Well, it seems that they're trying to reclaim the environment. While it's naturally going to be a heavy Michigan crowd, one staple of weekends at Yost will be conspicuously absent: The Michigan hockey pep band will not be in attendance.
This is not due to conflicts or crowds. It is because Notre Dame is excluding them from attending. The hockey team liason explained to the band that "it is ND's home game and they did not want to allow [them] to travel." The band contacted the CCHA and learned that there is no official policy on home games played at neutral sites, but they would bring up this issue at league meetings this year. Red Berenson and the team told the MMB staff that the band's presence would "greatly improve the environment," and that their hands are tied.
Incredible that this is deliberate. But band-related conflicts are not without precedent between these schools. The Notre Dame marching band has twice made problems for themselves when traveling to Michigan in the past. Michigan's long-standing policy of capping opposing bands groups at 330 members somehow became an obstacle for Notre Dame who was unwilling to write drill for a smaller group in advance. Ultimately, they complained publicly but still came without incident. And I think they came to Michigan this year too, though I don't remember hearing their fight song when they scored.
I don't mean to suggest this is a retaliatory snub -- if they wanted to inconvenience the MMB they could've done so at the games in 2004 or 2006 -- just wanted to note that similar things have happened before.
The Victors and the Notre Dame Victory March are unanimously revered among the top fight songs in the country and almost always appear #1 and #2 in pundits' lists. It is unfortunate that this attempt at neutralizing the Michigan faithful comes at the expense of some of the greatest traditions in college athletics, and not by circumstance, but by choice.
Update: Notre Dame will indeed have its pep band there Saturday. The associate athletic director responded to an e-mail explicitly stating that since the Michigan band played at its home game on Friday, that "in turn, the Notre Dame band will perform at its home game on Saturday." He said that during CCHA play, visiting teams' pep bands do not perform at Yost Ice Arena, and we should not expect Notre Dame to host a visiting band, since that is not customary in college hockey.
He neglects to account for CCHA regular season games played at neutral sites, such as the annual Michigan-MSU hockey game at Joe Louis Arena, where both bands are present. And when LSSU played one of its home games at Joe Louis, rotating Michigan and Michigan State as opponents, both visiting teams' bands went. There's even a precedent for CCHA regular season games played at non-hockey venues: The Cold War.
To which Michigan sent a band.