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

Hamhuis hangs up his skates

The Nashville Predators defenceman and Smithereen spent 16 years in the NHL

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Cyclist dead following Hwy 16 collision with pickup

The cyclist was a 41-year-old man from Smithers

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Smithers contractor refurbishes sailboat for Northwest Passage adventure

Ron Smith, who has been working on the “Obsession” for 12 years, will put her in the water this week

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read