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First responders hold honorary hockey game for fallen Bristol officers ahead of family puck drop

Lt. Dustin DeMonte's wife, Laura, dropped the puck Saturday at the Wolf Pack game.

HARTFORD, Conn. — First responders from 18 departments across Connecticut and Massachusetts held an honorary hockey game Saturday at the XL Center for Bristol Police Officers Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy, both shot and killed in October in the line of duty.

DeMonte's pregnant wife, Laura, dropped the puck for the Wolf Pack and Hershey Bears game.

Michael Elwood, a dispatcher in Hartford, organized the game to raise money for the families. 

"Immediately after it happened, I had texted one of the officers from Bristol and sent my condolences, and his immediate response was, 'I want to do something,'" Elwood said. "Let them know they’re never going to be forgotten and we’ll carry on from here."

DeMonte and Hamzy's names were on the blue and white jerseys. The Bristol Police Department badge was also stitched on the shoulder of the uniforms Saturday.

Paula Cole came to watch her cousin, who works in Hartford's court system, play.

"I think [it] has brought a lot of people together to support the community," the Plainville resident said. "I’ve always loved hockey. Hockey for a good cause is even better hockey."

Credit: FOX61
Sgt. Alex Hamzy's name on hockey jerseys for an honorary game of first responders Saturday.

Cole called the October shooting that killed the two officers and injured Officer Alec Iurato a "senseless tragedy."

The officers were responding to a call on Redstone Hill Road around 10:30 p.m. when they were shot in what police believe was an ambush. DeMonte and Hamzy were both posthumously promoted after their deaths. A joint funeral service was held at Rentschler Field in East Hartford the week after the shooting.

RELATED: 'We’re getting through it' | Bristol community remembers officers killed one month ago

There have been a number of fundraisers in Bristol and other parts of Connecticut since to raise money for the families. The proceeds from the 50/50 raffle and 'Chuck the Puck' at Saturday's Wolf Pack game are being donated to the 'Fund the First' account, set up by the Bristol Police Benevolent Association. $2,200 was raised Saturday.

Christian Beiscel said it was a meaningful way for him to help out.

"It just makes us feel a lot better coming out and supporting a team that's supporting the community, especially in times of need," the East Haddam neighbor said. "I've always seen the Wolf Pack as providing a lot of community support."

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Connecticut Guns Hockey Club, which held the prelim game, has done different charity events in the past to help causes like Wounded Warriors and homeless veterans programs. Team DeMonte won the game, beating Team Hamzy by five points.

"When things like this happen, we’re not going to stop. We’re going to continue to go forward as a family and make sure they’re not forgotten," Elwood said. 

Laura DeMonte was greeted with cheers from across the XL Center as she was handed flowers from Jonny Brodzinski, number 22.

Credit: FOX61
Fallen Bristol Police Officer Lt. Dustin DeMonte's wife, Laura, drops the puck at the Wolf Pack game Saturday.

"She has basically gone through, in a sense, hell and back. There is no words that can really describe basically what her and her family has gone through," Elwood said. "For her to be able to come here tonight and do that ceremonial puck drop is absolutely amazing."

MORE: Brother remembers fallen Bristol police Sgt. Dustin DeMonte

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at ablack@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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