NHL legends thrill Cornwall hockey fans

CORNWALL, Ontario – The first time Mike Krushelnyski skated the Ed Lumley Arena was against the Cornwall Royals in the late 1970s.

Fast forward a few decades and four Stanley Cup wins, and he can still be found chasing the puck as local sports fans cheer.

Krushelnyski and a squad of fellow hockey legends returned to the Cornwall Civic Complex for the annual NHL Alumni Tour charity game on Saturday night (Feb. 6).

“It’s about the old cliche of having fun – being around the guys, playing against great people for great causes,” said Krushelnyski. “And it’s also for the player who doesn’t skate that well scoring a goal on us or when someone strips us of the puck – it’s about seeing their smile.”

The former NHLers defeated the Cornwall Community Police Service ‘All Star Enforcers’ 11-9 in support of Special Olympics Ontario and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

“It was another fun game, they always make us work,” said Krushelnyski. “And the police force does a great job raising the money and filling the stands.”

The benefit match also featured a skills competition and plenty of on-ice practical jokes.

“The fans are used of the NHL, and then they see us….and, yeah, we’re a lot slower. But some of these guys can still rifle the puck just as hard,” Krushelnyski told Seaway News.

Krushelnyski was born in Montreal and grew up in LaSalle, QC. In his early career he played with the Montreal Juniors, regularly battling the Cornwall Royals at the Ed Lumley Arena.

The annual NHL Alumni Tour game typically raises $5,000.

“That money stays local, and supports our local Special Olympics athletes,” said Cornwall police staff sergeant Brian Snyder, the event’s local organizer.

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