A lot of winter. Very little classic hockey. Tyler Bozak scored the winning shootout goal and Jonathan Bernier made two saves in the heart-pounding final moments, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over Detroit at the snowy Winter Classic in front of the largest crowd to watch a hockey game. The announced attendance today of 105,591 surpassed the 104,173 who saw Michigan and Michigan State skate in the same football stadium known as the Big House in 2010.
The game began with temps in the low teens and steady snow that didn't stop on a windy afternoon, leading to the sixth Winter Classic being much more of an event than a game. In overtime, the horn sounded to stop play at the 2:30 mark so that both teams played into a 10mph wind for equal time. In the shootout, skaters for both teams attempted shots with the wind in their face toward the same net. The game-time temp was 13 degrees with a wind chill of zero. The average temperature of the previous five Winter Classics was 39 degrees, and the average attendance was 53,045. A slew of skaters with shovels cleared significant amounts of snow during early stoppages in play, but players still had a tough time pushing the puck through piles of the white stuff. Bernier, with a knit hat over his helmet, made 41 saves.