Bowling Green State University and Robert Morris University, in cooperation with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, have announced that the two programs will play an outdoor hockey game at noon on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.
The men’s college hockey programs will play as part of the inaugural Walleye Winterfest at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.
Facing off earlier this season, during the Three Rivers Classic at Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center, the BGSU Falcons defeated the Colonials 3-2. Both squads are among the top half of their league, with RMU currently sitting in a tie for fourth with Air Force in the AHA with a record of 10-13-3 overall and 10-6-3 in the conference.
Bowling Green is 13-12-5 overall and in third place in the WCHA with a conference record of 10-9-3.
Said RMU athletic director Craig Coleman on rmucolonials.com: “It’s an honor and a privilege to be invited to participate in a great outdoor hockey event as part of Winterfest, I know that our players and coaching staff are extremely excited to take on a great opponent in a great venue.”
Also from the RMU web site, Colonials head coach Derek Schooley said, “We are very excited to play in this special event. This will be a game that will take our student-athletes back to their childhood days and a game they will remember for the rest of their lives.
“We are looking forward to continuing our series with Bowling Green in another first-class event and we are very thankful to the Toledo Walleye for including us in their Winterfest.”
The Walleye will hold a 10-day community winter celebration at both Huntington Center and Fifth Third Field from Friday, Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 4. Toledo will play the first two outdoor games in ECHL history when they take on the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday, Dec. 27 and the Fort Wayne Komets on Sunday, Jan 3 after the Bowling Green/Robert Morris match-up.
Fifth Third Field is the home of the Toledo Mud Hens, Triple-A baseball affilate of the Detroit Tigers. The diamond will be converted from a baseball field into an outdoor hockey rink with a full-size 200-by-85-foot surface that will stretch across the infield with the two goals near first base and third. The team benches will in the outfield facing home plate.
NCAA Clipboard: The first “modern-era” outdoor collegiate hockey game was played on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2001, when the Michigan State Spartans and the University of Michigan Wolverines played at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. By the end of the 2013-14 season, there will have been 26 NCAA Division I men’s hockey games played outdoors, but this will be the first for either Bowling Green or Robert Morris, and just the second to ever be played in the state of Ohio.
Here is a rundown of the 26 outdoor games to date:
Oct. 6, 2001 – Michigan State 3, Michigan 3 (at Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.)
Feb. 13, 2006 – Wisconsin 4, Ohio State 2 (at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.)
Jan. 8, 2010 – Boston 3, Boston College 2 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Feb. 6, 2010 – Wisconsin 3, Michigan 2 (at Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.)
Dec. 11, 2010 – Michigan 5, Michigan State 0 (at Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Feb. 13, 2011 – Connecticut 3, Sacred Heart 1 (at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn.)
Feb. 19, 2011 – Army 4, American International 1 (at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn.)
Jan. 7, 2012 – Massachusetts 3, Vermont 2, OT (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 7, 2012 – Maine 5, New Hampshire 4, OT (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 13, 2012 – Union 2, Harvard 0 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 14, 2012 – Boston College 2, Northeastern 1 (at Fenway Park, Boston Mass.)
Jan. 15, 2012 – Michigan 4, Ohio State 1 (at Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio)
Feb. 9, 2013 – North Dakota 5, Nebraska-Omaha 2 (at TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Neb.)
Feb. 17, 2013 – Notre Dame 2, Miami 1 (at Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.)
Feb. 17, 2013 – Wisconsin 3, Minnesota 2 (at Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.)
Dec. 14, 2013 – RIT 2, Niagara 2 (at Frontier Field, Rochester, N.Y.)
Dec. 27, 2013 – Michigan Tech 2, Michigan State 2 (at Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich.)
Dec. 27, 2013 – Western Michigan 3, Michigan 2, OT (at Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich.)
Dec. 28, 2013 – Michigan State 3, Michigan 0 (at Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich.)
Dec. 28, 2013 – Western Michigan 1, Michigan Tech 0, OT (at Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich.)
Dec. 28, 2013 – Bentley 3, Holy Cross 2 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 4, 2014 – Merrimack 1, Providence 1 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 4, 2014 – Boston College 4, Notre Dame 3 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 11, 2014 – Northeastern 4, UMass Lowell 1 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 11, 2014 – Maine 7, Boston 3 (at Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.)
Jan. 17, 2014 – Minnesota 1, Ohio State 0 (TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.)