It's one of the best days of the year for hockey fans. The NHL's annual Winter Classic, played every year on New Year's Day, continues to be one of the most exciting and unique experiences in all of pro sports.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Since the inaugural Winter Classic in 2008, fans have been treated to great hockey at gorgeous venues from all around North America as team's don their specially made sweaters just for this event. From Sidney Crosby's shootout winner against the Buffalo Sabres in 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY, to the 2014 game at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, there have been many memorable moments over the last 15 years that are synonymous with the Winter Classic.
This year's game was between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. This is the second time that Fenway has hosted the winter classic, the last time being in 2010 when the Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 2-1.
There's just something special about Fenway Park, no matter the event that is being held there. From players like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, to the 86 year Curse of the Bambino, to the Red Sox Cinderella run in 2004, the history at Fenway can't be denied, and walking through the gates of those hallowed grounds carries an aura that not many other sporting venues in the world can.
What was better than the setting though, was the game itself. With the Bruins currently being the best team in the NHL with 62 points, and the Penguins sitting with a 19-12-6 record with 44 points, we knew that this was sure to be a hotly contested game from the start, and that it was. If you're a fan of goaltending and high flying action, this was a game for you.
After a scoreless first period, Pittsburgh struck first to open up the scoring in the second off of a goal from Kasperi Kapanen. The Bruins then went ahead and scored two unanswered goals in the third, both from Jake DeBrusk.
However, the Penguins tried to make a game out of it yet, as in the waning seconds of the game, with six skaters on the ice, Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin buried the puck past Linus Ullmark, but it was too late, as the final buzzer had just sounded, and the Bruins were able to walk away with a very narrow one goal victory.
The third star of the game was Boston goaltender, Linus Ullmark, who allowed one goal on 27 shots. The second star was Pittsburgh's Kasperi Kapanen, who scored the Penguins lone goal of the day. The first star of the game was obviously Jake DeBrusk, who played hero for Boston, scoring two goals in the third with the game winner coming at the 17:36 mark of the third period.
It was announced during the game that the 2024 Winter Classic will be held at Seattle's T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners, and will feature the Kraken against the Vegas Golden Knights.