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Almost every professional hockey player has memories of playing outdoors as a kid. Many grew up in areas where winter provided a natural hockey environment, such as Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Canada, Sweden and Russia. Nearby lakes and ponds freeze over and all that’s needed are the skaters. TheJanuary 1, 2014 NHL Winter Classic fulfilled its role of letting players experience that nostalgic feeling once more.

Not just a game-a Michigan Experience

Everything about the New Year’s Day game in Ann Arbor, MI added a majestic feeling that made it more than just a hockey game. The record crowd of over 105,500 sat through steady snowfall and zero degree weather as the best in the world battled it out “old school.” There were hits, checks, broken sticks and even broken bones. The conditions hindered some of the skill element, forcing players to grind out offensive scoring chances.

In the end, the Maple Leafs edged the Red Wings in a shootout. Unfortunately, this means that some of the hometown crowd left the game with a bad feeling. However, for the players and fans who were lucky enough to attend this record-setting event, everyone left with an unforgettable memory!

Favorite Frozen Memories

Do you have a frozen lake or pond near you? Do you play outdoor hockey during the winter? Send us a picture or two of your rink. What are your favorite memories from this historic Winter Classic? Did you attend the game? Post your awesome photos on the Chuck It Facebook page.

Written by Brad Abbott