On a day when Michigan State football would win its first Rose Bowl title in 26 years, a former Michigan State hockey player made a highlight of his own in the 2014 NHL Winter Classic before over 105,000 on-lookers at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader, who scored the game-winning goal that gave the Spartans the 2007 NCAA Division I men's hockey title, connected with 5:32 remaining in regulation for his home state Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday afternoon to pull them into a 2-2 tie at the time.
The Toronto Maple Leafs eventually won, 3-2, in a shootout. New Hampshire alumnus James van Riemsdyk tallied Toronto's first goal in regulation in the second period to tie the game, 1-1.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard (Maine) finished with 24 saves on the same day he was named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, along with NHL fellow netminders Ryan Miller (Michigan State) and Jonathan Quick (Massachusetts). The full U.S. Olympic men's roster, which includes more than 20 former NCAA players, can be found at NHL.com, while the U.S. Olympic women's roster can be found at USAHockey.com.
Michigan State defeated Stanford, 24-20, in Pasadena on Wednesday for its first Rose Bowl victory since 1988.