Ice turns NHL’s outdoor Golden Knights-Avalanche game into a nightmare

It’s good for the ice to melt in your backyards.

It’s not good for ice to melt on a hockey rink.

NHL outdoor games have been a picturesque success since they were introduced in 2008, but Saturday’s facility in Stateline, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe became a disaster due to dangerous ice conditions.

Play was delayed in the second period because the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche players, as well as officials, were unable to keep their balance even when skating slowly during time-outs. One video even showed a hockey stick burrowing through the ice like sleet. The league announced that play will resume at midnight with Avalanche leading 1-0 in the second period.

“You can’t be successful if you don’t risk failure,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told broadcast partner NBC Sports.

The scenic, sun-drenched backdrop for the game was amazing. The track was installed on the 18th fairway of the golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort, nestled against the tree-lined shoreline with snow-capped mountains in the far background. There was an old marker hanging on a brick wall.

But the sun and the temperature of 36 degrees violated security. The complex is supposed to host a weekend doubleheader, including Bruins-Flyers on Sunday.

What has become a tradition in the NHL of playing select outdoor games began in 2003 and became an annual practice in 2008. Several games have been canceled or postponed for a variety of reasons.


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