Bourque still has the magic

Bru­ins Alumni de­feat Cee­bees in en­ter­tain­ing af­fair at Har­bour Grace

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Last year, the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars were ac­cused of play­ing too hard against the Montreal Canadiens Alumni. This year, play­ing against a team of former Bos­ton Bru­ins play­ers in Har­bour Grace on Oct. 16, it took a few words from a hall of famer to get the Cee­Bees to play with some at­ti­tude.

Dur­ing the first in­ter­mis­sion, 19-time NHL all-star de­fence­man Ray Bourque, not lik­ing what he saw out of the Cee­Bees dur­ing the first frame, skated alone across the ice sur­face to the Cee­Bees’ dress­ing room. His mes­sage? Play harder. “He gave the boys a blast, and said, ‘c’mon boys, you gotta try harder than that,’” Cee­Bees coach Steve Power said af­ter the game.

Early into the game, it seemed the Cee­Bees would have an easy time with the Bru­ins, sim­i­lar to the team’s 7-3 win over the Canadiens’ Alumni last year.

Cee­Bees for­ward Ray Dal­ton opened the scor­ing by fin­ish­ing a pass from Shane Gam­berg, putting the home team up 1-0 only sec­onds into the first pe­riod.

But the Bru­ins re­sponded in fine fash­ion, led by Bourque, who won a Stan­ley Cup in hisi fi­nal NHL sea­son (2001) while play­ing for the Colorado Avalanche.

Bourque tied the con­test a minute later when he banged in his own re­bound past Cee­Bees ten­der Freddy Di­a­mond. It was his first of four goals on the af­ter­noon.

Early into the sec­ond, the Bru­ins had pushed the score to 4-1, with Bourque net­ting a nat­u­ral hat trick, and Ed Goff also find­ing the back of the net. Goff is a Car­bon­ear town coun­cil­lor and long­time fan of the Bru­ins. He was one

of four lo­cal play­ers — Jeff Oates, Paul O’Leary and Chris Cros­bie — to suit up with the Bru­ins.

The Cee­Bees picked up the in­ten­sity later in the sec­ond,scor­ing four times over the last 15 min­utes on goals from Brad Shep­pard, Chris Sparkes, Mitch Flynn and Dal­ton to make the score 5-4 in favour of the home team.

But once again, the Bru­ins stormed back, scor­ing five times in the fi­nal stanza to cap off a 9-6 vic­tory. Goals came from former Bru­ins’ cap­tain Rick Mid­dle­ton, Mike Krushe­lyn­ski, goalie-turned­for­ward Reg­gie Lemelin, Mike Sweeney and a fourth by Bourque.

Shane Gam­berg scored the only Cee­Bees tally in the third frame.

Bru­ins an­nouncer John Horrigan said, “ We knew this was go­ing to be the tough­est game of the tour,” which saw the team travel to Lewis­porte, Bon­av­ista, Deer Lake, Mount Pearl, Tor­bay and Har­bour Grace.

The Bru­ins fin­ished the tour with six wins.

Former Bru­ins’ cap­tain Terry O’Reilly said he thought the Cee­Bees were hold­ing back in the first pe­riod.

“ They picked up the pace a lit­tle bit, but we got Ray Bourque back on the blue-line and he can turn on the jets when­ever he wants,” O’Reilly said. “It’s a nice lit­tle bonus for us.”

O’Reilly said the game was the most com­pet­i­tive game on the tour.

“It was our sec­ond game in two nights, and I had noth­ing left in the tank,” he said.

When asked how it felt beat­ing the Cee­Bees, where the Canadiens failed to do so a year ear­lier — the Cee­Bees won 7-3 — O’Reilly said the Canadiens did not have as deep a line-up as the team from Bos­ton.

“ We had more NHL play­ers, and we had Ray Bourque.”

Town, Cee­Bees to share losses

Be­tween 500 to 600 peo­ple paid to see the event, which was less than an­tic­i­pated.

The town took a “small loss,” con­firmed Har­bour Grace Mayor Don Coombs. He said the town and the Cee­Bees se­nior team will share the cost of the short­fall.

Coombs said the town will en­ter­tain sim­i­lar events in the fu­ture, but ac­knowl­edged,” We have to look at why it didn’t work. Why the fans didn’t come out.”

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