News

Sun 1, NHL 0: Outdoor hockey game is delayed EIGHT hours at Lake Tahoe due to melting ice

[ad_1]

The NHL got a valuable science lesson along the shores of Lake Tahoe on Saturday as its annual outdoor extravaganza was nearly ruined by the midday sun, resulting in poor ice conditions, unhappy players, and an eight-hour delay.

‘The NHL not understanding how the Sun works is so on point,’ tweeted Barstool Sports podcast host Dan Katz after Saturday’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights deteriorated into slippery chaos.

Normally the NHL hosts one or two games during an outdoor event in January known as the Winter Classic. This year, however, with the event postponed and attendance limited by the pandemic, the league opted to forgo a traditional outdoor arena, and instead chose to hose a pair of games on a lakeside town in Nevada.

Sunday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers start time was pushed back five hours so the players wouldn’t have to compete with the midday sun, but that was only after the Golden Knights’s 1-0 loss to the Avalanche was delayed 8 hours, 7 minutes on Saturday.

Normally the NHL hosts one or two games during an outdoor event in January known as the Winter Classic. This year, however, with the event postponed and attendance limited by the pandemic, the league opted to forgo a traditional outdoor arena, and instead chose to hose a pair of games on a lakeside town in Nevada

Normally the NHL hosts one or two games during an outdoor event in January known as the Winter Classic. This year, however, with the event postponed and attendance limited by the pandemic, the league opted to forgo a traditional outdoor arena, and instead chose to hose a pair of games on a lakeside town in Nevada

Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog slips during Saturday's game against the Golden Knights

Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog slips during Saturday's game against the Golden Knights

Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog slips during Saturday’s game against the Golden Knights 

The ice crew continue preparations prior to the 'NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe' at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on February 19, 2021 in Stateline, Nevada

The ice crew continue preparations prior to the 'NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe' at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on February 19, 2021 in Stateline, Nevada

The ice crew continue preparations prior to the ‘NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe’ at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on February 19, 2021 in Stateline, Nevada

At one point during Saturday's game, bot a player (left) and ref (right) fell simultaneously

At one point during Saturday's game, bot a player (left) and ref (right) fell simultaneously

At one point during Saturday’s game, bot a player (left) and ref (right) fell simultaneously 

The game was halted after the first period at 12:55pm local time. Workers covered the ice soon after before removing the cover after the sun went down. Bettman said some players wanted to keep playing while others didn't, but the final decision was made in consultation with the union because of safety

The game was halted after the first period at 12:55pm local time. Workers covered the ice soon after before removing the cover after the sun went down. Bettman said some players wanted to keep playing while others didn't, but the final decision was made in consultation with the union because of safety

The game was halted after the first period at 12:55pm local time. Workers covered the ice soon after before removing the cover after the sun went down. Bettman said some players wanted to keep playing while others didn’t, but the final decision was made in consultation with the union because of safety

‘We’ve done over 30 outdoor games,’ Commissioner Gary Bettman told broadcaster NBC. ‘This has been the most difficult weather circumstance we’ve had, and it’s a beautiful day. But if you look up at the sun, the cloud cover is everywhere but where the sun is, and it did a number on the ice.’

The game was halted after the first period at 12:55pm local time. Workers covered the ice soon after before removing the cover after the sun went down.

Bettman said some players wanted to keep playing while others didn’t, but the final decision was made in consultation with the union because of safety.

‘There was a reason why they postponed it,’ Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez said. ‘Obviously they did the best they could but the sun was beating down on it too much and was melting the ice. There were some big chunks taken out. We obviously didn’t want anyone getting hurt. If big chunks are coming out of the ice all the way to the cement, that’s obviously dangerous playing conditions.’

Crews were working on the ice just before the opening faceoff and issues kept cropping up throughout the period.

‘We’ve played in some rain, we’ve played in snow, but sunshine has always been our enemy,’ Bettman said.

Golden Knights teammates Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith  head out for warm-ups

Golden Knights teammates Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith  head out for warm-ups

Golden Knights teammates Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith  head out for warm-ups

The ice crew continue preparations prior to the 'NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe' at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on Saturday

The ice crew continue preparations prior to the 'NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe' at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on Saturday

The ice crew continue preparations prior to the ‘NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe’ at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on Saturday

The ice issues took away from the spectacular setting for the game, which is being played on a makeshift rink on the 18th fairway of a golf course on the shore of Lake Tahoe, with snow-covered mountains in the background.

It snowed overnight and into the morning before the sun came out. While the pristine conditions made for perfect views, it proved detrimental to the ice.

‘Whenever the sun was beating down on the ice it’s really hard to maintain,’ Vegas forward Alex Tuch said. ‘The ice crew did an unbelievable job to try to maintain it during the day. More of an impossible task.’

The ice was in much better shape at night for the final two periods.

‘The ice was pretty bad and slushy but we were ready to play,’ Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. ‘They didn’t want to play it seemed like, but we did. Luckily, we were able to get it done tonight. The ice was great.’

But the delay didn’t alter Bettman’s commitment to outdoor games, even in unconventional settings outside of a stadium venue like Lake Tahoe.

‘This game was really taking the game out to its roots in terms of the surroundings,’ Bettman said. ‘Obviously, we tried to do something different in an unusual time, try and give our fans something special. The players were excited about it.

‘We’re going to continue to do this, but we always knew and we’ll know going forward that when you play outside and ice is important, the weather conditions can affect whether or not we can play the game. We’ve been lucky to this point and I think we’re all disappointed but the teams have been great.

‘And we move on. You can’t have success if you don’t risk failure.’

[ad_2]
Source link

bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button