The National Hockey League set up shop in Lake Tahoe for the weekend. In building a regulation sized, fully-functional NHL ice surface just off of the pond, the league hoped to have all eyes on the picturesque scene for both Saturday and Sunday’s afternoon matchups between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, and the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.
Attention was certainly turned to the first of the two games on Saturday, but for all the wrong reasons. Somehow, after 30+ attempts at creating the perfect outdoor game, the league managed to disregard the sun and its habitual nature… yes, of shining… which wrecked havoc on the playing surface. The early-afternoon matchup ended up finishing 10 hours and 37 minutes after opening puck drop.
Yes, it did involve a slight delay in order for the rink crew to completely resurface the ice, but it was an enjoyable experience for most involved. The Avalanche ended up coming out on top, 3-2, while Vegas saw its slight lead in the standings slip to just two points over their West Division rival Avs.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 21, 2021
Suiting up for the Golden Knights in the game were Cody Glass (Winnipeg), Keegan Kolesar (Brandon), Mark Stone (Winnipeg), Ryan Reaves (Winnipeg) and Zach Whitecloud (Brandon), while Colorado boasted Brandon’s Matt Calvert.
In a losing effort, the five Manitobans making up Vegas’ roster did combine for some pretty decent statistics. Kolesar and Glass each finished +1, Stone had two penalties in the game – one spanning nearly seven hours – Ryan Reaves threw four hits, while Zach Whitecloud had an assist on Alex Tuch’s late third period tally. Calvert was among the shot leaders for Colorado with four shots on goal in the victory.
Outshooting the band of Manitobans 39-29, the Avalanche improved their record to 9-4-1 on the season through the team’s first 14 games, while boasting an impressive +15 goal differential. Vegas remains dormant at 10-4-1 through 15 games, just one point behind division leader St. Louis.
Lake Tahoe will be the host for Sunday evening’s matchup between the Bruins and Flyers, which was originally set for a 1:30 PM central start time. Due to the sun behaving in way that the sun usually does, start time has been pushed back to 6:30 PM. Tune in on Sportsnet or NBC.