While we’re gearing up for the 2011 Winter Classic between the Penguins and Capitals, NCAA hockey had their own outdoor game going on today. In a truly ridiculous show of support, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University squared off outdoors at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
If you’re not familiar with “The Big House” it’s a stadium that seats over 100,00 fans. Today’s game set a new hockey attendance record with 113,411 fans and smashed the record set during the 2010 World Championships that saw 77,803 fans turn out for host Germany’s game against the United States. The crowd is also the largest ever at Michigan Stadium. In making sure the home fans got to go home happy, the Wolverines took out the Spartans in shutout fashion winning 5-0.
Team USA World Junior Championships candidate, and New Jersey Devils draft pick, Jon Merrill scored twice as did New York Rangers prospect Carl Hagelin. Wolverines goalie Shawn Hunwick, brother of Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick, made 34 saves to get the shutout.
These two schools have done an outdoor game before, facing off in the “Cold War” in 2001, a game that saw 75,000 fans turn out in East Lansing, Michigan . That game featured current Habs star Mike Cammalleri playing injured for the Michigan Wolverines and winning the game MVP award.