Special to The Labradorian
Local Habs fans were in for a treat on Apr. 2 as eight former NHL Hockey Players took on a team of Happy Valley-Goose Bay players at the E.J. Broomfield Arena as part of a Legends of Montreal and Friends tour.
The former hockey pros gave the packed arena a show with a little serious and a lot of fun hockey.
Playing with the team was defenseman Alain Cote, whose 10-year NHL career began in 1985 with the Boston Bruins. He played two years with Montreal from 1990-92; Gilbert Dionne, one of the players sporting a Stanley Cup Ring for his win with the Canadiens in 1993, Ron Duguay, who played 12 NHL seasons before retirement, Andre ‘Moose’ Dupont, who was a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974 and 1975, Gaston Gingras, Stanley Cup winner with the Canadiens in 1986, Mike Krushelnyski, who holds the most Stanley Cup wins under his belt-three with the Oilers in 1985, 1987 and 1988 and one as assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, after which he retired, Claude Lemieux, who won three Stanley Cups with three different teams, Yves Racine, whose NHL career spanned 10 years and Stephane Richer, who won two Stanley Cups and is one of the all-time leaders in overtime goals.
The Bentley Selects were on their game, scoring some hard-earned goals, but were ultimately defeated by the team with decades of pro experience.
Local residents had the opportunity to play with the Canadiens through a name draw. Four players - Minor Hockey President Shawn Brown, Emile Lavallee, Matthew Pike and Brandon Ramey took their positions alongside the hockey legends. Names were also drawn for a team coach. With only two entries, Max Winters and Bob Shiwak shared the role.
The game was exciting and the competition friendly with some joking jabs, hip checks, holding and tripping. The only penalty called in the game gave guest player Emile Lavallee a penalty shot mid-game. Unfortunately Mr. Lavallee shot wide and missed. He did, however, come back to score the final goal for the Canadiens to finish the game off at 11-4.
The Canadiens took on a team of Novice players between periods which proved highly entertaining with the addition of a running commentary from Boston Bruins’ announcer John Horrigan. Also between periods, three lucky ticket draw winners played off in a shoot-out for two return tickets to St. Johns. Rylan Bent won the contest, netting six of 10 pucks.