World Jr. Outdoor Memories – As Canada and the U.S. brave the cold for the first outdoor game in IIHF World Junior Championship history, members of Canada’s National Junior Team share their favourite memories of frozen ponds and backyard rinks.
Some FUN FACTS from the Buffalo World Jr. Championship website:
Of this there is no doubt. The current mark for a U20 game is 20,380 set on 5th January 2009, in a game between Canada and Sweden in Ottawa. There have been more than 40,000 tickets sold for New Era Field, and that number is expected to rise by game time.
Another irrefutable element. Only once in the modern era of indoor arenas has an IIHF game been played outside, and even that was really inside. On 7th May 2010, the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, hosted a United States-Germany game to open the 2010 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. That game attracted a record crowd of 77,803, but in truth it was an indoor venue with a roof (albeit a very, very large roof!). In Buffalo, when you’re on the ice and look up, you see sky.
Buffalo is a great hockey city, but make no mistake. It’s late December. It’s cold. You can’t start the game too early in the day because of glare from the sun, but you want to get it going before sunset, when it will get colder. But at ice level there is a wind chill that the players must prepare for, no doubt.