Hockey game honors Luzerne County men

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Hockey players are coming together out on the ice to honor two people who meant so much to this community.

Local hockey players are battling it out on the ice remembering two lives cut short.

“Just everybody being together, being able to see each other and hug. It’s just… it’s just good,” said Claudia Brown, spectator.

The first Madry-Kahlau Memorial Tournament took place Saturday at Toyota Sportsplex in Wilkes-Barre, giving these players the opportunity to pay tribute the way they know best, on the ice.

“That’s what we call home that’s where we all feel the most comfortable. That’s where the memories are made. That’s how the brotherhood came about. If it wasn’t for hockey, we wouldn’t have met Tanner. I would have never met him at least. I’m just very fortunate to have such a great community behind me like this,” said Jared McCune, Organizer.

The games honor Brian Madry, a 16-year-old hockey player who died in a 2011 car crash and 22-year-old Tanner Kahlau who died last week in a skiing accident.

“He would do the same thing for us, so we’re all happy to do it for him. He’s probably smiling up there,” said Ryan Flanagan, hockey player.

“If Tanner was here today, what do you think he’d think about this,” asked Eyewitness News.

“He would love it,” said Brown.

“He’d love it,” said Nick Vitanovec, Co-organizer.

“He would love it,” said Ryan Flanagan, hockey player.

“He would have an even bigger smile on his face, even bigger than the one he used to always have on it. I know this would mean the world for him,” said McCune.

Mean the world to a man who meant the world to the Mountain Top community both on and off the ice.

And if you aren’t a sports fan, a community event honoring Madry and Kahlau is scheduled for Sunday. It will also be a big day for Mountain Top hockey players who grew up playing at the Wright Township Ice Rink. It is set to reopen under a new name: the Madry-Kahlau Memorial Ice Rink.

The ice will be split for hockey and recreational skating Sunday afternoon and food trucks will be in the parking lot next to the rink.

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