Puck drops Saturday between Montreal Canadiens alumni and former St. Paul Junior Canadiens

Local hockey fans will see a lot of history on the ice this Saturday when the puck drops for a game between alumni players from the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and former St. Paul Junior Canadiens hockey players at the Clancy Richard Arena.

ST. PAUL – Local hockey fans will see a lot of history on the ice this coming weekend when the puck drops on a game between alumni players from Montreal Canadiens and former St. Paul Junior Canadiens players at the Clancy Richard Arena on Saturday.

Hosted by the St. Paul Junior Canadiens Alumni Foundation, the event is a salute to the local team’s 68 years of hockey history in the community and its long-standing affiliation with its namesake – the Montreal Canadiens.

“The day of the game will be spectacular to celebrate the game of hockey,” foundation president Patrick Lamoureux said, adding the event will not only pay tribute to the “rich history” between the local club and the NHL team, but will also be an opportunity to give back to the community that has long supported the Junior Canadiens and hockey in St. Paul.

Following the game, the hockey celebration will continue off ice with a formal banquet at the Recreation Centre. Lamoureux said guest speakers will “be talking a little bit about the history of the Montreal Canadiens, St. Paul Junior Canadiens, and the greater community.” Keynote speakers include Stu MacDonald, CCO Edmonton Oilers Entertainment Group, Rick Green, coach and team representative of the Montreal Canadiens Alumni, St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller and Lamoureux.

The upcoming St. Paul Junior Canadiens Alumni Foundation’s Banquet and Alumni Game is also a fundraiser, said Lamoureux, who is promising a fun event both on and off the ice. It is important to note the day’s proceeds will be used to support programs and community initiatives in the greater St. Paul area.

Lamoureux said the foundation event has been made possible with assistance from the “many business leaders and partners within the community of St. Paul,” as well as the hard work of St. Paul Canadien’s alumni board.

“We believe coming out of COVID that this is something positive for the community,” he said, adding the event is also an opportunity for aspiring hockey players and for “the boys and the girls to come enjoy us in a day of celebration.”

The alumni game and banquet has been two years in the making, said Lamoureux, and encouraged those interested and “potentially just intrigued at what we’re doing” to attend.

Greg Roszell, who played for St. Paul Junior Canadiens in 1984-85, is among those who will be lacing on his skates in the match against the Montreal Canadiens alumni. Roszell says he is excited because “a lot of [Montreal Canadiens alumni] players are my childhood heroes,” and it is an “honour” to play against them.

When Roszell looked at the St. Paul Canadiens roster, he said he noticed many names familiar to him, and “some of these are a lot of friends from my past that I haven’t seen in a long time,” he said. “So, it’s going to be really wonderful to reconnect with them as well.”

Among the familiar names he noticed was Denis Zukiwsky, who played for the St. Paul Canadiens in 1965-67. Roszell said Zukiwsky was his physical education teacher in school, “and he coached us at one point… I’m very excited to be playing alongside him.”

“I hope we win,” he said with a laughter. “Some of my friends are giving me some jokes or jabs saying, ‘How are you guys gonna go against the professionals?’”

Win or lose, Roszell said Saturday will be a “great event” for the community. “We’re honoured to have the Montreal Canadiens alumni come out and join us.”

The alumni match tickets are $15 per person and entry is free for children 10 years old and under, accompanied by an adult. The arena will open its doors at 3 p.m. with the puck drop set for 4:10 p.m.

Lamoureux encouraged “fans to come early [because] we do have a limited amount of people that we can allow in the Clancy Richard Arena,” adding tickets will be available at the door.

Tickets for the evening banquet are available through Jaden Saik at jaden_saik@cooperators.ca or Duane Wolanuk at wally30@gmail.com. 

St. Paul Jr. Canadiens Alumni Roster

On the ice for the St. Paul Jr. B Canadiens will be: Zandro Lucko-Pallioto (#2) 2019-2021, Aimes McCarthy (#3) 1983-1987 , Denis Zukiwsky (#4) 1965-1967, Christian Nypower (#5) 2020-2022, Greg Desaulniers (#7) 1987-1991, Dwayne Karbashewski (#8) 1984-1988, Ron Garwasiuk (#9) 1964-1966, Greg Roszell (#10) 1984-1985, Chad Faulkner (#11) 1999-2002, Rene Desaulniers (#12) 1969-1972, Albert Houle (#14) 1985-1986, Tanner Hellquist (#15) 2013-2016, Mike Wanchuk (#16) 1969-1971, Kelvin Hall (#17) 1992-1997, Jon Olson (#18) 1986-1989, Roger Pomerleau (#19) 1987-1991, Brett Bacque (#21) 2002-2007, Bailey Lonsberry (#22) 2015-2019, Bradley Mistol (#33) current, Danny Sadlowski 1978-1983, and Conrad Jean – multiple years management.

Montreal Canadiens Alumni Roster

Representing the Montreal Canadiens alumni will be: Richard Sévign (#33), Oleg Petrov (#6), Keith Acton (#12), Mathieu Dandenault (#25), Pierre Dagenais (#26), Normand Dupont (#26),  Jesse Belanger (#29), Shawn Belle (#34), Brian Skrudland (#39), Stéphane Richer (#44), and Coach Rick Green.

Pat O’Neill and Patrick Lamoureux from St. Paul Jr. Canadiens Alumni have been named honorary co-coaches. 

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