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Howe’s Comeback Put On Ice By Crunch’s Playoff Run

Fri., March 28, 1997, midnight

Around the NHL

Gordie Howe, who had hoped to become the first pro hockey player to play in six consecutive decades by skating a shift for the Syracuse Crunch one day after his 69th birthday, has had his comeback iced.

The American Hockey League team, which had planned to use Howe Tuesday, canceled his return on Thursday, saying it could not afford to have him make a cameo appearance because it is vying for a playoff spot.

In a statement released by the Crunch, Howe said he was “deeply disappointed,” but added he was “still hoping to fulfill my dream.”

Brawl adds heat to rivalry

Detroit’s fight-filled 6-5 overtime victory over Colorado Wednesday added more fuel to the heated feelings between the teams, and has Avalanche forward Mike Keane eager to resume what has become the NHL’s fiercest rivalry in the playoffs.

“I’ve got no problem playing a heartless team,” Keane said after the loss. “Absolutely I’d like to play them. We don’t like each other; it would make a great series.”

Darren McCarty, whose fight with Colorado’s Claude Lemieux settled an old score from last year’s playoffs and highlighted a first-period brawl, scored the game-winning goal 39 seconds into overtime.

Detroit’s Igor Larionov and Colorado’s Peter Forsberg collided with 1:38 left in the first period to ignite the brawl. McCarty then decked Lemieux and hit him several times after he went down.

Colorado goalie Patrick Roy came out to assist Lemieux, but was knocked down by a collision with Brendan Shanahan at center ice and then lost a fight with Detroit goalie Mike Vernon. Lemieux, Roy and Forsberg were bloodied in the melee.


 
Tags: hockey

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