Little did I know when I attended the Notre Dame – Miami football game at Soldier Field last fall that another Irish team would make an appearance at Soldier Field just a few short months later!
I received a last minute opportunity last week from City360TV to cover the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in Chicago which featured two college hockey match ups. The first match up being CCHA rivals No. 12 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Miami of Ohio, and the second being WCHA Rivals No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 2 Minnesota.
I must say it was different watching hockey with shadows on the ice. We are so accustomed to watching hockey inside that it took a little getting used to, but for the players it was great to get back to their pond playing days. We could not have been blessed with better weather, and seeing an ice rink set up in Soldier Field was tremendous.
Our first stop was to the press box. I really had no intention of being anywhere else than rink side, but it was nice to see where we could go to get warmed up!
Next, we headed on down to field level to check out where all of the action was going to be. It was quite brisk, but that’s perfect for a hockey game!
We watched the boys warm up a bit and then had some time to catch up with Leprechaun Johnny and get his take on outdoor hockey at Soldier Field.
The game started and it was everything we wanted it to be. A CCHA conference game between two top rated teams. This was not a fluff game, it actually meant something. The guys quickly had to adapt to the glare of the sun and the adverse ice conditions and get down to the job at hand … playing hockey.
The first period ended with no goals scored by either team. Coach Jeff Jackson must have done his job well during the break as they came out looking quite determined. At 12:42 in the second period Notre Dame freshman left winger Mario Lucia scored putting Notre Dame on the board first.
The score would remain 1-0 until the third period of play. At 8:33 junior left winger Jeff Costello got ahold of an Anders Lee rebound and blasted it into the goal making it 2-0 Notre Dame.
For the remainder of the game the Irish defense did their best to aid Irish goalie Steven Summerhays, who was looking directly into the sun, hold off the Miami attack and for the most part they did just that. At 9:36 the RedHawks (freshman forward Kevin Morris) managed to get one goal past Summerhays, but the Irish went on to win the game by a score of 2-1.
Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play for the day.
Post game I had the chance to interview Josh Flynt from Fighting Irish Digital Media, as well as junior center Anders Lee. All parties felt as though the experience at Solider Field was memorable, to say the least, and they look forward to similar events in the future. And with 52,051 hockey fans in attendance, I am more than certain this will not be the last event of it’s kind!
The win propels the Irish into the final three weekends of the season on a high note, and the Irish hope to finish strong.
My rookie debut in front of the camera was a good one, I think! All I know is that I had a great time, and can’t wait for my next opportunity!
I’d like to give City360TV a big thank you for sending me to Chicago this weekend, and I look forward to working with them in the future!
Want to see my interviews with Josh Flynt and Anders Lee? You can check them out here: http://city360.tv/archives/3267