When the pro teams get one, final chance to inject some new blood into their lineups as they head for what they hope will be a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs - the Vancouver Canuck Alumni also took the opportunity to welcome a couple of new faces into their roster. And the “new kids” wasted no time proving their skills.
As part of the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Trinity Western University College invited the Alumni over to the Langley Events Centre (on Saturday night, February 25th) for a “friendly” with some of the Spartans’ best-known players from years past.
The Canuck Alumni had the opportunity to feature the debut of UBC Thunderbirds Alumnus Kevin Hoffman and the recent addition of Vancouver-born Swiss League star Misko Antisin on the forward lines … and to ‘welcome home’ fan favourite and long-time Canuck defenceman Paul Reinhart, appearing in his first game with the Alumni.
These three rookies rose to the challenge: Hoffman produced two goals and an assist, Antisin had one of each and Reinhart added three helpers … but the big gun on the night was Cyclone Taylor’s grandson, Mark, who netted the hat trick and collected a pair of assists, while rookie netminder - UBC grad Chris Levesque - shared the shutout with veteran Alumni netminder Terry Bingley.
Some might say the Spartans were simply outplayed, but other would argue they were outcoached, with the likes of Canuck Alumni Ryan Walter, Darcy Rota and David Bruce directing traffic behind the visitors’ bench.
The TWU brain-trust was augmented by the late addition of one of the winningest coaches in Junior Hockey history, the legendary Ernie ‘Punch” McLean. But even that wasn’t enough to save the night, as the Canuck Alumni ran away with an 8-0 victory.
An estimated 500-plus fans took in the contest, many of them dividing their attention and attendance between the hockey rink and the volleyball court next door, where the Spartan men were in the process of simultaneously claiming the Canada West gold medal, giving TWU a top seed in the upcoming Canadian Men’s University Volleyball Championships.