The event die-hard Gopher hockey fans have been patiently waiting for is just a week away! For the first time in more than 80 years, the Gophers will play an outdoor hockey game at TCF Bank Stadium in front of upwards of 50,000 fans.
If you weren’t able to make the trip to Chicago last winter for the Hockey City Classic at Solider Field, next week’s game is a must. Lucky for us at Gold and Gopher, we were fortunate enough to have attended the Hockey City Classic last year. But enough of last year, here are reasons we’re excited for this year’s Hockey City Classic.
From Steve Pesek:
- Thanks to Hockey Day Minnesota, the high school kids have been playing outdoor games for years. Why did it take so long for college hockey catch on to the trend of playing outside in the State of Hockey? Most likely it was because locals wanted to protect the sport that we hold dear to our hearts and not make an outdoor game a spectacle. Nevertheless, the anticipation for this game has had a long enough build over the last 80 years.
- When Minnesota takes the ice next Friday, hopefully we get to see one of the coolest traditions of outdoor hockey — the stocking cap over the goalie helmet. Minnesota’s Adam Wilcox will likely have a special Maroon and Gold beanie for the game, and chances are, you’ll likely see it in university showrooms soon after. If they put ear flaps and tassels on it, we’ll buy a dozen right now.
- Anybody that follows ESPN’s John Buccigross on Twitter, knows that the SportsCenter anchor loves outdoor hockey. With a #CawlidgeHawkey game being played at TCF Bank Stadium, look for #BucciMane to fill his feed with plenty of Gophers love over the coming week.
- One of the best parts about this event, is that if it is successful, Minnesota will likely play outdoors a lot more often. A Big Ten Conference game against Ohio State is cool, but could you imagine a game against Wisconsin or North Dakota under the stars? An outdoor matchup with the “artists formerly known as the Sioux” would be more than make-up for the lack of our biggest rival on the schedule for a few years.
From Frank Bi
- Sorry Target Field, but TCF Bank Stadium is the premier sporting venue in the state right now. With the Hockey City Classic next week and Vikings games in the fall, The Bank will be the center of attention on a national scale, which bodes well for the University of Minnesota and everyone around campus. It’s a great time to be a Gophers fan, now we just need a win over Ohio State.