Demitra Tribute Games Wrap Up in Bratislava
Blues Alumni played in exhibition games in Slovakia to honor Pavol Demitra
The series of games paying tribute to Pavol Demitra ended Saturday in Bratislava.
Kelly Chase scored four goals for the St. Louis Blues Alumni, who lost to the Slovak Stars 18-17 in the third game.
"It was different kind of hockey; we wanted to entertain the fans," Miroslav Satan said. "The [Blues Alumni] Team brought many attractive stars which helped fill the stadiums.
"But the most important was to pay tribute to Palo and to get financial support for his school. His performance will remain in memories of our hockey fans."
Demitra died nearly three years ago with 43 other passengers in a plane crash in Yaroslavl, Russia.
Demitra played for the Blues from 1996 to 2004. He also played for the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks during his NHL career.
Proceeds from the games reached $225,000, which will be used for Slovak youth hockey, split among the Igor Liba Academy, Zdeno Ciger academy, and Pavol Demitra elementary school in his birthplace Dubnica nad Vahom.
As in the previous games, the one Saturday was stopped in the 38th minute, all lights in the Slovnaft Arena were turned off, and Demitra's jersey No. 38 was displayed above center ice.
"We remembered our [Palo], a great friend with whom we had spent nice times," Richard Zednik said. "I am very glad that so many players from St. Louis came to Slovakia and supported this event. It shows the respect that Palo had in this organization.
"For me personally, it wasn't easy to play after a year without hockey. But the fans helped a lot, they made us feel great in the same atmosphere as during the World Championship (in Bratislava) three years ago."
Jamal Mayers scored three times for the Blues alumni.
The other games were played in Poprad and Trencin. Each game was tied after regulation, and the Slovak Stars Team won in a shootout.
"Palo was the crowd's favorite player. The stars shall not be forgotten and I am glad the fans still find a way to pay tribute to him," Lubomir Visnovsky said. "I think all three games were successful. We met again, shared some memories, scored some nice goals. Palo would like such an event. Unfortunately, he could not be here with us tonight."