There’s bad weather, and then there’s truly awful weather. The conditions at the US Pond Hockey Championships on Saturday fell squarely in the latter category. Lake Nokomis was a sloppy, slippery mess, with cold rain pelting competitors and spectators of the outdoor hockey spectacle.
While not absurdly cold like in previous years, the deluge of rain made things difficult for organizers. The parking area was flooded with muddy, lake-sized puddles, making driving and walking a miserable task.
Between games, volunteers made a valiant effort to remove standing water from the rinks using snow shovels and even long wooden boards, but it was ultimately a losing effort. The water slowed pucks to a relative crawl, and made tape-to-tape passes a lost art.
Despite being soaked to the skin, hearty Minnesota hockey fans weren’t about to let a little rain ruin the fun.
“I love the temperature difference: Last year it was -30, and this year it’s 30 above zero,” Geri-Anne Zubich, president of the Minnesota Sled Hockey association said as members warmed up on the ice.
It appears that organizers are going to keep the games on schedule despite the inclement weather. If you’re heading out to spend the afternoon of Hockey Day on the lake, bring an umbrella.