I always knew the Germans were up to no good. I'm not sure if it was being the world leader in strategy-based board games, or really any of the first half of the 20th century, but I never had a good feeling about them. Those fears were justified, as not only did Germany beat the United States in the Men's World Championships--I'm disappointed that I missed the meeting where it was decided: 'Hey, we've won too many medals lately, let's just send Taylor Chorney to play for us'--but the Germans also set the world attendance record for a hockey game, beating out the Cold War between Michigan and Michigan State in 2001 by packing 77,803 people into a stadium to watch the game.
The good news is that they're not going to hold the record for long. This week, the University of Michigan announced they were cutting off public ticket sales to the outdoor game between Michigan and Michigan State at Michigan Stadium next December, because they'd reached the 100,000 tickets sold mark, and want to save some for incoming students. Selling over 100,000 tickets to a hockey game more than six months in advance is just crazy. I guess people will do anything to see a winning team inside Michigan Stadium these days. (Hey-o!)
So after December, I've got a feeling that largest hockey crowd record is safe for a good while. After Michigan Stadium, your options for a bigger stadium to break the record are: a near-defunct stadium in Prague, various NASCAR venues, Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India, and Rungrado May Day Stadium in North Korea.
Four of the finalists to host the 2013 and 2014 Frozen Fours were announced. Those finalists are: Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Buffalo was one of the applicants that announced they did not make the cut. It also doesn't look good for Omaha, which seems short-sighted, given that we're just five years away from Omaha becoming the capital of our fractured nation.
Pittsburgh almost seems like a given to host in 2013. Philadelphia was in the running last time Frozen Four bids were handed out, and if I recall, the big sticking point was that there wasn't really anything around the arena, which isn't good when the majority of the fans going to the event are flying in and don't have access to a car. They did have some sort of half-assed shuttle system proposed to take people the three miles from the arena to where everything else is. If they've added another quarter of an ass to their shuttle system, I think it'd be a great venue. Though that would mean two Pennsylvania Frozen Fours in a row, which I could see the committee shying away from.
Washington D.C. and St. Louis are both repeats of recent Frozen Fours that were pretty popular. I wasn't at either, so I can't comment too definitively, but neither excites me a great deal. Everyone loved Washington D.C., but to me it just seems like a family summer vacation place, not really a see-the-sights-on-the-off-day kind of place.
Again, maybe I'm ignorant, but I can't come up with a single reason that I'd ever be interested in seeing St. Louis. Perhaps the best way to handle this would be to give St. Louis an attendance ultimatum on next year's regional, by saying they can have another Frozen Four, if they get X amount of fans to show up. And then pick some crazy, unreachable number that they'll be lucky to get half of like 2000 people.
CollegeHockey247 put up a fantastic article where NTDP director of player personnel Ryan Rezmierski talks about the NTDP's new defensemen.. This is going to be a really exciting group to watch with Jacob Trouba, Seth Jones, and Brady Skjei all looking like they could be very special players.
The USHL's Clark Cup finals between the Fargo Force and Green Bay Gamblers have been fantastic. Fargo won the first two games on the road, and had a chance to close things out quickly, but lost a triple overtime heartbreaker in Game 3 at home, and then Green Bay won again in Fargo in Game 4. The deciding fifth game will be held on Wednesday in Green Bay. Fargo is down two pretty key forwards for the big game with Corey Leivermann and Chase Grant out with injuries.