Dallas Stars put on quite a show

Al MacLeod
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Dallas Stars intra-squad game in Charlottetown Sunday.

 

Much has been made about native Islanders Brad Richards’ and Steve Ott’s homecoming during the Dallas Stars training camp in Charlottetown and neither disappointed the fans during the team’s intra-squad game Sunday at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.

Playing in front of a near-capacity crowd, Ott tallied a goal and an assist while Richards drained a buzzer beater into an empty net in a 5-3 win for Team Black.

“It was kind of a neat way to finish for sure,’’ Richards said of his goal after the game.

Even though this was an intra-squad game, it was at times a physical affair that saw centre Tom Wandell sustain an upper-body injury early in the game when he crashed shoulder first into the boards after a hit. Team officials said he will be re-evaluated today.

The physical play came to a peak when Stars tough guy Krys Barch dropped the gloves with prospect Luke Gazdic and traded a number of haymakers near the end of the game.

The first period saw Jamie Benn open the scoring for Team Black at 8:13 with Ott drawing an assist.  Ott would add a goal on a penalty shot at 18:25, much to the crowd’s delight, to put Team Black up 2-0 going into the intermission.

Team White got back into the game with Stars captain Brenden Morrow scoring goals at 5:41 and 9:19 before Toby Petersen put Team White up front 3-2 with a goal at 10:53. Team Black’s Fabian Brunnstrom tied the game at 3-3 at 14:54 going into the break.

The final frame saw three penalty shots with both Morrow and Richards denied and James Neal scoring to put Team Black up 4-3.  With time ticking down and the Team White net empty, Richards erupted the crowd, scoring an empty net goal with .04 seconds left on the clock.

“The fan support was phenomenal. We’re not used to this. Dallas training camp, when we play, there might be 100 people so to have a sold out barn you have to pick yourself up and make sure you’re actually playing a real game and, you know showing up is what the atmosphere felt like.’’ Stars forward and native Islander Steve Ott

Richards said he was waiting for the final horn to go but was happy he slipped the goal in before time expired.

“(I was) hoping I didn’t fumble it like I did the breakaway or the penalty shot.’’

Richards, who underwent arthroscopic hip surgery in April, said he is focusing on rehabbing during camp and it is a work in progress.

“It’s not there yet but you know, this is what training camp is for.  I’ve got two or three weeks to make sure it’s good.  I’ll be fine for opening night.’’

Ott said it was great to see the enthusiasm and the fan support from Islanders at the game.

“The fan support was phenomenal. We’re not used to this. Dallas training camp, when we play, there might be 100 people so to have a sold out barn you have to pick yourself up and make sure you’re actually playing a real game and, you know showing up is what the atmosphere felt like.’’

Despite the fact both he and Richards are both from P.E.I., Ott joked he wasn’t on the Island long enough to have the same stature his teammate enjoys in their home province.

“I left pretty young so unfortunately I didn’t get to become a cornerstone or a mayor like Brad Richards.’’

The Stars end their training camp on P.E.I. today with a practice at the The Mac at 8:30 a.m. before leaving for Dallas at 2 p.m.  The team opens the NHL preseason schedule at home against Richards’ former team, Tampa Bay Lightning, on Tuesday.

 

Organizations: Dallas Stars, Charlottetown Civic Centre, The Mac NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Dallas, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Wayne MacKinnon
    September 20, 2010 - 22:13

    Kudos to the mayor and Mr.Long for a good piece of business on behalf of all the citizens in Charlottetown Follow it up with another good act and the city is on its way to having a good year.Prince Edward is one of the best kept secrets in the world. Put the product on the stage and the people will show up,it is a viable marketplace with good potential..Charlottetown showcased high calibre baseball this summer as well.Summerside is known all over the North America as a world class hosts for small to medium size events. Pretty darn good for 140,000 residents. Hosting these size events and developing a niche market for conferences,conventions and sporting events,golf can be included as part of these events,huge potential without having to invest too many more taxdollars in infrastructure.Promotion and marketing,knocking on doors,networking can pay terrific benefits at this time.No need to mortgage the farm to build a convention centre now with the world economy the way it is-too risky now for investment like that.

  • Dev
    September 20, 2010 - 12:46

    See now thats how you put on a hockey game. Unlike the PEI Rocket. This was very fun to watch and worth going too. Go from almost sold out at 1pm to the worst attended PEI Rocket game in history

  • Dave Reid
    September 20, 2010 - 11:53

    Sounds like this event was a real winner for the Island hockey fans, as well as for Island businesses. Great job on the article too!

  • vick
    September 20, 2010 - 05:45

    This was one top class performance! Sold out crowd, the players threw shirts and sticks in the stands to the kids at the end of the game....all weekend were available to kids to sign autographs........"now if the rockets could only learn a little bit from all this" entertain the fans its not rocket science! Big thanks to those involved at city hall for bringing this franchise here...best I have ever seen here on PEI........Lets get after Dion now to bring the guys in blue next year!