Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

ALLAN CUP: Amateur title eludes Fleury once again

South East upstarts face Bentley in today's final

  • Print

STEINBACH -- One former NHLer will get his chance here today, but it's the one who has been denied that's perhaps the most interesting storyline.

Russell's Theoren Fleury, who spent his winter shuttling between Calgary and Steinbach in a bid to win an Allan Cup, saw all that time and effort extinguished last night as his North Stars club fell 4-2 in the semifinals the South East Prairie Thunder.

The result is a dejected Fleury will have to watch today as Grunthal's Thunder take on Brent Sutter's Bentley Generals in the final of the Allan Cup, the 101-year-old symbol of senior hockey supremacy in Canada.

Fleury, who reprised his role as agitator last night in what ultimately proved to be a failed bid to get a disciplined Thunder squad off their game, said late last night he had no regrets about his Allan Cup run this year.

"It was fun to play, it was fun to compete again and it was great to play in front of sold-out buildings," said Fleury, a Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medallist. "The tournament was a success and I can take a lot from that -- that I was here and people came out to watch me play. It was a lot of fun."

And intense, particularly after the second period last night when Fleury first called out the entire South East team and then, on his way off the ice, took a couple steps into the stands to yell at some spectators

Fleury was philosophical in defeat.

"I've been fortunate to have a lot of winning experiences... I'm OK with it, I'll move on and look forward to the next opportunity."

The next opportunity for the Thunder is the best opportunity they may ever get -- a chance to win it all this afternoon.

But to do that, they'll have to be even better today than they were last night to beat a Bentley team that has looked every bit a juggernaut.

But they've defied expectations this far and goalkeeper Brent Zelenewich -- who was spectacular once again last night, turning away 42 of 44 shots -- said they'll need to do it just one more time. "No one has had very high expectations of us, but we know in that room what we're capable of."

There's no question in anyone's mind here this week what the Generals are capable of.

Sutter's team is like the coach and his famous hockey family -- tough as nails, relentless, disciplined, a bit nasty and very, very passionate.

It's a team in Sutter's own image and it looks big and scary heading into the final having outscored their opponents 22-5 in three games at the Canadian senior hockey championship this week.

The Generals hammered Thunder Bay 8-1 in the semifinal last night to advance to today title game.

Today's final will be broadcast live on TSN-2 beginning at 3 p.m. and then tape-delayed at 11:30 p.m. on the full TSN network.

Sutter, the oldest of the six pro hockey playing brothers from Viking, Alta., has a rare opportunity to do something no one in his family has ever done before on a sheet of hockey ice, win the Allan Cup.

And that's saying something in a family that has won six Stanley Cups and played a combined total of more than 5,000 games in the NHL.

"When I was a little boy, winning an Allan Cup -- besides winning a Stanley Cup -- that was it," says Sutter, who ranches just 15 kilometres from the town of Bentley, near Red Deer. "The Allan Cup means a lot to me."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2009 D2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets' coach discusses team's loss to Red Wings

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google