Tonight in Fairbanks, Alaska, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs will host the Alaska Avalanche in outdoor game as part of Hockey Weekend Across America. They are expecting 2,000 fans to attend the event. Sarah Palin (never thought I would mention her in a blog post), the governor of Alaska will drop the ceremony puck drop. The game can been seen on the B2 Network 7:30 Alaska time.
I believe you will have to pay to watch. Hopefully the NAHL, USA Hockey, and B2 Networks could come up with agreement to show this game free. It would be great because I will get back from the Boston University-Maine game just in time for this game to start. Late night hockey never hurts and that means my internet connection should be good enough.
This will be the first USA Hockey sanctioned outdoor hockey. Of course the two Winter Classics that happened in the States along the Michigan-Michigan State contest that happened a few years back. During Hockey Day in Minnesota the past few years, they have had high school games outdoors. I think one game was played on a pond but I am not 100% sure.
Now the question will be when will the first CHL game be held outdoors? When would be the perfect date for it?
My first thought would be Hockey Day in Canada but that's a "CBC event" with all six Candians teams will be in action. Usually the first game is played a 3pm. Sportsnet who airs CHL games could have an OHL or a QMJHL game at 1pm.
I would have the Memorial Cup host be apart of it. They don't have to host the outdoor game but they will have an elite team. Remember this is TV event and you need a team that would bring in ratings. The other team shouldn't be to difficult to pick because you can look at the previous season who's trying to load up for the upcoming season.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)