Flyers Alumni Take to the Winter Classic Ice

Goaltending leads Flyers to 3-1 win over Rangers in Winter Classic Alumni Game outdoors at Citizens Bank Park.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Bernie Parent #1 of the Philadelphia Flyers takes the ice to play against the New York Rangers during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game on December 31, 2011 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Winter Classic isn't until Monday but on New Year's Eve the Flyers and Rangers alumni from the past five decades took to the Citizens Bank Park Ice for a friendly trip down memory lane.
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On rosters full of Hall of Famers and All-Stars, goaltender Bernie Parent stood out in his old school gear.
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It didn't hurt that Bernie lived up to the old addage that "Only the Lord Saves More Than Bernie Parent" as he didn't allow a shot past him.
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It was a "beautiful thing" seeing Bernie on the ice.
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Parent played eight minutes before giving way to Mark Laforest.
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One of the most memorable turn back the clock moments belonged to Orest Kindrachuk who donned the mustache and long hair of yore during introductions.
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Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke was also back on the ice for the game -- captaining the Flyers once again.
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With Clarke leading the way there was no way the Flyers could lose.
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It helped that Clarke had fellow Hall of Famer Mark Howe out on the ice as well.
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Legendary Rangers captain Mark Messier was going to make sure things weren't easy for Clarke's Orange and Black.
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Messier said it was a huge thrill to play against Parent for the first time.
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Mike Keenan who coached the Rangers to the 94 Cup and the Flyers to two Cup Finals took his spot on the Rangers bench for this game.
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Legendary defenseman Brian Leetch also hit the ice for New York.
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Leetch and Messier -- the 1994 Stanley Cup champion Rangers live.
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Hall of Famer Mike Gartner and John Vanbiesbrouk (who played for both the Rangers and Flyers) also hit the ice.
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Dave Poulin (80s) and Shjon Podein (90s) were there representing the Orange and Black.
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And how about Jimmy Watson and Brian Propp catching up.
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Bill Barber was one of the many Stanley Cup champion Flyers who hit the ice.
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With guys like Bob Kelly and Tom Laidlaw on the ice the action wasn't as fast as the players of today but nonetheless it was a thrill for the fans.
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Yes there were plenty of players not wearing helmets on the ice but no sign of Craig MacTavish even though he had played for both franchises.
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Kjell Samuelsson continues to loom large -- just look at him dwarf Messier.
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Two-thirds of the Legion of Doom line made fans remember the 90s as Eric Lindros found a charging John LeClair for an early goal.
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Podein put the puck past Vanbiesbrouck for one of the Flyers three goals.
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Howe beat Dan Blackburn (who impressed in the Rangers net) for a penalty shot goal.
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As nightfall crept in the players and fans continued to soak it all in.
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Some of the loudest cheers the whole game were reserved for Eric Lindros who donned the Orange Balck for the first time in more than a decade for the game.
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But Parent at 66 years old was the top star of the game.
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And this game like many other classics ended with a friendly handshake.
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Jeremy Roenick, Derian Hatcher and the Flyers beat Messier's Rangers 3-1.
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