Outdoor hockey returns to U of M after 80 years

MINNEAPOLIS - After years of watching other cities get outdoor hockey, Minnesotans finally go theirs.

"It's good to be back outside," said hockey fan Lance Patrick.

Dubbed the 2014 Hockey City Classic, fans watched a double header of college outdoor hockey Friday. It was the first outdoor hockey game at the University of Minnesota in 80 years.

"It's been a year in the making. We're going to have 45,000 screaming Minnesota fans here tonight for the first outdoor hockey game in the modern era," said Drew Russell, Vice President of Intersport.

Intersport put the games together. Fans were able to watch the Gophers women team play first and then the men after that.

"I think you've got some brave souls here already that are going to spend 6 or 7 hours in this cold," he said.

One of those fans was Kit Kaminsky who plays hockey for Blake School. The senior came along with her other teammates.

"We're having a lot of fun," she said. "I love it. Some of my teammates were complaining. But I'm toasty. I think all the cheering and yelling and dancing definitely helps."

They may be staying warm but how in the world is the Tran family doing it? They were perched atop the very last row at TCF Bank Stadium where there was very little protection from the wind.

"Layers, and foot warmers and hand warmers. And we discovered where the elevator was and it's heated in there," said Michelle Tran with a smile.

Michelle, her husband Huy, and their sons Noah and Alex watched the first game. Huy stayed for the second. They were just some of the thousands who finally got to say they watched big time hockey in the great outdoors.

"It's great. It doesn't happen every day," said Huy Tran of Eagan.


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