FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Hockey royalty was in attendance as the Alaska Goldpanners hosted 'Hockey Night' at Growden Memorial Park Wednesday.
Winners of the two previous Stanley Cups, Colton Parayko of the Saint Louis Blues and Washington Capitals goaltender Phoenix Copley celebrated a night at the ballpark.
The two champs were recognized for their accomplishments in the NHL, as well as their commitment and devotion to the community.
They spent the night signing autographs, taking pictures, hanging out with fans in the beer garden, and of course, throwing out the first pitch.
Parayko, the former Nanook defenseman, received a proclamation from Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward, recognizing him for his dedication to UAF and the youth of the community.
"I am just fortunate to be in a position to come back here and be in these boots and share where I have been and what I have become because this is kind of where it all started here in Alaska," Parayko said of his return to the 49th State. "I am still a Nanook and always will be."
With youth organization, Ice Dogs staff and he UAF Face-Off Club present, the entire hockey community was represented at the ballpark.
Copley, who was born and raised in North Pole, learned to skate and developed into the player he is today in this very community. He wants to give back to the place that gave him so much any chance he can.
"It is awesome, it is a tight knit community, and the hockey community is great," Copley said. "We get a lot of support it is awesome to be a part of something like this. I had so much help growing up from the community, so any way I can give back and help out, its great. It's awesome to see kids who have dreams like that and any way I can help and inspire them is awesome."
There is no doubt that our community supports those who support us.