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

VALLEY SENIORS: A second chance comes with enough memories for two

The Dietrich family makes its mark on Abbeyfield House in Port Alberni

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

Port Alberni’s Joe Hill celebrates 90th birthday with waves through a window

Retired accountant receives best wishes via Zoom, meets newborn great-grandchild

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read