The Canucks meet and greet and alumni game against local players exceeded expectations as a “spectacularly successful” event.
That’s how local team organizer Steve Smyth understands it -– he would’ve been at the game for sure if he hadn’t been stuck in a hotel room in Dublin, Ireland waiting for a flight home.
“Fans were treated to a very competitive game and the visiting team won,” he said.
“The final score was 10-7 so there were lots of goals and the right team won.
“The local players had an absolute ball doing it and the Canucks players did as well.”
And the arena was sold out for the game.
Smyth chose local players with an idea to ensure participation by at least one player from each team in the men’s league, asking the teams to submit two names to him to choose from, he said.
He was looking for above average players to give fans a good show and men who were involved in the community, whether that meant as a sponsor a coach or those who really contribute their time, he added.
“I think you could look at everyone on that team and say ‘he’s a good human as well as a good hockey player,’” said Smyth.
There was no body checking but that didn’t mean that things didn’t happen: players bumped each other occasionally and broke a couple of hockey sticks, he said.
“They are NHL players after all, regardless if they’re retired or not,” said Smyth, adding he wishes an alumni game against the Canucks could be played every couple of years rather than every 20 years.
Terrace spectators had a chance to see legend Cliff Ronning in action. He was only 5”8 and played a speed game, and was a key player in the run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1994.