When talking about the Midwest Regional with Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson, Jackson said that the Saturday-Sunday format was actually better for Notre Dame student fans. Because of the university’s strict attendance policy, students would be unable to leave classes early on a Friday to get to an early game two hours away in Grand Rapids.
Let’s hope they travel well for Saturday night’s contest, because there aren’t many people here for this game between Cornell and Northeastern – 2,000 tops.
The Midwest Regional has no school host; rather the CCHA itself is hosting the event. There’s smart thinking behind the league’s rationale for hosting. Last weekend, CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos said that he wanted to keep the regional “within the footprint” of the CCHA, and I got the impression that last year’s Midwest Regional in Madison, Wis. – well outside of the CCHA footprint – rankled the league more than a little.
(The 2011 Midwest Regional is in WCHA country, too – Green Bay, Wis.)
Back in September, the CCHA held its annual preseason media day here in Grand Rapids, and the league was pleased with the response to the event. The idea was the kick off and cap the year in GR, and the CCHA has been marketing the Midwest Regional very aggressively in Western Michigan.
Last weekend, when saying my goodbyes to Jackson, I told him I’d see him in Grand Rapids to which he responded, “Well, bring 15,000 of your closest friends.”