Hockey Day schedule still ago despite rain in forecast

STILLWATER -- Ask Tony Novalany whether warm weather and rain could ruin Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday in Stillwater, and he has a two-word answer:...

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STILLWATER - Ask Tony Novalany whether warm weather and rain could ruin Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday in Stillwater, and he has a two-word answer:

"We're playing."

Novalany, chair of the organizing committee, said the high school games will be played outside, rain or shine. Saturday's forecast calls for a high of 42 and a 50 percent chance of rain.

"We've got refrigeration," Novalany said by phone from the rink on Tuesday morning. "It's one of those things we can't control in Minnesota, but it's still a few days out. Every indication right now is that it's a go."

A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Wild said organizers decided Tuesday to play at Lowell Park regardless of the weather; the St. Croix Valley Recreation Center's indoor rink in Stillwater previously had been designated as the Hockey Day Minnesota backup location.


"What fun would it be without a little drama? It's January, for crying out loud," said the Wild's Kathy Ross. "But we feel confident that we can work within what the weather gives us on Saturday, so we're going to proceed in Lowell Park. We'll take delays as needed, but we'll proceed as scheduled."

Saturday's games, which will be televised live, will feature some of the best teams in the state. The host Stillwater Ponies boys team will face Eden Prairie at 1 p.m., and the girls will play Minnetonka at 5:30.

Stillwater boys coach Matt Doman said the Ponies are prepared to play in rain.

"Showers won't stop us," Doman said. "An all-day pour would probably hurt, but looking at what the forecast said, and obviously we'll be watching pretty intently over the next couple days ... it'll be outside. I'm pretty confident that some showers won't stop us."

Plexiglas was being installed at the rink Tuesday, Novalany said. "We're going to flood one more time today, and then paint the ice," he said. "We're got more bleachers coming in today, too."

The rink's lines and logos will be painted Wednesday or Thursday.

Three exhibition games will be played Friday. Admission is free with a donation to the Valley Outreach Food Shelf. Tickets for Saturday's games are $30 for adults, $20 for students (ages 3 and up) at the door; $35 and $25 online; children under 3 get in free. Wristbands or stamps will be issued to ticket holders wishing to leave the rink area and re-enter, but bleacher seats are first-come, first-serve.

Free shuttles will run from various locations throughout the day on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.


For more information, go to

Hockey Day schedule

Schedule of Hockey Day Minnesota games at Lowell Park, Stillwater:

Friday's exhibition games

Police vs. Fire, 4 p.m.

Minnesota Whitecaps vs. Korean National Team, 6 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Alumni Game, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's high school games


Boys: Mahtomedi vs. Thief River Falls, 10 a.m.

Boys: Stillwater vs. Eden Prairie, 1 p.m.

Girls: Stillwater vs. Minnetonka, 5:30 p.m.

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