Penguins, Islanders Honor Synagogue Shooting Victims

Moment of silence, puck drop, donations highlight moving tribute

Josh Rowntree
October 30, 2018 - 11:08 pm
A commemorative patch honoring the victims the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre is displayed on the jersey of Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (30) against the New York Islanders

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Just three days after eleven people were gunned down at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, the Penguins did their best to honor the memory of those lost, help the grieving families and show support for the police officers and first responders who responded to one of the darkest days in the City of Pittsburgh’s history. 

Penguins players wore special jersey patches which read ‘Stronger Than Hate’ and meshed the team’s logo and the Star of David. The jerseys will all be autographed and auctioned off. Proceeds will benefit the victims. 

The team will also donate $50,000 to the Jewish Federation and police officer’s fund. The game’s 50/50 raffle proceeds benefitted the charities, as well. 

Before the game began, two police officers who were injured Saturday took part in the ceremonial puck drop. And 11-second moment of silence — one second for each victim — was a particularly moving part of the ceremonies, too. 

“Emotionally, I think everyone felt that,” Sidney Crosby said. “You try to recognize and go out there and play as hard as you can and show your appreciation. Words are one thing and you try to go out there and follow it up the same. I think everyone felt that. We wanted to go out there and play for them.”

The Penguins lost the game to the Islanders, 6-3. But, on this night, a hockey result was not the primary focus. 

“We hurt like everyone else here,” Matt Cullen said. “This is our hometown and we all love Pittsburgh. It sure makes you think about family and what’s important. We all feel for everybody involved.”

“I know it was emotional for our guys,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan added. “I think they wanted to inspire our city and I felt like their energy was there.”

Often the center of Penguins fans’ ire, Islanders coach Barry Trotz had words of sympathy for those impacted by the tragedy, as well as complementary words for the City of Pittsburgh. 

"This city is a special city,” Trotz said. “This city is strong. It's a gorgeous city. The people are great and I know the healing process here will start. And they'll rally around their sports team and community."

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