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November 4, 2004 - Names In The Game

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Names In The Game

The Associated Press

Thursday, November 4, 2004

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) -- With the 2004-05 National Hockey League season slipping away in a lockout, upstate New York hockey fans will get to see NHL players in three charity exhibition games.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Robert Esche, who lives in Westmoreland, announced rosters Thursday for his "Chico and Friends Challenge" Nov. 11 in Utica and Nov. 12-13 in nearby Clinton. Proceeds from the 4-on-4 exhibitions will benefit Esche's Save of the Day Foundation for children with life-threatening illnesses in central New York.

"We'll probably never see guys like this play here again, at least not for a while," said Esche, who expects about 30 NHL players to take part.

Esche plans to play in each game.

"I know some fans are upset about the lockout, but these players are giving up their own time to come in and help out," he said.

Other participating players include Ottawa goalie Dominik Hasek -- formerly of the Buffalo Sabres -- Mark Recchi of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Keith Primeau of the Flyers, John Madden and Jamie Langenbrunner of the New Jersey Devils, Eric Weinrich of the St. Louis Blues and Joe Nieuwendyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The games will have two 30-minute periods and one intermission.

"It won't take long to get your legs under you and get going, so it's going to be great," said Recchi, Esche's former teammate with the Flyers. "Just being with Eschie again and all the guys is going to be a lot of fun."