Winter Classic Provided Atmosphere, Result Bruins Won’t Soon Forget

'Special' was a common theme in Boston's dressing room


Jan 2, 2023

BOSTON — Members of the veteran-led Boston Bruins have been part of some special events in the past, but they’ll be the first to tell you Monday’s thrilling 2-1 Winter Classic victory on the grounds of the historic Fenway Park is right up there with the best of them.

“The second time around is no different. It’s special, a lot of history here at Fenway,” Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said in the Red Sox locker room after the win. “And with my family here, it’s special and it’s something you’re never going to forget. It really is.”

Jake DeBrusk scored two third-period goals to erase a 1-0 deficit entering the final period. The lack of offense somewhat hindered Boston’s ability to make the most of the 60 minutes, though DeBrusk’s tallies ultimately led to jubilation that proved worth the wait — especially with DeBrusk’s winning goal coming with less than three minutes in regulation.

“I think it’s one of those where you take a few breathes and you’re trying to take it all in, look at the crowd and how special it is to be in the middle of Fenway Park, in a packed stadium,” Bergeron said of the mindset when the horn officially sounded. “Also I think we say many times, ‘It’s special,’ so I think we have to be in the moment, enjoy that as a team. It was great to be able to take that extra minute to really enjoy it and as I said before, it’s a lot better when you win, when you come out on top.”

NHL veteran Nick Foligno hadn’t yet played in a Winter Classic before the 2023 edition. After getting the full experience, which included some legendary pregame Red Sox-inspired outfits, Foligno called it one of the best memories of his career and an “amazing” event to experience.

“I think just that I got to do it with a group of guys that I truly care about in an atmosphere that you dream about,” Foligno responded when asked what he’ll remember most. “You watch these games all my career and you see how special they are and what they mean to players. To be in one, and the way we dressed up before the game — great idea by Bergy to put it all together — and it’s just those things that you’ll remember.

“And having my kids here with me and experiencing that with them as they’ve gotten older. These are the things you cherish and that’s what makes hockey so special,” Foligno added. “It really is a family atmosphere, they really do care about these little moments and allow you to enjoy them and when you get that opportunity you want to make the most of it.”

Fellow Bruins forward Charlie Coyle is among those hoping the Winter Classic will serve as one chapter in a memorable campaign for the Black and Gold.

“It’s exciting. And it’s just another big moment in an already special season that we’re trying to make even more special as we go here,” Coyle said. “We’re just so happy we came out on the winning end of it to make it even more special.”

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk
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