|Date||November 22, 2003|
The Heritage Classic was an outdoor ice hockey game played on November 22, 2003, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens. It was the second National Hockey League game to be played outdoors, and the first as part of the regular season. The Heritage Classic concept was modeled after the success of the Cold War game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in 2001.
The event took place in Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium in front of a crowd of 57,167, despite temperatures of close to -18 °C, -30 °C (-22 °F) with wind chill. It was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Edmonton Oilers joining the NHL in 1979 and the 20th anniversary of their first Stanley Cup win in 1984. The CBC television broadcast also set the record for most viewers of a single NHL game with 2.747 million nationwide. This was the first NHL game broadcast in High-definition television on CBC.
First, the MegaStars game was played between some of the best former players from both clubs. The Oilers were represented by the best players from their 1980s dynasty, led by Wayne Gretzky. The Canadiens were represented by players from their 1970s dynasty, led by Guy Lafleur, and a few members of the 1986 and 1993 championship squads. Both teams were composed of players who had won Stanley Cups with the Oilers or Canadiens, except for the Oilers' first NHL captain Ron Chipperfield and the Canadiens' Russ Courtnall who Réjean Houle said was selected for his speed. Mark Napier was the only player that played for both the Oilers and the Canadiens during his NHL career and won Stanley Cups with both teams. Napier played for the Canadiens during the Heritage Classic game. Mark Messier, the only active player at the time, got special permission from the New York Rangers front office to compete for Edmonton in the game. The MegaStars game consisted of two fifteen-minute halves rather than three 20 minute periods, and was won by the Oilers by a score of 2–0. After the game, Messier jokingly called the low-scoring contest "a typical Oilers win," a reference to the numerous high-scoring games of the Oilers' heyday in the 1980s.
The second game was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal won the game 4 to 3. Richard Zednik of the Montreal Canadiens scored the first goal of the game, and also scored the game-winner. Goalie Jose Theodore wore a Canadiens tuque over the top of his goalie mask.
The game was released to DVD by the CBC, and included special features such as player interviews.
Following the success of the Heritage Classic, in 2008 the league began a series of Winter Classics, an outdoor regular season game played annually on New Years Day. The very first NHL game to be played outdoors was an exhibition game on September 28, 1991, when the Los Angeles Kings played the New York Rangers outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Game summary Edit
|2nd||MTL||Richard Zednik (5)||Patrice Brisebois (7), Michael Ryder (7)||0:39||1–0 MTL|
|MTL||Yanic Perreault (6) (PP)||Patrice Brisebois (8), Mike Ribeiro (11)||10:53||2–0 MTL|
|EDM||Eric Brewer (1)||Jarret Stoll (1), Steve Staios (7)||13:45||2–1 MTL|
|3rd||MTL||Yanic Perreault (7)||Niklas Sundstrom (3), Craig Rivet (4)||2:22||3–1 MTL|
|EDM||Jarret Stoll (4)||Steve Staios (8)||13:06||3–2 MTL|
|MTL||Richard Zednik (6)||Sheldon Souray (3)||14:18||4–2 MTL|
|EDM||Steve Staios (3)||Radek Dvorak (9)||14:57||4–3 MTL|
Team rosters Edit
|Montreal Canadiens||Edmonton Oilers|
|5||Stephane Quintal||D||1||Ty Conklin||G|
|11||Saku Koivu||C||2||Eric Brewer||D|
|15||Darren Langdon||LW||10||Shawn Horcoff||C|
|20||Richard Zednik||RW||14||Raffi Torres||LW|
|22||Steve Begin||C||15||Brad Isbister||LW|
|24||Andreas Dackell||RW||16||Mike York||C|
|25||Chad Kilger||LW||18||Ethan Moreau||LW|
|30||Mathieu Garon1||G||20||Radek Dvorak||RW|
|37||Niklas Sundstrom||RW||21||Jason Smith||D|
|38||Jan Bulis||LW||23||Cory Cross||D|
|43||Patrice Brisebois||D||24||Steve Staios||D|
|44||Sheldon Souray||D||27||Georges Laraque||RW|
|51||Francis Bouillon||D||28||Jason Chimera||C|
|52||Craig Rivet||D||32||Scott Ferguson||D|
|60||Jose Theodore||G||34||Fernando Pisani||RW|
|71||Mike Ribeiro||C||36||Jarret Stoll||C|
|73||Michael Ryder||RW||40||Steve Valiquette1||G|
|76||Andrei Markov||D||47||Marc-Andre Bergeron||D|
|90||Joe Juneau||C||83||Ales Hemsky||RW|
|94||Yanic Perreault||C||94||Ryan Smyth||LW|
|Head Coach: Michel Therrien||Head Coach: Craig MacTavish|
- 1 Garon and Valiquette served as reserve goaltenders and did not see playing time.
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