THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012
9:02 p.m. ET -- Happy Thanksgiving from South Bend, Ind.
Today's full itinerary has come to an end and it's (finally) time for some sweatpants and football. Watching, not playing, that is.
We boarded our charter flight at about 10 a.m. Central this morning and arrived in South Bend about 90 minutes later. Flying via commercial airlines can be an adventure at the best of times; I can't imagine having to do so over the Thanksgiving holiday.
After we checked in to our hotel -- directly across the street from the College Football Hall of Fame -- and grabbed a quick lunch, it was off to the Compton Family Ice Arena for practice. The second-year facility is very nice, and kind of resembles the new arena in Duluth as far as layout. Tim Hennessy also noted that there isn't a single ad to be found anywhere on the ice or on the boards. You don't see that very often anymore.
Speaking of Hennessy, my roomie and I ducked out from practice for a bit to walk over to the football stadium. It was obviously locked up for the holiday, but it was still neat to walk around the exterior of the historic stadium and see the monuments to the likes of coaching legends Knute Rockne and Lou Holtz. We also got a good look at the famous 'Touchdown Jesus' mural near the stadium.
Meanwhile, at practice, goalies Clarke Saunders, Zane Gothberg and Tate Maris captured the weekly Thursday shootout competition. Saunders sealed the win with highlight-reel saves on Rocco Grimaldi and Corban Knight in the final round.
From practice, it was off to team dinner. And what a treat that was. We ate a (buffet style) Thanksgiving meal at the Tippecanoe Restaurant, formerly the Studebaker Mansion. Yes, the Studebakers of the Studebaker autmobile. Apparently this is the place to be in South Bend on Thanksgiving. We were told they served over 1,300 meals today and went through more than 70 turkeys.
There was also a local tie, as one of the chefs told Mark Poolman he used to be a chef at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo.
One of my loyal interns, Peter Bottini, made the trip to South Bend (he's an unabashed Notre Dame football fan) and hopefully he got some good footage of this fabulous mansion that you'll be able to see on next week's Through These Doors.
And so a long and eventful travel day comes to an end. Check back tomorrow and throughout the weekend for further updates.
And go ahead, have one more piece of pie.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2012
4:03 p.m. -- I learned two things this afternoon.
First, CJ's Pub in South Bend makes a mean hamburger. Not quite Hub Burger-level, but perhaps the best one I've had on the road.
And second, if you have the option of buying an expensive razor at the gift shop or accepting a courtesy razor from the front desk, don't be a cheapskate.
4:10 p.m. -- Clarke Saunders will start in goal tonight and Joe Gleason goes back into the lineup for Andrew Panzarella. Otherwise, head coach Dave Hakstol is going with a similar lineup to last Saturday's overtime win over Minnesota Duluth:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2012
2:23 p.m. -- It certainly feels strange to be at the rink this early in the day, but here we are. The upside is we should land in Grand Forks sometime around 10 p.m. Central tonight.