Players and executives from the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks gathered in Chicago Thursday to discuss the upcoming Winter Classic, which will be contested on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.
The game is the fourth Winter Classic for the Blackhawks and their sixth outdoor game overall, but despite their frequent appearances, it is still a memorable experience for youngsters like Alex DeBrincat.
“It’s cool to be able to live out your childhood dreams,” DeBrincat said. “Growing up you play on ponds and lakes, and it’s really special to play outside. We’re looking forward to getting out there and having some fun.”
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was also present at the event, and he said that despite his team’s frequent appearances in outdoor games, they are still looking forward to hosting the Winter Classic for the second time in his career.
“I don’t think you take playing in your own building for granted, but the change of scenery is pretty cool,” he said. “You can’t be caught looking around, but we all know it’s a cool building, and it will be fun to see both teams going toe to toe.”
The Blackhawks last hosted the Winter Classic in 2009, when they fell 6-4 at Wrigley Field to the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks also lost the 2015 edition of the game to the Washington Capitals, and the 2017 game to the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium.
The team’s lone victory in an outdoor contest came in the 2014 Stadium Series game at Soldier Field, when they blew out Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.