The Hill: Lawmakers beat lobbyists at charity hockey game
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Team Lawmakers beat Team Lobbyists 4-3 on Wednesday night to win the 11th annual Congressional Hockey Challenge for the third year in a row.
The event, which was held at Capital One Arena, brings the National Hockey League and businesses together to raise money for organizations that help veterans, inner-city youth and the disabled play hockey.
The game was a high-scoring affair, and even though some of the lawmakers and lobbyists had to shakily make their way up and down the ice, a competitive game.
The teams appeared evenly matched with neither side pulling ahead by more than a goal during the first two periods.
The game changed with 7 minutes left in the third period, when Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) streaked down the ice and helped pull off a quick assist that lead to a goal. That put Team Lawmakers up 4-2. Team Lobbyists fought back hard to get another goal, before eventually falling 4-3.
The lawmaker team included eight members of Congress and also participants from the administration. The lobbyist team included some prominent K Street names, including Geoff Freeman of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Kathleen Black, director of government relations for Coca-Cola, and Nick Lewis, senior vice president of federal legislative affairs for UPS.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hailed the event and its focus on giving back to the community.
“Over the past 10 years, the Congressional Hockey Challenge has made a significant impact in making hockey more accessible, especially through its support of minority youth and wounded warriors programs," Bettman said in a statement.
"The life skills, character development and positive mental and physical benefits that come from playing team sports – and hockey in particular – are invaluable," he added. "We applaud the organizers’ efforts to raise much needed funds to support initiatives that grow the sport of hockey and foster an inclusive culture where hockey is for everyone.
The night before the big game, the two teams met with young people from the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, one of the organizations the event supports.
The action on the ice was matched by the enthusiasm on the sidelines, as colleagues of the game's participants cheered them on.
Noticeable was one group on the sidelines all wearing red hats and at times jumping up and down, ringing large cowbells. The ringleaders of the group were Reps. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).
“We made [these hats] for our two roommates [Reps.] Erik Paulsen [R-Minn.] and Pete Stauber [R-Minn.], they’re on the ice tonight,” said Brady. “It’s a great cause and we’re backing our team all the way.”
Stauber, a freshman lawmaker, was a former professional hockey player, who once signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings and played in the minor leagues.
Brady said the cowbells were their way of making sure everyone knew who they supported.
“We did small cowbells last year and small air horns,” said Brady. “So, this year we had more cowbell.”