Hitchcock 0-11 in All-Star Games
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Ken Hitchcock has never had a full losing season at any level he’s coached, yet he can’t seem to win an All-Star game.
Hitchcock, whose Dallas Stars entered the break with the best record in the NHL at 30-11, coached the World All-Stars to an 8-7 loss to their North American counterparts in Sunday’s NHL All-Star game.
That makes Hitchcock 0-11 in All-Star contests, including midget, junior, minor professional and the NHL.
On Sunday, the World team started strongly by scoring the first three goals before North America scored four straight for a 4-3 lead.
The World regained a 5-4 lead with two consecutive goals, but North America then took the lead for good.
``I don’t feel sorry for him at all. You always want to have bragging rights on Hitch,″ said Dallas star Mike Modano, who played for North America. ``I had some money on our boys to win and it looks good on me.″
Hitchcock’s All-Star teams have been ahead before, only to lose. He coached an International Hockey League game in which his team had a three-goal lead with five minutes to go and lost by two.
``Losing All-Star games is like who I am,″ he said this weekend.
North America head coach Jacques Lemaire made his debut behind the bench in his third All-Star game. He played in the 1970 and ’73 games as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, with one goal and one assist in the two games.
OH ROY: North America goaltender Patrick Roy claimed a dubious All-Star record when he allowed the game’s first three goals by the World team.
That made Roy, in his eighth appearance, the most scored upon goalie in the game’s history with 24 goals-against. He overtook Glenn Hall, who gave up 22 goals in 13 games.
Teemu Selanne’s second goal of the game gave the World a 3-0 lead, and was the first goal in All-Star history awarded by video review.
The World scored three goals on its first five shots in the game’s opening four minutes, setting a record for the fastest two and three goals by a team.
GREAT ONE’S RECORD: What’s an All-Star game without Wayne Gretzky setting another record?
Playing in an NHL-record 17th consecutive All-Star game, he assisted on the first goal scored by North America to become the game’s career points leader.
Gretzky’s 21st point snapped a tie with now retired Mario Lemieux for first place.
Fittingly, he earned his 22nd point on a play reminiscent of his glory years in Edmonton with Mark Messier, when they won four Stanley Cups on the same Oilers teams during the 1980s.
``I didn’t have to yell to Wayne to pass it to me,″ Messier said. ``He sees everything going on out there.″
Gretzky’s pass set up Messier’s fifth career goal in his 13th game, putting North America ahead 8-5 in the third period. Gretzky has 12 goals and 10 assists in 17 career games.
``Sometimes magic happens between players and we worked at it to make that magic happen over the years. It seemed like yesterday,″ Messier said. ``We seemed to be on the same tune right from the get-go.″
Messier, now with Vancouver and celebrating his 37th birthday Sunday, earned huge cheers from the local fans.
``I told him to check his birth certificate after he scored,″ Gretzky said. ``Maybe he’s only 27.″
It was small comfort since Messier wasn’t chosen to play for Canada in next month’s Olympics and only got in the All-Star game as a special selection by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
``I’m not too much of anything that I can’t accept a governor’s selection and be proud to play,″ he said.
With the North America All-Stars short on right wings, Gretzky, a center, started the game at right wing in place of Brendan Shanahan.
There’s one record Gretzky isn’t likely to break, though. Gordie Howe played in 23 All-Star games, meaning Gretzky, who turns 37 on Jan. 26, would need to keep playing until 2005 to pass his childhood idol.
BOURQUE, MESSIER MOVE UP: North America teammates Ray Bourque and Mark Messier each had one assist to tie Adam Oates’ All-Star record.
Bourque has 12 assists in the 16 games he’s played in. Messier has 12 assists in 13 career games.
Bourque, 37, who’s spent his entire 19-year career in Boston, also passed former Toronto, Detroit and Montreal left wing Frank Mahovlich on two All-Star record lists.
He was tied with Mahovlich for third place in All-Star games played and consecutive games played.
Bourque is now third behind Howe and Gretzky for most All-Star games played (16) and second to career leader Gretzky for consecutive games played (16).
BUNGLED ANTHEM: Anthem duties belonged to rock star Bryan Adams, who, as a Vancouver native figured to know the words to ``O, Canada,″ especially since they were posted in front of him.
Not exactly. Surrounded by four red-jacketed Canadian mounties, Adams hestitated when he came to the line ``from far and wide, O, Canada.″
Instead, he sang, ``We stand on guard, O, Canada.″ The crowd murmured while Adams continued on.
His hits include ``Heaven″ and ``Cuts Like a Knife.″
STREETS OF HOCKEY: Twenty street corners in downtown Vancouver were re-christened for All-Star weekend with the names of former NHL greats.
Hall of Famer Gordie Howe’s corner is at Expo and Abbott, while Stan Mikita, also in the hall, is at Pacific and Griffiths.
Darryl Sittler, who scored two goals to help the NHL old-timers defeat their Vancouver counterparts 3-2 in the Heroes of Hockey game Saturday night, can be found at the corner of Georgia and Burrard.