Four former University of Minnesota Gophers were able to bask in the sunshine on TCF Bank Stadium's field.
"It's something I'm really looking forward to," Jordan Schroeder said. "It's got a special place in my heart, obviously, being here at the University of Minnesota, where I went and played. I can't stop smiling right now."
Schroeder wasn't the only one to feel the nostalgia of being back at the U.
"I've played in two of these before — they were both special and something you'll remember forever," Thomas Vanek said. "For me, it's extra special being back on campus, where I played for the U, especially in a venue like this, TCF Bank Stadium, it's going to be fun."
Playing outdoor hockey at TCF Bank Stadium isn't new for Mike Reilly, who skated for the Gophers in the 2014 Hockey Classic.
"It was a cold one, but I'm glad I was able to go through it," Reilly said. You grew up on the ponds, so in a sense, it's nothing really too difficult or new to you. You kind of feel home a little bit."
Vanek echoed the cold, snowy atmosphere of an outdoor game brought back memories of being a kid on a pond. It was 78 degrees on Wednesday, in February the temperature will be vastly different.
"Let's hope it's going to be really cold and snowing," Vanek said.