For the first time in their history of holding an outdoor hockey game, the Colorado Avalanche got the best of their rivals from Detroit. Five players outdueled the Red Wings in front of 43,319 at Coors Field winning 5-2 Friday night.
The fire came back to light in an Alumni Game that many couldn’t wait to see. Players that took part in some of the most violent and brutal matches came back to get another game in the books after a 14 year absence from the ice between Detroit and Colorado. While no punches were to be expected, the actions on ice would determine who was going to come out victorious and keep the bragging rights.
To get things started was Valeri Kamensky who scored the first goal in Avalanche history and did so once more on a pass from Peter Forsberg who had the line pass from behind the net of Ty Conklin. Steve Yzerman tied the game midway into the period on a rebound in front of Avs goaltender Patrick Roy firing the puck behind the net.
Joe Sakic made it 2-1 on a move straight at Conklin where he found an open spot on the stick side sending Avalanche fans nuts. The last six minutes had the Red Wings struggling to get another goal behind Roy as he continued making his signature saves in net. By the end of twenty minutes, Detroit outshot Colorado 11-6 with much more to come.
Manny Legace came into the second period to help Detroit keep the pucks out for Colorado and even the game. They had a great chance in the Avalanche zone but Roy laid out for a big save. As the clock continued to fall off with no stoppage the Avalanche were still in control of the lead. Sakic got his second point of the game on a fast assist that ended with Milan Hejduk scoring on Mike Ricci’s drive from the faceoff dot.
Dino Ciccarelli went in on Roy fanning on the first shot and watching the puck blocked by the stick of the Hall of Fame goaltender on his second chance. It was the last play to occur in the period with Colorado shooting five times while holding Detroit to ten.
Despite the inability to pressure the Red Wings end with shots, they found a way to win on goals with Ray Bourque scoring on a drive through Legace for a three game margin. The Red Wings got a chance to cut the lead in half with Tomas Holmstrom but on his attempt, he was blocked off by goalie Craig Billington.
Colorado got a chance for a penalty shot with Mike Ricchi taking it to Legace. The veteran netminder followed the Avs center from far off the crease shutting him down near the midway point of the third. Detroit made it a two-goal lead for Colorado as Igor Larionov got a shot on Billington where the rebound came back to Brendan Shanahan scoring for the Red Wings.
Stephane Yelle put the nail in the coffin for the Avalanche scoring on an unassisted goal at Legace making it a 5-2 win.
With the game now in the history books, it would be forever known that the Colorado Avalanche got the last laugh on home ice.