Outdoor hockey...in southern California?
Fresh off the massive success that was the "Winter Classic" in Ann Arbor, Michigan on New Year's Day, the NHL continues its outdoor tour with the "Stadium Series."
There will be outdoor games in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Yep, you read that right...L.A.
Saturday January 25th at 6:30pm PST the Los Angeles Kings will host the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium in what will be the southernmost outdoor game in league history! The Great One, Wayne Gretzky may have put hockey on the California map, but the "great one" that day could be Dan Craig. Dan is the man, or at least will be, in charge of making sure the ice doesn't melt in temperatures that could exceed 25C.
Beginning Thursday evening, Craig and his crew will build the rink by pumping supercooled water into "ice pans."
Working through the night, they will protect the newly formed ice rink under a thermal tarp during the day.
On game day, the real star..or dud...could be the NHL's "ice truck." The function of this truck will be to keep the rink ice at a chilly -5.5C during the game. Let's hope it doesn't run out of gas!
This historical game should be great fun! For those on the East Coast lamenting the later start, it is essential.
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They will need the cooler air after sundown...especially if those warm Santa Ana winds blow.
So much intrigue to be sure! You've got two great teams. There's also (however slight) the potential that the game could get sabotaged by slushy conditions. Anyone for water polo?
And what the heck, let's not rule out some fog too as that warm California air interacts with the cold ice inside Dodger Stadium.
The Stadium Series will continue the next day at Yankee Stadium as the New Jersey Devils take on the New York Rangers. The outdoor series will wrap up March 2nd in Vancouver with the Heritage Classic as the Canucks host the Ottawa Senators under the retractable roof of B.C. Place.