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Every 'Dog has his day

Hagerstown Bulldogs serve as host to Flyers' alumni

Hagerstown Bulldogs serve as host to Flyers' alumni

February 25, 2002|By

In a scene right out of the film "Mystery, Alaska," the Hagerstown Bulldogs - a collection of amateur hockey players from the local area - took on the Philadelphia Flyers alumni team at the Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon.

The movie, in which the New York Rangers face off against a pickup team from the small Alaska town, has the Rangers surviving a scare from the upstart squad when a last-second shot ricochets off the goalpost.

The Bulldogs didn't fare quite so well in their contest, losing 8-1 to the former Flyers stars. However, the score was much less important than the excitement that was generated by the game.

Carl Langford, the general manager of the ice rink and a player for the Bulldogs, said the primary reason for bringing the game to Hagerstown was to raise the awareness of the sport in the area.

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"This was probably the biggest crowd the ice rink has seen since the grand opening," Langford said. "I think we achieved what we wanted to."

Playing against a squad made up mostly of players from the Flyers' 1974-75 Stanley Cup-winning team, the Bulldogs were simply outmatched by the former pros.

Langford said that age had not diminished the skills of the Flyers. Their passes were crisp and fast, and their shots were on the mark, he said.

Danny Berg, one of the Bulldogs' two goalies, could account for that.

"They don't skate as fast as they used to, but they really haven't lost a step," Berg said. "Their stickhandling was just as good as when they were young."

At least one of the old Flyers still showed a little spark, as well. Dave Schultz, who turned out to be one of the crowd favorites, spent six minutes in the penalty box - including serving a coincidental roughing minor after a run-in against the boards with Langford.

"He kept egging me on and got me with a crosscheck," Langford said. "I took a swing at him, he took a swing at me and that was about it.

"We were smiling an jawing at each other in the penalty box ... all in good fun."

Langford's ultimate hope is to make the game with the Flyers an annual event. He said he plans to talk to Joe Watson, the head of the Flyers alumni team, after they return from a tournament in Finland next week.

"If the players liked it, we'd love to have them back every year," Langford said.

He said he would also like to bring in alumni teams from the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins in the future.

"We just want to advance the sport of hockey in this community," Langford said.

- In the game Artie Boggs scored the only goal for Hagerstown, off an assist by Doug Pappariella.

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