Monday, January 30, 2012

Alumni game a huge success



The Richmond Sockeyes 10th annual Alumni game went off with smashing success. The Sockeyes Alumni comprised of former players throughout the years avenged their 7-6 loss to last years Sockeyes by beating this years team 7-6.

The pre-game festivities included the official team photos, followed by warm-ups and a fantastic rendition of Oh Canada thanks to Vancouver Canucks Anthem singer Mark Donnelly. His son Sean Donnelly who played for the 2008-2009 Keystone cup team was in net for the latter half of the game.

The games opening goalies were Kootenay Alder for the Sockeyes and Head coach Judd Lambert, a former New Jersey Devils draft pick playing for the Alumni team. Things didn't get started off too well for the current boys as their opponents opened a three goal lead within the first half of the period. This was a little bit strange as most years it is the alumni who starts flat footed. Three rebound goals led to the 3-0 lead, but don't count the current boys out.

Jeremy Hamaguchi and Dean Allison brought the game to a one goal difference late in the first period. Hamaguchi wristed one past Lambert and Dean Allison converted the second. The Sockeyes really started to move their feet and get the bulk of the opportunities late in the frame.

To the second period we go and just like the first it was the Alumni who got off to the great start. They got their three goal lead back with two quick goals for a 5-2 lead. But once again the deficit was brought to within one with two current team goals. 

Before the goalies switched Kootenay Alder had one last goal scored on his to make the game 6-4. The goalies would be changed at the midway mark of the second period. Judd stopped 30 of 34 shots for the Alumni and was replaced by Donnelly while Kootenay Alder was replaced by Tyler Klassen.

The Alumni team became a little sluggish throughout the rest of the game but were still playing to their utmost potential. Unfortunately for them the Sockeyes tied the game up in the third period with two goals to bring this game down to the wire. 

The past three Alumni games have all been decided by one goal (2009 - 6-5, 2010 - 7-6, 2011 - 7-6) and this game was heading for that same result. There was a flurry of action in front of Donnellys net all period but he stood strong, as did Tyler Klassen holding the fort.

There had to be one winner and late in the final frame it would be the Alumni registering the winning goal, Steve Howitt, knocked in the game-winner to give them the 7-6 win. The same result of the past three alumni games have all ended in a 7-6 score, clearly showing how competitive the two teams always are. 

A big shout-out goes to the MVP's of the game, Dean Allison for the Sockeyes with two goals and an assist, and to the Alumni teams Brad Swanson for his superb effort on defence all night long.
After the game the festivities continued afterwards with beers, food and celebratory bragging rights. Sean Thorsteinson now has a Keystone cup ring and a goal in the alumni game to brag to his brother Rudi Thorsteinson.

All-in-all though what should be remembered is the fact that this organization donated its time and money to scholarships funds this night. All the money gained from ticket sales among other things are being given right back to the players who entertain every Thursday night at the Minoru Arena. 

If you would like a video of the game be sure to contact us or contact team owner Doug Paterson.

The Sockeyes next game is a rematch of the 2010-2011 PIJHL finals versus the Abbotsford Pilots. Be sure to head on out to the Minoru Arena for a 7:30 puckdrop or watch live with Dustin Forbes and Aaron Mackay on SockeyesTV

Sockeyes current team before game

Sockeyes official team photo

Alumni team warm-ups

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