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Sundin shows he's still got it in alumni game

by Corey Masisak

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin said it was the fourth time he had skated in two years, but it didn't look like it Sunday at Air Canada Centre.

The former Toronto Maple Leafs captain had two goals, including a crafty move on a penalty shot, during the Haggar Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic. A team of NHL alumni captained by Joe Sakic defeated a team of Maple Leafs alums captained by Sundin, thought the Toronto alumni led at the end of regulation before a shootout.

"You don't see all of these guys too often anymore," Sundin said. "You get to meet guys you grew up idolizing and then with the new guys like Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake and all these guys coming into the Hall of Fame, this really is a special weekend for hockey."

The Legends Classic is part of the Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend, and each new member of the Class of 2014 received his official jacket during a pregame ceremony. Just as it was Friday night at the Hockey Hall of Fame game between the Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, the loudest cheers were reserved for former Toronto coach Pat Burns, who is being inducted posthumously.

"When you look at the crop of players coming in and then add Bill McCreary and the late Pat Burns, what a great opportunity to not only celebrate what is great about the game but have a little bit of fun out here and throw the puck around," Lanny McDonald said.

Rick Vaive had a hat trick for the Maple Leafs alumni. Gary Leeman scored two goals, including the prettiest of the game. Dale Hawerchuk had two goals for the team of NHL alumni.

Former Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming is also being honored by the organization this weekend as the fourth member of Legends Row, and he was recognized during a break from the game with a tribute video as well.

Rob Blake was the only member of the Class of 2014 to play in the game, and he scored a goal on his first shift. Blake partnered at times with Paul Coffey, putting two of the top-20 scoring defensemen of all time together.

Sakic also chose Blake to go in the shootout, and he scored.

"It's just a great chance to see the guys in the dressing room and catch up on different things and see how everybody is doing and play some shinny," Sakic said. "We are not all at the level we once were, but it's always fun to get out there and play the game. We don't do it enough and whenever you get a chance, just go out there and have a good time."

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