For Trenton hockey alumni, redemption has come after years of waiting as they defeated their Detroit Catholic Central counterparts by a score of 4-2, which provided finality to their 1999 game that ended in a 4-4 tie due to a serious injury to Trenton’s Kurt LaTarte. Gatorade reunited members from both teams, including LaTarte, and their original coaching staffs for a full-check, regulation length game.
From the moment Compuware Arena’s doors opened, to the ceremonial puck-drop by game day commissioner, “Mr. Hockey®” Gordie Howe, to the final horn sounding, excitement filled the arena. The teams, which hit the ice in front of nearly 4,000 people, were joined by Detroit hockey legends Scotty Bowman and Brendan Shanahan who provided their expertise and guidance as honorary coaches to the Catholic Central and Trenton squads, respectively.
“I’m really proud of my Trenton teammates for taking this challenge, realizing chances like this don’t happen every day, and playing their hearts out in front of all our friends and families,” said Angelo Petrucco, team captain for Trenton. “It was amazing to be out there on the ice again playing CC, and I really congratulate all the athletes on a hard-fought game.”
For the honorary coaches it was a game of former player versus coach with Shanahan squaring-off against Bowman. Despite winning three championships while in Detroit, the two put those memories aside to focus on their teams.
“We have a lot of fond memories of our time together in Detroit, and we are two very competitive people so it was great to coach against each other,” said Brendan Shanahan. “When Gatorade contacted me about REPLAY, I was already excited because of what the program does for these guys. Then I found out Scotty Bowman would be on the other bench and I knew it was something I couldn’t pass up. I’m going to end my coaching career one and zero.”
The road to game day was eight weeks long as the teams took part in a comprehensive training and nutrition program developed by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) and implemented with the help of Velocity Sports Performance-Canton.
“We saw great progress in the guys from both teams with impressive improvements in their overall fitness levels and both their on- and off-ice conditioning assessments,” said GSSI Principal Scientist, Dr. Kim White. “We wanted to dust off that athlete in all of them, and today’s competitive match up proves what proper training, sounds sports nutrition and dedication can do for athletes.”
Gatorade REPLAY re-stages classic games between some of the nation’s biggest high school sports rivalries. After a successful REPLAY Season One featuring the 1993 Easton Area and Phillipsburg high school football teams, a call for Season Two entries was made causing Trenton’s Kurt LaTarte to nominate his team’s rivalry with CC.
“That year Trenton and CC were at the top of the rankings, and despite winning the state championship that year CC was 25-1-1 with their only loss and only tie all season to us,” said LaTarte. “I knew this was an awesome opportunity to get the teams together and close this chapter. Seeing how this came together it was definitely worth every ounce of sweat.”
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