Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 NHL Winter Classic

The 2014 NHL Winter Classic was held at Michigan Stadium A.K.A "The Big House" in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  This years classic was a contest between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs who are now division rivals thanks to the newly aligned NHL Atlantic Division.  Both teams had 45 points going into the New Year's Day matchup.

The weather called for about 10-15cm of snow during the game which was pretty accurate.  It didn't stop snowing during the game.  The temperature at the stadium was announced at -10c.  A world record for ice hockey attendance was set this day by the 105,491 fans who attended.

The game would end in a shootout.  Tyler Bozak scored the winning goal for the Leafs in a 3-2 victory.

I wore thermal underwear.  Apart from my fingers and toes, I was warm.  The real issue was the persistent snow fall.  After a while my gloves and pants were wet from the falling snow.

Ann Arbor is a 4-5 hour drive from Toronto

As I was leaving the hotel on game day morning. I met a couple in the elevator who said they couldn't attend the game.  They handed me these tickets which we ended up using because they were about 20 rows lower than the tickets we had in hand.  Before the game, we tried to sell off our extra tickets but no one was biting.

The Winter Classic Shuttle buses were school buses!  I remember as kids we could sit three across!

Images from the game.  The snow didn't let up while we were there. While it looked nice and added to the ambiance of the outdoor game.  The moisture wasn't so great for keeping warm.

Images from our seats.


Each attendee received a commemorative seat cushion.  The thermal mug contains hot chocolate and Bailey's.  $16.00 each!

Our hotel was about 3.5km from the stadium.  A popular hotel for college football games.

It continued to snow throughout the night and into the morning.  The streets didn't get plowed and it made for an interesting drive home.  The usual 4-5 hour trip took us 10 hours on the way home.

Pre-drive meal!

At times, there were whiteout type conditions and the roads were very slick on the way home.  We saw jack knifed trucks and about 15 cars abandoned in ditches on the side of the road.

I think this is an official Maple Leafs truck moving gear back to Toronto for Saturday's game against the New York Rangers.

The ON Route rest stops all had Maple Leafs themed decor.



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