People had to be wedged into the Innovation Credit Union iPlex with a shoe horn Friday night for the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada's Alumni Classic.
Though the score wasn't the focal point, Team McDonald tripled up Team Tucker 15-5.
The iPlex hadn't seen a crowd that big since the Swift Current Broncos' WHL Championship series against the Everett Silvertips last spring.
“It was fabulous, the building was full for an alumni game," said Broncos great, and Board Chair Trent McCleary, who was on Team McDonald in the game.
"That shows a testament to the spirit of the Bronco nation, it was great. The NHL alumni that came down, all the media personalities, it’s been a fabulous week so far, and the best is yet to come tomorrow.”
McCleary drew the lone penalty in the game, a friendly holding call in the corner.
“It’s great, a good buddy of mine, Chris Herperger, I had to rub him out a little bit. It’s a lot of fun, we don’t get to see these guys enough, everybody has really busy lives, and it was just a lot of fun," he said.
Fellow local NHL alumni Travis Moen, who lives in Swift, but hails from Stewart Valley, was happy to take advantage of the opportunity to play in the game as well.
“It was a blast, any time you can play with some ex-teammates, and some guys you used to battle hard against in a charity game, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve never played in a charity game in Swift Current, so to be able to do it in front of a lot of family and friends was a pretty cool experience," he said.
Moen also was on the winning Lanny McDonald-captained team.
“It was cool – he picked me #1 overall – I don’t know if that was the right pick. Lanny drafted me, he called me on the phone when I got drafted by the Calgary Flames, so it’s pretty special to me. Playing with a guy like that – a legend of the game – it was an unbelievable experience.”
Another pretty special experience came from the youngest player on the ice - Swift Current Midget Wild goaltender Kyle Roosen, who played on Team Tucker.
“Some of those guys I watched on T.V., and my parents grew up some of those guys like Lanny McDonald. Lanny McDonald’s like my grandma’s favourite hockey player, so it was pretty cool."
“It was a little bit of nerves, because I didn’t know what to expect, but once I got on the ice it was pretty fun – all the nerves kind of went away.”
One of Roosen's saves came against the aforementioned McDonald, which he said would get him in his grandma's good books.
“I’m definitely going to get a hug after this, it was pretty special," he laughed.
Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada culminates Saturday in Swift Current.
Photos by Eric James: