Eighth celebrity shootout a success
January 27, 2015
The word "shootout" was an appropriate one for the eighth-annual Luc Robitaille Celebrity Shootout at the Park City Ice Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Benefiting the Echoes of Hope charity, founded by former hockey star Luc Robitaille and his wife, Stacia, Sunday’s Shootout featured 10 goals in the first period alone.
Former NHL players took the ice alongside a long list of celebrities to raise money for the foundation, which "strives to awaken the spirit of hope in the lives of emancipated foster youth, as well as youth in need by providing the resources, knowledge, skills, love and support they need to reach their full potential."
Team Echoes was captained by Luc Robitaille and Team Hope was captained by NHL Hall-of-Famer Rob Blake. Robitaille’s team featured former players Pierre Turgeon, Derek Armstrong and Brad Smyth lining up alongside actors like Michael Rosenbaum and Isaiah Mustafa, musicians Riker and Rocky Lynch of R5 and Olympic speedskating bronze medalist Allison Baver.
Blake’s team featured NHL alumni Larry Murphy, Sean O’Donnell and Mike Commodore alongside actors David Boreanaz, Jason Priestley, Michael Vartan and Steven McQueen and musician Matisyahu, among others.
Matisyahu, a reggae rapper and a three-year veteran of the shootout, said the event is a great way to have fun while supporting an important cause.
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"I love hockey and I really love Luc and Stacia and what they do and this whole thing they’ve created with this organization," he said. "They’re just great people and Sundance is a great event to come out to for a couple days, too."
Though the celebrities obviously never played hockey for a living like the former NHL stars, many of them have backgrounds playing the game in their childhoods.
"I’ve been playing hockey since I was nine years old, I guess," Matisyahu said. "I stopped when I was 17 and started getting into music, but recently, when I moved to L.A., I started playing a little more."
The concept of helping troubled youth is an important one for Matisyahu, who said the cause was important to his parents, too.
"I grew up around social work — my parents were both social workers," he said. "I’ve just always felt that we’ve got to try to help out and do things for the people. Your life isn’t just about yourself and taking care of your own family, but also about reaching out and trying to help other people and create some kind of family here as a human race. Anything I can do to just try to spread light and be a good person, I try my best."
The shootout started with regular hockey, but the second period was a little different. The period started with a Nerf football instead of a puck. Then, for a brief period of time, two pucks were used instead of one. Finally, between the second and third period, Ross Lynch of R5 was given a chance to earn a goal for his team if he could beat Baver in a race around the rink. Though Lynch made it a close race after getting a half-lap head start, Baver ended up crossing the line first.
Many of the celebrities have made coming to the shootout a regular part of their Sundance visits. Because of the cause and how much fun they have, many plan to continue coming back in the future.
When asked if he planned to return next year, Matisyahu cited a Hebrew tradition as one of many reasons he’ll keep coming back.
"When you do something three times consecutively, then you have to continue doing it. This is my third consecutive year, so I have to keep coming back," he laughed.
For more information about the Echoes of Hope charity, visit http://www.echoesofhope.org .
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