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RELEASE: NHL to pay homage to Notre Dame traditions as well as Blackhawks

Pregame Festivities to Feature Notre Dame Football Greats; The Notre Dame Leprechaun; and South Bend Symphony Orchestra; Blackhawks and Bruins Legends Will Be Celebrated in Pregame Ceremony; Musical Performances by Weezer, Judah & the Lion, and The Jacks

by NHL Public Relations /

The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature a tribute to former Boston Bruins® and Chicago Blackhawks® legends Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Bobby Orr, Denis Savard and Eddie Shore; special appearances by Notre Dame football greats, including 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, and The Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot; and musical performances by Grammy Award-winning band Weezer as well as Judah & the Lion and The Jacks. The Jan. 1 game will be broadcast live from Notre Dame Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

The Bruins and Blackhawks' Original Six legacies will be recognized in the field décor inside Notre Dame Stadium, with eight Boston and Chicago players showcased on individual shamrocks surrounding the NHL regulation rink. Bourque, Bucyk, Esposito, Hull and Savard, as well as a representative for the Mikita family, will be in attendance for a special pregame ceremony and will greet the current Bruins and Blackhawks at the famed Notre Dame tunnel.

When Boston and Chicago make their way into the stadium for the first time, they also will be greeted by several Fighting Irish football greats, including Brown.

When the Blackhawks arrive at approximately 10:00 a.m. ET, the team will be escorted into the stadium by the Pipes & Drums of the Chicago Police Department. Weather permitting, Chicago will uphold Notre Dame's game day tradition of greeting fans outside the Hesburgh Library Mall on the University of Notre Dame campus. Blackhawks fans are welcome to greet the team upon arrival.

"It was our intention from the day we announced the game to bring the traditions of Notre Dame into our game presentation," said Steve Mayer, NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President. "Under the backdrop of one of the most legendary stadiums in the country, we are ready to entertain what will be the second-largest crowd in the history of the NHL."

The Jacks, a Southern California four-piece rock 'n' roll band, will entertain fans inside Notre Dame during the Blackhawks' and Bruins' pregame skates. Formed in the summer of 2016, The Jacks - comprised of Jonny Stanback (vocals), Tom Hunter (guitar), Scott Stone (bass), and Josh Roossin (drums) - met as hometown friends and set out to make their stamp on the genre they love. By the end of 2018, The Jacks had self-booked two U.S. national tours, played major rock festivals, and sold out historic Los Angeles venues such as the Troubadour and Roxy. After months of touring, the band is focusing on its first release with EDGEOUT Records/UMG, coming in early 2019.

The formal pregame festivities will begin with the introduction of the Blackhawks and Bruins, set to the Notre Dame fight song performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The teams will be escorted by members of Notre Dame's men's hockey team as well as The Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot. Notre Dame's ROTC will present colors while members of South Bend's St. Joseph High School varsity and junior varsity hockey teams will unfurl the U.S. flag onto the auxiliary rink.

The U.S. national anthem then will be performed by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The pregame festivities will conclude with a flyover featuring four A-10 Thunderbolt II planes flown by Blacksnakes of the 163rd Fighter Squadron from the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station.

Judah & the Lion, the most genre-bending band out of Nashville in recent memory, will entertain fans in attendance during the second intermission. Blending sounds from folk to rock to pop to hip-hop, Judah & the Lion has taken its sound to the top of the alternative charts and around the world. Having shared the stage with the likes of Twenty One Pilots, Kaleo, Incubus and Paramore, and recently being named iHeart Radio's Best New Alt/Rock Artist of the Year, the only thing that rivals Judah & the Lion's recorded music is its live show.

As previously announced, Grammy Award-winning band Weezer will headline the entertainment for the game with a first intermission performance, presented by Ticketmaster. A portion of the performance will be televised.

American Forces Network will broadcast the game live on AFN Sports 2 channel to U.S. active duty military personnel based or deployed overseas. NHL Network™ and will provide extensive coverage live from the event leading up to and after the game. NHL Social™ will have exclusive coverage on all social platforms, including the use of the official hashtag NHL #WinterClassic.

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