Staying warm a challenge for Canadian juniors in outdoor game

Canada to face off against the USA at noon Friday at the NFL Buffalo Bills’ New Era Field

Canada’s captain Dillon Dube had to pause briefly and pick at his jersey to try and count all the layers he’d put on before hitting the ice at New Era Field.

“I have three on right now,” said Dube, adjusting his toque in the media room at the home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. “I’m a guy who doesn’t wear anything, really, so right now I’m getting pretty hot. But overall out there I was pretty cold. I was going to put on a facemask but I just couldn’t do it.”

The Canadians had to figure out how to stay warm, keep the sun out of their eyes and deal with snow flurries before even stepping on to the ice against the United States on Friday afternoon in the first outdoor game in world junior hockey championship history. The event is expected to draw more than 40,000 fans, shattering the previous world junior championship attendance record by more than 20,000 tickets.

Layering up or even placing hand warmers in strategic areas were just some of the tactics the Canadians employed to battle the cold as temperatures hovered around -10 Celsius before the windchill.

“I’ve got two layers of socks on, I tried to wear little gloves under my hockey gloves but it was just too much,” said starting goaltender Carter Hart, who used to play on the backyard rink of Team Canada teammate Sam Steel when they were growing up in Sherwood Park, Alta. “It wasn’t too bad out there, but the coldest thing was my feet.

READ MORE: Rockets’ Dube named Team Canada captain

READ MORE: Speed and depth key to Canada’s junior team ahead of world championship

“Thank God I didn’t get any pucks into my feet, I think my toes would have broken off.”

On top of staying warm, Canada had to figure out a way to combat the glare off the ice from the afternoon sun. Most of the players wore eyeblack on their cheeks and had tinted visors. At practice on Thursday, Dube jokingly wore sunglasses under his visor.

Although all of the players acknowledged the visors helped, none were really sold on the eyeblack.

“Overall, for myself, I just wore it for looks,” said Dube. “I don’t know if it helped as much.”

Veteran defenceman Dante Fabbro agreed with Dube.

“I honestly have no idea,” said Fabbro when asked if the eyeblack helped. “They say it does, but I can’t tell at all.”

Head coach Dominique Ducharme, while concerned about the welfare of his players, was envious that they got to skate around and stay active to keep warm while he and his staff had to stay still behind the bench.

“The longer you stay, the colder you get,” said Ducharme. “For us not moving much, we need a lot of layers.”

Puck drop is set for 12 p.m. (Pacific) Friday. Follow Black Press Media for details following the game.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New MP Taylor Bachrach makes his first trip to Bella Coola

Bachrach said he is keen to get to know his riding and the members of his constituency

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

‘A long way to go’: UNBC hosts Moose Hide Campaign gathering on Feb. 24

The event is a part of a movement to stand up against violence inflicted on women and children

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read