In a Harlem Globetrotters like affair, the Nashville Predators' alumni were able to defeat in the St. Louis Blues' alumni, 9-8. A-Game Sportsplex, a local ice rink just twenty minutes south of Bridgestone Arena, held the event. The ice rink held its capacity with standing room only left for fans. Predators and Blues fans alike just wanted to see some hockey, and definitely did Saturday night.
Before the summary of the game, take a look at the notable players on each roster. For the Predators Alumni, J.P. Dumont, Assistant Coach Lane Lambert, Dan Keczmer, Strength Coach David Good and radio color analysts Stu Grimson and Tom Callahan were all on the ice. On the bench, TV analyst Terry Crisp, Brent Peterson, Head Coach Barry Trotz and Associate Coach Peter Horacek.
And for the Blues' alumni, Tyson Nash, Reed Low, Terry Yake, Jeff Brown, radio analyst Kelly Chase and Blues community relations Bob Plager. As bench boss, the one and only Darren Pang, now NBC Hockey analyst.
NOTE: For this game, each period was played for fifteen minutes with a running clock.
It took 8 minutes for something to happen in this alumni game, but 8:01 into the game, the Nashville Predators alumni team scored first with a goal by Lane Lambert, assistant coach. Stu Grimson, tough guy back in his day had the assist. Just shortly after that goal, Tyson Nash responded with a goal short side from the right circle of goalie Tom Callahan. The puck just squeezed in between the post and Callahan's pad.
With 2:25 remaining in the first period, J.P. Dumont sniped the Blues' goaltender glove side from the high slot. The assist came from A-Game Sportsplex hockey director Scotty Phillips. That was the last goal of the period with the Preds alumni leading 2-1 after fifteen minutes of play.
Just thirty-two seconds in the second period, former Predator Dan Keczmer scored off a 3-on-2 Grimson rebound to take a 3-1 lead. A minute later, Jr. Predators coach Derek Kimbro scored to make it 4-1, but he wasn't done yet this period.
David Poile's son Brian Poile was tripped on a breakaway midway through the second period, which allowed him a chance to score on a penalty shot. Poile's penalty shot was stopped blocker side. Shortly after that, Preds strength and conditioning coach David Good scored off the faceoff to make it a solid 5-1 lead.
Later in the second, Stu Grimson and Reid Low, who were both enforcers, dropped the gloves in attempt to please the crowd. No punches were thrown in the staged fight, but movement of equipment so the players wouldn't trip did happen. Both players went to the same penalty box to set aside their differences and eat pizza together. That wasn't the only funny moment of the night involving Grimson.
Preds alumni goalie Tom Callahan started showing signs of being tired towards the end of the second and into the third as he started letting a string of pucks get passed him. To start it off, Terry Yake scored to make it 4-2 with the assist coming from former teammate Jeff Brown. The Predators answered right back with Kimbro scoring again to make it 5-2.
The Blues alumni scored two goals in-a-row late in the second period. Amell scored the third goal for his alumni squad off a rebound from Yake and Nash. Then Low scored to cut the lead to 5-4 on a breakaway. Ex-Pred Dumont coasted towards Low, as he deked around Callahan.
A fun second period wasn't over just yet as Poile scored on a breakaway with just seconds remaining to make up for his penalty shot miss. The second period ended with Predators alumni still up, but 6-4 this time.
The third period picked right back up again with Brian Poile, as he scored to make it 7-4 with assists from Andrews and Peterson–Brent Peterson's son. Then, Tyson Nash scored his second of the game to make it 7-5. Afterwards, head coach of the Preds' alumni team Terry Crisp went onto the ice to instruct Callahan for a minute. Fans were laughing and having a good time with it.
After great passing, Peterson answered back with a goal of his own from Poile and Tim McAllister, who is A-Game Sportsplex Director of Hockey and Ice Operations and good friend and trainer for J.P. Dumont. Speaking of J.P. Dumont, he scored what ended up being the last goal for the Predators alumni that sneaked between the Blues goalie's pads. Grimson with the assist on Dumont's second goal.
Tyson Nash lead a comeback by scoring his third goal of the game off the faceoff to make it 9-6. After that, Nash scored his fourth goal of the game from Yake. And with 2.8 seconds remaining, the Blues scored off a series of deflections with the goalie pulled to make it 9-8. Callahan can thank Grimson for allowing that goal to get by because he was cherry-picking and missed a chance a scoring an empty net goal, twice.
Head Coach of the St. Louis Blues' alumni team Darren Pang called a timeout after fifteen seconds were added onto the scoreboard for dramatic purposes–"Thanks Paul!". However, the extra fifteen seconds weren't enough for the Blues as the Predators alumni defeated the Blues alumni, 9-8.
After the game was a special ceremony that gave Tyson Nash the Most Valuable Player award in the game for having four goals and an assist. Instead of a trophy or medal, what was given to Nash, from Stu Grimson, was a Grimson autographed picture. Following that, Nash received a pie to the face from the "Grim Reaper".
It was a great night of hockey. The only thing that would have been better was the selection of players for the alumni game. They should have it like the Winter Classic Alumni Game where the best alumni come in to play. That will actually be a new blog later this week actually.
Even though this event was great just to see fun hockey action, but the real reason for this event was to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. According to Jeremy Gover of Cellblock 303, the event raised $3,300.