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Hecht Plays in Game of Hearts

Friday, 08.11.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Hecht Plays in Game of Hearts

August 11, 2006
by Brian Wheeler

A six-year professional in the National Hockey League and one of the best two-way players in hockey, Jochen Hecht can compete with pretty much anybody on the ice.

But put him on a soccer field and the six-foot-one, 200-pound left-winger is way out of his element.

Hecht found out first hand what professional soccer could be like when he competed in Michael Schumacher's "Game Of Hearts" in Germany last month.

Schumacher, the equivalent of Wayne Gretzky in F-1 Racing, created the charity soccer game six years ago to benefit Unesco-Stiftung, roughly translated as "formation for children in need." The full-day event features the game and a player's banquet that raises an annual sum of $150,000 EURO (approximately $193,000 USD) for the charity.

"Michael Schumacher is probably the most known athlete in Germany and is a very good soccer player," Hecht said. "All the people come to see him play. It was great to get to know him and all the other celebrities."

Two teams comprised of former professional soccer players and German entertainers compete in Carl Benz Stadium in Mannheim each year in front of a capacity crowd of 25,000 prior to the Formula-1 German Grand Prix.

Included on the roster this season was actor Til Schweiger, who has appeared in such movies as Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, King Arthur, Driven and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

"It was exciting to play in a different sport in front of such a big crowd and against some of the best athletes that Germany has to show for," said Hecht from his home in Mannheim. "It was for great cause and everybody had a lot of fun."

Hecht was invited to participate in the game by his former junior coach of the Mannheim Eagles. Having played once before years ago, Hecht agreed to be a participant even though his soccer experience was limited to pick-up games with his friends as a youth.

"It was tough," joked Hecht, who has never played organized soccer. "I didn't know what I was doing out there and wasn't used to all the situations."

Things got even worse for Hecht went head-to-head with experienced players.

"If you go up against the former professional soccer players, they can make you look stupid, like they did to me a couple of times," said Hecht. "Its kind of funny to be in a role where you are not an equal to the other players you are competing against."

But regardless of his lack of experience, Hecht was proud to be a part of an event that does so much good for the children of Germany.

SCHEDULE

HOME
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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82