Selanne stars in alumni game
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.”