Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sportsology: Winter Classic recap

Posted by Rick Morris

Our good pal from The 21st Century Media Alliance, Sportsology's Russ Cohen, covered yesterday's NHL outdoor game -- as he has for every such game this decade. We put up some of his Tweets and his text messages to me as our New Year's Day Couch Potato Channel-Surfing Liveblog.

His column is reprinted below, but we urge you also to go check out his original column at Sportsology with pictures from the game and this feature at Card Corner Club with more pictures.

The Bruins Rally to Get a 2-1 OT Win at The Winter Classic

By Russ Cohen

Boston -- The Boston Bruins pulled off an exciting 2-1 overtime win today at Fenway Park in what was a picture-perfect day for the third installment of the Winter Classic!

The ice surface was fast to start the game. It seemed like it was the fastest of any of the outdoor games. At 39.6 degrees, it certainly felt like the warmest Winter Classic game as well. Bruins head coach Claude Julien was wearing a very stylish, throwback dress hat.

Fans in the stands never sat down for the first half of the first period. The best view in the house was high down the left field line. Flyers goalie Michael Leighton made a wonderful glove save in traffic which was the best in a scoreless first period. He stopped 24 in the game.

Flyers tough guy Scott Hartnell was hit in the back early in the second period by Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (stopped 24 shots). With that hit, the backstop took himself out of position and Flyers defenseman Danny Syvret was there to knock in the easy rebound. He was untouched and that goal was the first in Syvret’s NHL career. The sellout crowd of 38,112 had a mixed reaction for sure.

“Every player never forgets their first NHL goal.”

Flyers forward Claude Giroux had a nice breakaway that Thomas came out and stopped, literally blowing up the attempt without touching the puck in the second period, and when that came to an end, the Flyers had a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers had a power play in the third and Boston’s Steve Begin, who played in the Heritage Classic, almost got a shortie. It went past the Flyers goalie but it just rolled offline, missing the back of the net.

It seemed like the Flyers ran out of gas towards the end of the second period and near the end of the third. They put the Bruins on the power play, and when former Flyers forward Mark Recchi scored a late goal as part of a double slot to screen the Flyers goaltender, the score was tied and the game went into overtime.

A late penalty by Philadelphia gave the Bruins a power play to start off the overtime period and Boston’s Marco Sturm stuffed in the game-winning goal when the teams were at even strength. It was a 2-1 outcome, but the fans and the players were the real winners here. They had a chance to be a part of something special.

“You have to enjoy it,” said Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. “There is two points on the line tomorrow, but I guess, you know, for most of us, it is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“We grew up skating outside all the time,” said Flyers defenseman Matt Carle. “It’s fun to get back out there….Snow makes the ice a little difficult….Our teams used to skate outside. It’s cheaper for the parents just to go to the outdoor rink...If it was colder than zero degrees, then practice would be canceled.”

Notes - - Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton and Daniel Carcillo had the first fight in Winter Classic history. Carcillo put his hands up with the devil horns, possibly sending his friends at home a message when he was inside the penalty box … Singer/Songwriter Daniel Powter had never performed the Canadian National Anthem at an event.

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