Colorado Avalanche Celebrate First Outdoor Win in Tahoe

The Colorado Avalanche skated to a scenic victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in their first of two outdoor games in Lake Tahoe.

The Colorado Avalanche played in the only outdoor series this season. It was a glorious day — so glorious that the bright sun started to melt the ice. As the surface conditions worsened, the league postponed the game until the evening and cooler temperatures.

It’s always something with the Avalanche outdoors, whether bright sun, menacing winds, or snarled traffic delays.

In any case, Colorado enjoyed their first victory in an outdoor setting. The Avs defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2.

The two teams played the first period. In that time, only one player scored — defenseman Sam Girard, fresh off the COVID protocol. The time away didn’t seem to make him rusty, though it did seem to give his flow time to flourish.

Check out this rifle of a wrister — and the attendant lettuce:

The sun is so bright out there, I bet the players wish they could wear shades. The ice almost looks video game white. Look at that amazing scenery behind them — that vista was the goal the NHL had for these outdoor games. Since they couldn’t have the crowd, they wanted the beautiful background to engender interest.

Alas, the sun was too much for the ice conditions. The league postponed the game by eight hours so the workers could fix the ice and the temperature could drop. The players returned to their hotels to eat and rest.

When the action resumed, another defenseman was the first to score in the new period. Unfortunately, said defenseman is Alec Martinez of the Golden Knights. I’ve always liked Martinez, but not when he scores against the Avs.

Luckily, our superstar — also recently returned, this time from an injury — Nathan MacKinnon got the Avalanche back on top.

Look at our superstar’s heroics:

MVP! MVP! I mean, he just had his way with the Knights, skating around them like they were standing still. There are very few players in the league who can make plays like that.

The Avalanche took their lead into the third period and even increased it. Devon Toews, an acquisition during the offseason, is also recently returned to the lineup. He put the Avs up 3-1 over the Knights.

Of course, Colorado never likes to make things easy on themselves. As is their habit, they let the Knights back into the game. Luckily, after that second Knights goal, goalie Philip Gurbauer was able to keep things shut down. The Avalanche skated on to a 3-2 victory.

The Lake Tahoe backdrop is surreal in its serenity. Granted, we’d all like to have been there or to any Avalanche games in fact. However, these COVID times have given us unique opportunities. This game was like the movie “Mystery, Alaska” in ambience.


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We’ll get the opportunity to watch the two teams in this setting again tomorrow. They’ll take the ice again near Lake Tahoe. This game prudently starts at 7 PM MST. Hopefully the Colorado Avalanche can secure their second outdoor victory.