Sunday evening, packed stands at Salata, the Bears in slightly retro blue jerseys, and a comfortable 7 °C for an evening of hockey under the stars... This year's Salata Winter Classic went by without a single rain drop, snow flake, or gust of wind, the players weren't masked from the cold nor the snowball fights between periods, and only goalie Mark Dekanich marked the meaning of the Winter Classic by wearing a knitted hat with a pompom on top.
"I didn't expect it to be like this, especially since it was raining in the morning. I'm surprised. The ice was great, as was the weather. I'm not going to complain about the cold because my feet are still warm after the game. It wasn't even cold for us to sit on the bench. The atmosphere was incredible, but I didn't expect anything less from our fans, and Vienna's fans (about 100 of them) were really excited", said Charles Linglet.
This was a friendly game against old friends from EBEL, Medvescak on one side and the Vienna Capitals on the other, and also their third Winter Classic together. Medvescak celebrated the first time at Salata, the second time Vienna, and this time it was Medvescak again after winning 4:3 in a shootout. Scoring for Medvescak were Linglet (23rd min.), Murley (38th), Katic (56th) and Iggulden (61st), and for Vienna were Ferland (37th), Schiechl (41st, 58th).
The victory at Salata was celebrated by fireworks from Orion pyrotechnics.
"I was shocked by the fireworks. I wasn't expecting them, I don't think any of us were. This was a great Winter Classic", concluded Linglet, commenting along the way on the 5500 fans that came out to cheer them on:
"I'm not surprised that many fans came out to a friendly game because this is a cool thing. You don't see something like this everyday."