Se­lanne stars in alumni game

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - The As­so­ci­ated Press

The Fin­nish Flash was back at in front of his lov­ing Winnipeg Jets fans.

Teemu Se­lanne scored his sec­ond goal on a penalty shot with 4 sec­ond left to give the Jets a 6-5 vic­tory over Wayne Gret­zky and the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers in the Her­itage Clas­sic alumni game at In­vestors Group Field.

“The whole week has been un­be­liev­able,” Se­lanne said. “First of all, coming back here, coming back here and meet­ing all the old team­mates and guys I haven’t seen in 20 years, play­ing in games against those Ed­mon­ton le­gends. And ob­vi­ously get­ting back to the Winnipeg peo­ple here, it’s some­thing spe­cial. And this out­door game you don’t have a chance to do this very of­ten. So far it’s been un­be­liev­able.”

Se­lanne, re­tired for two sea­sons, beat goalie Cur­tis Joseph be­tween the pads for the win­ner.

“The hockey, ob­vi­ously, wasn’t great hockey, but it was com­pet­i­tive,” Gret­zky said. “And the game ended the way it should end — with the best player on the ice, on the home team, scor­ing a big goal. And good for him and good for the fran­chise and great for the city. To­mor­row’s the real game, though. To­mor­row is what mat­ters. And this isn’t go­ing to change our liveli­hood. But what a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Kris King also scored twice for the Jets, ty­ing it in the third. Se­lanne opened the scor­ing on another penalty shot on the way to a 4-1 lead in the first pe­riod. King, Dale Haw­er­chuk and Mike Ea­gles also scored in the first.

“The week’s been phe­nom­e­nal,” Haw­er­chuk said. “I’ve been out here just about all week. A lot of the guys came in early. And like I said all along, this group, this era, they lived here year­round most of them. And they were part of the Man­i­toba com­mu­nity here. Not only in Winnipeg. We trav­eled all through the prov­ince, whether it was slow pitch or char­ity golf events. So, there’s a close­ness for this group.”

Mark Messier, Craig Simp­son, Craig MacTav­ish and B.J. MacDon­ald scored for Ed­mon­ton.

“Get­ting Gret­zky and Messier and those guys here, the lineup for them was un­be­liev­able,” Se­lanne said. “I tried to count the Stan­ley Cups they have in that team. I lost count about 50 or some­thing. It’s un­be­liev­able. And get­ting them here, you know, play­ing against us, it was re­ally spe­cial.”

Messier soaked in the at­mos­phere.

“Per­son­ally, it’s just the in­cred­i­ble pas­sion across Canada,” Messier said. “And it doesn’t mat­ter where you go, where you stop at, where you play. Winnipeg was just another re­minder of the in­cred­i­ble pas­sion and the re­spect and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the play­ers, past and present.”

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