The Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe reports from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, where the Walleye Alumni and Red Wings Alumni took the game outside:
There were plenty of smiles on the benches at the Winterfest alumni game on Thursday night but the legends also quickly rediscovered their competitive juices at the special outdoor event.
Fog blanketed the lights at Fifth Third Field where a crowd of 6,095 gathered to recognize the local Toledo greats along with Detroit Red Wings legends.
Former Toledo Storm forward Iain Duncan scored for the Toledo team late in the first period at the Mud Hens baseball stadium.
“This brings back so many great memories of this area,” said Duncan, a former Bowling Green State University standout who went on to play in the NHL for the Winnipeg Jets. “We were talking about it after the hall of fame banquet [on Wednesday]. Hockey is an emotional sport. We have a lot tied up in this sport. We’re big tough guys but we’d also do anything for anybody. I played against a couple of those guys in the NHL. It was great to see Joey Kocur and Larry Murphy again.”
The Toledo legends, who were coached by Walleye head scout Ed Burkholder and 2021 Toledo hockey hall of fame inductee Lorne Molleken, fell 7-4. The Red Wings, who were coached by Nick Libett and Phil Myre, scored on the first shot of the game.
Kocur, the former Red Wings tough guy, scored for a 4-1 Detroit lead. Kocur, who led the Red Wings to Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998, said the last time he played in such an event was against the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It’s just so much fun to get out here under the stars or under the clouds in this case,” Kocur said. “To be outside is a lot of fun. That’s how we all grew up playing the game. It’s perfect weather, too.”