COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)– Columbus Division of Fire and Police hockey teams took to the ice Monday for a scrimmage ahead of the 2020 First Responder Face Off.
The 5th annual hockey game is less than two weeks away.
The game raises money for first responders and their families who are in need.
For the second year in a row, the police hockey team is trying to bring home the trophy with a player who personally knows what it’s like to have the first responder brotherhood band behind you in a time of great need.
“I got the special opportunity to play in honor of my father, Kevin Myers, who unfortunately died back in 2013,” said Jacob Myers. “He was a police officer.”
Jacob is a junior at Ohio State and plays on the police hockey team.
“What the foundation does is incredible and going to families of other first responders like mine is just such a great cause and it’s amazing when they’ve been doing,” Jacob added.
This year former Ohio State and Columbus Chill hockey player Robert Schreiner is an the honorary coach of the police team.
“The hockey community, as big as it is, it is small, and we will do everything we can to spread the word [about the game],” said Schreiner. “We’re selling tickets, and you’ll be amazed at how many hockey families and just good people come out to support this cause.”
“It’s an awesome experience. We get a lot of people out,” firefighter Aaron Richnavsky said about the game. “It’s a good family event. It’s for charity. We raise a lot of money and help people out.”
It’s also good for our rapport with the cops. We’re friends. We work a lot together on the streets. It’s good to build that friendship and brotherhood up.Aaron Richnavsky, Columbus Division of Fire hockey team member
In 2019, the police hockey team took home the trophy. Richnavsky says the firefighters are doing all they can to win it back.
“So we lost last year, which that happens, but we didn’t like it, so we’re practicing extra hard this year: putting in some extra time skating, getting our hockey legs back, going the extra mile,” Richnavsky explained. “It’s not going to get too crazy out there, but it might get chippy. A little bumpin’ and stuff in the corner, but no one’s going to get hurt on purpose and this and that. It’s a friendly competition..
The First Responder Face-Off is January 18 at 1 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. CLICK HERE for more information and to buy tickets.