At first glance, about the only things Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic have in common are a hockey stick and birth certificate. Each made it to the National Hockey League from British Columbia.

Lucic is ferocious power forward from East Vancouver, Recchi a shifty playmaker from Kamloops. One is 6-3, the other 5-10. Recchi is a 43-year-old near the curtain call of his career. Lucic turns 23 next week and has most of his career ahead of him. Lucic has a full head of hair.

But Don Hay, who coached the players a generation apart, said Lucic and Recchi are more similar than people realize.

"They're different, but both of those players had a lot of people who doubted them," Hay, the Vancouver Giants' coach, said Tuesday. "They overcame a lot of adversity. Both Mark and Milan learned a lot from their families, and those values and principles have really carried them a long way."

Those traits have carried them all the way to the Stanley Cup final with the Boston Bruins.

Playing in their home province against the team of their childhoods, Lucic and Recchi face the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday in Game 1 (5 p.m., CBC, Team 1040).

More than the Stanley Cup could be passed between them in the next two weeks.

Recchi says he will retire if the Bruins win the Cup. He is the last active, founding member of a golden era for B.C. hockey that changed the perception of players here.

Joe Sakic, Scott Niedermayer, Rod Brind'Amour and Recchi represented a fabulous foursome of home-grown players who stormed into the NHL over a three-year period near the end of the 1980s.