Big Chill Rink Size

Submitted by Hail-Storm on December 10th, 2010 at 9:09 AM

So I just finished reading about the Big Chill Ice, and noticed that the rink was Olympic size rather than NHL size.  This makes sense, since it fills out the Big House better than a small rink would. 

My questions to the MGoCommunity are;

Is this an advantage to Michigan since they usually are a quicker team while State likes to play a defensive battle and get points off of transition or is it an advantage the other way?

Will this make for a more exciting game, with more open ice to move the puck around, or will this be worse, since I'm guesing it will be easier to clear the defensive zone on larger ice?

Any other comments or facts would be appriciated.  I'm really excited and can't wait for the game tomorrow. Go Blue!



December 10th, 2010 at 9:19 AM ^

Olympic ice is best for a smaller, quicker team that can pass well. It also can be a huge disadvantage to the less conditioned team, but since we're talking two Division 1 hockey teams I would think they're conditioned at about the same level.

I haven't seen MSU play at all this year so I can't comment on their style of play, but from what I've seen of Michigan they need to pass more in the attacking zone to take advantage of the bigger size.

Edit- It will make for a more watchable game, because the transition game will not be as fast as on NHL sized ice. If State does get their points that way, then it's defensive advantage Michigan.


December 10th, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

nothing to do with the topic, and I'm sorry for that, but I don't want to have to start a new topic about this.

For students that received Big Chill tickets with their football season tickets, do we need to go to the Ticket office to get a new ticket or is the one that came with football good?  I'm asking because the ticket office sent an email out a few days ago saying that students needed to pick up tickets, and it wasn't too clear.

Thanks for any help, and please delete if you need to.


December 10th, 2010 at 10:05 AM ^

This really shouldn't make much difference to the game in all honesty.  Alaska has an Olympic sized sheet as well as Minnesota, Denver, and many other NCAA teams that Michigan and MSU play at least on a semi-regular basis. 

Yes it does change a little bit of how you defend in your own zone, and makes nuetral zone play twice as important.  More than benefiting a quicker team, the Olympic sheet will benefit the team whos defense can move the puck and regroup in the nuetral zone opposed to a dump and chase mentality.


December 10th, 2010 at 11:17 AM ^

I just remember a few years ago that it was going to benefit Air Force to be on the Olympic Ice, since they are used to it and complimented their style. 

I wasn't sure if this type of open ice lead to more neutral zone play, and if it felt slower pace, compared to playing on a smaller rink, and if either lead to more scoring.  It should be exciting either way.


December 10th, 2010 at 3:35 PM ^

Just FWIW all the times I played on an Olympic sheet it tends to lend to a more open style early but once teams get into a flow of the game it really locks down.  Since most college programs rely on Dump-and- Chase it can cause problems.  The offensive zones are much larger 15 feet wider and 10-12 feet longer (depending on nuetral zone size).  Getting any forcheck on a dump in is hard, ESPECIALLY if you have a goaltender who can handle the puck.

I personally like the Olympic sheet once teams get set up i.e. on power plays or sustained pressure because it allows for cuts to the net, and more space in scoring areas.


December 10th, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

It does make a difference with regards to Michigan and MSU. MSU plays a grinding/midzone trap style that favors a smaller rink size. While Michigan plays a more open end-to-end type of game 


December 10th, 2010 at 11:05 AM ^

On the Red Berenson show he mentioned that there may only be a slight advantage to Michigan for two reasons. The first was that Michigan had "quicker" skaters than MSU, and could get to a puck on a larger rink. The second is that Michigan has been practicing on the outdoor larger rink for the past week.  The difference is about 6 feet in length. Supposedly, the ice is in excellent condition and is 4 inches thick (no jokes) and is thicker than the sheet they skated on outside at Wisconsin that was only 2 inches thick and had some issues with ice quality.

At least that's what I heard on the radio show. There is a link here:


December 10th, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

There is no doubt that the Olympic ice favors the better passing, skating and conditioned team. BUT there is a point no one is making (must be because I am a goalie) but the angles for the goalies will be off - it is different. I think that UM has practiced more on this ice then State will give Hogan a sight advantage. It will take a few shots / warmup to get use to the larger surface. Also, on dump ins behind the net, there is an extra few feet, so it won't be as "easy" for the netminder to stop a shoot in along the back dasher boards - just something to watch.

Leaving Chicago in a few hours to make the drive. Hoops tonight vs. Utah (then Soccer Final Four) and then an all day Tailgate before the Big Chill!

Go Blue!


December 10th, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

Honestly, the biggest difference aside from the width is going to be the corners... the offensive zone has a greater general area over the NHL ice, and the corners are signicicantly "spacier" for the shifty forwards Michigan has, a lot more "Skill-in-space" approach...