Ralph Backstrom, the ex-Montreal Canadiens great and former coach of the DU Pioneers, has enjoyed great success in his first year as principal owner of the Colorado Eagles, the new minor-league hockey team that plays at the Budweiser Events Center (aka the Bud Barn) near Loveland. For every game, the arena is packed, the hockey is relentlessly rough-and-tumble, and the mascot is perfect. Meet Slapshot, a huge, yellow-beaked Eagle with compact-car-sized feet and claws Godzilla would envy. The big fellow is not always surefooted out there on the ice -- he's taken a couple of falls and had a time of it getting back up -- but the kids adore his goofy, large-scale pranks. So do we.
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