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Hockey fans soak in 'Classic' atmosphere

Thursday, 01.1.2009 / 1:04 PM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - DetroitRedWings.com Special Writer
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Hockey fans soak in \'Classic\' atmosphere
CHICAGO — The best Christmas ever?

That’s what Jesse and Jake Trawinski had when Santa left them tickets for today’s Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.
WINGS CORNER

“We got ‘em in our stockings,” Jake said. “We got (Green Bay) Packers’ tickets too, so we get to freeze our butts twice.”

They drove in with their mother, Jen Trawinski, from Appleton, Wis., who came prepared lugging a shopping bag full of blankets for the bleachers, extra mittens and hats, as well as snow pants. Jen lived in Detroit for 22 years, and was successful in keeping the Red Wings tradition in the family.

“I was born surrounded by Red Wings stuff,” said Jake, sporting a black Wings practice jersey and knit hat. “It sort of just caught on after a while.”

Over two hours before game time, Red Wings’ fans were already crowding the sidewalks near Addison and Clark streets. Matt Janisse and his friends left from Windsor, Ontario at 4:30 a.m., and then walked a mile from his hotel to Wrigley. All in sub-zero temperatures.

“We’re pumped up; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Janisse said. “We didn’t even think we’d be coming, but it all came together and here we are.”

Nick and Nina Hall hold up their homemade sign outside of Wrigley Field before the start of the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2009. (Photo by Lindsey Ungar)
Nick and Nina Hall clutched a sign reading, “Let’s go Wings, Show ‘em FIRE ON ICE.” Nick works for Chevrolet, and he and his wife were lucky enough to drive Mikael Samuelsson in the Stanley Cup parade down Woodward Avenue last June.

 But will Thursday’s game measure up to that?

“It’s close,” Nina said.

Even Blackhawks’ fans were getting in the Red Wings spirit. John Roth from Woodstock, Ill., paints vintage goalie masks as a hobby. But two of his friends were dressed in Red Wings jerseys — even though they’re all Blackhawks’ season-ticket holders.

“They lost the bet,” Roth chuckled. “They had to wear the Red Wings.”

In Spectator Plaza – just outside of Wrigley Field – fans were grooving to the live band playing “Save a Blackhawk, Ride a Red Wing” — a parody of Big & Rich’s country hit.

Others were getting photos snapped with Red Wings and Blackhawks characters outfitted on stilts, next to enormous blown-up jerseys, or poking their head through a hole to look like they’re actually playing the game. No frowns were found, and fans decked in everything from a Nashville Predators jersey to a San Jose Sharks scarf were taking in the atmosphere.
Amy Kegler, who went to the inaugural Winter Classic, drove eight hours from Buffalo to experience outdoor hockey again.

Last year, Kegler got to Ralph Wilson Stadium at 2 a.m. in the morning to begin tailgating for the game, sleeping in the car to stake out a good parking lot spot.

This year, she’s here for one reason.

“Just watching (former Sabre) Brian Campbell play,” Kegler said. “I want him back!”

Will this year’s version top the snowy shootout from last season?

“As of right now, no,” Kegler said, still an hour and a half before the game.

But she left some room open to change her mind.



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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