The Colorado Avalanche hosted the Detroit Red Wings in a historical outdoor game at Coors Field Saturday February 27, 2016. Unfortunately, the Detroit Red Wings spoiled the long anticipated game by a score of 5-3 in front of 50,000 plus fans.
The rivalry was sparked Friday night when the alumni took ice at Coors Field. The Colorado Avalanche alumni took care of business as the rustled the feather of the Red Wings and sent them walking off the ice with a score of 5-2.
The Examiner had an opportunity to speak with Adam Foote about the alumni game Saturday at the “Coors Light Center Ice Beer Summit” and he said “It was great to reunite with the team and take the ice. Although at times, the ice was slow but it still provided some great action, good times and a chance for the old guys to show that they still have it and beat the enemy 5-2.”
As for the fake snow and high winds that created some stoppage in play in the third period, the Detroit Red Wings did not waste any time to put away the Colorado Avalanche. Detroit Red Wings Brad Richard was playing in his fifth NHL outdoor game, scored with 1:00 left to play. This broke the tie and sealed the win. With 0:20 left on the clock, Detroit Red Wings Darren Helm put the puck in the net and the historic game in Denver, Colorado’s Coors Field saw the heated rivalry not going in favor of the Colorado Avalanche.
At the end of the first period, Colorado Avalanche was ahead 2-1. The first goal of the game came from Red Wings Tomas Tatar but that quickly faded as Colorado tied it up with a goal from Nathan MacKinnon. Later, Colorado Avalanche Tyson Barrie found the net and all was looking good for the Colorado Avalanche.
It was not until the third period when either team would score again. Once again it was the Detroit Red Wings who scored first with a goal early on by Gustav Nyquist. At 01:27 in the third, Gustav had an assist from Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tartar. Nyquist had a blind backhand and amazing speed on the puck to put it past goalie Semyon Varlamov. The game was now tied 2-2. With the winds whipping and debris flying, each team would have a 10 minute advantage on one end of the ice. The fake snow was falling more on one end than the other and Colorado Avalanche had the advantage first. But they could not get the puck into the goal.
The next score came at 13:28 as Detroit Red Wings Justin Abdelkader had an assist from Darren Helm and Luke Glendenning to put Detroit ahead. But the Colorado Avalanche fought hard and just 14 seconds later Colorado Avalanche Alex Tanguay with assists from Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon, shot the puck past goalie Petr Mrazek. Colorado Avalanche had now tie the Detroit Red Wings and coach Patrick Roy thought for sure that a win was in the whipping winds for the Avs. Patrick Roy speaking later at the post-game press conference said “I felt it was going to be a winning experience as I stood behind the bench.” “The Colorado Avalanche had the momentum, were in a great position, especially because they went on the power play 57 second later.”
The Colorado Avalanche however could not score on the power play and the Detroit Red Wings went on to get the final victory.
But both teams could not have had a better matchup for Saturday night’s game. The rivalry, the hatred that goes into this game made it an exciting night all around. As for both teams, they were pleased with the way Coors Field was setup. The events leading up to the game and the hype that fans of both teams showed throughout the week was amazing. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill summed it up nicely, “There were just a few moments where the wind played an effect, but what a great event. I thought it was awesome.”
Up next for the Colorado Avalanche, they will travel to take on the Minnesota Wild Tuesday, March 1st.