Energetic forward earns partial standing ovation from crowd at Forum

It had been 2,113 days since Mike Danton played his last game; 2,115 since he celebrated his last goal.

It had been 2,113 days since Mike Danton played his last game; 2,115 since he celebrated his last goal.

But the 29-year-old ex-NHLer returned to the ice last night at the Halifax Forum after nearly six years away from the game and didn’t miss a beat, scoring a goal midway through the third period in the Saint Mary’s Huskies’ 4-1 loss to the Acadia Axemen in Atlantic University Sport hockey action.

Danton, who is on parole after serving five years in prison for plotting to murder his agent, received a partial standing ovation from the crowd of 3,723 after his goal.

“Scoring the goal was a huge monkey off my back,” Danton said. “You guys have put me on the front page for the past two weeks … But the standing ovation and the cheers … That’s (the support) I’ve been used to since I got here.”

Danton was a ball of energy from his first shift, hopping over the boards 90 seconds in and finishing with 20 shifts and more than 16 minutes of ice time, almost all at even strength.

Perhaps the best word to describe him was “engaged.”

He moved his feet constantly, generated numerous offensive chances, drew a penalty and finished every check.

He also took his licks, getting hammered several times by heavy-hitting Axemen defenceman Beau Prokopetz.

But the goal was easily the highlight. He stood at the goalmouth and batted a great feed from Huskies scoring leader Cam Fergus out of the air with 9:39 remaining.

“I don’t know why he passed it to me,” said a grinning Danton, poking fun at himself afterward. “If he had seen my practices this week, I don’t think he would have done that. I think I just closed my eyes and took a swing at it.”

Danton, who wore No. 24, actually played more as the game went on, with almost seven minutes of ice time in the third period.

Considering he hadn’t played since April 15, 2004, with the St. Louis Blues, he was more than satisfied.

“I’m an energy guy, I play physical, I work hard,” he said.

“As the game went on, my concern was, am I going to be able to sustain that energy? And I thought I did a decent job.”

 
 
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