The 2020 North Dakota Hockey Day coordinators are taking the weather blowing into town in stride.
"I think the weather and the outdoor elements is part of what the outdoor game is all about," said Hockey Day North Dakota organizer Jeff Romsdal. "If we had perfect conditions and no snow and a bright sunny day, it's a little bit different than being able to play with some snow and wind blowing. It's the way it's meant to be played."
Romsdal said he has communicated with area coaches, volunteers and athletic directors to officially move Saturday's events at University of Jamestown's Allen Field to Monday, Jan. 20. The Jamestown High School girls hockey team will face Devils Lake at 11 a.m. with the boys to follow at 3:30 p.m. facing West Fargo Sheyenne.
"It's a really cool atmosphere," said JHS girls hockey coach Andy Fitzgerald, whose Jays fell to Devils Lake by a single goal on Dec. 19. "We were scrimmaging the boys' team (Friday evening) and it's a little snowy but the ice is in pretty good condition. We're excited."
While the elements required teams to make adjustments, Romsdal said that Monday, being a teacher in-service day, gave organizers some room to make the event continue without too many hiccups.
"Besides the commitment from a Bantam A and a Peewee A team(s), I believe we have saved all the games," Romsdal said. "Sunday we have communicated that the schedule remains the same. We are optimistic for a decent forecast, for roads to clear, and for teams to be able to make it to town."
Friday's outdoors ACHA Division I hockey game between No. 14 University of Jamestown and No. 3 Minot State University at UJ's Allen Field carried on as planned. Road conditions prevented some from making it to the opening game.
"Something that is kind of funny is that with the conditions, some of us local seasoned officials (have) to fill in for the UJ game tonight," Romsdal said. "We were not their normal ACHA refs, but we are committed to the event and we jumped in and put the stripes on."
Romsdal and the rest of the event volunteers aren't planning on letting the weather stop anyone from strapping on the skates and shooting the biscuit. The head organizer said he doesn't expect the low temperatures and scheduling challenges to affect those who love North Dakota hockey.
"I think those who feel the passion are going to attend," Romsdal said. "Some it's going to deter, but hopefully we'll still have a greatly supported event"
Hockey Day North Dakota 2020
At University of Jamestown’s Allen Field
Sunday, Jan. 19
Fargo Angels Squirt White vs. Dickinson Squirt Orange, 9 a.m.
Fargo Angels Bantam B vs. Rugby Bantam, 10:45 a.m.
Fargo Angels Bantam A Red vs. Dickinson Bantam, 12:30 p.m.
Fargo Freeze Maroon Pewee B vs. Wahpeton Peewee B, 2:15 p.m.
Valley City Squirts vs. West Fargo Squirt Orange, 4 p.m.
Jamestown/VC Bantam A vs. Fargo Angels Bantam A, 6 p.m.
University of Jamestown ACHA D-II vs. University of North Dakota Club, 8 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 20
Jamestown/VC Peewee A vs. Mandan Peewee A, 9 p.m.
Jamestown Blue Jay girls vs. Devils Lake, 11 a.m.
Bismarck High boys vs. Fargo South/Shanley, 1:15 p.m.
Jamestown Blue Jay boys vs. West Fargo Sheyenne, 3:30 p.m.