Star-studded charity hockey game for Racker Centers will feature NHL players and Cornell alums

July 8, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

It's the second Racker Rivals Big Red charity hockey game to benefit the Franziska Racker Centers, a local non-profit that supports people with disabilities and their families. Organizers have built on last year's success with an incredible lineup of NHL players of past and present, Cornell alumni, coaches, and players, and local celebrities.

Rangers veteran Mike Richter playing in last year's Racker Rivals Big Red charity hockey game. 14850 photo.Rangers veteran Mike Richter playing in last year's Racker Rivals Big Red charity hockey game. 14850 photo.The game is scheduled for 7pm this Saturday, July 11th, at Cornell University's Lynah Rink. Tickets are available for $12 in advance at, at any Ithaca or Trumansburg branch of Tompkins Trust Company, or at the Cornell Athletic Ticket Office in Bartels Hall, and will be $15 at the door. Kids 2-12 will be admitted for $5. Doors open at 6pm.

Last spring's charity game featured Cornell alum and NHL veteran Joe Nieuwendyk and his friend Mike Richter, a New York Rangers star, as well as Cornell men's and women's coaches and several alumni.

Nieuwendyk and Richter are back, and they're joined by Ithaca native, Los Angeles Kings captain and Stanley Cup winner Dustin Brown, Cornell alum and NHL goalie Ben Scrivens, and Buffalo Sabres captain and Stanley Cup winner Brian Gionta.

Cornell Alum Joe Nieuwendyk at Lynah when his jersey was retired in 2010. 14850 Photo.Cornell Alum Joe Nieuwendyk at Lynah when his jersey was retired in 2010. 14850 Photo.Nieuwendyk, one of just two Cornell hockey players ever to have his jersey number retired, is one of a handful of players in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup with three different clubs. Richter is one of the winningest goalies in hockey history, and led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup title in 1994. 

Scrivens is a 2010 graduate of Cornell, who landed in the net for the Toronto Maple Leafs thanks to a combination of stellar play in the minors and a spate of injuries to other goalies, before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He's currently playing for the Edmonton Oilers. Joining him for the trip is his wife Jenny Niesluchowski Scrivens, herself a Cornell goalie and a star of W Network TV series "Hockey Wives."

Current Cornell men's hockey coaches Mike Schafer, Ben Syer, and Topher Scott will be playing, as will Big Red women's coaches Doug Derraugh and Edith Racine. "Please help support the important goals of so many by donating to Racker Centers today through this community event," head coach Schafer said in an e-mail. Schafer, Scott, and Derraugh are themselves also Cornell alumni who played for the Big Red.

Other Cornell Big Red alums who'll be on the ice include Alyssa Gagliardi, David McKee, Jan Pajerski, Jon Gleed, Matt Hedge, Jeremy Downs, and Mark McCutcheon, and the teams will also feature local hockey players such as CJ DelVecchio, Tom Fox, and Greg Hartz.

Honorary coaches for the teams will include Cornell Football head coach David Archer, retired lacrosse coach Richie Moran, and Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick. Longtime hockey announcer Arthur Mintz will announce the game, and the Cornell pep band will be playing.

Rodger Craig and teammates visited the Racker Centers last season. Photo provided.Rodger Craig and teammates visited the Racker Centers last season. Photo provided."I've been involved on many levels with this organization since my days of playing as a student athlete," Topher Scott says of the Racker Centers. "We hope this grows to be one of the community's most well-attended philanthropic events." The men's hockey team has visited the Racker Centers on several occasions. "Our boys had a great time and made some new friends."

Scott says, "Franziska Racker Centers provides essential supports to individuals with disabilities throughout this community." Heather Hughes, director of public relations at the Racker Centers, says, "His support and dear friendship are what's making this event come to fruition. He's gotten so many people on board and so excited about this game, and has tirelessly worked with us through all of the details."

Correction: An earlier version of this article repeated incorrect information about youth hockey players being admitted free. Tickets for all kids 2-12 will be $5. It also misspelled "Maple Leafs." Yeesh.

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