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Bernier to start in goal for Maple Leafs

by Dan Rosen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Randy Carlyle didn't want to reveal his starting goalie for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, but there was a dead giveaway standing only a few feet away from the Toronto Maple Leafs coach during his post-practice press conference Tuesday.

Jonathan Bernier was waiting to talk to the media, but he also felt the need to wait until Carlyle left the press conference area before he confirmed that he'll be the Maple Leafs starter against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium on Wednesday.

"Let's wait until Randy leaves," Bernier said laughing. "Yeah, I found out before practice so obviously it's great. It's great that he gave me the nod and being part of this whole history, it's pretty amazing."

Bernier will be making his fourth straight start for the first time in his NHL career. He has appeared in five straight games twice this season.

Bernier has won back-to-back starts, making 73 saves against 78 shots to beat the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres. He is 12-11-4 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in 24 appearances this season.

"Lately I've found that groove where I need to do my routine and feel ready for every game," Bernier said.

He's particularly excited for the chance to walk down the tunnel and onto the field at Michigan Stadium in front of what could be 110,000 people.

"We'll know what those football guys go through having 100,000 people in the stands and feeling that energy," Bernier said. "It feels like the stands are so far away from the rink so I'm anxious to see how noisy it's going to be on the ice compared to a regular rink."


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