Jack Johnson is one of seven Kings defenseman who formerly played college hockey. From 2005-07 he was at the University of Michigan – the school that’s sent more players to the NHL than any other program. So, naturally, he had a few things to say about the big game being played outdoors later today…
MM: Any thoughts on the Michigan – Michigan State game?
JJ: It’s going to be awesome. I wish I could have played in a game like that. It’s going to be the largest hockey game ever played (over 110,000 people expected). Those guys are going to have an awesome experience. I’m going to record it so I get a chance to watch it afterwards. I hope they get to soak in every minute of it.
[note: This past May, Johnson was part of the Team USA squad that played in the game currently holding the attendance record. More on that in a moment.]
MM: Davis Drewiske said he had a bet last year with Scuderi and Harrold on the BC-Wisconsin game. Any wagers from your side of things?
JJ: Yeah, I put a little wager on the Michigan-Wisconsin football game. We also followed the College Hockey Showcase, the Michigan-Wisconsin game (played over Thanksgiving weekend). I have a little bet with Justin Abdelkader on this one too (the UM-MSU game).
Michigan will host Michigan State today at noon PST for a game being played inside Michigan’s football stadium (known as The Big House). The game itself has been dubbed ‘The Big Chill’ and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Detroit and the the Big Ten Network (both carried by DirecTV). The broadcast will also be available via the Internet at http://www.foxsportsdetroit.com/.
These same two teams met outdoors back in 2001 in a game hosted by Michigan State. Billed as ‘The Cold War’ game, it was attended by over 74,000 fans (a mark broken by a few thousand people when Johnson’s USA team played at last year’s IIHF World Championships in Germany). That previous contest ended in a 3-3 tie.
While Johnson did miss out on the first outdoor game between the two schools, former King Mike Cammalleri played for Michigan at the time. On the other side, he faced Ryan Miller in net for MSU. Today, the Spartans will suit up both of Chris Chelios’ sons, Dean and Jake.
Believe it or not, this is actually the second of two Michigan games played outdoors this calendar year. Last February they visited Wisconsin for a game played at Camp Randall. UM lost 3-2.
The #12 ranked Wolverines – and Johnson – are hoping for better results today.
Misc. College Hockey Notes – incld. Drewiske’s on losing his NCAA Championship bet