Eddie Olczyk takes part in emotional “Hockey Fights Cancer” night at the United Center

CHICAGO – It was one of the most memorable nights of the young Blackhawks season on Monday, and the main reason wasn’t the team’s strong performance in a win over Ducks.

Most of the memories were made before the game as the team took part in the “Hockey Fights Cancer” night at the United Center.

It’s part of the NHL’s league-wide initiative to raise awareness for various types of the disease while also raising awareness among their fan base.

Like many other teams, the Blackhawks had a number of tributes to those who’ve suffered from cancer.

It started with a special “Purple Carpet” event in which those who are battling cancer, who’ve beaten cancer, or who’ve lost a loved one to the disease received a hero’s welcome to the game.

Before the game, the team donned lavender jerseys as a salute to those in the crowd who have been affected by cancer. These jerseys will be autographed and then auctioned off as part of a fundraiser with the proceeds benefitting various charities in the Chicago area.

The pregame ceremonies featured more tributes as the team paid tribute to those who’ve suffered from cancer or have died because of it. The most stirring part of the program featured nine-year old Laura Graver and  Eddie Olczyk.

Pictures of the Mount Prospect Blackhawks fan, who is battling rhabdomyosarcoma, and Blackhawks color commentator, who is fighting Colon Cancer, were projected on the ice before both took part in the ceremonial puck drop.

All of these, along with the Blackhawks’ performance over the next three hours, made this an evening to remember at the United Center.