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AthleticHub Blog

If you’re a college hockey fan, the Windy City will be the place to be this weekend.

A pair of top-20 matchups will be on display at historic Soldier Field for the first time when the home of the Chicago Bears hosts the Hockey City Classic on Sunday. 

No. 3 Miami (Ohio) and No. 12 Notre Dame face off in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association showdown at 1 p.m., while No. 2 Minnesota and No. 18 Wisconsin conclude their annual Border Battle in the second game of the doubleheader at approximately 4:30 p.m. The first game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit, while the second contest will air nationally on the Big Ten Network.

The Hockey City Classic features four teams that have combined for 36 Frozen Four appearances and 11 national championship titles. 

In the Border Battle, the Gophers and Badgers will be jockeying for position in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings this weekend. Wisconsin trails Minnesota by just one point in the standings as both look to gain some ground on first-place St. Cloud State. The two squads also met in November with Minnesota going 1-0-1 on the weekend.The Irish will be trying to knock the RedHawks out of first place in the CCHA. Notre Dame trails Miami by three points in the standings, and is hoping for some success after going 5-7-1 in its last 13 games. The RedHawks have won six of their last seven contests.

While the outdoor atmosphere is certainly a draw for some fans, if you brave the weather, don’t forget to bundle up. The weather forecast for Chicago is 26 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Hand-warmers and ear muffs are highly suggested.

Wisconsin is the only one of the four teams to have played in an outdoor game, defeating Ohio State at Lambeau Field in 2006, and nipping Michigan at Camp Randall Stadium in 2010. Before this weekend, a total of 13 outdoor hockey games have been played in NCAA Division I men’s hockey since 2000.

“[The weather is] always iffy,” Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said. “If you go back and look at the history of [our other] two games, we were in the same boat as we are now, wondering, projecting what it’s going to be. It turned out fine. It’s always a factor in this, but we’re going to control what we can.”

Another novelty to Sunday’s event will be each team will be wearing special jerseys for one game only. Wisconsin will be wearing replica sweaters from the 1931-32 season, while Minnesota will be sporting throwback uniforms from the 1960-61 season. Notre Dame will be donning jerseys from the team’s club era (1963-68), when the Irish played all of its games outdoors before becoming a Division I program.

“It’s a throwback kind of game this Sunday, so we wanted to go with a throwback jersey to commemorate the event,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “We’re looking forward to playing at a historic venue like Soldier Field and playing a competitive series against Wisconsin.”

If you’re looking for a warmer venue, the teams will play the first games of their respective series on Friday in Oxford, Ohio, and Madison, Wis.  And, you can catch Friday’s contests on television. Miami-Notre Dame will air on CBS Sports Network at 7:30 p.m., while the Minnesota-Wisconsin series will be broadcast on Fox Sports North at 8 p.m.

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