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Johnny Gaudreau joins old friends, foes for charity

Flames forward, with Boston College, Boston University alumni, takes part in Comm Ave Classic

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- There are few times a Johnny Gaudreau hat trick and the score of a game are secondary after the final horn sounds.

But at the conclusion of the Second Annual Comm Ave Charity Classic on Friday, the biggest deal was that about $55,000 was raised at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.

The money, which matched the total raised from the first event last season, goes to Compassionate Care ALS and The Travis Roy Foundation.

For the second straight year, alumni of Boston University and Boston College put their rivalry aside and squared off. Gaudreau, the Calgary Flames forward, scored three goals in BC's 13-8 victory.

"It's fun," Gaudreau said. "It's for a great cause, obviously. It's always enjoyable to come out here with guys you played with and guys you played against, guys you've seen your freshman year, watching them play, and then to be on the ice with them. So it's a lot of fun, and it makes it even more fun that it's for a great cause."

Gaudreau was reunited with former BC linemates Bill Arnold (also from the Flames), and New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes, who scored twice. The Eagles roster also featured Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Boston Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes.

Boston University boasted a number of big names, including Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle and forward Shawn McEachern, who had 579 points in 911 NHL games.

Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins teammates Brian Dumoulin (BC) and Nick Bonino (BU) squared off. They also took part in an emotional ceremonial puck drop. Pete Frates, the former BC baseball player battling ALS who founded the Ice Bucket Challenge, and Travis Roy, the former BU player whose career was ended by a severe spinal cord injury, made their way onto the ice to drop the first pucks.

"I don't do those too often," Bonino said. "I felt honored to be able to get the puck dropped from Travis there and from Pete. It's definitely something I'll always remember."

The mix of active and retired players created a decent pace for an exhibition game played on a 90-degree night. And for one night, the players wore the sweaters with their school's name without the bitterness that usually exists between the two institutions.

"When you're in college you hate those guys because you really haven't played with them much," Bonino said. "Once you've played five, seven years, you come across them on teams. I've played with a bunch of those guys over there, I've skated with them in the summer.

"It's hard to hate them."

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