Snowy conditions could affect Winter Classic on ice and in stands - InfoNews

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Snowy conditions could affect Winter Classic on ice and in stands

Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg (40), of Sweden, shoots a puck during practice on the outdoor rink for the NHL Winter Classic hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The game is scheduled for New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
December 31, 2013 - 11:53 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The NHL is prepared for snow that could cause some havoc at the Winter Classic.

Somewhere between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow are forecasted to fall in Ann Arbor from very early Wednesday through game time.

That's an issue for the 100,000-plus fans who are expected to fill Michigan Stadium for the outdoor game.

It could also impact the quality of conditions for the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings.

The Weather Channel is on site, and NHL chief operating officer John Collins said the league is getting hourly reports on what to expect.

Collins said there is "flexibility" to move the start time back from 1 p.m., but he also expressed optimism that it will go off as scheduled. The 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh was moved back to 8 p.m. because of rain.

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore did not express much concern about the snow because it is supposed to accumulate over a period of several hours. He said fans leaving the stadium could experience some slippery conditions.

Wind could have a bigger impact on the game itself, but the inequity of that is fixed by the teams switching ends at the 10-minute mark of the third period. The temperature is expected to be -9 C at game time.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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