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Sights, sounds and news from Gillette Stadium

by Staff

Welcome to's coverage of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium. Stay here throughout the Thursday for all the sights and sounds from Foxborough, Mass., as well as a roundup of's coverage from the practice sessions for the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, the Outdoor Women's Classic presented by Scotiabank and The NHL Alumini Classic, presented by Molson Canadian.

Bruins prevail in alumni thriller

6:05 p.m.

The Winter Classic Alumni Game presented by Molson was so good, the players gave the fans more hockey than promised.

After the game ended tied after regulation, the Boston Bruins alumni won in a shootout, 5-4, at Gillette Stadium. Boston legend Ray Bourque, a Montreal native, scored the deciding goal in the shootout.

Sergei Samsanov and Mark Recchi scored in the shootout for Boston, only to see Oleg Petrov and Donald Audette respond for the Canadiens to set up the heroics by Bourque, who snapped a shot between the legs of Montreal goalie Richard Sevigny.

Recchi was the star of regulation, scoring a pair of beautiful goals. Recchi scored once in the second period and once in the third as Boston erased a 2-0 deficit. He also had an assist.  He was named MVP of the game.

Samsanov scored in the third period to give Boston a 4-3 lead, but Audette scored on a penalty shot against goalie Andrew Raycroft to tie the game for the third time.

Montreal took the lead in the first period with goals from Patrice Brisebois and Alexei Kovalev.

Jose Theodore, who played in the first NHL outdoor game in 2003, when the Canadiens defeated the Edmonton Oilers at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, played two periods and made 19 saves allowing one goal. He wore a toque over his mask on Thursday, evoking memories of the look he made famous a dozen years ago.

Reggie Lemon started the first period for the Bruins, with Andrew Raycroft playing the final two.

Steve Shutt scored for Montreal to tie the game, 3-3 after Marco Sturm scored to give Boston a 3-2 lead in the third period.

Julien won't reveal what he'll wear
4:00 p.m.

As he was walking out of his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked if he'll wear a fedora during the game on Friday the way he did during the 2010 NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

Julien played coy.

"I have a surprise in store for you guys," Julien said.

Julien could go back to the fedora, but judging by his comment it doesn't sound like he will. What he might do, or perhaps what he should do, is wear a hoodie sweatshirt like New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is famous for doing.

Julien and Belichick are friends. They skated together prior to Boston's practice on Thursday and Belichick had Julien out at Patriots practice on Wednesday.

First Outdoor Women's Classic ends in 1-1 tie
3:16 p.m. (updated: 8:25 p.m.)

The inaugural Outdoor Women's Classic between the Boston Pride of the NWHL and Les Canadiennes de Montreal of the CWHL ended in a 1-1 tie.

Forward Kim Deschenes put Montreal ahead in the first period at 3:15 of the first period after one-timing a pass from forward Noemie Marin into the Boston net. Pride defender Blake Bolden scored the equalizer late in the second with a blast from the point.

The game was two periods with a running time of 15 minutes each.

Pride forward Denna Laing was taken out on a stretcher late in the first period after bumping into another player and going hard into the boards. Laing had a collar placed around her neck but was conscious. She was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and will remain there overnight, the NHWL said.

Gallagher officially back
1:47 p.m.

Montreal will indeed have the services of forward Brendan Gallagher for the Winter Classic.

Gallagher pronounced himself fit after taking part in practice at Gillette Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

"I'm proud to announce Brendan Gallagher will be playing in the Winter Classic," Montreal captain Max Pacioretty said at the start of his press conference.

Gallagher says he has received 100 percent clearance for the game and did not want to return for selfish reasons.

Gallagher has missed 17 games due to a hand injury suffered when blocking a shot. He had 19 points in 22 games prior to the injury.

Condon to start for Canadiens
1:20 p.m.

Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told NHL Network that Mike Condon will start in goal for the Canadiens on Thursday in the Winter Classic.

Montreal added Ben Scrivens to the team through trade on Monday and the veteran had a strong first appearance with the Canadiens, stopping 27 of 30 shots in a loss to the Florida Panthers on Dec. 29.

But, Therrien decided to go with Condon, who is 10-9-3 with a .905 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average in his first NHL season. Condon started the season as the backup, but became the No. 1 goalie when Carey Price was injured earlier in the season.

Price is with the team this week, but he did not practice Thursday and will not play in the game.

Condon grew up in nearby Holliston, Mass., and is a fan of the New England Patriots and paid tribute to the team with the art on the backplate of the mask he will wear at the Winter Classic.

Patriots theme carries the day
1:12 p.m.

The New England Patriots are leaving soon for sunny Florida and a final regular-season game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

But, some of them made sure that they at least took in part of the Winter Classic festivities before they leave.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski visited the rink after the Patriots' practice ended, taking in the scene.

According to Boston captain Zdeno Chara, several Patriots players stopped into the Bruins dressing room at Gillette Stadium before the Bruins practiced Thursday.

Plus, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick took a twirl on the ice with Bruins coach Claude Julien before each team practiced on Thursday.

Gallagher skating with the Canadiens
12:45 p.m.

The Montreal Canadiens took to the sun-drenched ice at Gillette Stadium with a familiar face in tow. Forward Brendan Gallagher was among the Players to take part in practice and it appears he is likely to play in the game on Friday.

Gallagher has missed 17 games due to a hand injury suffered when blocking a shot. He had 19 points in 22 games prior to the injury.

Two other injured players, goalie Carey Price and defenseman Tom Gilbert, also joined the team in Boston for Winter Classic festivities. They did not skate on Thursday.

Bruins practice
12:30 p.m.

The Boston Bruins finished a crisp practice Thursday morning. After a team picture, the group worked on line rushes with many of the units reconfigured because of injuries and the suspension of Brad Marchand, who received a three-game suspension on Wednesday for his hit Tuesday night on Mark Borowiecki during a game against the Ottawa Senators.

The Bruins called up forward Alex Khokhlachev from the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League to take Marchand's spot on the roster.

Patriots' Belichick hits the ice
11:05 a.m.

It has already been a busy morning here at Gillette Stadium. The Bruins are just taking the ice for their practice session on a perfect winter morning here. But, the ice was put to use earlier this morning as New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in a traditional hoodie, took the ice with Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien for a 15-minute twirl on the south end of the rink.

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