STATELINE, NEV. – All-star left winger Brad Marchand grew up playing hockey on a frozen lake near his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia and can’t wait to see the sights that Lake Tahoe has to offer.
Marchand, assistant captain of the Boston Bruins National Hockey League, said he had never been to the pool, but saw pictures.
âBeing in Tahoe will be a much nicer landscape than it used to be (outdoor games),â Marchand said at a press conference last week. âIt should be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it. Having a place like this is quite special.
Ice rink construction begins Monday at Edgewood Tahoe Resort and players are excited for the inaugural NHL Outdoors in Lake Tahoe on Saturday and Sunday February 20-21.
The rink will be a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe, located on the 18th fairway, near the green, on the south shore of Tahoe.
Semi-trucks loaded with rink-making equipment entered Stateline last week and rolled into Harveys Lake Tahoe. Building the NHL-caliber ice sheet will be a massive process requiring the use of the world’s largest mobile refrigeration unit, NHL officials said.
The Colorado Avalanche will face the Vegas Golden Knights at noon on Saturday and the Bruins will face the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday at noon. Both games will be broadcast nationally on NBC and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk has played in six of the 30 away games since the NHL launched the format in 2003, said playing on a golf course would be different.
âThe scenery has to be cool and for this one, being on the golf course will have a different vibe and make it special,â he said.
The players approached the game without a single fan present.
âThe scenery will be very unique and not having fans there makes it feel even more like when you were a kid,â said Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who has never played in a away match. âYou just went out with some friends and played. I think this aspect is going to be really unique and it’s going to be a lot of fun to be able to experience it.
They also talked about what it means to play at such a high altitude, about 6,300 feet, about 1,000 feet higher than the Avalanche rink in Denver.
âWe’ll see if we can put oxygen cylinders on the benches,â McAvoy joked.
âHopefully we can adjust and catch our breath by the second period,â said Marchand.
Bill Rozak is the editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. He can be contacted at [email protected].