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Old stars at Young Stars

by John Ashbridge / Vancouver Canucks
Now, for something completely different: Old Stars playing at a Young Stars hockey tournament.

Several Saturdays ago, the Canucks Alumni worked their on-ice magic at Penticton's South Okanagan Events Centre, site of the 2013 Canucks Young Stars Tournament, which brought together the NHL rookies from Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, San Jose and, of course, the Vancouver Canucks.

As part of the Young Stars festivities, several thousand fans turned out to watch the celebrity-laden lineup in the Canucks’ Alumni game. Skaters like Stan Smyl, Thomas Gradin, Cliff Ronning, Greg "Gus" Adams and Dave Babych did their share of the scoring damage in securing the 10-5 win over a local squad drawn from the South Okanagan's public safety and business sectors. Sophomore alumnus Dave Tomlinson - live from the Canucks broadcast crew - was the 'big man' in the old-timers’ lineup, notching a hat trick and adding an assist. Adams added a pair and set up several more. Ronning also accounted for a deuce, while big Mike Brown got one and contributed four helpers for the winners from the coast.

After the game, the old boys got front-row seats in the Event Centre's ice-level lounge to watch the Jets rookies smoke the Oilers' fresh faces. Following the game, the Alumni trotted upstairs to the new home of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame for a meet-and-greet with hockey execs, scouts, fans and the their hosts from the Hall.

Wrapping up the weekend's events, Alumni players and Canucks staff and sponsors headed to the Penticton Golf and Country Club the following morning for a round of golf, prior to boarding the team bus for the trip home to the Lower Mainland.

Since that weekend, summer has come to a close and the new hockey season will be underway. But don't say you weren't warned, Penticton. The 'old boys' want to come back next year, if only to show their fans and those impressionable 'young boys' how the game really should be played!

Check out the photos from the game here!

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