Ricky Lindsay, Editor in Chief

Ricky Lindsay headshotBy RICKY LINDSAY, Sports Editor

From the blue-collared frigidness of Detroit, Michigan, to the “fun under the sun” warmth of Los Angeles, California, the two cities couldn’t be more different.

But what’s one significant difference between the Motor City and City of Angels?

On Sunday afternoon, the University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team learned an answer many would have never imagined to sputter.

Los Angeles can handle an outdoor hockey game. Detroit, on the other hand, could not.

The Wolverines outdoor game against Oakland University at Clark Park, originally scheduled for Sunday evening, was cancelled due to ice conditions. And for the players, especially the UM-Dearborn seniors whose collegiate hockey careers practically began outdoors at Michigan Stadium in 2010, it’s a shame.

“It’s tough, disheartening,” Haltinner said in an exclusive interview with the Journal. “It would’ve been an unbelievable experience for all involved.”

Now, it’s not Clark Park’s fault. This isn’t on anyone. But conventional logic begs a question:

Why can’t the city known as Hockey Town handle an outdoor hockey game in the middle of February?

I mean, Chicago, Illinois will be having one at Soldier Field between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks on March 1.

Wait, March?

Yes, March.

That’s not the case, though. It’s ludicrous to fathom an outdoor hockey game played at Los Angeles was made possible, but one set to take place on a snowy, mid-20 degree winter day in Detroit couldn’t receive the nod.

Player safety comes first though each time, as it should. Heck, outside the festivities and excitement the game offered, it virtually offered no importance to either team. With a win, the Wolverines would’ve knocked Oakland out of contention for Nationals; The Golden Grizzlies don’t have to bear that worry anymore.

There’s no way that this can be replaced this year, anyways — Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League playoffs begin Friday night for UM-Dearborn, the same day that Nationals begin for Oakland.

Micah Collier, Nick Crowley, and Anthony Olson will be able to take the ice for perhaps one last time on Friday, but it just won’t match the lure Clark Park’s outdoor game would’ve offered. The Wolverines even ordered special jerseys for the occasion.

“The guys are bummed, but that’s the risk you take when you try to put together an outdoor game,” Haltinner said.

UM-Dearborn’s hockey team was one of the first to play beneath Michigan Stadium’s glow just over three years ago. The Wolverines will just have to wait for their latest outdoor game while Los Angeles relishes in the memories from Dodger Stadium’s event.