January 1st, 2008 1:00 pm Ralph Wilson Stadium.
What a game! Thats right, I had two tickets to the biggest hockey game of all time, the 2008 Winter Classic featuring a divisional rivalry of the Buffalo Sabres vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sure in the end the Pens won in a shootout. But WOW, what a great game.
I took my 8 year old son Danny to the game with two tickets my wife Sherri got us the day they went on sale. The weather was perfect. The snow came down in a gentle dusting that felt magical and inspiring. The wide eyed wonder of my son as 4 black hawk helicopters flew over our heads at the culmination of the anthem. The energy at the Ralph was unmistakable. The crowd swelled with cheers and boos as the game went from a one point deficit to a tie, to overtime, and the shootout. During the shootout, everyone in the stadium was standing screaming and on edge. We sat in Section 122 in the end zone above the tunnel that both teams came out of.
The Pens even wore their old school original baby blue uniforms and the Sabres wore their original uniforms from 1970 when the team was first formed. If hockey had a superbowl this was it. Sure it was cold, sure they didn’t win, but this game was perfect in every way you would want, The snow, the crowd, the shootout ending, what a great game.