Bruins-Flyers: Duel at Fenway is a Winter Classic for the Ages

Ryan PickardCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2010

BOSTON - JANUARY 01:  The Boston Bruins celebrate defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime to win the 2010 Bridgestone Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 1, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I'm still trying to stop my heart from beating out of my chest right now.

Yesterday, the Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in OT in the third annual Winter Classic.

The game, which has become an annual event since the first game was played between the Penguins and Sabres two years ago in Buffalo, has been the marquee event on the NHL Schedule.

The buzz that was surrounding the game was unbelievable. I live just outside of Boston and the game was pretty much the only thing anyone was talking about.

For a city that has been dominated by the Red Sox for the past couple of decades, it was awesome to see so many people talking about the Bruins.

Most fans had been hoping for a Bruins-Canadiens game, since it's one of the best rivalries in all of sports, but the league decided to instead have the Bruins play the Flyers.

The decision did not disappoint at all, as the B's and Flyers have been building up quite the rivalry over the past couple of years.

The game began with the opening ceremonies as former greats Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr came out to center ice for the drop of the puck.

The game started out a bit slow, as both teams were trying to find their footing on the newly laid ice surface, but as soon as they did, the hits started coming. 

The two were playing like the Big Bad Bruins and Broad Street Bullies of old. It didn't take long until we had our first fight at the Winter Classic.

Shawn Thornton and Danny Carcillo squared off. Both got a few good punches in, with Carcillo getting the takedown. There were a few more good hits, but the period ended without any goals being scored.

As the teams took the ice for the second period, many players had decided to put on eyeblack, making them look like baseball players. After a few good chances, the Flyers finally put the first goal on the board.

Danny Syvret put a shot in from the point, scoring the first goal of his career. If there were ever a time to get your first goal, it was on this stage. Tim Thomas was caught out of position while he was trying to push Flyers pest Scott Hartnell out of the way.

The period ended, and the teams headed to the locker room, ready for a huge third period. In the past two Winter Classics, the home team did not win the game.

As the teams came out of the locker room, the intensity level was at its peak. Chants of "Let's go Bruins" and "Let's go Flyers" could be heard throughout the whole stadium.

The game really picked up as each team became more loose and had more scoring opportunities. The Flyers had a chance to put the game, away as the puck slid right across the goal mouth, but Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was there to clear it out.

Finally, with just two minutes left in the game, the Bruins struck. Derek Morris let a shot fly from the point that was deflected by Mark Recchi, a former Flyers player himself. Recchi—who has made a living off deflecting pucks into the net—was estatic.

The Bruins finally had momentum, and ended the period on a high note. The game went to OT.

What better way to end a hard-fought game then sudden-death overtime?

Everyone was hoping someone would score in the five minutes so it wouldn't go to a shootout.

The two teams played a bit tighter in the OT, and then, with three minutes left we had a winner.

Patrice Bergeron, who has arguably been the Bruins' best player this year, spun away from a Flyer defender and found Marco Sturm right in front of the net. Sturm tipped it past Flyers goalie Michael Leighton for the winner.

The Bruins poured onto the ice as they all stormed Marco Sturm. It was one of the best endings of the year, and helped make this a great Winter Classic.

The NHL just keeps upping the ante in this game. Each year it seems to get better and better, and now the question is: what do they do to make the game even better next year?

For now, I'll sit back and just enjoy what a great game this was to watch, and imagine how great an experience it must have been for the guys out on the ice and for everyone involved.


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