Recchi scores twice to pace Flyers Alumni win

Mark Recchi

      PHILADELPHIA – For a bunch of old guys, they’ve still got the wheels.

      And how cool was it Friday night during the Flyers-Bruins Alumni Game when Mike Richards set up soon-to-be-inducted Flyers Hall of Famer Mark Recchi for the first goal of the game.

      That gave the Flyers a short-lived lead but the Bruins later tied the score in the period when Boston’s Graeme Townshend scored against Brian Boucher to tie the score.

      But Mike Richards scored in the second period on a shorthanded breakaway and Recchi scored his second goal of the game in the third as the Flyers Alumni came away with a 6-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center.

      Donald Brashear, Eric Lindros and Patrick Sharp also scored in the third period as the Flyers team pulled away. Recchi also had an assist on the Lindros goal.

      Recchi said the Flyers and Philadelphia have once again become a must go-to destination.

      “I’ve spent a lot of time talking to ‘Jonesy’ (Flyers president of hockey operations Keith Jones),” Recchi said. “And ‘Torts’ (coach John Tortorella) and (CEO) Dan Hilferty. They know what Flyer hockey really is and the culture that was here for a long, long time. It slipped. And when it slips, it slips.

      “They’re doing a heck of a job to bring that family value back. They really want that. This is a perfect example of it. They’ve been first-class with me and my family. It’s been incredible. They’ve gone above and beyond. It’s just really getting that great feel again. It’s really fun to see as a player. For it to slip a little bit was hard to watch.”

      Defenseman Chris Therien also has noticed the difference.

      “It felt like it was a signaling that times are back,” Therien said. “I know things have been back but this is a sign that we’re back. The family is back. That to me was what this was symbolic of.

      “To me, the Flyers have always been about family and community. This was exemplified to perfection.”

      Prior to the game, there were ovations aplenty as the old-timers hit the ice.

      Some of the biggest rounds of applause went to former Flyers captain Bobby Clarke, goaltender Bernie Parent and Bill Barber along with ex-stars such as Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Mark Howe.

      It was the “unofficial” revival of a great rivalry which stems back to the 1973-74 Stanley Cup, when the Flyers knocked off the favored Bruins in the finals.

      In fact, the Cup was in attendance on Friday night when a number of players from that team celebrated a 50th anniversary of the first championship.

      In addition to Clarke, Barber and Parent were Andre Dupont, Don Saleski, Orest Kindrachuk, Gary Dornhoefer, the Watson brothers (Jimmy and Joe), Bill Clement and goaltender Bobby Taylor among others.

      Playing for Philadelphia’s old-timers team were Therien, Brad Marsh, Patrick Sharp, Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell, Dave Brown, Mike Knuble, Brian Propp, Todd Fedoruk, Daryl Stanley, Riley Cote, Dennis Seidenberg, Kimmo Timonen, Donald Brashear and goalie Michael Leighton.

      Some of the notable players for Boston included Raymond Bourque, ex-Flyer assistant coach Joe Mullen, ex-Flyer Ken Linseman, Al Secord, Bob Sweeney, Mike Krushelnyski and Bryan Smolinski.

      Marsh, the president of the Flyers Alumni, was encouraged by what he witnessed. One improvement was allowing the Alumni to use the Flyers’ official locker room, which hasn’t been the case in recent years.

      “Some of the guys who played in previous games, when they came down the hallway, they turned left (into the auxiliary room),” Marsh said. “I said no, no. We’re in the big room. There’s the difference right there. This is the Flyers Alumni. We belong here.”

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About Wayne Fish 2471 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.