operation hat trick

Fans enter the Hall for the game. Saturday November 24 2012 Operation Hat Trick charity NHL Hockey at Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Ben Fogletto

ATLANTIC CITY - Cape May resident Paul Adams wore an old Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies jersey to Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night.

The Hall, former home of the since-departed Bullies of the minor-league ECHL, hosted an NHL all-star game of sorts with Operation Hat Trick, a charity exhibition featuring locked-out NHL stars with proceeds benefitting Hurricane Sandy victims.

"With the lockout in place, really, it's the only hockey," Adams said.

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The game features mostly players with connections to the Philadlephia Flyers, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. But there are also players such as Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Anaheim's Corey Perry.

"(I expect) a more fun atmosphere," Adams said. "You definitely don't expect to see NHL hockey. They're just having fun out there for a good cause."

The game drew fans from all over the region.

Dan Binczak of Bordentown heard about the game last week and bought tickets immediately for himself and his girlfriend, Ashley Kolenda, of Levittown, Pa.

"She actually got a little mad because I just bought tickets without asking," Binczak said with a smile as Kolenda stood next to him. "But I'm so deprived of hockey, I had to see something."

Tim and Debbie Robinson of Laurel, Del., got tickets as a surprise early Christmas gift from their son, Jeremy, who is on active duty in the Army in Hawaii.

Tim Robinson said he was excited because "these guys want to play." He called the lockout "horrendous."

"(Jeremy) came home from leave and we couldn't go to a game," Debbie Robinson said.

But for one night, the stars are back on the ice.

"I expect to see a great game," Tim Robinson said.

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