Playground Puck Outdoor Hockey Tournament
Two weeks ago I skated in the 4 the Love of Puck Playground Puck ODR tournament at the Groveland Park Ice Rinks in St. Paul, MN. This was my second time skating in this tournament, and it did not disappoint. We played four games in three days. Each game seemed to have different ice conditions to battle too.
In game one we had steady snow falling with wind blowing cross ice. The snow made tracking the puck difficult. When a puck was shot you couldn’t read the release off the blade, even worse you only saw the puck after it exited a cloud of snow that was also coming your way. Game two was under the lights. The issue here was that the lights at the park were installed for baseball fields, not ice rinks so play was either coming out of heavily shadowed areas, or into that heavily shadowed area. It was very difficult to pickup the puck in this game. Games three and four were played in good weather conditions, but it was sunny. I tried wearing sunglasses, but they were fogging up. After ditching the sunglasses it was still hard to not squint as there was major glare coming off the ice.
Despite the poor visibility conditions, it was still a lot of fun. We were all out there to enjoy playing hockey outdoors. There were a lot of people enjoying the Groveland rinks, skating around the oval, kids playing on the ‘Pond Hockey’ pond, and spectators watching the games.
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