Tomorrow is a big day for both Gopher hockey programs and the state of Minnesota as a whole.
The Hockey City Classic, pitting the Gopher women against Minnesota State at 4:30 p.m. and the Gopher men against Ohio State at 8 p.m., will be the first outdoor hockey game the university has ever hosted.
Here's a few notes to get you ready for the game, whether you're going, or just taking it in on the couch.
- Gates open at 3:30 p.m., but get there early, tailgating is allowed and pregame celebrations and parking begin at 2 p.m. After the games you can stick around for a bit too, as celebrations won't need to be over until midnight.
- If you are planning on drinking at the games before, there is good news, alcohol will be sold during the games as well.
- We wouldn't exactly advise being outside much longer than you absolutely have to be tomorrow, as wind chills are expected to be below zero and high temperatures aren't expected to get into the double-digits.
- The Gophers have smart people working for them, as Mariucci Arena will be open to fans starting at 2 p.m. as well, with food and drinks for sale.
- If you still want a ticket, there are scattered seats still available throughout the stadium.
- If you're going to the women's game at 4:30 and leave, re-admittance will be allowed at 8 p.m.
- The men's game will be on Big Ten Network, while the women can be seen on Gopher All-Access.
- Head men's coach Don Lucia: “We’re just trying to get ready for Ohio State, and the weather’s going to be what it is. The most important thing is as long as it’s not snowing too hard. The wind is more of an issue than anything else. I mean, if it’s five above, you just dress for it. The guys playing, I don’t know if they notice it as much. For coaches it might be a little bit colder.”
- Gopher women's hockey senior forward Kelly Terry: “The outdoor game is just going to be so exciting. And you see it all over Twitter and Facebook and everything. It’s hard to avoid and it’s hard not to be excited for it.”
Here's what the Gopher student section will look like tomorrow, with a student-only giveaway making Gophers look like gophers.
As for the games themselves, here's a guide full of stats, facts, figures, and everything you need going into the No. 1 Gophers (both of them) taking on their victim-of-circumstance (we hope) opponents.