NHL

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins rally behind city in wake of synagogue attack

Sidney Crosby says his Pittsburgh Penguins team standing with its city after an attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 people dead and six others wounded.

Team announces blood drive, donations to Jewish federation and officers' fund

Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins players stand on the ice during a moment of silence for the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, before a hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Sidney Crosby says his team is standing with its city after an attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 people dead and six others wounded.

Speaking with reporters ahead of a game against the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain and Cole Harbour, N.S., native said the team's thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Here's how the sports world rallied around Pittsburgh

Professional sports team around the globe paid tribute to those who died and were injured in Saturday's attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue. 0:58

"Knowing Pittsburgh, I know that we'll stick together and rally around them and be there to support and help them any way we can," said Crosby, 31, adding that the people who live in the city are strong.

"Just very proud people, proud of their city, proud to help in any way they can, whatever it is," he said. "I think (it's) just a great community, a great city and a place that I feel pretty fortunate to be able to live."

Penguins, Canucks observe moment of silence for the victims

Ahead of their game against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, the Vancouver Canucks held a moment of silence for the 11 people killed in an attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. 0:39

Head coach Mike Sullivan echoed Crosby's statements, describing what happened on Saturday as a "terrible tragedy."

"On behalf of the Penguins' organization, we just want to express our condolences, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Pittsburgh that took place today," he said Saturday.

The mass shooting took place during a baby-naming ceremony at the Tree of Life synagogue in the city's Squirrel Hill neighbourhood, and American officials said one person — identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers of Pittsburgh — is in custody.

Bowers appears to have made virulent anti-Semitic posts on a social media platform popular with far-right extremists — including one made shortly before the attack.

Following the game — where the Penguins won 5-0 against the Canucks — the team tweeted out a video of goaltender Casey DeSmith, saying: "This one is for Pittsburgh, boys."

Other members of the team took to social media to express their condolences.

"Love is stronger than hate and we won't let this tragedy tear us down," wrote fellow goaltender Matt Murray in a Twitter post.

And defenceman Justin Schultz tweeted that his thoughts and prayers were with everyone affected, adding: "Stay strong Pittsburgh."

Team announces donations, blood drive

The Penguins announced on Sunday that the team would hold a blood drive on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and would cancel its annual Halloween-themed festivities at Tuesday's game, instead opting to hold a collection to benefit the victims of the shooting.

The team's charitable arm, the Penguins Foundation, will also make two donations of $25,000 US to support the victims of Saturday's attack, the team announced Sunday afternoon.

One payment will go toward the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, while the other will establish a fund to benefit the four police officers wounded in the shooting.

Canadian politicians and Jewish groups also expressed sympathy for the victims of the deadly attack.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the mass shooting as a "horrific anti-Semitic attack."

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