While there haven’t been any schedules posted just yet for the women’s hockey 2019-2020 season, there appears to be a blockbuster showcase on the docket for Thanksgiving weekend.
According to the Nashville Predators’ Ticketmaster site, the Boston College Eagles, Harvard Crimson, Minnesota Golden Gophers, and defending national champion Wisconsin Badgers will converge on Smashville for what’s being billed as the “Country Classic” — a women’s hockey showcase between four of the powerhouse NCAA women’s hockey programs. The showcase has been rumored for the last couple years, but appears to finally be official.
Boston College will take on Minnesota on Friday, November 29th, with Harvard playing Wisconsin later in the afternoon, before the teams will swap east/west opponents on Saturday, November 30th, pitting the Eagles against the NCAA champion Badgers and the Crimson against the Gophers.
The competition — which, interestingly, features a rematch of the 2015 Frozen Four — will take place at the Predators’ new Ford Ice Center in Bellevue (not to be confused with the Ford Ice Center in Antioch), a brand new facility being built by the Nashville Predators that’s so new it’s not even close to being finished yet. Playing at a smaller facility (and one that’ll be literally weeks old by the time the games are played) is a solid way to create a good atmosphere for the event, particularly given that the game is a good distance from all four schools — though it’s not hard to imagine the locals (and youth groups in particular) embracing the event given the huge growth of the sport in the Nashville area.
Women’s Hockey is sorely lacking in great inter-conference matchups between top teams, and while Harvard has had some down years the last few seasons, they’re a historical powerhouse that won’t stay down for long. This showcase should be an exciting event for not just the four programs involved, but for neutral fans of the sport as well.