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Leary Hosts Benefit Hockey Game

October 1, 2001

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) _ Comedian Denis Leary was skating on thin ice, but that was all for the better.

Thousands turned out Sunday for his annual hockey game, Celebrity Hat Trick, which raised funds for the Worcester Fire Department and to families of New York firefighters lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Last year’s game raised $350,000 and Leary hopes to match it this year. Six Worcester firefighters were killed in a warehouse blaze two years ago.

The game at the Worcester Centrum pitted Boston Bruins alumni against celebrities.

Former Bruins Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, Phil Esposito, Jay Miller and Lyndon Byers skated against celebrities Leary, Michael J. Fox, U.S. Sen. John Kerry and others.

The stars were coached by talk show host Conan O’Brien and actress and model Elizabeth Hurley. Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson coached the Bruins team.

Leary, a Worcester native and cousin of one of the firefighters who died in the 1999 blaze, invited hundreds of New York firefighters and victims families to the game.

The New York City Fire Department contributed hundreds of hours assisting after the deadly Worcester fire in 1999.

New York firefighter Bob Meaney said he wouldn’t have missed the game for anything. He recalled that the first people he saw when he took a break from rescue efforts in the World Trade Center rubble were Massachusetts firefighters.

``They said, ’You did it for us, we’re doing it for you,‴ Meaney said.

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