MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - After the red carpet event for Hockeyville USA on Tuesday, the two NHL teams got down to business. They hit the ice for their morning skates.
The Carolina Hurricanes arrived early in the morning to start practice and the Buffalo Sabres got on the ice afterward.
Players say the rink poses some challenges. First off, they report the heat today made the ice soft, and Lakeview Arena is smaller than rinks they usually play on.
"It's going to be a little bit of a challenge. The zones aren't that big compared to an NHL ice surface, but you just have to make sure in these types of games [that] you're kind of throwing the pucks on net from all angles. I think every shot in this game night is going to be a good shot," said Buffalo Sabres Left Wing, Marcus Foligno.
The Hurricanes planned to use the practice and game as a way to narrow their line-up for the regular season.
"This is twofold. We want to put on a good show here in Marquette and be a part of the excitement of Kraft Hockeyville, but also we have to use it as an evaluation tool. We have a lot of young guys in the lineup tonight and we have to make some decisions moving forward. It's still an important game for us for sure," said Hurricanes Head Coach, Bill Peters.
Lakeview Arena was packed for the morning skates. Those who did not win game tickets in the raffle received passes to the practice.