NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America this Sunday with an NHL tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.
Hockey has always had a way of bringing people together by transcending cultures, nations, and borders.
In the fall, NBC Sports visited a junior hockey team in El Paso, Texas to see the positive impact the El Paso Rhinos were making in their city following the tragic Walmart shooting in August.
In this new feature, NBC Sports spotlights how hockey took root – and now thrives – in this non-traditional market. And like many homegrown stories in Texas, this one starts in a barn.
Related: El Paso Rhinos on rallying community after tragedy
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As you can see from the video above, NBC’s Anson Carter took a look at how the El Paso Rhinos responded to the Aug. 3, 2019 tragedy that claimed the lives of 22 people and injured at least 24 more.
Along with donating $10K, the Rhinos added proceeds stemming from a game against Mexico’s National Under-20 team on Sept. 28 and 29. Between the game and charitable jersey auctions afterward, Carter notes that the Rhinos almost doubled those $10K contributions.
One of the video’s best moments came when Carter revealed that, with the help of Bauer and the NHL and NHLPA’s industry growth fund, there’s a donation of 20 hockey gloves to Mexico’s National Under-20 team. You can see their head coach Diego De La Garma wearing what are apparently New Jersey Devils-themed gloves:
More on that here:
Good stuff, and another reminder that sports can often bring people together after tragic events.
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While the city of El Paso, Texas, remains in shock after a mass shooting during the weekend, the Rhinos of the Western States Hockey League announced a number of ways that they plan on helping victims and their families following the tragic events.
To start, the team is donating $10K to the El Paso Community Foundation. They’re also planning on donating proceeds from a jersey auction after they play two exhibition contests versus Mexico’s Under-20 men’s national team on Sept. 28-29.
The Rhinos shared the news, and their condolences, in this tweet, with the hashtag #ElPasoStrong
Rhinos coach Cory Herman spoke about a city in shock with the news to NHL.com’s William Douglas, while also pointing out the significance of El Paso’s exhibition games against a team from Mexico.
“There were people from Mexico who died that day too,” Herman said. “This is a loving city; well, it’s really the biggest small town you’ll ever visit. This is the type of place that if you’re broken down along side of the road, within a couple of minutes you have people stopping trying to help you. People are just in shock right now.”
Douglas explains that the Rhinos’ $10K donation will come, in large part, from ticket sales the team earned while becoming repeat champions of the WSHL in 2018 and 2019.
NBC News has more on the mass shooting here. The El Paso Community Foundation has a spot where people can donate money to victims and their families at this address.