Joel Johnson and John Harrington to lead their squads Nov. 9 at Maple Grove Ice Arena
St. Thomas University (4-6-0) will meet Minnesota State University (2-6-0) in the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic, Thursday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. CST, at the Maple Grove Ice Arena in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
The Tommies are coached by Joel Johnson, who was the head coach of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team that won a silver medal. John Harrington, the Mavericks’ head coach, is a famed member of the “Miracle on Ice” team that captured the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.
The game raises awareness for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum in Eveleth, Minnesota and showcases women’s college hockey at its highest level to the fans including young girls who may aspire to play hockey.
“We are so thankful to the schools, the volunteers and the community of Maple Grove for all they are doing to make this game a true showcase of women’s college hockey at its finest,” said U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Executive Director Doug Palazzari. “Hats off to these outstanding athletes, coaches and fans that will make this a special event.”
The evening will feature a ceremonial face-off and a special rendition of the National Anthem performed by Bella Lewis, a student at Maple Grove High School. Also, teams from the Osseo Maple Grove Hockey Association will play during the intermissions. Hall of Famers and Spirit of Life Award winners in attendance will be introduced during the second intermission.
Members of the Minnesota team in the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) including head coach Charlie Burggraf and players Maddie Rooney and Lee Stecklein will also be at the game. Of note, Rooney played college hockey at Minnesota Duluth and Stecklein played at the University of Minnesota.
The college teams will battle for the Hall of Fame Game Trophy, which will be presented to the winning team by 1980 Winter Olympic hockey gold medalist Buzz Schneider and board members of the museum.
There will be a special on-ice check presentation at the conclusion of the game to
Sophie’s Squad, the game’s charity recipient. New this year, one player from each team will receive a plaque for being named the David Tomassoni Player of the Game. In addition, select players from both teams will sign autographs for youth hockey players in attendance after the game.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at https://MGCRIMSON.TICKETLEAP.com/2023/.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum (www.ushockeyhall.com) opened in 1973 with the goal of preserving the rich history of ice hockey in the United States while recognizing the extraordinary contributions of select players, coaches, administrators, officials, and teams.