Marco Sturm's goal after 1min 57sec of overtime gave Boston a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia in the latest NHL Winter Classic on Friday - the outdoor game that has found a New Year's Day niche. The Bruins became the first home team to win in the three-year history of the event - first conceived as a tribute to the game's pond hockey roots. Pittsburgh won the inaugural Classic at the Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson Stadium and Detroit defeated Chicago last season at Wrigley Field, home of baseball's Cubs. This year saw the game at another storied baseball ground - Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912 - where Sturm delivered the ice hockey equivalent of a walk-off home run.
"It's probably going to be my most memorable goal ever and I'm going to enjoy it," Sturm said, after his game touched off a wild celebration among his teammates and Bruins fans. "We had a tough time battling, but in the last period we got the momentum going. We wanted to show something here in our town." Mark Recchi's powerplay goal for Boston with 2min 18sec to play tied the score at 1-1 to force overtime. "For a while there, I didn't know if they were going to ever find out how these fans were going to react if we scored a goal," Boston coach Claude Julien said. Defenceman Danny Syvret had put the Flyers up 1-0 after 4min 42sec of the second period when his point shot got past Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. It was Syvret's first NHL goal in 44 games spread through parts of four seasons. Philadelphia's Dan Carcillo and Boston's Shawn Thornton engaged in the first fight in Winter Classic history. Carcillo ended it with a hard right that sent Thornton to the ice in the first period.
"Thornton and I were kind of laughing and smiling at each other during warm-ups a little bit and I kind of figured it would happen," Carcillo said. "I mean, he fights. I asked [Steve] Begin first and he said no. He [Thornton] came up to me and said, 'Let's do it'. So, why not do it?" "The experience is once-in-a-lifetime," said Flyer coach Peter Laviolette, who is from the Bostan-area. It's not just being a cliché. Fenway Park. Bruins. Flyers. Forty-thousand people on a perfect day. You couldn't ask for anything better for the game of hockey." Ryan Miller made 32 saves as the Buffalo Sabres came from 3-0 down to snatch a dramatic 4-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers in Friday's other game. Derek Roy scored the winner in overtime for the Sabres. Also on Friday, Miller and the Bruins' Thomas were both named in an inexperienced United States squad, featuring 20 Olympic rookies, for February's Games in Vancouver. Chris Drury, Brian Rafalski and Jamie Langenbrunner were the only three previous Olympians called up by Team USA general manager Brian Burke. * With agencies