Windsor Spitfires make history in outdoor game in Detroit
The start time of the Ontario Hockey League's outdoor doubleheader at Comerica Park was delayed for over an hour Sunday due to the bright sunshine impairing the players' vision on the ice.
But that didn't take the shine off the experience, fans and coaches said.
The first game between the Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit eventually began at 3:08 p.m. EST.
An estimated crowd of more than 10,000 people had waited through the 90-minute delay.
The crowd included the parents of Eric Diodati, a defenceman with the Spits.
They called the game "awesome" and joked it was delayed because the weather "was too nice."
Spitfires fan Bill Moreland said it was an experience to remember.
"It was a wonderful time. The spitfires won. It was a great day, wonderful day," Moreland said. "The majority of fans at Comerica Park were Windsor Spitfire fans."
Andrew Pearson said it was cool to be in a baseball stadium watching a hockey game.
"It's one of the best experiences I've ever encountered," he said. "It was fun."
Spitfires coach Bob Boughner said it was a good atmosphere and the ice was better than he expected it would be.
The Spits won 6-5. The London Knights lost 201 to the Plymouth Whalers in the second game.
It was the first time in OHL history that regular-season games were played outdoors. The games were part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival in Detroit.
The showcase game is scheduled for New Year's Day, when the Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL's Winter Classic.