Thursday, November 20, 2008
Guy Delparte to Paul Evans, Gary McAdam to Stevie Tsujiura, no you have not entered the way back machine. Those were just some of the participants in the Boston Bruins Alumni versus the Maine Mariners Alumni Hockey game to benefit the Huskies Youth Hockey program.
An enthusiastic crowd was on hand to cheer many former Maine Mariners and Boston Bruins stars alike. While Bruins legend Ray Bourque didn't make it due to a family emergency, fans were still treated to a very crisp game. Local Roller Hockey goalie Evan Lewis was pressed into action for the Maine Mariners, actually coming from the stands to play goalie when Bobby Farrelly (director of "Something About Mary) wasn't able to attend. Lewis made great stop after great stop on Bruins legends Rick "Nifty" Middleton, Terry O'Reilly, and 'The Rat" Kenny Linesman. Cleon Daskalakis was in goal for the Bruins and proved to be more than capable himself.
Playing in his first Bruins Alumni game, #14 Kevin O' Connell started the scoring on a nice feed by Terry O' Reilly to make it 1 - 0 Bruins. The Maine Mariners Alumni tied the score at one soon after with a goal from Gary McAdam with assists from Stevie Tsujiura and Len Hackborn. The McAdam, Tsujiura and Hackborn Line was by far the strongest and fastest line of either team all night. The father/son line of Frank and Landon Bathe hooked up minutes later to put the Mariners up 2 - 1.
Evan Lewis made a spectacular glove save of a breakaway by UMaine and Bruins Alum Bob Beers with about 4 minutes left in the 1st. Lewis got the crowd excited in the waning moments of the 1st period with his acrobatic saves along with fantastic glove stops. Brad Park showed Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen just how to play NHL defense, completely stripping Dineen on a rush down the boards. Park then took a rest along the Mariners bench gloating over the play, to the delight of the Mariners Bench. Rick Middleton finished off the scoring in the 1st period with a late goal assisted by O'Connell and Beers. Score at the end of one was knotted at 2.
Intermission gave fans young and old an opportunity to get up close and personal with the players for an autograph session. WJAB's Joe Palmieri exited the locker room holding his prized hockey stick and said,pointing to autograph after autograph, "Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr...and now Brad Park!" Kids were running around crazily with pucks, sticks and cameras to capture this rare event at a hockey game.
The second and final period belonged totally to the Bruins. Longtime Mariners/Pirates scorekeeper Jim Andeschat said, "the Bruins play to win all the time. It took this Mariners team a long time to realize that."
Former New York Ranger and Boston Bruin Jeff Nelson opened the second period scoring for the Bruins and they never looked back. Goals by Bob Sweeney, Linesman and O'Connell closed out the scoring for the Bruins Alumni. Mariners Alum Scott Smith scored late in the second with assists from the Portland Pirates coaching staff of Dineen and Eric Weinrich to close out the scoring for the night.
The Boston Bruins Alumni bruiser Bruce Shoebottom (even though he was a Maine Mariner as well) seemed to be the fan favorite all night, with chants of "Shooooooe" coming down every time he touched the puck. Much to the fan's delight, the night would not pass without Shoe getting into a scrape. Kevin Dineen cross-checked the stuffing out of Shoe, putting him on the ice in plain sight of refs and the fans with no whistle to be heard. This was not just a cross check, it was an assault. Shoe jumped right up, giving Dineen every bit back. Even though they sparred with the sticks, it was quite clear it was all in fun, followed by hearty laughter while they skated back to the bench.
All in all it was a very good night of hockey at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Orange and Black of the Maine Mariners were back on the ice, the Huskies Youth Hockey Program got the fujnds they needed, and the fans were treated to old fashioned hockey fun.