Bowling Green State University and Robert Morris University, in conjunction with the Toledo Walleye, have announced that the two programs will play an outdoor hockey game Jan. 3, 2015. The programs will play as part of the Walleye's Winterfest at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.
The Walleye will hold a 10-day community winter celebration at both Huntington Center Arena and Fifth Third Field from Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015, presented by ProMedica. The Falcons and Colonials will play Jan. 3 at noon as part of the event.
"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to participate in Winterfest, an event that will mean much to Northwest Ohio," Bowling Green Athletics Director Chris Kingston said. "For most of our student-athletes and coaches, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play collegiate hockey in an outdoor environment. I want to thank the Toledo Walleye front office for their work in making this a reality."
Fifth Third Field, the home of the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, will be converted from a baseball field into an outdoor hockey rink. The full-size 200' x 85' rink will stretch across the infield with the two goals near first and third base. The Toledo Walleye will play two games on the rink, including a 5:30 pm game on Jan. 3 following the Bowling Green/Robert Morris contest. There will also be youth, high school and adult hockey at the outdoor rink. Kids and adults alike will enjoy a Rockefeller Center-like experience during community skates.
"When we first talked about an outdoor hockey game, we wanted to include a college game in the lineup," Joe Napoli, President and General Manager of the Toledo Walleye and Toledo Mud Hens, said. "BGSU has a rich hockey tradition in this region. We're excited to have BG and Robert Morris and all their fans be part of this historic event."
Bowling Green defeated Robert Morris 3-2 earlier this year during the Three Rivers Classic at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center. Both squads are among the top half of their league with the Falcons currently sitting in third in the WCHA with records of 13-12-5 overall and 10-9-3 in the conference. Robert Morris is 10-13-3 overall and 10-6-3 in Atlantic Hockey.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be invited to participate in a great outdoor hockey event as part of Winterfest," Robert Morris Athletics Director Craig Coleman, M.D., said. "I know that our players and coaching staff are extremely excited to take on a great opponent in a great venue."
The first "modern-era" collegiate hockey game was played on Oct. 6, 2001 when Michigan State and Michigan played in 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.
Ticket details for the BGSU/Robert Morris hockey game are currently being finalized. Interested fans can call the Toledo Walleye box office at 419-725-9255 to be put on a list to receive ticket information updates.
QUOTES FROM THE COACHES
"We are very excited to be a part of Winterfest. We have not had a chance to participate in an outdoor event so for us to be able to be a part of this, and to remain close to home by playing in Toledo, is a great opportunity. We have worked with the Toledo Walleye staff in the past and we know this will be a first-rate event." – Chris Bergeron, Bowling Green
"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." – Derek Schooley, Robert Morris
Modern-Era Outdoor Hockey Games
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.)