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Roadrunners honor Craig Cunningham with pre-game ceremony

Posted at 10:17 PM, Mar 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-26 01:17:44-04

After collapsing on the ice five months ago -- a pre-game ceremony on Saturday night to honor Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham. It was called #CunnyDid Night -- where players and fans celebrated his road to recovery.

While he was the focus for the crowd and players -- his focus was on the doctors and people that saved his life.

"You know, people don't always get acknowledgement for the tasks that they have done," Cunningham said. "So, I think that it's a nice night to honor everyone that has helped me get to where I am today."

Cunningham collapsed on the ice after suffering cardiac arrest -- paramedics performing CPR on him on the ice, and doctors performed a procedure on him that had only been done 3 times before. The combination of the medical treatment and his inner-fight is what kept him alive, according to Dr. George Haloftis.

"This was a big deal. Physicians, paramedics, emergency medical services -- we do these things every day," Haloftis said. "But we don't have these outcomes every day. I didn't think that I'd be sitting next to him right now, to be perfectly honest."

NHL players, AHL players, friends and family, sharing heartfelt words and messages for Cunningham in a video shown to the arena during the celebration. Cunningham, standing up, also dropped a ceremonial puck before the game. Watching Cunningham get better and better -- Haloftis is inspired.

"I've got a feeling that with a prosthetic, he can put a skate on that thing and he could be back on the ice and skate," he said. "If anybody can do it, he can."

On a night designed to celebrate Cunningham, he turned the spotlight onto the community.

"I couldn't ask for anything more than what the City of Tucson has done for me," Cunningham said.