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Event with Jack Johnson dedicated to memory of MSU student

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Jack Johnson

Former Michigan hockey star Jack Johnson is coming back to Ann Arbor to play some pickup hockey -- and you can play with him.

Johnson, now with the Columbus Blue Jackets, will participate in the second annual Andrew Singler Memorial Cup, dedicated to the memory of a Michigan State student murdered in 2013.

Singler was a friend of Justin Spiro, who has been Johnson's best friend since they were in middle school together at Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School. So when Spiro asked Johnson to participate, Johnson said it was a "no-brainer."

"Obviously, it was a tragic thing that happened," Johnson said. "Having something in his memory is more than deserving."

Spiro and Johnson have played an annual pickup hockey game every year since middle school, and this event is an extension of that.

It's $20 to play, and players of all ages and skill levels are welcome. All money raised will go to the Andrew Singler Stay Strong Foundation, which has started a memorial scholarship fund to send kids to Michigan State.

The game will be from 6:15-9:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor.

"Everyone can play. It's a really laid-back, pick-up hockey game," said Johnson, 28. "Justin's team usually wins. Big surprise there.

"Usually toward the end, the pace of play gets ramped up. I'm only allowed to score once. The rest of the time, there's usually some young kids that our playing, I try to get them a few goals, and get everyone involved."

To sign up, RSVP on the Andrew Singler Memorial Cup's Facebook page. Space is limited, so it's first-come, first-served.

There will be raffles at the Ice Cube, as well, for iPads, Tigers tickets, Red Wings tickets and gift certificates.