When Garden officials booked the Cornell-BU game for the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend in 2007, they hoped for a respectable crowd of perhaps 10,000 or 12,000 in major college hockey's return to the arena after a three-decade absence.
Instead, the game was a sellout, mostly full of Cornell fans. BU won, 6-3.
So the teams returned in 2009, and sold out the place again. The teams tied at 3.
The game is headed for another sellout or near sellout this Saturday in what has become a holiday weekend tradition.
And this year there is a new wrinkle, thanks primarily to the NBA lockout: MSG will televise the game live, with Bill Pidto (Cornell '87) on play by play alongside former Islanders analyst Billy Jaffe.
It will be the first college hockey game on MSG since 2005.
Elsewhere in hockey television this weekend, NBC will present the first ever "Thanksgiving Showdown" Friday, featuring the Bruins and Red Wings in the earliest regular-season NHL game on U.S. broadcast network TV in more than 20 years.