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Crocker part of Stanley Cup celebration


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Amherst Ramblers' coach Corey Crocker and Detroit Red Wings' forward Daniel Cleary hold the Stanley Cup. Crocker is in Harbour Grace, N.L. to help his best friend celebrate his Cup win. Submitted

HARBOUR GRACE, N.L. - Corey Crocker is ready for a Canada Day party that will be anything but ordinary.
Crocker, coach and general manager of the Amherst Ramblers, is back in his hometown this week to help his best friend, Daniel Cleary, celebrate his Stanley Cup win.
"Dan invited me to be here and I'm really honoured to be part of it," Crocker said from his home. "It's going to be an amazing couple of days. They're expecting 40,000 people here on Canada Day, there's only 5,000 in the town."
Crocker said the entire community is decked in red and white and there are flags, banners and lights everywhere.
"It's one of those things you got to see to believe. There's an amazing atmosphere here right now," he said. "It's going to be a huge party."
Cleary became the first Newfoundlander to win the Stanley Cup earlier this month when his Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games.
Crocker was with his close friend for games four and five of the NHL final. He was on the ice with Cleary after the win and helped celebrate in the dressing room, having his photo taken with Cleary and the Cup.
"It's really been a special experience to be part of this process. I'm really honoured and humbled that Dan thought of me and asked me to be part of this," Crocker said. "It's extremely exciting."
Crocker and Cleary were best friends and neighbours growing up. They were also minor hockey teammates and both went on to play major junior hockey - Cleary in Belleville and Crocker in Peterborough.
Last season, Crocker spent a week in Detroit where he had full access to the team and participated in a number of coaches meetings while during the playoffs the two were almost in constant contact by telephone.
Cleary will have the Cup for two days. Today, he's taking it to the Janeway Childrens Hospital in St. John's and holding a private party with his family and closest friends. There's a public celebration on Canada Day that will include a motorcade through Harbour Grace and meetings with local minor hockey players.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

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