Chicago Blackhawks Alumni 4
Minnesota Wild-North Stars Alumni 6
Night one of the NHL's outdoor Stadium Series was a field day for the old-timers, pitting former Minnesota Wild and North Stars players in a game against Chicago Blackhawks alumni in advance of the pro squads' matchup tomorrow night.
Coach Nanne get things fired up in the locker room
North Stars legend Lou Nanne fired up his boys to star the night off with a big speech that made it clear that the former defenseman wanted to coach the team to a win, even if it was just an exhibition match. The Star Tribune's Michael Russo had the quote:
“I said we’re going to be out here, we’re going to have fun,” Nanne said, “This was our big rivalry, but we are going to win this game. And if I have to sit some of you guys during the game, I’m going to sit some of you because this is the last game we’re going to play against the Blackhawks and I do not want to go home a loser to the Blackhawks and I don’t think you do either.”
In addition to Nanne's inspirational speech, another North Stars legend, Brad Maxwell, rallied the troops in the locker room. The defenseman lauded his teammates with an occasionally blue speech that ended with Maxwell putting out a bounty on his former nemesis, Blackhawks centre Denis Savard. You can see a video here, but warning, it contains strong language.
Offense abounds despite old legs
You'd never guess the median age of the assembled alumni with how quickly all of the goals seemed to be coming. Dennis Maruk drew first blood for the North Stars with a slap shot from way back while the crowd shouted his old nickname "Pee Wee."
After a bit of back-and-forth Andrew Brunette put the Stars on top with a penalty shot that fooled Blackhawks goalie Jimmy Waite nicely.
The Stars would pile on three more with the eventual winner coming of a one-two from Dino Ciccarelli and Bobby Smith. FoxSports has a rundown of all the Stars' scoring plays here.
A little bad blood keeps things interesting
Remember that hit Maxwell order on Savard? Well, Ciccarelli decided to answer the call, wrapping up Savard for some light fisticuffs.
Chicago's Jeremy Roenick also decided to tackle Stars goalie Don Beaupre, the game's eventual MVP, after a clutch save from the keeper.
Tweet of the Night:
What better way to celebrate outdoor hockey than a little bit of fireworks?