Sunday, January 1, 2017

Centennial classic recap

       On January 1st, 2017, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings took the game of hockey outside, to BMO Field in Toronto, Canada, to celebrate the 100th year of the NHL. Before the game, the top 33 of the top 100 NHL players of all time were to be announced.
        The Wings, surprisingly elected to start backup Jared Coreau in the crease, over regular starter Petr Mrazek. Toronto went with starter Fredrik Andersen between the pipes.
         The first period didn't really live up to its hype of an outdoor game, with both goalies going perfect. During the first intermission, Toronto born singer Bryan Adams performed in front of the crowd, giving better intermission entertainment than normal.
          At 5:33 of the second period, center/captain/veteran Henrik Zetterberg make a nice cross ice pass to rookie Anthony Mantha, who faked a shot, then put one passed Andersen, making it a 1-0 Detroit lead. That was the only goal of  the second period, with Mantha scoring his 8th goal of the season, with Zetterberg tallying his 19th helper of the year. Winger Tomas Tatar recorded his 8th assist of the season on the play as well.
           After 2 periods, the game seemed like a boring one. But everyone in the world hadn't known that it would soon become a thriller. It started when Toronto winger Leo Komorav beat Coreau for his 6 goal of the season to tie the game. Jake Gardiner (13) and William Nylander (17) got assists on the play. About 7 minutes later, Toronto rookie Mitch Marner beat Coreau, his 9th of the season, giving the Leafs a 2-1 lead. The helpers go to Morgan Reilly (16) and James van Riemsdyk (13). 71 seconds later, another rookie in Connor Brown beat Coreau for his 7th "G" of the season. The "As" go to Zach Hyman (10) and Connor Carrick (3). A couple of minutes later, ANOTHER ROOKIE for the Leafs, former 1st overall pick Auston Matthews scored one, his 19th of the season, tied for most by a freshmen. assists go to Brown (8) and Hyman (11). But after this, the period changed drastically.
               It started when defenseman Jonathan Ericsson netted his 1st on the year, to make it a 4-2 game. Anthony Mantha (7) and Xavier Ouellet (4) tallied helpers. With the goalie pulled and down by 2,  Dylan Larkin put in his 11th of the season. Zetterberg and Tatar recorded assists 20 and 9 on the play. Once again, Detroit pulled Coreau, going with 6 skaters. They failed to beat Andersen, and suddenly, Zetterberg had the puck in the offensive zone corner, were he whipped it to the front of the net, where Mantha was able to whack in it, where it was recorded to go in with 1.1 seconds left. The refs reviewed the goal, to see if he beat the clock, or if there was goalie interference on Thomas Vanek, who was also in front of the net, but the call stood, and the game was going to OT. Zetterberg and Vanek got assists on the play.
                 In OT, both teams were trading chances, and eventually Reilly broke out on a breakaway, but was stopped by Coreau. Matthews got a chance and... HE SCORES!!!! Matthews wins the game for the Leafs in overtime!!!
               Shots in the game was 37-29 in favor of the Wings, but alas, they lost, 5-4. The next outdoor game will be played on January 2nd, 2017 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri when the St. Louis Blues face the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Winter Classic.

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