Plans unfold for Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field

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Plans unfold for Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field

Earlier in the week, we learned that plans were in the works to create an outdoor hockey tournament in Chicago at Soldier Field.

Now, for the first time in its history, the home of the Chicago Bears will be hosting the Hockey City Classic on Feb. 17, 2013, an outdoor doubleheader that will feature some of NCAA's top hockey programs: University of Notre Dame vs. Miami University and University of Minnesota vs. University of Wisconsin.

Game times have not yet been announced.

Before the start of the games, the Hockey City Classic will welcome guests by hosting two weeks of winter activities, including free public staking, high school and adult league hockey events, and availability of private ice rental.

All Blackhawks fans will hopefully receive an extra bonus as well. Team ambassador and hockey legend Denis Savard and team vice president Jay Bluck were on sight Wednesday to discuss details of the event. Their presence shows the Soldier Field location will serve as a practice run for Chicago to hold another NHL Winter Classic.

Back in 2009 when they faced the Red Wings, the Blackhawks played at Wrigley Field. But a future game at Soldier Field could hold thousands more people and incorporate a much wider fan base.

Here's a stunning look at how Soldier Field is expected to appear during the Hockey City Classic, taken by the Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton:

Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

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Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.

The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.

Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.

The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

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Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday. 

The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.

Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.

Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.

The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season. 

Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.