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Photo: Jeff Vinnick

On Thursday January 1, 2015, Troy Brouwer scored one of the biggest goals of his career. I’d say biggest, but he also scored in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Brouwer’s father Don, who had a stroke five years ago, was able to come to Nats Park to watch the moment firsthand. Our friends, the Brouwer Rangers, captured the goal with some terrific GoPro footage. This is a fairy-tale goal in many ways. I may never ever get sick of it– just like Joe Juneau’s Eastern Conference Finals goal way back in 1998.

So here are some new views of Brouwer’s goal. We’ve got the ref cam, the net cam, and then a bunch of awesome new photos you haven’t seen yet. #BrouwerPouwer

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RMNB’s Photos of the Winter Classic

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

Unable to secure a photo credential for the Winter Classic from the NHL, we went on the open market to buy a ticket. Then we saw the prices (the most expensive in five years) and had a small panic attack. That is until reader Sarah Heffern reached out to us. One of her friends was sick, unable to come, and needed someone to claim the ticket. She offered it to us at a discounted price.

Because of Sarah’s generosity (read her account of the game), we now bring you these incredible photos from Amanda Bowen. She manages to capture nearly the entire experience. Below are photos from the  spectator plaza, the merch area, the USO Board, and inside Nats Park. She also brings you the Brouwer Rangers, Ovie the Bulldog, that sick flyover, Kathryn Tappen, and a celebrating Troy Brouwer.

We’ve linked to the high-resolution version for each photo, so we encourage you to click on your favorites. These are truly incredible pics. The shadows and light are crazy.

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Chalk Talk with Troy Brouwer

Photo credit: Mariah Mallon, 106.7 The Fan.

Just two days before scoring the game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds remaining in the 2015 Winter Classic, Troy Brouwer was opening one last Christmas present from his two biggest fans.

Brouwer joined 106.7 The Fan’s John “Cakes” Auville, Capitals radio announcer John Walton, and a handful of listeners and fans for a “Chalk Talk” event at the radio station. The hour-long discussion touched on a wide variety of topics, including Winter Classic anticipation, the Caps’ season, new coach Barry Trotz, what Brouwer thinks the team needs to be a Cup contender, and much more.

The undisputed highlight of the night came about 15 minutes in, when Cakes beckoned Ranger Ryan to the stage to present Brouwer with our gift.

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After the Winter Classic ended in dramatic fashion Thursday, Mike Green told reporters, “We were screaming so hard in the huddle I almost passed out. I could only imagine what the fans were doing.”

Now we know, thanks to Brouwer Ranger Ryan’s helmet camera.

In an undeniably prescient move, Ryan switched on his helmet cam as Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews headed to the penalty box for hooking in the game’s final minute. He would capture a moment of pure joy just seconds later, when Troy Brouwer picked up a loose puck in the left circle, loaded it into the Brouwitzer and shot it straight at poor Corey Crawford.

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Photo credit: Rob Carr.

On June 9, 2010, Troy Brouwer lifted the Stanley Cup, his Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers to win hockey’s biggest prize. But in the months leading up to it, Brouwer was not fully focused on the Cup run. That spring, Don Brouwer, his father suffered a severe stroke, which left him unconscious for a week and required brain surgery. Since then, Don has only seen Brouwer play sporadically when the Caps travel to his hometown of Vancouver.

“You appreciate big things, like life, a little bit more,” Brouwer told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington. “He’s lucky to be here. The doctors and physical therapists did an amazing job with him getting him back to where he is today. They say the later you are in life, the harder it is to rebound and get back to normal. He did an amazing job too. His will and his fight. You don’t get to say this a lot to your parents, but I’m very proud of him and how far he’s come. He’s really stubborn and he stayed on his therapy to get better.”

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Troy Brouwer is your hero. After Alex Ovechkin’s stick got slashed out of his hands, Brouwer, in the slot, just skated in a circle and fired blindly on net.

He scored!

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On Tuesday night, as EPIX’s The Road To The Winter Classic began, the Caps began what became the longest shootout in NHL history. The scheduling conflict forced fans to make a difficult decision: reality TV or live hockey. For those who stuck with the live hockey, they got a shootout that went a record twenty rounds, five more than the previous record, which also belonged to the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin actually shot twice in the losing effort.

Karl Alzner, Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Tom Wilson all got their first career shootout attempts in the same game.

With all the wackiness on the ice and the game determined not to end, the Caps turned to a late-game baseball tradition to influence the outcome: rally helmets.

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Last night, TSN Insider’s Trading panel discussed a number of topics, including the Oilers’ shortcomings, Jay Feaster’s Twitter jab, and a potential re-tool in Arizona. They also talked about Caps general manager Brian MacLellan, whose patience with the team is allegedly running thin.

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Troy Brouwer was forced to leave the game in the second period briefly after absorbing a vicious slash to the right hand from Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard.

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