University of Minnesota hockey head coach Don Lucia (photo courtesy of Gophers Athletics/Paul Rovnak)
After months of speculation, the Hockey City Classic in Chicago will be officially announced Wednesday as Minnesota faces Wisconsin at Soldier Field in one half of a college hockey doubleheader.
One of the worst-kept secrets in college hockey has been made official: the University of Minnesota will play the Wisconsin Badgers outdoors at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The "Hockey City Classic," as it has been dubbed, will be officially announced at a press conference on the Soldier Field 50 yard line Wednesday afternoon. Besides Minnesota-Wisconsin, the Hockey City Classic will feature CCHA foes Notre Dame and Miami as part of a doubleheader Sunday February 17, 2013. The Badgers and Gophers will play in Madison Friday February 15 before heading down to Chicago to finish what is considered a Wisconsin home game in the Windy City.
Each of the four teams will have a player representative in attendance; Minnesota will be represented by junior redshirt forward Zach Budish.
This will be the Gophers' first outdoor game since the Cold War between Michigan and Michigan State in 2001 began the trend of regular season games played in football and baseball stadiums. A proposed contest last year at TCF Bank Stadium between Notre Dame and Minnesota ended up being scrapped and played at Mariucci and they have never been a visitor.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, is playing in their third outdoor game. The Badgers defeated Ohio State 4-2 at Lambeau Field in 2006 and Michigan 3-2 at Camp Randall Stadium in 2010.