A week ago Friday, the tragic events in Newtown, CT, unfolded as the world watched in horror. In the end, 20 students and six adult employees were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Tributes have poured in from everywhere, including the sports world.
The AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers play about 30 minutes away from Newtown and have hosted students from Sandy Hook Elementary at games in the past.
The team announced this week that they would wear commemorative patches and stickers on their uniforms for the rest of the season to honor the victims. Behind both nets “S.H.E.S.” and “12.14.12” will be painted into the ice, as well.
On Thursday, the Sound Tigers announced another way they will pay tribute, this one in incredible fashion:
For their next seven home games at Webster Bank Arena, the Sound Tigers will replace the last names of players from their black alternate jerseys with a name of one of the Sandy Hook Elementary students.
In addition, the six adult victims will have their names shown on the center ice scoreboard throughout the entire game.
“Sandy Hook Elementary School has been a part of our family, supporting the Sound Tigers at games and community events since the team began calling Bridgeport home, 12 years ago,” Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan said.
“We are honored to recognize the victims of the heart-breaking events that happened less than 20 miles up the road.”
The team will begin wearing these jerseys this Saturday through Jan. 20. After the seventh and final game, the Sound Tigers will invite a representative or relative of the victims to the game to accept the jerseys featuring their child's name off the back of the players.
An online auction featuring various hockey memorabilia will also be held with proceeds benefiting the families.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy