TAMPA, Fla.— — The Tampa Bay Lightning weren't the only ones gearing up for a win on Friday. Local firefighters and police in Tampa duked it out in a street hockey game and brought on some friendly competition among first responders.
Tampa Fire Rescue, dubbed Team Thunder, and Tampa Airport Police, known as Team Lightning, battled for all the glory on the airfield at Tampa International Airport.
“Everything we went through the last year with the pandemic, this is a great cause. We’re proud to be affiliated with Tampa firefighters and Tampa Bay police,” said former player and Lightning ambassador Brian Bradley. “The Lightning love to support them and Tampa International Airport.”
The Lightning’s Community Hockey Department hosted the clinic for the first responders Friday afternoon, which ended with a scrimmage. Both teams were confident with what they brought to the table.
“We have tasers,” said Charlie Vazquez, Tampa International’s police chief.
“We don’t, so that may be an unfair advantage, but we’re okay working with water, so being a wet, rainy day, I think we’ve got some good standing out there,” responded Oren Hanson, the airport fire chief.
After some practice, it was game on. Ultimately, Tampa Fire Rescue came out on top, 5-3, but both teams were rewarded with tickets to the Lightning’s Game 4 watch party at Amalie Arena.
“We’re going to end the year just like we started with a Stanley Cup here,” said Vazquez. “The only difference is the crowd’s going to be bigger, the fans are going to be loud, and the victory is going to be that much sweeter.”