In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fedorin Cup, 8-29-09

A quick birthday shout-out to Ducks veteran Scott Niedermayer, who turned 36 yesterday. Not that yours truly is in the habit of remembering our Ducks' birthdays, but Scotty is an exception because my birthday is also the same day.

And now, the real post for today.

As if Saturday's Shoot for the Cure wasn't enough hockey for Duck fans, they had simply to mosey on down to Anaheim ICE later in the afternoon for the 12th annual Fedorin Cup. Established originally in 1998 in memory of Eric Fedorin, a Californian hockey player whose life was cut short by brain cancer, the Fedorin Cup Game raises money for cancer charities. Hockey pros of the past and present play a friendly game of puck, prizes are auctioned and raffled off, and hockey fans gather in the spirit of giving and preseason excitement.

This year's Fedorin would be executed in a Team USA vs. Team Canada format, with plenty of current and former Ducks on the ice.

Team USA included Todd Marchant, Teemu Selanne, local boy Brian Salcido...

... Bobby Ryan and Mike Brown among others.

Team Canada included Dustin Penner...

... Andrew Ebbett, Brendan Mikkleson, and...

... Ducks new acquisition from the Philly Flyers, Luca Sbisa.

Luca received a warm welcome from the crowd in attendance. For a 19-year-old, the boy has a lot of Duck fans curious as to what kind of game he's going to bring to the ice. He's definitely got a size advantage: he was taller than expected. Given a few years to fill out, he'd at least have the look of a good d-man.

Phil Hulett did the honors of MCing the event. Great to hear his voice over the loudspeakers again!

The game got off to a great start, the players looked like they were just happy being back out on the ice again. The crowd fed off their enthusiasm.

Teemu wore a smile throughout the entire game!

At one point, Team USA was down by 5 goals. Things were looking bleak, players were getting desperate. Bobby took down Ebbett on a breakaway by wrapping his arms around Ebbett's waist. The two fell down, spinning in circles on the ice. The crowd laughed and applauded.

It wasn't until the 3rd period that Team USA made a stunning comeback, scoring goal after goal until it was 11-10 with less than a minute to go. Team Canada managed to tie things up right before the buzzer... and we went into overtime, with the winner to be decided via shootout.

In the end, it was Teemu who won it for Team USA. He took off at full speed towards the Team Canada goalie. As he wound up to shoot the puck, he tossed his glove at the goalie, who caught it and looked back at Selanne with a questioning gaze. And then Teemu merely popped the puck into the net.

The crowd roared and Team USA was announced the winner.

The ceremonial postgame handshake.

The players present a check for $5000 to Hockey Fights Cancer.

Hit the showers, Teemu. We'll see you soon. Only 15 days until the preseason starts!


My Zimbio
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