The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 2, 2014

Maple Leafs win Winter Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A lot of winter. Very little classic hockey.

Light snow swirled down in the Big House, making it tough to push the puck through piles of the white stuff on a sheet of ice where football is usually played.

Teeth-chattering temperatures and a brisk wind were factors, too, that made the NHL’s Winter Classic much more of an event than a game.

Tyler Bozak scored the winning shootout goal and Jonathan Bernier made two saves in the heart-pounding final moments, lifting Toronto to a 3-2 victory over Detroit on Wednesday in front of 105,591 fans — the largest crowd to watch a hockey game.

“I was just lucky to get a stick on it and keep it low enough,” Bozak acknowledged.

The Red Wings were not as fortunate in the closely contested spectacle that was altered in a lot of ways because of the conditions.

Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg appeared to have good chance in overtime with the puck in the Maple Leafs’ end and defenseman Cody Franson on his left side. The horn, however, sounded to stop play at the 2:30 mark of the extra period so that both teams played into a 10-plus mph wind for an equal amount of time.

“I think I would have had a clear breakaway,” Zetterberg said.

The game also was halted midway through the third period so that the teams could switch sides. In the shootout, skaters for both teams attempted shots with the wind in their face toward the same net — or end zone.

After a slew of skaters with shovels cleared the ice following overtime, Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s only goal in the shootout and teammate Tomas Tatar was foiled on his team’s third and final attempt because he couldn’t control the puck on the snow-covered surface and didn’t even get a shot off.

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