NHL Heroes 4, California Heroes 2
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Hall of Famer Gordie Howe did the ``Macarena,″ and fans danced to the Grateful Dead’s ``Touch of Gray″ as the NHL’s old-timers beat their California counterparts 4-3 in the lighthearted Heroes of Hockey game Friday night.
Since its inception in 1990, the Heroes of Hockey game has been played between former players of the host city’s team and alumni of other NHL teams. But because the San Jose Sharks are only a 6-year-old franchise, a California team was created with former players from the Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and California Golden Seals.
The crowd at the San Jose Arena cheered wildly for former Sharks Doug Wilson and Kelly Kisio, and each scored for California in the first period of the abbreviated game.
Wilson, who played 16 seasons in the NHL, was captain of the Sharks for the franchise’s first two seasons. Kisio retired in 1995 after a 13-year career.
The hockey fans saved their loudest cheers and a standing ovation for Howe, 68, playing with the NHL Heroes. He added to the light-hearted mood of the game by briefly doing the ``Macarena″ on the bench during the game.
The NHL Heroes took a 4-2 lead in the second period on two goals by Lanny McDonald, a four-time All Star and currently an executive with the Calgary Flames, and goals by Orland Kurtenbach and Tony McKegney, who both had 13-year careers in the NHL.
Ron Duguay, also a former all-star, added a goal for California late in the second period.
The game consisted of two 15-minute periods.
Earlier in the day, it was suggested that current NHL star Mario Lemieux could be playing in the heroes game next year.
``I’ll be a rookie,″ the Pittsburgh Penguins forward mused.