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Avalanche Over Bruins


His ailing left shoulder was a source of concern. But, hey, this was opening night, and there was no way they were going to keep Adam Foote off the ice.

Foote, who was doubtful for Wednesday night after missing a game on Monday and not practicing Tuesday, scored at 15:16 of the third period as the Colorado Avalanche opened the new Pepsi Center with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Late in the third, Chris Drury collected the puck behind the net and fed Foote in the slot for the clincher.

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  • "I wasn't sure I was going to go," Foote said. "On a big night like this, you get the adrenaline pumping. It was all I had going."

    "I was tentative I was going to get hit. But once I got hit, I knew I was going to be OK. If you can get past the first 10 minutes, you get warmed up and you forget about things like that."

    Of his goal, Foote said, "That kid (Drury) has some talent. He did all the work down low. I just got lucky and put it in the goal."

    Milan Hejduk also scored for Colorado in the first sports event at the $160 million sports and entertainment complex, which seats 18,129 for hockey, up from the 16,072 at McNichols Arena.

    "Every win is important," Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said, "but obviously when you're opening a new building there's a lot of excitement. One thing's for sure: This building is full of electricity. We could feel it on the bench."

    Patrick Roy had 26 saves. Boston rookie John Grahame, who started his third straight game in place of holdout Bron Dafoe, also made 26 saves.

    "Grahame has played really well," Bruins coach Pat Burns said. "He saved us in the first period, made some big saves for us. It's an opportunity for him to show what he can do. But you've go to win games, too."

    The teams, who played to a 3-3 tie on Monday in Boston, skated tentatively in the first period. Boston held a 10-7 edge in shots, and Colorado failed to take advantage when Grahame lost his stick behind the net.

    Colorado had 5-on-4 and 4-on-3 opportunities but couldn't convert. Joe Sakic's hooking penalty gave Boston a power play for 1:22 early in the second period, but Roy had two solid saves.

    Grahame a Denver native whose father, Ron, is assistant athletic director at the University of Denver and whose mother, Charlotte, is director of hockey administration for Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix made a diving stop to rob Drury midway through the period.

    Hejduk scored the first goal at the Pepsi Center, sliding across the slot and slipping the puck past Grahame at 17:40 of the second period, just three seconds after an interference penalty on Boston's Sean Pronger had expired.

    Less than two minutes later, the Bruins countered. Mikko Eloranta scored his first NHL goal, beating Roy from the right circle at 19:24 with an assist from rookie Jonathan Girard.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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