In the elements: UND preps for outside game in OmahaSaturday’s forecast for Omaha includes temperatures in the upper 40s, but that won’t be a problem for the ice surface at T.D. Ameritrade Park, where UND will take on Nebraska Omaha in an outdoor men’s WCHA game.
By: By Brad Elliot Schlossman, Forum News Service, The Jamestown Sun
GRAND FORKS — Saturday’s forecast for Omaha includes temperatures in the upper 40s, but that won’t be a problem for the ice surface at T.D. Ameritrade Park, where UND will take on Nebraska Omaha in an outdoor men’s WCHA game.
Operators believe the ice surface could handle temps as high as the upper 60s or lower 70s, according to Harold Cliff, the president of the Omaha Sports Commission.
“We’re not too concerned about the temps,” Cliff said. “The forecast is for the mid-40s.”
A possibility of rain is forecast for Saturday, too. Cliff says the rink could handle a light rain or sprinkle, but a downpour would make it unplayable.
In the case of a downpour, the game could be delayed. If the rink is unplayable for the whole day, the backup plan is to hold the game outdoors Sunday.
The ice surface has 32 miles of coils cooling the playing surface, Cliff said. The Omaha Sports Commission began installation of the ice surface late Monday. It was previously used at U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm down here for the game,” Cliff said.
UND will play Nebraska Omaha indoors at CenturyLink Center on Friday night. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. at T.D. Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series. Prior to the UND-UNO game Saturday, the Lincoln Stars and the Omaha Lancers will play a United States Hockey League game outdoors at 12:30 p.m.
In preparation for the game, UND practiced outdoors Monday. The practice was held at Riverside Park.
UND coach Dave Hakstol said that the outdoor practice was important for the goaltenders, who will be dealing with different sightlines than usual.