Michigan will take on Michigan State this Saturday at Michigan Stadium in a game that is expected to draw the largest crowd for a hockey game ever, and I will be one of those people in attendance. Fun fact: I will be wearing the same pair of boots I wore into Michigan Stadium on November 21, 1997--after having been purchased from Meijer's earlier that morning--when this happened. Sadly, my Michigan Starter jacket and size 18 jeans have not withstood the same test of time.
Last week, Michigan head coach Red Berenson got the ceremonnial first skate and gave the rink his seal of approval.
The first game on the rink was played on Saturday when Adrian College defeated Concordia (Wis.) by a score of 3-0. Adrian's Joel Workman gets credit for the first official goal scored in Michigan Stadium.
Michigan has done an excellent job getting all sorts of different games out on the ice prior to Saturday's big game, from high school games, to youth games, to an alumni game. It should be a great experience for all involved, and the heavy wear-and-tear on the ice leading up to the game should have a positive effect on the ice condition for Saturday's game.
The weather looks like it should be great for hockey as well. There is some snow forecasted for Friday evening in the Ann Arbor area, but Saturday's forecast is clear with temperatures in the mid-20s to low-30s, which is pretty close to the surface temperature of the average indoor rink.
Speaking of temperatures and other science-type things, the Michigan Physics Department is putting on a lecture on the physics of hockey before the game. They've got a YouTube video previewing it that is pretty interesting.