WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 25, 2011, 03:16 PM

Arizona hockey team experiences their first game of pond hockey

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Thousands are packing hotels, ice rinks, and restaurants this weekend as part of the giant Squirt International hockey tournament. While most of us are tired of snow and ice, we have visitors in town this weekend that couldn't wait to experience what we so desperately want to go away.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

When the team from Scottsdale experienced their first game of pond hockey, it was 3-below. With the wind chill, it was 19-below. What did they leave behind: Sun, green grass, and an average temperature of 75-degrees.

The coyotes came all the way from sunny Scottsdale, Arizona to play puck. Today playing against Fargo inside a cold indoor rink, But it would be moments after this hockey game that this Arizona team would experience what so many came here for.

“It is going to be so much fun.”

To see snow and skate on real ice, those outdoor rinks that most of us just drive by every day.

“It is cool, hard to skate and it is awesome.”

Soon, it was game on. Little coyotes, cleverly passing the puck in a backyard game of hockey. Some had never seen it snow, most had never played on home-made ice.

“Never seen snow fall in Arizona.”

Many had to improvise. Most didn't bring a face-mask, so a shirt around the head worked. Another player simply ripped a hole in his hockey sock and stretched it over his face.

“Skating back home you can just go outside and cool off.”

It is all part of an experience, this chunk of ice that 10-year olds turned into their winter wonderland arena.

“It is fun because it is different, weird.”

SEAN BONINI - Phoenix Coyotes Coach: “This is fantastic for the kids. This is why we came for we have kids who have never seen snow before.”

It was no sunny Scottsadale.

“I cannot even see. My eyelashes are frozen.”

But it left the coyotes with their own morning memories.

“A once in a lifetime experience.”

The day that they tasted snow, skated on real water, and finished just in time, to skate another game, indoors.