Yesterday, The Gatorade Company and FOX Sports Net announced the second season of the successful, original program REPLAY the Series. The series re-stages classic games between some of the nation’s biggest high school sports rivalries.
In its second season, REPLAY will reunite two high school hockey powerhouses from Detroit—the Trenton Trojans and the Detroit Catholic Central Shamrocks—who were unable to finish their second match up of the 1999 season after a life threatening injury forced an early end to the game with the score tied 4-4.
Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s Vice President of Hockey and Business Development, was in Vancouver with Gatorade to help announce the second season of REPLAY.
“I think it’s a great idea by Gatorade, it’s unique,” Shanahan said. “Especially in a place like Detroit where the people are so passionate for hockey, to be able to go back and find a game in 1999 that was cancelled with 10 minutes left in a tie game in a big rivalry—it’s going to be huge, and I think it’s really going to catch the imagination of all the people there.”
The game was cancelled when Trenton’s Kurt LaTarte had his jugular vein cut by a skate—an injury that is rare, but life threatening.
LaTarte was saved on the ice that night, but his injury has had an everlasting impact on the entire rivalry between Trenton and Detroit Catholic Central—even 11 years after it happened.
“It puts certain things in perspective, but it doesn’t change the fact that all of these players probably loved getting the call from Gatorade to do this, and were really excited to get back at one another and have a good game of hockey,” Shanahan said.
But this rivalry is not like other high school rivalries. Detroit Catholic Central and Trenton High School are the premier hockey high schools in Michigan. According to High School Hockey Online, they are the top two hockey teams in the state—Detroit Catholic is ranked first, with Trenton in second.
The Shamrocks of Detroit Catholic boast an amazing 13 state titles since 1959, while the Trojans of Trenton High are right behind with 12 titles since the late 1970s.
The rivalry is so historic and fierce that it even reminded Shanahan of a rivalry of his own.
“I guess I’ll go back to the best Detroit rivalry that we had, which was Detroit-Colorado,” Shanahan said. “Not only were they two teams that had this great rivalry, but they were also two teams that were at the top of their game. They were both very talented high schools, and very talented teams, and that’s the same as when Detroit was playing against Colorado. Not only was there this great rivalry that developed between the players, but we also happened to be two of the best teams in the league. So I think that’s what makes any rivalry more interesting.”
The players, who now range from ages 27-30, have an extraordinary opportunity—one that most people can only dream of.
“The fact that these guys from Trenton High School and Detroit Catholic Central are going to train for eight weeks—Gatorade is actually going to train them—and replay the game, I think that’s just an unbelievable idea,” Shanahan said. “I wish there was a cancelled game from my high school team that I could go back and play and do this with Gatorade.”