousing welcome for the widows and children of recently lost NYPD and FDNY heroes including Patricia and Connor McDonald, wife and son of the late Detective Steven McDonald.
As with the inaugural game back in 1974, the FDNY took this game by a final score of 7-3 avenging their loss last year to the NYPD which had been the NYPD Finest's 3rd consecutive win in the series. For the 15,000 plus on hand in the sell-out crowd, the game was much closer and more tightly played than the final score might indicate. The NYPD squad was the first to score and went back and forth in scoring against the FDNY team through a score of 3-3. It was after that when the FDNY took charge.
NYPD Celebrating the nights first goal
On hand to support their brother NYPD combatants were members of the Ireland National Police Force, the Gardai from Tralee Garda Station in County Kerry. Speaking for the group, in town for the weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Lynda Ni Bhrosnachain told us that “Irish eyes will be smiling on the boys in blue tonight”.
Lynda Ni Bhrosnachain and her colleagues from the Tralee Garda Station, County Kerry IRL, enjoying NYC and the game.
More action photos from the 2017 FDNY v NYPD Charity Hockey Game