Brrr !!! Maybe playing indoor hockey isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Target Field in Minneapolis set the record for the coldest game in NHL history when it hosted the league’s annual Winter Classic on Saturday night.
The game between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues ended in a 6-4 victory for St. Louis.
Temperatures when the puck dropped at 6:20 p.m. were around minus-7 degrees, with a wind chill estimated to be around minus-18, Minneapolis’ FOX 9 reported.
At 8:30 p.m., temperatures in the stadium – which is normally used by the Minnesota Twins of the MLB for baseball in the spring and summer – were around minus-9 degrees.
Previously, the coldest away game in the NHL was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens in Edmonton, according to the league.
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Due to the cold weather, some 40,000 hand warmers were available for distribution during the game and concession stands were offering soup, according to the NHL.
Even in sub-zero weather, the ice still needs to be heated, according to the league.
“Once we get too cold we can have issues with brittleness or skate marks, so we’re really trying to control that temperature,” said Mike Craig, senior director of NHL facilities operations.
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As the conditions were so cold, the heat was transferred to the ice from a mobile refrigeration unit.
“When the air temperature is above the optimum temperature of the ice cream, the glycol and aluminum pans transfer the heat from the ice. But when the air temperature is lower than the optimum temperature of ice, it transfers heat to the ice. does in-line heaters before reheating the glycol in the pipes on the ground path, but here it will use two in-line heaters for the first time, one at the reefer truck and another in the outfield. The crew can calibrate the temperature to a half-degree, ”the NHL article notes.
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The NHL, however, didn’t expect the cold weather to discourage fans from attending the game.
“We’ve had a lot of people here in Minnesota who also tell us how strong a Minnesota fan is, and that’s definitely a factor that helped come here,” said the NHL content manager, Steve Mayer.