Flyers come calling

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:51 PM ET


 Rejean Beauchemin had a heck of a time keeping the students under control at College Beliveau in St. Boniface yesterday.

 But the 19-year-old teacher's aid wouldn't have had it any other way.

 Beauchemin, a draft choice of the Philadelphia Flyers last summer, has been summoned to Philadelphia for the NHL's Eastern Conference Final, beginning this weekend.

 Try to top that in show-and-tell.

 "They're pretty excited," Beauchemin told The Sun from the school yesterday. "There were a couple of classes I was in where they were kind of off the wall."

 That would be a good way to describe Beauchemin, too.

 THIRD GOALTENDER

 A Winnipegger who played his bantam and midget hockey with the Warriors, Beauchemin will be the Flyers third goaltender as they continue their drive for the Stanley Cup.

 That means he'll get plenty of practice time, presumably giving starter Robert Esche a break now and again. He might not dress for games, but if Esche gets hurt, he'll have to be ready to pull on his equipment.

 "There (are) really no words to describe it," Beauchemin said. "It was totally unexpected. It's one of the best things that will probably ever happen to me. It's a great opportunity and experience."

 The Flyers summoned Beauchemin instead of one of their minor-league goalies because their farm team is still in the AHL playoffs.

 Beauchemin hasn't played since his Prince Albert Raiders were eliminated by Brandon in the first round of the Western League playoffs.

 Until then, he'd had a great year in Prince Albert, winning 30 games and setting a franchise record with six shutouts.

 "It would have been nice to still have been playing ... but this kind of softens the blow, in a way," he said.

 Chances are he won't play a single minute in Philadelphia. Then again, who can forget Manitoba Moose goalie Alex Auld going from third-stringer to starter for Vancouver in the first round against Calgary?

 "Who knows?" Beauchemin said.

 Either way, he'll get a taste of the Stanley Cup chase few people ever experience, in a city starving for its first championship since 1975.

 Beauchemin will leave for Philadelphia this morning.


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