With the National Hockey Association in the midst of a lockout, area hockey fans are looking for ways to see the sport they love. In that way, Lebanon Valley College is seated in a great position, as its ice hockey team readies itself to host Delaware in the Dutchmen Outdoor Classic on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.
The game will be played at Hersheypark Stadium – a venue normally outfitted for football. The purpose-built outdoor rink will host the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins two days earlier in the Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic. The stadium will add additional seating at both ends of the rink for a capacity of about 18,000 fans.
“We are very excited to be playing in a game that is once in a lifetime opportunity,” head coach Don Parsons said. “I think we have a great team in the dressing room, and playing against Delaware is a challenge we look forward to.”
The team announced the game in June and has since released the official event name, logo, and ticketing information through the athletics website, GoDutchmen.com.
With a custom logo came the exciting opportunity to design custom jerseys, which will be auctioned off online and at the game in support of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Lemieux, a hall of famer and legend of professional hockey, has also donated autographed merchandise to be auctioned. Items include two autographed jerseys – one in custom Dutchmen Outdoor Classic design and the other a traditional Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. He also donated an autographed Pittsburgh Penguins puck. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity from the foundation.
Click here to place your bids
LVC is experiencing a highly successful season with a 14-1 start. They are ranked #21 in the most recent poll conducted by the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and have been nationally ranked since Nov. 1. On the other bench will sit the reigning ACHA national champions. Delaware beat LVC twice last season, so there is somewhat of a revenge factor to compliment the geographical proximity of the two schools.
“It will be important to focus on the game,” Parsons said. “I suspect that the guys will be full of anticipation and emotion. It will be my priority to maintain that emotion and use it to get a good jump when that opening puck drops.”