-- Flyers defenseman Danny Syvret
admitted shock when his only shot of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic found the back of the net behind Boston Bruins
goalie Tim Thomas
Syvret had reason to sound pessimistic -- it happened to be the first goal of his NHL career. That's right. Syvret's turnaround snap shot from the top of the left circle that zipped past Thomas 4:42 into the second just happened to be his first goal in four seasons. It also gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in an eventual 2-1 overtime setback to the hometown Bruins in the NHL Winter Classic before 38,112 at Fenway Park.
"I was sort of shocked when it went in because of all of my attempts on net, I didn't think that would have been the one that would have went in," Syvet said. "I was just hoping to get it on net and then go for a rebound because there were a lot of bodies out there. I rested (the puck) and threw it on net and (Tim) Thomas was battling with Hartsie (Scott Hartnell
) in front of the net trying to clear him. I was expecting a shot on net, but it found its way in. That was good for me.
"My career has been up and down in the minors so, hopefully, I can continue my play and stay up."
Despite making just his 16th appearance this season with the Flyers, Syvret has improved this season when given an opportunity. He was acquired by the Flyers in a trade with Edmonton in June 2008 and posted career highs in goals (12), assists (45) and points (57) in 76 games with Philadelphia's American Hockey League affiliate -- the Philadelphia Phantoms.
He also won a gold medal with current Flyers Mike Richards
, Jeff Carter
and Braydon Coburn
in the 2005 World Junior Championships.
"The main thing is you have to be able to control what you can and that's through your play," Syvret said. "If the people like it, they'll call you up and if not, they'll send you down. The only thing you can control is the way you play. For a defenseman, if there's net presence in front, your chances of scoring a goal are a lot better than if the goalie can see it."
Syvret's excitement of scoring his first goal in 44 NHL games, however, was tempered by the fact his team lost the game.
"It's frustrating because we had the lead for a good part of the game," Syvret said. "A couple of penalties got us into trouble (in the third period). They obviously were going at it pretty strong and once they got the equalizer, they took the momentum. Once they got that, things just kept going for them and we were sort of in our end for the rest of the game after that."
Still, to get a goal in the biggest game of the season, is something the 24-year-old Millgrove, Ontario native will never forget.
"My parents are here, so maybe I'll get a text message from them," Syvret said. "But my phone will probably have a lot of messages on it. The setting was great; it couldn't be any better. There was no rain, snow or a very cold climate.
"It was pretty cool to come in early, go out and tape your stick and see fans coming out to a ball park to watch a hockey game. It was loud and crazy out here with the bands and everything else."
Contact Mike Morreale at email@example.com