"As we were getting ready for the game, we were just a bunch of little kids," Canadiennes blue liner Julie Chu told reporters after the the first ever outdoor Women's Winter Classic. "I'd like to say we were completely focused, which we were, but there was probably a big kid in us that came out and it was awesome."
The NHL, CWHL and NWHL announced earlier in the week what had already been widely speculated; there would indeed be a women's hockey game as part of the Winter Classic festivities. Not only would there be a game, but it would feature a showdown of sorts. Both North American professional women's hockey leagues faced off for the first time, as the CWHL\s Montreal Canadiennes took on the NWHL's Boston Pride.
It was a hard-fought game, whose glitz and glamour was overshadowed when Boston's Denna Laing had to be taken off the field on a stretcher after going hard into the boards. The team said that she was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, but did not provide an update on her condition.
"There's not a lot of information that we know," said Chu after the game. "I think the greatest honour we can do is step on that ice and continue to make the most of that moment, and celebrate why everyone was a part of this day."
If you were hoping that this game would offer up some insight as to which is the superior league, you'll still be left scratching your head. Les Canadiennes and the Pride's game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Les Canadiennes' star rookie forward (and two-time Olympic gold medalist) Marie-Philip Poulin, played NCAA hockey at Boston University, and was happy to be back in Massachusetts.
"I miss Boston. It was four years of my life, and I loved it. It was a great part of my career, and being back here was quite awesome."
It's perhaps appropriate that the first ever Women's Winter Classic hockey game ended in a tie. While there may have been no clear winners on the ice, it's pretty clear who the real winners are.
The real winners today were fans of women's hockey.