Everyone in Valleyfield was ready to host the 2002-2003 GOHL All-Stars game !! 40 of the best players were in town to defend the honor of their respective Conference. It all started with the presentation of the players...
The starting line-up of the Sather Conference: from the Vegas Black Aces, center Mike Modano. From the Aurora Lions: left wing Brendan Shanahan. From the Orono Blizzard: right wing Jarome Iginla and defenseman Chris Pronger. From the Okanagan Selects: defenseman Al MacInnis and from the Arkansas Mockingbirds: goaler Jose Theodore !
The other players from the Sather Conference: 2nd line: Alexei Yashin, Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi. 3rd line: Radek Bonk, Kristian Huselius, Daniel Alfredsson. 4th line: Curtis Brown, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexei Kovalev. The other defensemen pairs: Nicklas Lidstrom/Kim Johnsson and Kimo Timonen/Thomas Kaberle. The goaler that will replace Theodore at mid-game is Roberto Luongo.
The starting line-up for the home team, the Bowman Conference: from the Brooklyn Railsplitters, center Joe Sakic. From the Austin Express: right wing Bill Guerin and defenseman Rob Blake. From the Bay Ridge Predators, left wing Keith Tkachuk and defenseman Brian Leetch. From the Quasqueton Sasquatch, goaler Patrick Roy.
The other players from the Bowman Conference: 2nd line: Eric Lindros, Peter Bondra, Jeff O'Neill. 3rd line: Jason Alisson, Ryan Smyth, Pavel Bure. 4th line: Tony Hrkac, J-P Dumont and Paul Kariya. The other defensemen pairs: Wade Redden/Sergei Gonchar and Sergei Zubov/Ed Jovanovski. Felix Potvin will replace Patrick Roy at mid-game.
All-Stars games are usually more offensive because of all the offensive players, everybody thought it would be different this year with 2 goals on the first 2 shots. Al MacInnis beat Roy with a bullet during a delayed penalty to Peter Bondra. Keith Tkachuk put everyone in the Nuclear Dome on their feet with an amazing deke to beat both defensemen and Theodore. Both goalies closed the door and the game turned to a defensive mode with hooking and holding. Tkachuk even went face to face with Pronger at 9:46 !
The refs talked to the players during the first intermission to calmed things down for the second period. The only penalty in the period resulted in a power play goal for the Sather Conference: Jarome Iginla, unassisted. At the 10 minute mark, Luongo and Potvin replaced Theodore and Roy… after this, the show really started ! The new goalies made many great saves, all we could hear was the "ooooohhh" of the crowd after each miraculous save. Potvin stopped Bertuzzi on breakaway and Leetch on breakaway 2 minutes later, while Luongo stole a goal from Pavel Bure who was left alone in front of the net.
The Sather Conference was ahead 2-1 after 40 minutes, even with a deficit of 31-17 on the shots board. In 3rd period both teams put more pressure in the offensive zone, but Potvin and Luongo continued their duel with more incredible saves, all worthy of being in "les jeux de la semaine". Luongo's slide stopped Bertuzzi and Yashin on a double breakaway, 20 seconds later Potvin did the same thing on a Alisson/Bondra 2 on 1.
Jeff O'Neill finally tied the game at 11:41 with a screened slap shot from 40 feet. This only made the game more interesting, with Ed Jovanovski and Paul Kariya hitting the post in the final minute of the period.
Overtime in Valleyfield ! The coach sent on the ice the home town's favorite: Pavel Bure. Brian Leetch found him at the left of Luongo for a one-timer but the Black Ace made the save. 2 minutes later Kimmo Timonen made a drop pass to Yashin and he passed it straight to Bertuzzi who didn't miss his chance and beat Potvin with a high shot.
Final score: 3-2 for the Sather Conference.
Star of the game: Roberto Luongo with 27 saves on 28 shots !
Complete stats of the game.