SPRINGFIED, Mass. (WWLP) – Presented by People’s United Bank, the Springfield Thunderbirds hosted their fifth annual Hometown Heroes Night Saturday.

The Thunderbirds hosted the Belleville Senators at the MassMutual Center. This was a make-up game. The game was planned for January 19, but due to a serious snowstorm in the Pioneer Valley, the game was postponed and rescheduled for Saturday.

“The Thunderbirds are honored to be able to spotlight and recognize the service put forth by our local hometown heroes and first responders,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “They proudly represent our community through their dedication, courage, and poise under pressure. We continually thank them for all they do to make our city great.”

22News spoke to a fan at the game Saturday night about Saturday night’s big event.

“It gives us a chance to honor the people who are such a big part of our community,” said Tom Baron of Chicopee. “The firemen, the police officers, the dispatchers, and to see them interact with like the youth hockey teams I think it’s really special.”

To celebrate and honor the hometown heroes, a large American flag was flown atop the ladder of a Springfield Fire Department truck outside of the MassMutual Center box office on Saturday afternoon.

Before the game, Springfield Fire Commissioner, Bernard “B.J.” Calvi, and Springfield Police Superintendent, Cheryl Clapprood, joined the two captains rink side for a ceremonial puck drop. The Thunderbirds represented local heroes with a parade of emergency vehicles during the game’s first intermission. 

Saturday’s game was a hometown salute for all of the men and women who serve their communities in the western Massachusetts area.