A former venue for the Winter Classic is getting to host yet another outdoor hockey extravaganza. Fenway Park in Boston will host four Hockey East schools for a doubleheader of games on January 7, 2012, just five days after the NHL has the Winter Classic in Philadelphia.
For this go-round in Boston, the two games to be played will see Maine take on rival New Hampshire at 7:30 p.m. preceded by Massachusetts facing off with Vermont at 4 p.m. Fenway Park has become a great venue for college hockey matchups since the stadium first held the Winter Classic back in 2010. That year, Boston University and Boston College faced off in a battle between those bitter rivals and bringing another hostile rivalry into the event this year with Maine and UNH helps keep things lively all over again.
Perhaps we can get Shawn Thornton and Dan Carcillo to be honorary captains for one of the games and drop the gloves the way they did in 2010 since there’s no fighting in college hockey. Seeing Boston embrace going back to Fenway Park for outdoor hockey is a great thing to see and with the amount of hockey that you have in Boston and around New England it makes a ton of sense to keep going back here to do these events. Doing this one without having two of the city’s schools is a gutsy move as well. Having BU and BC would at least help draw even more attention to the game.
That said, if Boston wants to make an event like this even more iconic, here’s a crazy idea: Hold the annual Beanpot Tournament between BU, BC, Harvard, and Northeastern at Fenway Park. The Beanpot is already viewed as one of college hockey’s best traditions and putting that event in a place like Fenway Park, which turns 100 years old in 2012, would make the setting for the event incredible. That’s just our crazy idea though.