Big bad Bruins

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:29 PM ET

Talk about a heart-stopper. It wasn't Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final but the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks showed just how entertaining 3-on-3 hockey can be yesterday at the Stampede Corral.

The Bruins edged the two-time defending champion Canucks 2-1 in the final of the Esso 3-on-3 Hockey Classic.

Ken Linseman, Bob Beers, Joey Mullen, Gord Hynes, goaltender Blaine Lacher and the Sweeney boys, Tim and Bob, comprised the Bruins lineup, which also beat Vancouver in a round-robin shootout.

A dog-tired Bob Sweeney potted the game-winner with 1:50 left in the final, redirecting a Beers point shot past Bill Ranford. After that, the Bruins hung on for dear life as the Canucks poured on the pressure before time expired.

"They pulled their goalie and it was very chaotic at the end but we played awesome," said Bob Sweeney after the game. "It was a lot of fun. Everybody came to play and we're happy to come to Calgary and hopefully we can come back and defend."

Sure fun is the name of the game, along with raising money, but those who watched the final witnessed a battle. Dave (Tiger) Williams of the Canucks didn't leave anything on the ice and dropped a nasty two-handed slash on Linseman, something that irked the Bruins.

"I wanted a penalty call. It was pretty hard but they're very competitive and that's what's going to happen in a one-goal game. And in 3-on-3, that's pretty amazing," said Sweeney.

Ranford and Lacher stood on their heads. Lacher, who played 47 games with the Bruins, got a toe on a Williams' shot with time winding down to preserve the win.

"I thought Tiger's shot got through me," said the Medicine Hat product, who played in his third Hockey Classic. "I didn't expect to win -- I've only played three times this year, all last week -- but I knew we had a great team and I knew Joey Mullen could score and the Sweeneys are awfully tough."

Tim Sweeney opened the scoring in the first half, then Vancouver's Gary Valk tied it up before the opening eight minutes were over.

To date, the event has raised more than $1 million and next year will be the 10th annual edition.

Interestingly enough, the Calgary Flames were eliminated in the quarter-finals by the Toronto Maple Leafs, losing 5-4 after clanging the iron twice in the final two minutes.

The FAN 960's Rob Kerr was pressed into goaltending duty for Calgary after Rick Wamsley, originally the Flames starter, injured himself in the opening game.

Kerr actually did live play-by-play on the radio from between the pipes, which might have distracted him from his goaltending duties.


Videos

Photos