Shades of ‘87

New­found­land Old-Stars bat­tle Rus­sia in in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Har­bour Grace recre­ational hockey player Fred Power re­mem­bers the 1987 Canada Cup fi­nal be­tween hockey pow­er­houses Canada and the Soviet Union.

It fea­tured su­per­stars Wayne Gret­zky, Mario Lemieux and Ray Bourque ver­sus the vaunted Red Army, which starred Sergei Makarov, Va­leri Ka­men­sky and Vi­ach­eslav Feti­sov.

The ti­tan­tic bat­tle took three games to fin­ish, and Power has fond mem­o­ries of Gret­zky feed­ing Lemieux the puck for the game win­ner.

But, never did Power think he would get the chance to re­live those mem­o­ries him­self.

He and his New­found­land Old-Star team­mates w e re p l ayi n g Av to- Gen from Khabarovsk, Rus­sia.

“We were re­ally pumped for Rus­sia,” said Power. “They love hockey just like we do.”

The two teams were play­ing in the open­ing game of the Light­ning 45-and-over di­vi­sion of the Weekend Hockey Tour­na­ment be­ing held at the Bran­don Ice Sports Fo­rum in Tampa Bay, Florida March 7-9.

The Old-Stars are a group of weekend war­riors from Har­bour Grace to Vic­to­ria who play out of the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace.

They won the game 10-3, adding the lat­est notch to Canada’s belt.

“It was a great game,” said Power.

World rec champs

The Old-Stars were gun­ning for the ti­tle of world recre­ational hockey cham­pi­ons.

Fea­tur­ing teams from Rus­sia, Illi­nois and On­tario, the group went 4-0 in the tour­na­ment, and were primed to claim the tro­phy.

Sit­ting in their way were the Mor­peth Old­timers, of Blen­heim, Ont.

New­found­land bested Mor­peth by a score 8-5 to cap­ture first place in the tour­na­ment.

“They told us we were the world recre­ational hockey cham­pi­ons,” said Power. “It’s a good ti­tle to have. “The hockey was great.” Tampa was a new ex­pe­ri­ence for the group, al­though it was not their first taste of rec hock- ey off the is­land.

Most of this team were a part of a group who trav­elled to Mon­treal, Que., for a tour­na­ment two years ago.

“It was an awe­some trip,” said Power of the Tampa Bay ex­cur­sion.

The tour­na­ment

Af­ter de­feat­ing Rus­sia 10-3, the Old-Stars squared off with Beer Bistro HC from Chicago, Illi­nois. Power and the boys downed Chicago 5-2 to push their record to two wins and no losses.

Next up, was the Gran­ite State Force from West­ford, Mas­sachusetts.

Al­though the state was dif­fer­ent, the re­sult was the same for the Old-Stars. Goal­tender Robert Ran­dell was stel­lar in goal leading his team to a 7-2 vic­tory over Gran­ite State.

Skat­ing the fo­rum

One of the high­lights of the trip was un­doubt­edly play­ing two games that the Tampa Bay Fo­rum, the home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Light­ning.

The Old-Stars matches with Rus­sia and Chicago were both played at the ven­er­a­ble arena.

It was an added touch that made the trip for Power and his team­mates. The group got to skate on pro­fes­sional ice and in a pro­fes­sional arena.

There was the reg­u­lar mu­sic used for Light­ning games, and even the same pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer.

“It was a real NHL ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Power.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Har­bour Grace recre­ational hockey group the New­found­land Old-Stars cap­tured the cham­pi­onship of the Weekend Hockey Tour­na­ment Light­ning 45-and-over di­vi­sion held in Tampa Bay, Florida March 7-9. Mem­bers of the team are: front (l-r) — Fred Power, goal­tender Robert Ran­dell, Bernie Reg­u­lar and Ed Goff; back — Ray Bar­rett, Gary Brushett, Craig Pen­ney, Danny Green, Steven Lun­dri­gan, Billy Pike and Ray Hyde.

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