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Talk about a big chill

Kent, Salisbury face-off on Michigan ice

Talk about an away game!  Last week, the boys hockey teams from Kent School and Salisbury School traveled all the way to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face-off against each other in the largest stadium in the United States (and the third largest  in the world): Michigan Stadium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Kent School hockey coach Matt Herr is a Michigan alumnus and a former professional hockey player. He began thinking last year that it would be a great opportunity for his team to play in a stadium of that magnitude.

The stadium, nicknamed The Big House, was entirely booked at the time. But Herr put in a request anyway and was notified of an opening on the schedule for Dec. 10.

He decided to book it and plan the trip for his team. He invited the boys hockey team from Salisbury School, with whom Herr says Kent has “a good rivalry and tradition.”

The scheduling of the match was enhanced further by a hockey game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State that was to be held on Saturday, Dec. 11. The game was advertised as The Big Chill at The Big House and was said to be “the largest outdoor hockey event in history.” The match drew about 113,000 fans to the stadium. The Salisbury and Kent teams attended the game.

“It was great for the kids to experience 113,000 people in a venue like that. And they got to see a really high level of hockey,” Herr said.

The Kent-Salisbury game drew about 100 spectators — mostly parents and some Kent alumni who had also come for an alumni reception in Ann Arbor.

Salisbury beat Kent 3-0 in the exhibition game.

Herr said that traveling to Michigan was a great way to promote prep school hockey in the Midwest, and said the students got a valuable look at their potential future as hockey players.

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