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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Lake's hockey team will get a taste of what it's like to play a game outdoors.
On Monday, Feb. 9, Lake will face Northwest Hockey Conference Blue Division rival Ottawa Hills at 6 p.m. at Ottawa Park. Ottawa Hills played Adrian at the rink on Feb. 2, and another high school game, between Sylvania Southview and Ottawa Hills, is scheduled for Feb. 11.

"We have never had to put out a clock and have officials at the rink," said Darlene Herwat, a City of Toledo employee who runs the runk at Ottawa Park. "An Ottawa Hills parent, Jeff Deckebach, rented the rink. He said he was interested in having a game. Ottawa Hills has practice there during Christmas break to get some ice time. He rented three dates and said he was interested in having a game, and the rest grew from there."
Herwat said local TV station BCSN was going to scope out the site on Feb. 2 to figure out how to televise the Lake-Ottawa Hills game.

"We're real excited about it," Herwat said. "BCSN is coming over to work out the logistics and decide if they are able to do it. I think it's going to be a good thing."
Herwat said there were no official hockey games at Ottawa Park last year because the rink wasn't regulation. The cost to rent the rink is $150 an hour.

"We expanded the pad this year," Herwat said. "It's a foot wider and a foot longer. Now our play area between the dasher boards are regulation. There will be three sets of bleachers and we're letting (fans) stand all the way around the rink, but not behind the players' benches."

Admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for students. The City of Toledo will receive the money from the concession stand.

"Whenever we play Ottawa Hills, it's a pretty fun time," Lake coach Craig Horvath said. "With the parents, there's nobody yelling in the stands, and Ottawa Hills has a good coaching staff. I have some good friends who play with me in a Sunday morning league. We were talking about the game and Jeff Deckebach calls me and says, 'What about an outside game?' I said, 'Absolutely. That's a great idea.'

"He told me the City lined up some seating and we were going to pitch it that way and do it together. We decided to get BCSN involved in it. He said what if we play for a Cup every year. I said to him (Monday) night, 'How about the Winter Cup?' We have a week to come up with a Cup.

e want to try to do it every year."

Lake and Ottawa Hills play each other twice a year as Blue Division rivals, but the Feb. 9 game will be an exhibition.

Horvath said the Lake players are excited about playing outdoors, especially after watching the NHL's outdoor game on Jan. 1 between Detroit and Chicago at Wrigley Field.
"We've had a couple practices out at Ottawa Park," Horvath said. "A lot of these kids have really never played out there. Once this comes out, I think you're going to see other teams want to do this. It's just a cool idea."

 

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