For the third time in as many seasons, the Michigan hockey team is headed outdoors for a game. Two years ago, the Wolverines lost a game to Wisconsin by a score of 3-2 at Camp Randall Stadium. Last season, Michigan defeated Michigan State 5-0 in The Big Chill at the Big House with more than 100,000 people in attendance. On Sunday evening, Michigan will do battle with the rival Ohio State Buckeyes in the Frozen Diamond Faceoff at Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians.
While the Frozen Diamond Faceoff doesn't have nearly the same amount of excitement that surrounded the game at Michigan Stadium or even Camp Randall Stadium, for that matter, it's always fun for the players and fans when hockey is taken outdoors. Considering how often outdoors games are played, it isn't quite the spectacle anymore to see an ice rink in a baseball stadium, but Progressive Field should provide a memorable setting for Sunday's clash between Michigan and Ohio State.
Beyond the event, the game itself is actually pretty important. Ohio State entered the week ranked No. 2 in the nation, but Michigan already has taken one game in this series thanks to a 4-0 win in Columbus on Friday night. The Wolverines needed the victory in a big way after getting off to a slow start this season. They have been playing much better hockey over the course of the last month, and a sweep of Ohio State would really improve their chances of keeping their NCAA tournament streak alive.
The puck is set to drop for the Frozen Diamond Faceoff at 5:05 p.m. (Eastern Time). FOX Sports Detroit Plus will carry the live broadcast of the game, and the Big Ten Network will show it on tape-delay at 9 p.m.