ANN ARBOR, MI – While the conditions at Michigan Stadium weren't anything like the Toronto Maple Leafs are used to, they were right at home in the shootout against the Detroit Red Wings.
Tyler Bozak's goal in the third round of the shootout gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory in the 2014 Winter Classic. It was Toronto's fifth shootout in their last six games and third win in a row.
Michigan Stadium was colored in blue and red from the jerseys worn by some of the 105,491 fans in attendance as snowflakes fell throughout the game. The boisterous crowd had to wait for until the second period to do anything other than enjoy the atmosphere and try and stay warm. The teams took the first 20 minutes to feel one another out and get acclimated to the conditions.
Daniel Alfredsson and James van Riemsdyk traded goals in the second period. Early in the third, Bozak deflected home a Dion Phaneuf shot for his fifth of the season to give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 edge.
And as has happened many times this season, they would end up blowing a third period lead when Justin Abdelkader backhanded home a Brendan Smith pass from the boards with 5:32 remaining. Toronto sat back, allowed the Red Wings to press and outshoot them 14-6 in the final period.
After Pavel Datsyuk and Joffrey Lupul both scored in the shootout, Tomas Tatar mishandled his attempt, opening the door for Bozak to net the winner:
As far as the NHL's attempt at a world record attendance, the 105,491 number is the amount of tickets sold. That has yet to be verified by the Guinness Book of World Records, who will oversee the process.
For more on the record bid, be sure to read Nick Cotsonika's column from Wednesday.
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