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The Heritage Classic was an outdoor ice hockey game played on November 22, 2003, in Edmontonmarker, Albertamarker, Canadamarker, between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens. It was the second National Hockey League game to be played outdoors, and the first as part of the regular season. The Heritage Classic concept was modeled after the success of the Cold War game between the University of Michiganmarker and Michigan State Universitymarker in 2001. The game was given the tagline "A November to Remember".

The event took place in Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadiummarker in front of a crowd of 57,167, despite temperatures of close to -18 °C, -30 °C (-22 °F) with wind chill. It was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Edmonton Oilers joining the NHL in 1979 and the 20th anniversary of their first Stanley Cup win in 1984. The CBC television broadcast also set the record for most viewers of a single NHL game with 2.747 million nationwide. This was the first NHL game broadcast in HD on CBC.

First, the MegaStars game was played between some of the best former players from both clubs. The Oilers were represented by the best players from their 1980s dynasty, led by Wayne Gretzky. The Canadiens were represented by players from their 1970s dynasty, led by Guy Lafleur, and a few members of the 1986 and 1993 championship squads. Both teams were composed of players who had won Stanley Cups with the Oilers or Canadiens, except for the Oilers' first NHL captain Ron Chipperfield and the Canadiens' Russ Courtnall who Réjean Houle said was selected for his speed. Mark Napier was the only player that played for both the Oilers and the Canadiens during his NHL career and won Stanley Cups with both teams. Napier played for the Canadiens during the Heritage Classic game. Mark Messier, the only active player at the time, got special permission from the New York Rangers front office to compete for Edmonton in the game. The MegaStars game consisted of two fifteen-minute halves rather than three 20 minute periods, and was won by the Oilers by a score of 2–0. After the game, Messier jokingly called the low-scoring contest "a typical Oilers win," a reference to the numerous high-scoring games of the Oilers' heyday in the 1980s.

The second game was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal won the game 4 to 3. Richard Zednik of the Montreal Canadiens scored the first goal of the game, and also scored the game-winner. Goalie Jose Theodore wore a Canadiens tuque over the top of his goalie mask.

The game was released to DVD by the CBC, and included special features such as player interviews.

Following the success of the Heritage Classic, in 2008 the league began a series of Winter Classics, an outdoor regular season game played annually on January 1. The very first NHL game to be played outdoors was an exhibition game on September 28, 1991, when the Los Angeles Kings played the New York Rangers outside Caesars Palacemarker in Las Vegasmarker.

Game summary

Scoring summary

Period Team Goal Assist(s) Time Score
1st No scoring
2nd MTL Richard Zednik (5) Patrice Brisebois (7), Michael Ryder (7) 0:39 1–0 MTL
MTL Yanic Perreault (6) (PP) Patrice Brisebois (8), Mike Ribeiro (11) 10:53 2–0 MTL
EDM Eric Brewer (1) Jarret Stoll (1), Steve Staios (7) 13:45 2–1 MTL
3rd MTL Yanic Perreault (7) Niklas Sundstrom (3), Craig Rivet (4) 2:22 3–1 MTL
EDM Jarret Stoll (4) Steve Staios (8) 13:06 3–2 MTL
MTL Richard Zednik (6) Sheldon Souray (3) 14:18 4–2 MTL
EDM Steve Staios (3) Radek Dvorak (9) 14:57 4–3 MTL

Penalty summary

Period Team Player Penalty Time PIM
1st EDM Cory Cross High-Sticking 13:49 2:00
2nd EDM Ryan Smyth Hooking 9:31 2:00
MTL Chad Kilger Hooking 11:42 2:00
3rd MTL Francis Bouillon Roughing 12:58 2:00
EDM Jason Chimera Roughing 12:58 2:00

Team rosters

Montreal Canadiens Edmonton Oilers
# Player Position # Player Position
5 Stephane Quintal D 1 Ty Conklin G
11 Saku Koivu C 2 Eric Brewer D
15 Darren Langdon LW 10 Shawn Horcoff C
20 Richard Zednik RW 14 Raffi Torres LW
22 Steve Begin C 15 Brad Isbister LW
24 Andreas Dackell RW 16 Mike York C
25 Chad Kilger LW 18 Ethan Moreau LW
30 Mathieu Garon1 G 20 Radek Dvorak RW
37 Niklas Sundstrom RW 21 Jason Smith D
38 Jan Bulis LW 23 Cory Cross D
43 Patrice Brisebois D 24 Steve Staios D
44 Sheldon Souray D 27 Georges Laraque RW
51 Francis Bouillon D 28 Jason Chimera C
52 Craig Rivet D 32 Scott Ferguson D
60 Jose Theodore G 34 Fernando Pisani RW
71 Mike Ribeiro C 36 Jarret Stoll C
73 Michael Ryder RW 40 Steve Valiquette1 G
76 Andrei Markov D 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron D
90 Joe Juneau C 83 Ales Hemsky RW
94 Yanic Perreault C 94 Ryan Smyth LW
Head Coach: Michel Therrien Head Coach: Craig MacTavish
1 Garon and Valiquette served as reserve goaltenders and did not see playing time.

See also


  1. Edmonton Oilers Heritage Website - Heritage Classic

External links

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