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Howe 'bout those Heroes!
Slapstick and slapshots as NHL legends show off
Posted: Sunday January 24, 1999 12:52 AM
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- It was a scene out of "Slapshot," only three times the fun:
Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe skating through a rain of hockey sticks toward goaltender Pete Peeters on the first three-player penalty shot in hockey history.
Peeters stopped Mark and Marty, but not Gordie. And the "NHL Heroes" came back to tie the "Sunbelt Heroes" 2-2 in a fun-filled oldtimers game Saturday night.
The game was part of the NHL's All-Star Weekend, to be capped by Sunday's All-Star Game at the Ice Palace, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ken Linseman also scored for the NHL Heroes, who came back from a 2-0 deficit. Cammi Granato, captain of the U.S. women's gold medal-winning Olympic team, and Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne scored for the Sunbelt Heroes.
It was all for fun right from the start, as the Sunbelt Heroes came out for introductions all wearing sunglasses. Referee Paul Stewart even wore a pair at one point, showing one player to the penalty box pretending to be blind and using a hockey stick as his cane.
Stewart, however, was able to see pretty clearly when he called "too many Howes on the ice" to set up a penalty shot for Granato in the first period. Then when Granato, sister of the San Jose Sharks' Tony Granato, missed the first penalty shot, Stewart awarded another because goaltender Darren Pang "tripped an American hockey champion."
She missed the second, as well, before connecting from the left side about 40 feet out with less than a minute left in the period.
Dionne gave the Sunbelt a 2-0 lead with a shot from the left circle with just eight minutes left in the second period.
"That was his first goal of the season," the tongue-in-cheek announcer said over the loudspeaker.
The Sunbelt's Rob Ramage later came out on the ice with a golf bag full of hockey sticks and handed one to Terry Crisp, the former Lightning coach who was playing one of the forward positions.
"Wrong sportsmanlike conduct," the loudspeaker announcer thundered this time. "All three Howes will take a penalty shot."
Stewart then called for two more pucks and the Howes, who once skated on the same line in the old World Hockey Association, skated side by side from the neutral zone.
The Sunbelt players on the bench tossed a bunch of sticks on the ice and the trio stickhandled their individual pucks. They all shot at once -- and Gordie's got through.
There was then an "oxygen timeout" for the elder Howe, 70.
Linseman's slap shot from the top of the left circle with a little over a minute to go brought a sober end to the game, which featured two 12-minute periods and a continuously running clock.
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