Frozen Festivities: Notre Dame Nation hits St. Paul
Chris Allen | Thursday, April 7, 2011
Notre Dame may be in enemy territory for its Frozen Four game against Minnesota-Duluth in Saint Paul, Minn., but the Irish hockey nation is alive and well here in the North Star State.
Pregame festivities for Irish hockey fans started at a pep rally at Wild Tymes Sports Bar and Grill beginning four hours before the national semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center. The event, hosted by the Notre Dame Club of Minnesota, featured a live outdoor performance from the Notre Dame hockey band and a raffle of Irish hockey memorabilia.
The Irish faithful later showed up at Gate 1 of the Xcel Energy Center for what was billed as a “Red Carpet Arrival”. At approximately 2 p.m., both Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth’s team buses arrived at the arena to the music of the respective pep bands.
Saint Paul mayor Chris Coleman arrived on the red carpet between the two teams and declared his allegiances to Minnesota-Duluth.
“My brother in-law was a Bulldog,” Coleman said.
Though he sides with the in-state team, Coleman stressed the benefit of having the Frozen Four in his city.
“This is the best you could ask for,” he said. “Saint Paul is the best hockey city in America.”
The action between the Irish and the Bulldogs gets underway at the Xcel Energy Center at 5 p.m. Eastern time.