By Erin Lennon, Daily Sports Writer
Published August 11, 2014
Hockeytown will take center stage of the Hockey City Classic in February.
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On Feb. 7, 2015, outdoor hockey will return to Soldier Field in the third annual Coyote Hockey City Classic. The tournament, which was held at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014, will feature three programs from Michigan – Michigan against in-state rival Michigan State and Western Michigan against Miami (Ohio).
While there isn’t a hometown team in the lineup, the event should draw a crowd. In its inaugural year, the Hockey City Classic drew more than 52,000 fans for the first two hockey games played at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. And if Michigan football games at Northwestern are any indication, the Wolverines will have plenty of fans behind them.
The meeting between Michigan and Michigan State will mark the fourth time the two rivals have met outdoors. The first-ever outdoor matchup between the programs yielded nearly 75,000 fans at Spartan Stadium in 2001.
The Wolverines have played six outdoor contests to the Michigan State’s four. In three outdoor meetings with the Spartans, Michigan is 1-1-1, including a 5-0 victory in the Big Chill at the Big House in 2010.
Last season, the Wolverines capped a disappointing December with a 3-0 shutout loss to Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational consolation game at Comerica Park. The two could meet at the GLI again this season, this time at Joe Louis Arena.