A True Winter Classic At Fenway

On New Year’s Day 2010, the Boston Bruins faced off against the “Bullies from Broad Street” Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park in the 3rd annual outdoor Winter Classic.

Fans atop the Green Monster to watch the game.

The two teams were looking snappy in some revamped classic jerseys, with a festive atmosphere as fans packed the old green ballpark to watch the Black ‘n Gold.

Both teams were on fire even though the weather was freezing, as Philadelphia had won its last 4 and the Bruins had won 4 of their last 5 games. Two hall of fame Bobbys, one from each team’s past came out for the ceremonial puck drop, with Bobby Orr allowing Bobby Clarke the puck as he shook hands with Army Staff Sergeant Ryan R. Lafrantz who’d dropped it.

The two Bobbys take the ceremonial face-off.

The teams went back and forth in the 1st period, and besides the matching fighting and cross checking penalties, neither team could get on the board in the opening stanza. It took till 4:18 gone in the 2nd for Danny Syvret to put one past a sprawled out Tim Thomas (who had made 2 excellent saves previously on the play) to give the Flyers a 1-0 advantage.

Danny Syvret celebrating after putting Philly up 1-0.

The score would stay the same until the Bruins got a man advantage on a hooking penalty by Daniel Carcillo with 3:52 left in the 3rd. Boston was running out of time, but David Krejci made a pass from the left wing over to Derek Morris, who took a slapper that was tipped in by a longtime veteran right-winger, 41 year old hired gun Mark Recchi to tie the score at 1 with just over 2 minutes left!

Recchi tipping it past Flyer goalie Michael Leighton

The Bruins would get another power play on a Daniel Briere tripping penalty which spilled over into sudden death overtime, but Boston couldn’t do anything on the man advantage. With 1:30 gone and a man suddenly out of the penalty box for them, Philadelphia got an amazing scoring rush with a chance to end it, but goalie Tim Thomas stoned the Flyers repeatedly, flopping around and keeping the puck out, lastly on a slapshot from defenseman Braydon Coburn.

Thomas making one of his many amazing stops.

The B’s would eventually get it out of their zone, with big defenseman Zdeno Chara receiving a pass and skating it over the centerline, then passing it over to left-winger Marco Sturm who brought it into the Flyer’s end. Marco attempted to pass it over to center Patrice Bergeron, but the pass was nearly intercepted, though Bergy  was able to tip it back to him. The left-winger then flipped it back to Patrice who evaded a Flyer defender on the left wing boards. As Sturm flew towards the net, Bergeron saw an opening and slipped one over towards the net that Marco tipped in, giving the Black ‘n Gold a stunning 2-1 Overtime victory! Stormy would get the #1 star of the game honor, with netminder Thomas getting star #3 for his excellent goaltending that kept Boston in the game.

Sturm getting the game winner.

Both teams made the Stanley Cup Playoffs and met 4 months later for a rematch in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, without their injured star goaltender Thomas, who was filled in for by Tuuka Rask. Boston took a 3-0 series lead before Philly stormed all the way back to win the series 4 games to 3; only the 3rd team to do so in NHL History at the time.The Bruins would get revenge the next season though, as the teams met once again in the playoffs with the spoked B’s getting a clean sweep this time on their way to a Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Mark Recchi toasting his 3rd and final Cup victory.

The Winter Classic brought hockey back to its roots on the ponds of Quebec and Ontario Canada via Fenway Park. The 2010 edition between the B’s and Flyers didn’t disappoint, with Boston having a thrilling year and a half after that led up to the team’s first hoisting of Lord Stanley’s Cup in 39 years.

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