WESTVILLE ROAD – The alumni game between ex-Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins will turn a profit for the building that hosted it.
“(The financial numbers) haven’t been finalized as of yet, but we anticipate that we will show a small profit,” said Pictou County Wellness Centre general manager David Hood Thursday, less than 24 hours after the event.
Organizers were hoping to sell at least 1,000 tickets, and that goal was surpassed by a healthy margin; PCWC spokesman Chad McDavid said about 1,250 tickets were sold for the game.
Both Hood and McDavid said it was a successful event not just in terms of dollars, but also that the fans and the players themselves seemed to have a good time.
“We were pleased with the turnout (and) it was well-attended and well-received,” said McDavid.
“The players were very friendly with the fans, and interacted a lot with the community.”
He said an estimated 250 children showed up at the rink on Wednesday afternoon to skate with some of the players, get autographs and take photos. Only a few of the players were able to show up for it, having been on the road all day after playing an alumni game the night before in New Brunswick (the teams were to fly to Newfoundland early Thursday morning as part of a hectic week).
“They all travelled from Saint John (Wednesday) and the players that went to the public skate had to go straight to the rink.”
During the pre-game introduction, with fans of both teams proudly wearing their colours, ex-Montreal Canadiens sniper Stephane Richer got the loudest ovation of all the Habs alum, but by far the biggest cheer was reserved for hall-of-fame defenceman Ray Bourque – wearing his familiar #77 Bruins jersey.
McDavid, who surmised that a a fair number of fans travelled from outside Pictou County to take in the game, said he encountered two men from P.E.I., both of whom were Bruins fans who had made the trip to Pictou County to meet Bourque for the first time.
A ‘Pub Night’ following the game (the Canadiens alumni won 6-4) was held in a conference room upstairs at the PCWC, with about 180 fans attending that event.