Once again, Happy New Year to all of you readers! After a delay for the long day, it's time to bring you day three of Case and Point's trip to the 2011 NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, PA. To view the past two days click on Day One and Day Two. In the mean time, click "Read More" to... well... read more and as usual, click on the images to view them full size.
January 1st, 2011
Day Three of the 2011 Winter Classic was game day, New Years Day. I awoke in a hotel to find it raining. Steady, hard rain. After locking the keys in the rental and getting a bite to eat, we checked out of the hotel. The lobby at the Westin was rather well decorated for the event.
Finally we arrive at the arena. It's surreal to pull up and see mile after mile of people in Penguins and Capitals jerseys when just a few years ago it would have been hard to come by, seeing ANYONE in those jerseys. Quite the site to behold. Once you're inside, it hits you big time.
I took my seat to get a view of everyone filling in to the stadium.
After a few moments I decided to wander around down below Heinz Field where I ran into someone I always enjoyed: Stephen Page, former lead singer of Barenaked Ladies. Yeah, I went unprofessional again and got a picture.
He was there to sing O, Canada right before the National Anthem. They did a bang up job celebrating these:
From there the game took over. The players took the ice...
...the first pucks were dropped with Mario Lemieux, Franco Harris, and Jerome Bettis...
...and the game was under way.
Slowly the rain began to pool and puddle on both sides of the ice.
Unfortunately in the end the Washington Capitals won, 3-1.
After, a press conference with the commissioner of the NHL Gary Bettman...
...Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin and Winter Classic hero Eric Fehr...
...and that did it for the 2011 NHL Winter Classic. As we boarded the media bus back to the Westin to get dry from the rain that continued to fall, we saw we didn't have the best transportation there.
As an epilogue, that I'll cover soon in another article, it was a blast but all it boils down to is exactly what I was able to do the day I landed in Pittsburgh, on a pond by a small fire station down the street from my grandmother's house.
The chance to love the game in it's purest state. Outside, in the elements. Playing no matter what.
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