Boston, MA --
|Begin was with Montreal during the Heritage Classic. (Getty)
As children, playing hockey in an outdoor rink was a fun pastime of many pro hockey players, but many of them can’t say they have actually played in an outdoor game as a professional athlete.
However, on November 22, 2003 the NHL held it’s first outdoor hockey game at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta and on that day, current Bruins forwards Steve Begin and Michael Ryder (and then Habs head coach Claude Julien) were members of the Montreal Canadiens roster and played in the four-three victory over the Oilers.
As such, as soon as he joined the B's, Begin was looking forward to his second
“It’s something you always remember,” Begin told BostonBruins.com early this season. “It’s something to talk about when you get older and tell to your kids.”
“It was fun to be out there. It reminds you of when you play pond hockey outside, I mean when you’re a kid, you go out and play with friends, but it was for a real game, for an NHL game.”
On Friday, all three men will again get the chance to participate in an outdoor game when they play in the NHL/Bridgestone Winter Classic at Fenway Park on Friday, January 1.
“Yeah I’m looking forward to that, of course -- it’s the only my second time – and it’s always fun when you’re part of things like that," said Begin as a new Bruin. “And this second time, I’m very lucky to be part of this one, too.”
Last Saturday, just days before the game at Fenway Park, Begin's excitement level had jumped a notch.
“It’s coming pretty soon and it’s coming fast," he said. "I can tell everybody’s talking in town, so we can’t wait to play that game.
“Everybody is excited in this room, too and it’s going to be fun.
"Hopefully the weather is going to be nice, too,” said Begin.
Begin (and everyone in Boston) hopes for good weather, and the forecast has been promising a high of 35 -degrees and snow showers. But is that "nice weather" for the players?
“If it’s a light snow, I mean if it doesn’t snow very hard it’s not bad, but [the Boston weather will] probably have a little bit of a trick for us,” said Begin. “I mean it should be interesting to play in the snow. I remember when I was a kid I was pretty excited… when you play pond hockey everybody had a blast.
"If it’s snowing I guess we’re going to have to deal with it.”
Wheather-wise, Begin harkened back to the Heritage Classic.
“I remember a few days before…we weren’t sure about the weather and it was so warm out there, and then that day it was freezing, it was unreal,” he said. “It was so cold out, they didn’t even know if we could play the game because it was too cold.
“But we finally played the game and it was awesome; a great experience and I can’t wait to play that game here.”For more info on the Heritage Classic, click here.