In anticipation of the upcoming Heritage Classic against the Montreal Canadiens, Alex Tanguay giggles at the memory of his last dalliance with hockey in the great outdoors.

Rewind to the year 2000. The Tanguay family travels to Denver from Ste-Justine, Que., for the Christmas holidays. Twelve-year-old Maxime Tanguay badly wants to play shinny with his big brother Alex, a sophomore with the Colorado Avalanche.

Happy to oblige, Alex takes Maxime out on Christmas Day to a frozen mountain lake in the wooded community of Evergreen.

"Obviously when you're a young kid and your brother in the NHL, it's always nice to go out and skate with your brother," Alex says. "So we go out and we get to the pond, and there's four guys playing hockey."

The Tanguay brothers scout the competition.

"Do you mind if we play?" Alex asks.

"OK," one of the guys replies. "You want to spread the team?"

The Tanguays decline.

"No we'll take us two against you four. "

The puck drops. Sure enough, Alex skates circles around the weekend warriors.