There's nothing like playing before a packed house ... and the fans were there in huge numbers again last Sunday, January 17th when the Canuck Alumni took to the ice at General Motors Place for their annual pre-event scrimmage as part of Vancouver Canucks Superskills.
Even Gino came along. Pavel Bure's one-time 'best buddy,' Gino Odjick strapped on the skates to make an all-too-rare appearance alongside his Alumni pals as the split-squad teams put on a fast-paced half-hour demonstration of how the game used to be played, not that long ago. As the fans continued to file into The Garage, veterans like Ed Hatoum, Rick Amann and Mike MacWilliam joined Alumni rookie Phil von Stephanelli and Canucks radio broadcaster Dave Tomlinson, chasing the little black biscuit from end to end, under the watchful eyes of referees Stan Vyse and former NHL Canucks captain Chris Oddleifson.
At several points during the scrimmage, fans could count no fewer than five net minders on the ice: regulars Terry Bingley and Mark "Spider" Lake between their respective posts, with Stanley Cup winner Bill Ranford, Avco Cup winner Gary "Bones" Bromley and recent acquisition Dusty Imoo playing up front. Called away at the last minute, Canuck record-setting goalie Kirk McLean was a last-minute scratch from the planned line-up.
A good time was had by all ... just the right medicine to get the Sunday-afternoon crowd properly in the mood for the Canucks Superskills event that followed.Story by Leah Peden, Canucks Centre Student Associate