(Melbourne) The first National Hockey League game in the southern hemisphere was played on Saturday after officials resolved some ice quality issues at Melbourne’s Rod-Laver Arena.
Before the “Universal Series” game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Arizona Coyotes, which the Coyotes won 5 to 3, texts and photos were posted on social media about the condition of the surface ice, including puddles, ruts and uneven colored streaks. .
After a scoreless first period, both teams scored seven times in the second period before Arizona won the game with an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game.
The second match between the two teams was scheduled to be played at the same venue on Sunday.
On Friday, both teams were scheduled to open a practice session for fans eager to watch NHL hockey “on ice” in Australia for the first time. Although the Monarchs held their training, the coyotes would have been forced to cancel their training.
The NHL was asked for comment.
It’s early spring in Australia and the temperature was 16C during the match in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Australian rules football play-off clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday night featured a host of players from both teams, with nearly 98,000 spectators in attendance.
Rod-Laver Arena can hold approximately 15,000 spectators and both games were expected to be sold out.
Every year, in January, the site hosts the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the tennis season.
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