Former winners of the International Hockey Lineal Championship played a large role in the NHL’s marquee Winter Classic event, with Canadian IHLC holder Troy Brouwer scoring the winning goal with just 13 seconds remaining to propel the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hosted outdoors in front of 40,000+ at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, the Capitals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Eric Fehr and Russian star (and multiple IHLC winner) Alexander Ovechkin. Chicago equalized on later goals from Canadian IHLC winner Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad, seemingly heading to overtime before the late Brouwer goal, assisted by Ovechkin for his second point on the afternoon. IHLC holders Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Marián Hossa also finished the day with an assist each.
A total of fifteen former IHLC winners participated in the matchup, with nine from Canada being represented: Sharp, Keith, Toews, Brad Richards and Brent Seabrook played for Chicago, and Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, Joel Ward for Washington. Swedes Nicklas Bäckström and Marcus Johansson suited up for the Capitals, with countrymate Johnny Oduya playing for the Blackhawks. Russians Ovechkin and Yevgeni Kuznetsov both started for Washington, and Hossa was the lone Slovak IHLC holder in the game on Chicago.
Today’s matchup was the seventh edition of the outdoor New Year’s Day game, and the second game for both the Blackhawks and Capitals. Washington’s win results in just the second ever victory for the home team in Winter Classic history, the only other instance being the Boston Bruins’ victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2010 edition at historic Fenway Park.
Links on IHLC winners names connect to latest winning IHLC contest featuring the respective player.