Kane, Hinostroza help raise $100,000 at charity game

When Kevin Magnuson - son of Blackhawks great Keith Magnuson - received a phone call nearly a year ago about a charity hockey game to benefit Special Olympics Chicago, he could not have been more excited.

That call came from 2003 Stevenson High School graduate and former Chicago Steel hockey player Topher Scott, who informed Magnuson that the goal was to raise $100,000.

"I thought that was a really lofty goal," said Magnuson, who is the board president of Special Olympics Chicago. "When you hear 100 grand, that's a lot of money, and eight months ago when it's just a phone call, it's just hard for me to wrap my head around it."

Well, eight months later - standing in the Fox Valley Ice Arena at halftime of the inaugural Chicago Hockey Charity Classic on Saturday - Magnuson realized that dream had come true and then some as the event raised a whopping $139,437.

Almost 1,700 fans watched Patrick Kane, Vinnie Hinostroza, Troy Murray, Daniel Carcillo, Ben Eager, Brian Noonan, Reg Kerr, Brandon Pirri, Anthony Louis, Eddie Olczyk Jr., Tommy Olczyk, Megan Bozek and many more put on a show in Geneva that organizers declared an overwhelming success.

Coaches included former Blackhawks and current Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, former Hawks Cliff Koroll and Phil Russell, Chicago Steel owner Larry Robbins, and actor and Schaumburg High School graduate Jeff Glover.

Attendees had the opportunity to bid on a Kane-signed Chicago Hockey Charity Classic jersey, signed photos by Kane and Corey Crawford, as well as a signed 1980 Olympic Team USA poster.

Kane's decision to play helped elevate the event to must-see status for many and was likely a big reason the $100,000 goal was surpassed by so much.

"It's absolutely huge," Magnuson said. "He's always been a good person. He's just matured a lot.

"With him saying yes today, he has become the complete package of what a Chicago athlete is all about and what a Chicago Blackhawk is all about. The fact that he supported us and our organization speaks volumes."

The rosters were sprinkled with current and former NHL players, three women and two sled-hockey players, one of whom fed Kane with a gorgeous up-the-ice pass late in the game that led to a penalty shot being awarded to Kane.

"When you meet these kids, they're hard not to cheer for," said Kane, who got the crowd revved up in a hurry by recording 2 assists in the first five minutes. "I did a golf tournament earlier this summer … and same type of thing. They have so much passion, such a positive outlook on life and nothing can really seem to get them down."

Team Hinostroza beat Team Kane in a shootout after Vincent Loverde tied the game at 11-11 with just 1.2 seconds remaining. Kane was the last shootout participant and - rather than embarrass anyone with one of his lethal moves - the former MVP belly-flopped to the ice to put a bow on the affair.

For the record, Hinostroza did pot a goal late in the first half when he showed off his trademark speed an whipped a shot home that cut Team Kane's lead to 7-4.

"In these things, you don't really know how hard to go," he said. "The most important thing is everyone's having fun. It's a great turnout - so many people are here - and a lot of money's being raised for a great cause."

Said Carcillo: "I wish we did one of these (events) once a month. There could be. I had fun."

Topher Scott, who played and coached at Cornell, has two brothers with special needs and has run three events similar to this in the past in New York. Scott and Brian Keane - a good friend of Kane's who runs Prodigy Hockey - both put in countless hours of work to put together the rosters, secure the arena and make it a day many will never forget.

"Looking in the crowd makes me emotional and makes me really happy," Magnuson said. "I know our athletes are really happy with the amount of money that is being raised today.

"Our motto is 'Athletes Helping Athletes', and today is an awesome example of that."

John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJosh Pauls, a member of the gold-medal-winning Team USA Olympic Sled Hockey team in 2010, passes the puck to a teammate on Team Kane Saturday at the Chicago Hockey Charity Classic at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva. The event helped fund the Special Olympics Chicago. In the background are teammates Patrick Kane and Kevin Magnuson.
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