You know, if anyone had any doubt how hockey crazy the City of Calgary was, they need not wonder any more after tonight’s scrimmage by Team Canada Red vs. White. The atmosphere was outstanding. You could not hear anything at the beginning, it was electric. A 10 year old Miss Pederson sang the national anthem in both languages. It was pure magic even before the game started.
Pretty much dominated by team Red, Luongo was outstanding, making 17 saves. Roberto’s best save came off Doughty knocking the puck in his own net as Luongo dove across, holding the puck out of the net. Luongo also robbed Jordon Staal flashing some leather out twice on him.
Even though the save of the period came when Iginla pick pocketed Scott Niedermayer of the puck in front of the slot, leaving a 2-on-none on Brodeur. Iggy faked the shot and made a perfect pass to Spezza who one timed it and got robbed by Brodeur, who did the splits and got the puck with his glove. Talking about Brodeur; he robbed Crosby with an outstanding glovehand save. The teams gave Team Canada a standing ovation at the end of the period.
Team White scores early in the second period as Ryan Smyth scores on a two-on-one breakaway goal through the five hole on Brodeur. It was his only mistake in the game. Ward played for team White in the second period, giving up 2 goals, but he made the save of the period off Weber, diving across the crease with his stick from an empty net. The Red team did get two goals as Carter scored off a scramble in front of the net. The Red team scored their second goal as Marleau jumped on a loose puck and shot through the five hole of Ward. The Red outshot the White again, 13-8 and over the two periods 30-14. Jeff Carter and Patrick Marleau were outstanding in the second period. I saw the old Marleau. Again, another resounding cheer at the end of the period.
The third period was the best period as the action went end-to-end and the fans were outstanding. Right in the middle of the third, they broke out with Oh Canada, which held the game up for a bit. Mason was outstanding in the third, stopping all 12 shots as Marleau and Cleary were monsters out there holding them in. One shift in the third period Richards Cleary and Staal held the Whites in their zone for over a minute. Richards got robbed twice by Mason while Staal and Cleary both got robbed also.
The only goal in the third period came on a powerplay goal by Patrick Sharp on a wrap-around. Sharp had a sold game for Whites. The defenses were outstanding, Regher especially was a brick wall for the White. The Red’s best dman was Shea Weber. He knew exactly when to jump in. The defense is big and mean, but very active. Expect a very active defense for Team Canada. Team Red won the shootout 6-2 as every forward shot for both squads. The highlight was Crosby getting one of the goals for Team White.
Three stars were not picked for tonight’s game, so I thought I would pick my own.
1. Jeff Carter was outstanding. Love his speed. He was great with the puck, and was outstanding without the puck. He did some good penalty killing and could have scored a couple of goals tonight.
2. Patrick Marleau was smart out there and played a terrific game in the boards. Marleau scored the best goal of the night, even though Ward should have had it. He was quick tonight. He was thinking well ahead of what to do with the puck.
3. Roberto Luongo was outstanding in the first period, making 17 saves. He held team White in the game. They were lucky to end in a tie.
The Fans were not exactly friendly to Heatley, booing him every chance they could. Every time he touched the puck, the blue birds would come out. It really made me kind of sad, being his home town and all. Yes, I can understand it, but I was really kind of hoping the Flames fans would have been above that. This is Team Canada, we should have put our pride for our country over our dislike of a player.
Overall, a very great time. The atmosphere was outstanding. I have to tell about after the shoot-out; the fans gave the players a standing ovation, and players in return did the Ranger salute going to the center of the ice with their sticks up in the air. It was a very patriotic moment, it brought tears to my eyes. It made me a proud Canadian.