Familiar opponents met on the ice Saturday in Farmer's Branch as Dallas Police took on Dallas Fire in the third annual Dallas Strong game.
It's a tradition that was started to memorialize the lives lost in the 2016 ambush on Dallas police officers that has raised money for first responders injured in the line of duty.
"Hockey players are all fighters and we all pull together as a family. Whether it's fire or police, we're all a big family and we all fight the same fight," said DPD assistant captain Carlos de la Fuente.
It's a fight they're all keenly aware of with the return of team captain and friend Sergeant Brian Simonds.
Saturday he was back on the ice for the first time after being diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and lymph nodes along with surgery after doctors found a tumor on his heart.
"I was thinking, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to skate again at that point. I didn't know what the future held for me," said Simonds.
As he prepared for battle, he wasn't alone. Simonds' team helped him the way he's helped so many others, holding a game to raise money to get his family through whatever came their way.
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"I know how much the money meant to me and my family at the time, because there came a time when we started running out of money when I was not getting paid by the department. If it wasn't for that, I probably wouldn't have gotten by financially," said Simonds.
But not only did his family make it through, Simonds was cleared by his doctor last month to return to return to work and more importantly, the ice.
"Before I consider myself a police officer, I'm a hockey player. That's what I grew up doing. So this right here is kind of an end note from what I went through and it's saying I'm healthy again and I can do what I used to," said Simonds.
It's a gift he's not taking for granted as he gets right back to helping other families like his.