The Texas Tornado hosted another successful Pros vs. Prospects event yesterday in Frisco, with the Tornado roster (the Prospects) beating out the Pros by a final of 4-3. The 6th Pros vs. Prospects featured big Dallas area names like Joe Nieuwendyk, Jere Lehtinen, Ed Belfour, Stu Barnes, and Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan. Also on the roster were former NHLers Dan Blackburn, Bob Bassen, Gerald Diduck, and quite a few other names with Dallas ties or they now resided in the Dallas area.
The festivities started early with the Guns and Hoses game at 2pm featuring policeman of the DFW area against local area firemen (the Hoses won it in a huge blowout), followed by autograph signings at 3pm. After some fun and moments with the fans in the afternoon, the action for Pros vs. Prospects kicked off at 5pm.
Things got off to kind of a slow start, but the Prospects were able to find the net in the first period. Jordan Greenburg ripped a sharp-angle shot past Blackburn after getting a pass from behind the net from Tornado star and captain Jack Prince. The Tornado roster took the 1-0 lead into the 2nd period and things started to pick up as the game went one.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk had an excellent chance just to the right of goalie Joakim Jutras midway through the game but couldn’t connect with the puck, and a few minutes later Tornado forward Drew Allen beat Blackburn but the puck hit the post and stayed out. Eventually the Prospects made it 2-0 as Skyler Spiller sniped one up high past Blackburn with 5:15 to go in the 2nd. But seconds later Glen Gulutzan wristed a puck from the slot past Hunter Leisner (the Tornado’s starting goalie who took over for the 2nd half of the game) to cut the lead to 2-1. But late in the 2nd Jack Prince stretched the lead back to two as he banked a goal in from behind the net to make it 3-1 Prospects heading into the 3rd.
In the third the old-guys got going and Jere Lehtinen showed signs of NHL life in his game. The former NHL great drove the net with 8:27 to go in the game and scored over Leisner to make it 3-2 and bring some excitement back into the game. Taylor Herndon made it 4-2 a few minutes later though as he drilled a wrister through Blackburn to regain the two-goal lead for the Tornado. But Lehtinen again provided some magic, this time skating in along the left wing and blasting a slapshot in for a goal that wouldn’t be stopped at the NHL level. The Pros pressured late and even had a 6-on-4 powerplay for the last minute with Blackburn pulled, but Leisner stacked the pads a couple of times and the Prospects held on in the final minute to win 4-3.
Afterwards the Pros sweaters were auctioned off for the Dallas Stars Foundation with quite a few jerseys selling for over $500, including Lehtinen and Bassen’s both going for over $1000. Plus one signed by Mike Modano earlier in the week was sold at $750, with all the proceeds from the auction going to the Stars Foundation. All-in-all it was a fun evening for Stars and Tornado fans, and a great chance to see some former greats get back on the ice for fun and for the fans.
Topics: Bob Bassen, Dallas Stars, Dallas Stars Foundation, Dan Blackburn, Drew Allen, Ed Belfour, Glen Gulutzan, Hunter Leisner, Jack Prince, Jere Lehtinen, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jordan Greenburg, Mike Modano, Pros Vs Prospects, Stu Barnes, Texas Tornado