A guide to the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium
The Bruins will take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on New Year’s Day. The rink construction began in mid-December.
Here’s a guide to the event:
Time: 1 p.m. (Eastern)
Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend Ind.
Winter Classic history
■ This will be the fourth Winter Classic for the Blackhawks, and their sixth time playing outdoors. The Bruins will be playing in their third Winter Classic, and first as the road team.
■ The first Bruins appearance was in 2010, when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, in overtime at Fenway Park. The second was in 2016, when they lost to the Montreal Canadiens, 5-1, at Gillette Stadium.
■ The Winter Classic dates to 2008, when the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, at the home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, which was then known as Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The game also has been played at iconic venues such as Michigan Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and Wrigley Field. The Blackhawks have the most previous appearances with three, and have yet to win.
What they’re wearing
■ The Bruins will wear brown and gold jerseys that pay homage to the team’s 1930s-era uniform. Highlighting the throwback look, the jersey features the classic “B” logo.
Additional design details include a list of the years that the team has won the Stanley Cup (1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011).
Each championship year has been set within a shamrock as a nod to Notre Dame Stadium and is emblazoned onto the interior neckline.
■ The Blackhawks will sport black and white uniforms as an homage to the 1933-34 team, which won the organization’s first Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks’ crest features a combination of felt letters and chain stitching. To complete the theme, player names and numbers feature single-layer felt materials.
Design details include the years the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015) emblazoned onto the interior neckline, paired with the classic hashmarks of Notre Dame Stadium as a nod to the end zone pattern.
Behind the scenes
■ The docuseries “Road to the NHL Winter Classic” is airing for three weeks on NBCSN. The show provides an inside look at the dressing rooms and the homes of the teams as they prepare to for the game. The weekly show will conclude with a special one-hour episode on Sunday, Jan. 6. Full episodes will later air on NHL Network and will be available on NHL.com.
Watch the rink construction
NBC posted a time-lapse of the rink being built inside Notre Dame Stadium.
■ On game day, the NHL will provide free shuttle bus service for passengers between South Bend Westmoor St. (just west of the South Bend International Airport) and Notre Dame Stadium. Busing will be available to passengers on the extra trains and EB Train 503 and WB Train 508. Click here for the schedule.
■ The Bruins and Blackhawks’ Original Six legacies will be recognized in the field décor inside Notre Dame Stadium, with eight Boston and Chicago players showcased on individual shamrocks surrounding the NHL regulation rink. Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull and Denis Savard, as well as a representative for the family of Stan Mikita, will be in attendance for a special pregame ceremony.
■ When Boston and Chicago make their way into the stadium for the first time, they also will be greeted by several Fighting Irish football greats, including 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown.
■ When the Blackhawks arrive at approximately 10 a.m., the team will be escorted into the stadium by the Pipes & Drums of the Chicago Police Department. Weather permitting, Chicago will uphold Notre Dame’s game day tradition of greeting fans outside the Hesburgh Library Mall on the Notre Dame campus. Blackhawks fans are welcome to greet the team upon arrival.
■ The Jacks, a Southern California four-piece rock ’n’ roll band, will entertain fans inside Notre Dame during the Blackhawks’ and Bruins’ pregame skates.
■ The pregame festivities will begin with the introduction of the two teams, set to the Notre Dame fight song performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The teams will be escorted by members of Notre Dame’s men’s hockey team as well as The Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot.
■ The national anthem then will be performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The pregame festivities will conclude with a flyover featuring four A-10 Thunderbolt II planes flown by Blacksnakes of the 163rd Fighter Squadron from the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station.
■ Grammy Award-winning band Weezer will headline the entertainment, performing during the first intermission, a portion of which will be broadcast live on NBC. Judah & the Lion, a band out of Nashville, will entertain fans in attendance during the second intermission.
■ The game pucks will feature thermochromic coatings that change from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature is above freezing, providing a visual indication to officials that the puck should be replaced. The coated pucks will be tested at NHL events during the 2018-19 season and will be further evaluated for broader use in the future.
■ The Boston College hockey team will play Notre Dame on New Year’s Eve at the Compton Family Ice Arena at 5 p.m. The Eagles are 6-1-2 in their last nine games, while Notre Dame is 11-5-1 overall and ranked No. 6 nationally.
■ There will be a free fan festival Dec. 29-31 at Chicago’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, and will include autograph sessions featuring former Blackhawks and Bruins players Brian Campbell, Bryan Bickell, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, and Johnny Bucyk; hockey attractions, including the Stanley Cup; live music; and more. Here’s the schedule:
Saturday, Dec. 29
12-1 p.m. — Brian Campbell autograph session
2-3 p.m. — Bryan Bickell autograph session
11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Musical performances by Red Carpet Riot
Sunday, Dec. 30
1:30– 2:15 p.m. — Denis Savard autograph session
2:30-3:30 p.m. — Q&A with Ray Bourque and Denis Savard
11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Musical performances by Stache
Monday, Dec. 31
12-1 p.m. — Tony Esposito autograph session
2-3 p.m. — Johnny Bucyk autograph session
11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Musical performances by 97Nine