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Jacksonville cops and firefighters take the fight to the ice for Guns 'n Hoses

The Florida Times-Union logo The Florida Times-Union 12/11/2019 By Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union
a group of hockey players on the snow: Some of the ice action at 2018's Guns 'n Hoses hockey game at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. [Guns 'N Hoses Jacksonville] © Guns 'N Hoses Jacksonville/Florida Times-Union/The Florida Times-Union/TNS Some of the ice action at 2018's Guns 'n Hoses hockey game at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. [Guns 'N Hoses Jacksonville]

Expect a barn-burner when area firefighters and police officers take it to the ice Saturday and hope for lots of goals at Jacksonville's fifth annual Guns N' Hoses hockey game.

Set for 3 to 5:30 p.m. at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena at 300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., 17 officers in blue and 17 more firefighters in red will strap on the blades to battle, said Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Capt. Stephen Myers.

A relatively new franchise of the popular Guns 'n Hoses charity boxing match, the record is three to two in favor of the firefighters.

"Its our sixth game," the Rescue 13 captain said. "... The prediction is a very competitive, hard-fought game full of checking and trash talking."

Team members have been practicing for weeks.

The police and fire unions have been producing their annual Guns N' Hoses charity boxing matches each April for the past 21 years, and the former are leading overall.

When it comes to hockey, the local match started in 2015. Players come from the ranks of fire and police departments in North and Central Florida as well as the military personnel.

For the first few years, action occurred at the Jacksonville Ice and Sportsplex on Emerson Street. But for the third year in a row, they will compete on the ice at the downtown arena. Ticket-holders are then eligible to stick around for the Jacksonville Icemen vs. Orlando Solar Bears game at 7 p.m.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each ticket, costing $15 to $45, benefit the Jacksonville Firefighters Charity and Fraternal Order of Police Foundation. Tickets are on sale at bit.ly/2qFz4gu5.

This year the match will include a special fundraiser for the family of Station 31 engineer Brian McCluney. He was declared lost at sea with fellow Virginia firefighter Justin Walker after they never returned from their Aug. 16 fishing outing off Port Canaveral. Game player jerseys will be auctioned off after Saturday's game, with the proceeds going to wife Stephanie McCluney and his family.

FYI — the 22nd annual Guns 'n Hoses charity boxing match is planned for April 18, also at the arena. And next year, the New York City Police and Corrections boxing team comes to compete.

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549

RELATED 5/8 Read more Jacksonville-area news

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