Champs for Charity a major success on and off the ice

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Champs for Charity a major success on and off the ice

ROSEMONT Patrick Kane seemingly scored a goal every time the puck touched his stick. The crowd was involved from the start, their traditional cheering of the national anthem resonating through Allstate Arena. Members of that 2009-10 Stanley Cup team were playing off each other just like old times.

And for about three hours on Friday night, participating players and about 12,000 fans focused completely on hockey. And forgot about the lockout.

For those keeping score at home, Team World beat Team Chicago in a 16-15 shootout. But in this Champs for Charity game, organized by former Blackhawks forward Adam Burish and Bill Zito, everybody won. The players got to play a game. Fans got to watch their favorite NHL players for the first time since last spring.

The charity trumped all; the game raised 323,500, which will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. And that, players said, was what mattered most.

Were going through a tough time (with the lockout), but like Burish said, its pretty miniscule compared to what some people are going through, Troy Brouwer said. Thats what we were trying to raise money for tonight. To get all the old guys back was fun. To do it for a good cause was even better.

The atmosphere was tremendous, and even better than some players anticipated.

I had no idea (it would be like that), said Jonathan Toews of the crowd, which was in midseason United Center form. It just goes to show you we have some great hockey fans here in Chicago. It doesnt matter if its us guys or the guys who came into town. The people in the building were excited to watch hockey.

Burish who got this game organized in a matter of weeks, was pleased with the outcome.

The biggest thing for me was all these guys deciding to participate. Guys I won a championship with showed up, guys Ive played against showed up. To me, thats what meant a lot, Burish said. They were so giving with their time, doing whatever they could to help, because it wasnt easy. I hope everyone had fun, because I did.

And just playing hockey again felt great.

Thats what we were saying on the bench. We havent been tired like this in a while. This felt good to be tired again, to work again, to get a good sweat again. And having people cheering and screaming was fun again. It felt like we were back in the NHL again.

Patrick Sharp said it had all the feeling of a regular game. Albeit one with a very light feel that included a few fun moments such as goaltender Niklas Backstrom scoring on a penalty shot and coach Ryan Dempster and Daniel Carcillo engaging in a faux fight.

It brings you right back to the regular season and playoffs. And its all for a great cause, he said. Whenever you score a goal you get a good feeling. You play to win and be a part of a team. We were messing around out there but we were still playing hockey. There were a lot of antics going on but it was fun to be a part of a game again.

Unfortunately, its the only game these guys will be a part of here for a while. The NHL lockout drags on, now with games through Nov. 30 gone. But for at least one night, everyone could forget about that and remember what its like to watch some NHL-like hockey.

Tonight was a nice escape, Burish said. It felt like we were playing a real game with NHL players, fans and officials. For a night, it felt like we were back in the NHL again.

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively over Kings

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively over Kings

It was a gift and the Bulls weren't going to look it in the mouth as Dwyane Wade was poised to finish off another one of his sterling defensive plays with a breakaway dunk with the game tied and Arron Afflalo and DeMarcus Cousins trailing.

Lightly touched by the small of his back by Cousins, Wade miscalculated his liftoff and missed the dunk but was bailed out by the refs for a foul with 14 seconds left.

Then, he bailed the Bulls out.

Wade had his fifth fourth-quarter defensive play, stripping Cousins on a steal on the ensuing possession with the Sacramento Kings having a chance to win, leading to a Michael Carter-Williams dunk and finishing a 102-99 win Saturday night at the United Center.

It was a clock-turning performance for Wade on both ends of the floor, even if his missed dunk is a reminder that he is 35 years old. But putting up 30 with six rebounds and four assists on the second night of a back-to-back is proof positive he took Friday's loss to Atlanta personally and used his play to back up those feelings.

He scored 13 in the fourth, along with the last of his four blocked shots and all three of his steals took place in the final 12.

Cousins dominated the game with 42 and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes, the only Kings player in double figures all night.

Back-to-back triples from Cousins gave him 40 and tied the game at 97, as a third one rimmed out with a little under two minutes left.

Cousins dominated the start of the third quarter, hitting midrange jumpers over Robin Lopez and taunting the Bulls bench after hitting a jumper to put the Kings ahead, 70-63 midway through the third.

It looked like the worst was over when the Bulls made a short run to end the third, surviving the onslaught from Cousins — and surviving their own experimenting as the Paul Zipser played heavy minutes and even finished out the game on the floor.

Zipser scored 13 and Nikola Mirotic scored 11 off the bench, with Jimmy Butler scoring 23 with seven assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes.

Phillips DT Chris Elmore commits to Syracuse

Phillips DT Chris Elmore commits to Syracuse

Phillips senior three-star ranked defensive tackle Chris Elmore (6-foot-0, 270 pounds) has given Syracuse his verbal commitment while on his official visit.

Elmore, who first announced his decision via his Twitter account, was asked why he decided to commit to the Orangemen.

"(Syracuse) is the place for me," according to Elmore via text. "I just feel it and I didn't want to pass up a chance to play for Syracuse and in the ACC."

Elmore, who originally gave then Western Michigan head coach PJ Fleck his verbal commitment back last summer reopened his recruiting process once Fleck left WMU to take the head coaching job at Minnesota.

Elmore is now the 20th known verbal commitment to Syracuse and the first from Chicagoland in the Class of 2017.