There was no way he was going to miss it.

When the rumblings started in the hockey community that Fenway Park might host the National Hockey League’s New Year’s Day Winter Classic, life-long Boston Bruins fan and Lewiston resident Andy Levasseur wasn’t about to let the opportunity to attend the historic event slip through his fingers.

“This game is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Levasseur said. “My two favorite things about attending sporting events are the excitement of Bruins hockey game and the atmosphere around Fenway Park when the Sox are in town. What could possible be a better event than the Bruins playing at Fenway? It’s the best of both worlds.” 

At first, Levasseur didn’t even know for sure the game would be at the venerable ballpark. But as the rumors rang increasingly true, he started to prepare himself.

“I was very excited about it and began to follow the rumor mill very closely,” Levasseur said. “I think it was obvious that Fenway would become the destination because of the history, location, and the fact that the Patriots would likely be using Gillette (Stadium) in January. I think we all would have preferred a Bruins/Canadiens game, but the Winter Classic is at Fenway Park, so I could care less who they play.”

Instead, of course, the Bruins will skate against Philadelphia in a throwback to the days of the classic rivalry of the 1970s. Levasseur isn’t old enough (28) to remember the Bruins’ glory days and the team’s two most recent Stanley Cup victories, but even with all of the hype surrounding this year’s game at Fenway Park, he hasn’t lost sight of what really matters to him as a Bruins’ fan.

“I think this event is great for the casual fan, however as I life long Bruins fan I’d trade this event for a Cup in a heartbeat,” Levasseur said. “A few of my friends wanted to go to Portland a while back to see the Stanley Cup up close when it was on tour, but I told them I didn’t want to go anywhere near it until it was ours again.”

If history has anything to do with it, Levasseur may be close to seeing that happen. Each of the two previous Winter Classic winners have participated in the Stanley Cup Finals and lost in seven games.

As a season ticket-holder (Levasseur went in with a college friend on a pair of them beginning last season), he didn’t have to worry about clamoring for tickets.

“Season ticket holders were guaranteed a ticket to the Classic for every season ticket they owned which would fill about half of Fenway,” Levasseur said. “If you weren’t a season ticket-holder, you would have to join hundreds of thousands of people in a lottery for the chance to buy one of a few thousand seats left, otherwise you’d probably be paying five to 10 times over face value.”

Also because he was a season ticket-holder, Levasseur had the opportunity to do something few people will ever be able to say they did: He skated at Fenway Park.

“The view was amazing,” he said. “I spent about a half hour before I got on the ice just to walk around and take pictures of the stadium from the field. The coolest thing about being at this event was thinking of all the great players like Ted Williams and Yaz who stepped on this field thousands of times, and knowing that I was able to do something they never did by skating on their field.”

On Friday, he’ll add another memory to a list of firsts. He and his former college roommate, Ryan McLane, a Massachusetts-based reservist scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in a week, will be on hand to watch the NHL’s third Winter Classic. The only thing that could top the experience so far?

“Celebrating a Bruins victory with friends and strangers surrounding Fenway Park,” he said.


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