Hockey fans across the country have been experiencing withdrawal from their favourite sport, with the lack of on ice action thanks to the National Hockey League lockout.

However, fans in Cole Harbour Nova Scotia had the rare treat of seeing their hometown superstar hit the ice at Cole Harbour Place Thursday night.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby, came out to play in a charity hockey game with some of his childhood friends. His participation in the game wasn’t advertised, but once he hit the ice, it didn’t take long for word to get out and suddenly the stands were filled with spectators.

“I was a little late getting to the rink this year. Usually I like to get here a little earlier, so I was scrambling to get my gear on. There was rumors, I showed up and some of the boys started laughing, thinking it was quite a joke, so I found out, probably 20 minutes before ice time,” says player Adam Horne. “His first shot was a breakaway and I did save it, so I was on cloud nine then.”

Horne wasn’t the only person on cloud nine in Cole Harbour.

“It really kind of felt normal, but you kinda stepped back and were like, it’s pretty strange seeing Sid out there on the ice,” says player Sean Hurley.

Crosbyscored three goals and three assists, in a game fans will never forget.

“It was just unbelievable,” says sponsor Dan Gillis. “People were in shock. They just couldn’t believe that he showed up and he played. It was unbelievable to see him here.”

Gillis is one of the major sponsors for the Generation Cup, which is in its 13th year. He says the amount raised for all previous years combined was $7,000, but this year, numbers soared.

“His jersey was raffled off last night for close to $2,000,” says Gillis.

In total, about $5,000 was raised, with all proceeds going to Sidney Crosby’s foundation.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Suzette Belliveau