‘Legends’ promise to return again

Players for the local Hopper’s Bruins may have missed their calling—given their 18-15 victory over the NHL “Legends” in a no-contact affair at the Ice for Kids Arena last Thursday night.
But with fundraising for local minor hockey and the 2006 OFSAA organizing committee being the main reason behind the game, that part didn’t work out as well.
It cost $15,000 to have the NHL “Legends” come to Fort Frances. Add on the cost of promoting the event, and accommodations for the players, and it didn’t leave much money for donating.
“We’re about breaking even,” said co-organizer Bob Mainville.
But that doesn’t mean the “Legends” won’t be back next year.
“The pros all said how great the people were that lived here and what a great town this was,” noted Mainville. “They can’t wait to come back.”
As much fun as the pros had at the game, the Bruins certainly were impressed with the experience they had out on the ice.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” said player and co-organizer Todd Hamilton.
Mainville added the crowd of about 600 fans really pumped up the Bruins and encouraged them to play good solid hockey.
The game was fun and the home-town Bruins stole the victory, but the plan is to make it even more successful and enjoyable for the players and fans alike next year.
“It was a learning experience,” said Hamilton. “There are a lot of things we will do differently.”
“We really needed more volunteers,” said Mainville. “But we did the best we could only having two weeks to plan the event.”
With more than 600 fans on hand, the game proved to be more of a success than anticipated early last week.
“Almost all 700 tickets were sold,” said Mainville. “I was really happy with the turnout.”
Especially considering more than 300 tickets were still available only two days before the game, which had Mainville worried this wouldn’t become an annual event.
But thanks to the community’s support, the “Legends” will be back for a re-match in 2006.
“The good guys lost and the bad guys won,” said former N.Y. Islanders star Bob Bourne. “We’ll be back next year.”
Hamilton said the Bruins will be ready for the re-match. “I don’t think they [the ‘Legends’] liked being beat too much,” he remarked.
Regardless, it was an experience for both sides and certainly makes for a good hockey game to look forward to in 2006.

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