Caps-Penguins alumni play to 5-5 tie in Winter Classic showcase
The Capitals and Penguins alumni skated to a 5-5 tie, thanks to a goal in the final minute by Peter Bondra for the former Washington players that knotted the score up. It was a fun scene afterward, with former players still joking and chirping in the hallways of Heinz Field after a contest that featured a little more intensity than anyone expected.
"You don't expect it during the game; you feel like you want to give guys some more room, but you look at Yvon Labre -- he's fighting, he's chopping at pucks and trying to clear the zone," Bondra said. "I started going the same way and it ended up to be a good pace for the hockey game. Look at those guys. Some of them are in their 50s, or 60s in some cases. They're still moving well, still know how to play the game well. I think it was a lot of fun. I wish we'd do stuff like that more often."
Goal scorers for the former Capitals were Alan May, Paul Mulvey, Mark Lofthouse, Mulvey a second time and finally Bondra on a shot after the puck popped out to the slot. "I feel like somebody just served up a cookie for me," Bondra said, laughing, about the goal. "Puck was laying there and I just shot it I closed my eyes - I think I hit the corner."
Rob Brown, Rod Buskas, Craig Simpson, Jay Caufield and Ron Francis scored for the Pittsburgh alumni.
As you might imagine, some of the players on the ice had better wheels than others. One player in particular was current Caps assistant coach Dean Evason.
"I skate with the guys, so it's nice to be in half-decent shape to play in one of these things," Evason said. "Certainly skill level isn't even close to those guys, but it was fun, certainly, watching [Paul] Coffey and Mario [Lemieux] carrying the puck up the ice. The outcome was right, ending with a tie."
Evason did have a few final jabs to throw in the direction of former Capital and current CSN color analyst Craig Laughlin, though. "I don't think Locker took a stride," Evason deadpanned. "I don't know if Locker can take a stride. We were wondering if he had to have a hip replacement or if he was out of shape, but I think he had fun too."
As a group though, the Capitals alumni were all happy with the way the contest turned out, considering that Pittsburgh's roster featured five hall of famers.
"That's the Washington Capitals. That's the Capitals from the 80s and 90s; our team was made up the same. Once again, Bondra was our best guy," Alan May said. "We worked hard. We didn't want to lose and it was fun. It was hardly fair, though, with three hall of famers on the [Penguins'] power play at the end with the sun in our goalie's eyes."
| December 31, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
Categories: Winter Classic
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