Women's Winter Classic ends in draw, player hospitalized
Boston Pride forward injured in game vs. Montreal Canadiennes
Since the NHL first experimented with outdoor games more than a decade ago, the Winter Classic has grown into a festival of fresh air hockey that this year included for the first time a professional women's game.
As part of the buildup to the New Year's Day game between the archrival Bruins and Canadiens, the Boston Pride played the Montreal Canadiennes at the home of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The two leagues that participated hope it will be a turning point in their effort to gain a footing on the professional women's sports scene.
"What great exposure," Pride defenceman Marissa Gedman said. "Especially to have the NHL backing us. That's huge."
But there is still a way to go: The women's teams played two, 15-minute periods with running time and a friends-and-family crowd of a few hundred people. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Asked what more she could have hoped for, Pride defenceman Blake Bolden said: "a third period."
"I couldn't get enough," said Gedman, who is from the suburb of Framingham and grew up rooting for the Patriots and other Boston teams. "It was so amazing. I could do that for the rest of my life."
The first period ended when a Pride player, Denna Laing of Marblehead, crashed into the boards and was taken off on a stretcher. The league said she was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. No further information on her condition was immediately available.
NHL's outdoor game between the Bruins and Canadiens will be held on Friday.