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Red Wings coming in March

David L'Heureux

EAGLE – The tradition continues.The Detroit Red Wing Alumni will be in the county March 4-5 for two games against the Vail Mountaineer Alumni. The contest marks the 15th annual meeting between these two teams, and will be celebrated with a game at Dobson Ice Arena March 4 and one at the Eagle Ice Rink on March 5.The teams are gearing up big time for the two-game series, with the Red Wing Alumni adding former Russian Red Army Team Captain and San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings star Igor Larianov to the lineup. The Mountaineer Alumni have answered by recruiting Avs coaches Joel Quenville and Tony Granato, and front office man Michel Goulet to bolster their attack. All three are former NHL players and have expressed a sincere interest in playing, but cannot commit yet due to the current NHL labor situation. Regardless of who shows up, the level of hockey will be superb, said Mountaineer Alumni spokesperson and team member Andy Clark.”The bottom line is that the games will be amazing hockey,” said Clark. “It will represent a lot of what is good about the NHL. It’s all former players, who love to play the game.”This year’s labor strife has forced fans to scramble to find quality hockey. These two games will provide area hockey enthusiasts with a chance to “get their hockey fix,” and help a good cause at the same time. All proceeds from the Vail matchup will go to the Vail Recreation District, and the money made from the game in Eagle will go to the Eagle Valley Skating Association (EVSA).”EVSA’s main goal in these sponsored events is to make money for the association, and give locals a chance to meet and watch these NHL alumni and hockey legends,” said Bethe Wright of the EVSA. “We want the kids to be inspired by these athletes, who have accomplished so much in their professional careers, but still have so much fun giving back to our community.”Tickets for each game are $10 for adults, $6 for children, and kids 8 and under are free; another option is the $20 family pass, good for admission for two adults and up to two children. Prior to both games, the Red Wing Alumni will host a youth hockey clinic. There will also be commemorative T-shirts available, autograph sessions, and a postgame reception.It should be noted that the Saturday game in Eagle sold out last year, and will probably do the same this year. The Mountaineer Alumni will have some old faces on the bench with them for the game, which Clark said could be the last in the Mountaineers’ illustrious history.”We don’t know what the future holds for us right now, so we want to give some of the older guys one last chance to wear the sweater,” said Clark. “We are going to have some great players from the past out there like Paul Chadwick, Dave Baker, Rob Fawcett, John Osterberg and Sam Adams.”Tickets can be purchased at Dobson Ice Arena, the Eagle Ice Rink, Venture Sports in Avon, or SharpeEdge Skating Professionals in Eagle. Community businesses have stepped up to help sponsor this event, but additional sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Andy Clark at 914-0045, or Gary Defina at 328-0900.This story first appeared in the Eagle Valley EnterpriseVail, Colorado


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