Last updated: March 17. 2013 2:57AM - 385 Views
By - psokoloski@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6392

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These old Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins would be well-advised to watch how fast they're traveling down the ice this Friday.

They may just get pulled over for speeding.

A group of Pennsylvania State Police will be waiting with speed traps, handcuffs and Tasers to take care of any ex-Penguin who may pose a problem for them.

Will they ticket the top checkers for disorderly conduct? Will they employ stun guns if someone for the Penguins alumni team gets behind the defense for a breakaway? Will they cuff a former Penguins goalie to the goalpost?

Ah well, if he's blocking a lot of shots, PA State Police corporal Lenny Bellas said, they might be able to use some of their police forces to open up that net a little bit.

OK, so it probably won't go that far.

But when the Penguins alumni face the Pennsylvania State Police in a charity hockey game at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Ice Rink at Coal Street, don't expect the law enforcement guys to back down.

The Pennsylvania State Police team's a pretty good team, Bellas said. I looked at the names on the Penguins roster. They'll give them a run for their money.

And if anyone gets overly ornery, Bellas may just run them.

He'll be one of the game's officials, after officiating numerous high school and local hockey tournaments throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

While nobody's expected to land behind bars, Bellas won't hesitate to put unruly participants in the penalty box.

If they start getting a little squirrelly on the ice, Bellas chuckled, we'll take them off the ice.

The team of off-duty officers was coordinated by Pennsylvania State Police corporal Craig Polen, and isn't exactly filled with hockey rookies. The team's played in numerous competitions and charity events over the past few years, including one that involved a group of former NHLers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It's a bunch of guys from on the job in law enforcement who put together a hockey team that goes to different tournaments, Bellas said. They play on a regular basis.

While the regular group of hockey guys will have former big-name Wilkes-Barre/Scranton players such as Dennis Bonvie, Dave Gove, Andy Schneider and Jonathan Filewich, the PSP team will include a couple of ringers itself.

At least one trooper from the New Jersey State Police will play for the Pennsylvania team Friday, and one of the two PSP goalies will be an experienced backstop from an area adult league.

This is going to be a fun game, Bellas said, a nice shoot-around for everybody.

And while the ex-Penguins may be the celebrities as they prepare to face a group of former Hershey Bears in an outdoor game at HersheyPark Stadium on Saturday, they may wind up asking their opponents for the autographs following Friday's battle at the Ice Rink at Coal Street.

It's a funny thing, Bellas said, I've known players here and for some reason, they tend to look up to and put the law enforcement community on a pedestal. It's kind of a mutual respect type of deal.

That is, as long as nobody gets tasered.

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