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Wings enjoy a day-long getaway

by Lindsey Ungar / Detroit Red Wings
PITTSBURGH — The Red Wings’ Thursday whereabouts are no longer a secret.

The team went to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Penn., about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh

Just a quick getaway between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Penguins.

“I don’t know, are we allowed to talk about this?” Wings center Kris Draper whispered to the reporters. “You’re not tricking me, are ya?”

Once reassured that general manager Ken Holland had already spilled to the media, Draper eased up.

“I was involved in a big mini-putt tournament,” he said. “Some guys went rock climbing, Hummer rides. Some guys did play golf. They offered a lot of stuff. Like I said, it was nice. It’s not too often you get that opportunity at this time of year.”

Who won the tournament?

“Draper and (Chris) Osgood. I’m glad you asked,” Draper chuckled.

The tandem beat out Dan Cleary-Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty-Darren Helm, and Kyle Quincey-Mark Hartigan in a two-man combined score competition.

So what was the key to victory?

“A couple hole-in-ones,” Draper said. “Ozzie once again elevated his game. Been riding Ozzie’s coattails like I have for the last two months, it’s perfect.”

While it sounded like fun, it wasn’t exactly what Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had planned for the off day.

“We tried to fly home,” Babcock said. “We wanted to go home after the game. But this is our opportunity to sell the game and the NHL. I think we're all in it together that way, you people in the media, the players, the management, the better job we can do and the more people we draw attention to our game, the better it is for us.”

On its Web site, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a 3,000-acre resort, which offers an array of getaways, including two golf courses, a shooting academy, fly fishing and an off-road driving academy.

Holland, who played 18 holes of golf, said the “Black Aces” even participated in paintball. It was a perfect day, too — temperatures near Pittsburgh hovered in the high 70s amidst abundant sunshine.

“It was a beautiful day yesterday to be out in the sun and have fun with the guys,” said Tomas Holmstrom, who hung out by the pool.

The Pens stayed in town, however.

“I just hung out with my kids and basically walked around,” defenseman Hal Gill said. “Just went and had a nice lunch and hung out.”

Captain Sidney Crosby managed to do even less than Gill.

“I laid around,” Crosby said. “When you get a chance to relax, you gotta take it. And for me, I just spent a lot of time in bed.”

Both teams welcomed the two-day break before Saturday’s pivotal Game 4, when the Penguins either tie the series at 2-2 or the Red Wings grab a 3-1 series lead with a chance to clinch at Joe Louis Arena.

“You want to keep up momentum, but one day off doesn’t hurt anyone,” Gill said. “It’s good to recharge your batteries. I’m sure it’ll be a fast pace next game.”
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