The 1st ever New Year's Classic in BEARD Hockey promised to be an event for the ages, and it did not disappoint.
The roof was open and beautiful BC Place, as they managed to squeeze 67,000 fans into the building for this monumental event.
After a very fun and eventful old-timer's game, and the ceremonial puck drop, the Classic had begun between the Canucks and Devils on New Year's day, 2021.
The first period was even until T.J Oshie blasted home a PP goal after picking up a Phillip Danault rebound off of a sprawling Darcy Kuemper. The play would go back and forth, with the Devils getting one power play just minutes after the first goal, however, the teams would go into the 1st intermission with a score of 1-0 for the home-team Vancouver Canucks.
After a first intermission that will not be forgotten soon by anybody, the teams got back onto the ice for the middle frame. The Canucks moved up 2-0 quickly just after the 2 minute mark where Neal Pionk, T.J. Oshie, and Jake Guentzel flew into the Devils zone with a 3 on 1, and the puck was put past the Devil's netminder with a blast from Jake Guentzel.
The Devils would not have that though, as they roared back with a one-timer that Ilya Mikheyev torpedoed past Ben Bishop, all from an incredible RNH feed. Minutes later, at 16:51 of the 2nd, Nick Bonino finished off a pretty passing play by the Devils in order to bring the game even. The second period ended at 2-2, in a very smooth skating game in the fresh air of Vancouver.
The second intermission brought us something special, when the entire 67,000 strong crowd sang together in a heartfelt and tearful song in support of the frontline health workers most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which is ravaging the world, everywhere, except for BEARD Hockey related functions of course.
After the song, the mood lightened when local Vancouver superstars Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen arrived by parachute, and also handed out one ounce of their new drink to every attendee over 19 years old.... Stone Whiskey: A Joint Venture....The crowd couldn't have been happier.
The third period, though scoreless, was filled with hits and shots, and plenty of back and forth hockey. Nobody will forget the play by play being called from the bench by Canucks team funny guy; Conor Garland as he was mic'd up for the last half of the third period. The third period ended the regulation game in a 2-2 draw, with the Canucks outshooting New Jersey by a margin of 37-28.
Overtime was short and sweet, for New Jersey, as Nick Bonino and Andrew Copp did some passing magic, completing 5 passes before the game was ended by Copp just nearly 2 minutes into overtime.
NEW JERSEY WINS, 3-2 in OVERTIME.
Following the game, many of the pro's from both sides stayed around and skated with young fans, giving all attendees an experience they will never forget!