Traverse City Record-Eagle

Prep Sports

December 17, 2013

Trojans, Titans to tangle Wednesday at Comerica

TRAVERSE CITY — It’s the return of pond hockey to northern Michigan.

Except it’s not in northern Michigan. Or on an actual pond.

Traverse City Central and Traverse City West will tangle Wednesday on a frozen-over Comerica Park baseball field as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival.

Wednesday’s predicted high is 26 degrees, partly cloudy and a 10-percent change of snow.

“We’re working to not get caught up in it all, which is definitely going to be a challenge,” Central defenseman Derek Schrank said. “It’s a huge stadium. It’s not a hockey arena; it’s a baseball field. We’re going to try to keep everything calm and collected so we don’t get too awestruck by it.”

The West-Central game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., followed by Cadillac against Big Rapids at 7 p.m.

Players from both squads frequently play pond hockey pick-up games in the winter months, so the outdoor aspect isn’t a big deal.

“We have a lot of friends that have rinks in their back yard that we platy on quite often,” Schrank said. “Just the fact that it’s a game, not just a pick-up game (is big).”

At least four TC Central (3-3-1) players have pond rinks in their yards — Alex Oliver, Darrell Carlisle, Andrew Froese and Drew Girard-Pampu — and West (2-4) does as well.

“It’s not new, but it’s obviously going to be very different down at Comerica Park,” Trojans defender Joe Videcki said.

One difference will be a shortened warm-up time prior to the contest. The teams expect to take the ice at 3 p.m. for pre-game skates.

“The warm-up seems like it’ll be pretty normal,” West coach Jeremy Rintala said. “We’re going on (the ice) a half hour early. It’ll be a little shorter warm-up than usual. It looks like it’s only an eight- or 10-minute warm-up, and that’s the only chance the boys will have to get used to the ice and to make adjustments to anything like the sun’s glare (off the ice).”

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