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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bonvie's last moments in WBS on ice/ in sin bin

Dennis Bonvie played two games on ice in the Calder Cup finals. It was unexpected, as he had only played five post-season games prior to the Chicago series. Bonvie is retiring at the end of the season, so last night was the final possible game for him on ice at the Wachovia Arena.

I don't know if it was Bonvie's presence on ice, but this series has changed since he began skating with his guys Friday. I'd wanted to see him play, wanted him to have a turn at Boris Valabik (I was convinced they'd agreed to fight during a shift last night) or perhaps even better, a rookie such as Arturs Kulda.

As the turn of the game became obvious, and the Pens had wrapped it up, the fans demanded something that Bonvie has rarely enjoyed, a turn on the ice during the power play. Over the television, you could hear the call of Bonvie, Bonvie, Bonvie. And the team responded.

I think that was point at which Bonvie, open on the near side, received a pass and let rip. The stats sheet indicates no shot on goal. It doesn't matter, that's how I'll remember it. Bonvie, in the closing moments of a winning effort, taking a shot on goal.

It might still happen that Bonvie will get a turn at Valabik or Kulda. But it won't happen in Wilkes-Barre. After playing what may have been the best game of the series for the Pens, Bonvie was given an equalizer penalty when the game was out of reach for the Wolves. He sat out the last minutes of his last game in a place he'd spent so much of his career: the sin bin.

Goodbye Dennis. I wish you well. I'm glad I saw you play.

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