MINNEAPOLIS -- One last time, former Minnesota North Stars goaltender Don Beaupre peeled off the leg pads while surrounded by teammates in a victorious locker room.
"This is it, right here. I'm taking them off for the last time," Beaupre said. "I've said it three times, but I think this is it."
If it was the last time Beaupre puts on and takes off the gear, he went out a winner, making 23 saves to help Minnesota to a 6-4 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 Coors Light Alumni Game at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday.
It was the second time Beaupre has played in an outdoor alumni game; he suited up for the Washington Capitals when they played the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh.
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Beaupre played the final 40 minutes Saturday after 65-year old Gilles Meloche allowed two goals on nine shots in the first period. He was masterful, not allowing a goal until the last two minutes of the third period, after the outcome was decided. Beaupre stopped all 17 Chicago shots in the second period, making a couple of dandy saves in the first few minutes.
"He was tremendous," Minnesota co-coach Lou Nanne said. "He showed something tonight, and I'm glad he did. He had more than his fair share of saves."
Beaupre, 54, twice went down and used the two-pad stack to turn away the Blackhawks alumni.
"I go to that and my son always laughs at me when I do it," Beaupre said. "I always knew I had that. It's kind of a last-ditch effort on the shot to get as much over there."
Beaupre also contributed on the scoresheet, getting the second assist on Wes Walz's goal 12 seconds into the third period that put Minnesota ahead 4-2.
"They might have to check the video again on that one," Beaupre quipped.
While Minnesota alumni billed the game beforehand as a friendly exhibition between two old rivals, it wasn't long before the competitive spirit of the players came out.
While the game was without fisticuffs, minus the playful scrap between Dino Ciccarelli and Denis Savard on the first shift, it was clear by the celebratory Coors Lights in the postgame dressing room that the game meant plenty.
"I said [before the game], 'This is the last game we're going to play against the Blackhawks and I do not want to go home a loser,'" Nanne said.
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Beaupre made sure they didn't.
"I don't like giving up goals when I'm in the net, even at this point," Beaupre said. "I don't think anybody in there would like giving up goals. You try your best. I prepared for about a month and a half. They hit me with a few and we won the game, that's all that matters."