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Rain or Shine, Hockey Day 2017 to Be Played Outdoors

Event is on as planned at Stillwater's Lowell Park

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild /

Even with precipitation in the forecast, Hockey Day Minnesota 2017 will still be played outside.

The National Weather Service predicts a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday in Stillwater, the site of the 11th annual statewide hockey celebration's high school matchups. But the Hockey Day local organizing committee has decided to move forward with plans to keep the event outdoors at Lowell Park on the bank of the St. Croix River.

Should weather become a factor, crews will take steps to ensure the playing surface stays in good condition, including dry runs with a Zamboni and squeegeeing the ice during stoppages in play. If necessary, weather delays will be instituted, as well.

Saturday's high school triple-header begins at 10 a.m. when Thief River Falls and Mahtomedi's boys teams face off. Stillwater hosts Eden Prairie at 1 p.m. in the day's second boys match-up, followed by the Stillwater and Minnetonka girls contest at 5:30 p.m.

There's also a 30 percent chance of rain and snow Friday night, but that day's Stillwater Police vs. Fire game, Minnesota Whitecaps vs. Korean National team exhibition and University of Minnesota-University of Wisconsin alumni matchup are also scheduled to go on as planned.

Only once has Hockey Day been moved indoors -- in 2012 when warm weather affected the ice near Lake Minnetonka.

That shouldn't be a problem this year, though. Saturday's high is 43 degrees, and a cooling system will be in place to keep the temporary rink at Lowell Park in prime shape.

Due to warm weather, the Stillwater Ice Castles -- adjacent to the Hockey Day site -- will be closed through the weekend. They will reopen once colder temperatures return.

To stay up-to-date on any potential developments and everything else Hockey Day-related, follow Hockey Day Minnesota on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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