The Juneau-Douglas JV hockey team travelled to Talkeetna to play the Susitna Valley High School varsity hockey team on Friday and Saturday in an unusual set of circumstances.
Both games were held in an outdoor ice rink where Friday temperatures were below zero degrees. JDHS lost Friday's game 4-2, as well as Saturday's matchup 3-1.
Assistant coach Tom Rutecki said Alaska is the only state that allows high school kids to play outdoor hockey.
"Most kids, at least in my era, we all grew up playing outside, so it's no big deal. But our kids have this rink here and a lack of weather for ice outside in Juneau - it isn't common," he said. "So when they go up north and play these kids, they'll have the whole community standing around in 25 below weather watching the game. It's actually a really unique, neat experience and the team was treated very well."
Rutecki also said games played in Mat-Su Valley bring a whole new meaning to home-ice advantage.
"Most of those places actually have a zamboni, but in Mat-Su Valley they just kind of hot-mop it where they go out with a pickup truck and put hot water on it. The ice had a dip in it, so I think they were more concerned with the home-field advantage," he said, jokingly.
Juneau-Douglas varsity resumes play this week as they host Delta Junction at Treadwell Arena Friday and Saturday.