FRISCO -- While many DFW sports fans were wallowing in a major depression in the wake of the Dallas Cowboys historical collapse against the Detroit Lions, I found myself at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco for the Dallas Stars Alumni Classic. This fun event that featured a mix of current Stars players and alumni from Dallas Stars teams from the past was held exclusively for the team's full season ticket holders.
Our night began inside the arena's Club Lounge that is nestled underneath the suites and has its own bar area. It was the site for a private reception that featured VIPs mingling with current Stars players and the legends from the storied franchise's past. I -- like anyone who was a fan of that truly great team in 1999 that had its magical Stanley Cup championship run -- had to pinch myself to see if this was really happening. It felt like I was in a Dallas Stars-themed version of A Night at the Museum. Everywhere I turned was another familiar face that brought back so many fond memories. And, of course, the coolest guy in the room was Dallas Stars color analyst Daryl "Razor" Reaugh.
Team White led by Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Jere Lehtinen, Mike Ribeiro and Craig Ludwig was set to take on Team Black featuring Joe Nieuwendyk, Mike Keane, Pat Verbeek, Guy Carbonneau and his son-in-law Brendan Morrow, and goalie Ed Belfour playing as a defenseman alongside Richard Matvichuk. Current Stars goalies Kari Lehtonen and Andrew Raycroft served as the team's coaches while the game's goaltenders were from the Allen Americans.
The puck dropped shortly after 7:00 with Mike Keane scoring the first-ever Alumni Classic goal to give Team Black the early lead. The game was played in two 25 minute halves, with Team Black taking a 6-3 lead to the game's lone intermission.
Daryl Reaugh interviewed former Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock in the break. "It's good to see Lehtinen is still doing all the work for the Hull and Modano line," Hitch joked to the crowd that gave him a standing ovation.
Following an impromptu "just for fun" shootout that included two misses from Ed Belfour, the second half action saw Team Black take a commanding 8-4 lead before Team White roared back to take a 10-9 advantage with only 2:42 left.
Stars play-by-play announcer Ralph Strangis chimed in to the crowd, "What we have here is a team that was winning big the entire game, and now they are not." The not-so-subtle allusion to the Cowboys game from earlier in the day brought plenty of laughs.
The fitting cap to the wide open style that felt similar to an NHL All-Star Game came with recently retired Mike Modano draining an empty net goal to give Team White its 11-9 victory. The regular season begins October 7 at 7:30 when the Dallas Stars host the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center. To purchase season and individual game tickets, visit here.
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