The Patriots’ final drive to win Super Bowl XXXVI faces off with the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup victory in the quarterfinals of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
1. Patriots’ final drive to win Super Bowl XXXVIThe Patriots’ and Boston’s rise to power in the sports world can be traced back to Super Bowl XXXVI, when the underdog Patriots faced the heavily favored St. Louis Rams. The importance of the game never fazed the Patriots, not even when the game was tied 17-17 late in the fourth quarter. The Patriots got the ball for their last drive, and all they needed was to get within kicker Adam Vinatieri’s range. To accomplish the task, Tom Brady slung the ball to his receiving corps in a series of short passes that ate up yardage and took just the right amount of time off the clock. Finally, with seven seconds left, Brady spiked the ball and Vinatieri came out to attempt one of the biggest kicks of his career. His 48-yard field goal was spot-on, bringing home New England’s first Super Bowl and Boston’s first championship since 1986.
2. Bruins win 2011 Stanley CupThe Boston Bruins entered the 2011 Stanley Cup Final with the second-longest championship drought in Boston sports history. Matched up against the Vancouver Canucks, who finished the season with the best regular-season record, the B’s found themselves having to overcome hardships immediately. Boston lost the first two games of the series after being bullied (and bitten) in Vancouver. Additionally, the B’s lost postseason hero Nathan Horton early in Game 3 on a late hit by Aaron Rome. The questionable check awoke the bear, though, as the Bruins exploded for 12 goals combined in Games 3 and 4. After dropping Game 5, goalie Tim Thomas carried Boston in the final two wins, including a shutout in Game 7, to give the Boston Bruins their first championship in 39 years.
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