County Ice Rink to host Outdoor Nuclear Shootout college hockey tournament

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By Phil Scherer

Los Alamos hockey fans will have a great opportunity to see the game played at a high level next weekend, as four college hockey teams invade the Los Alamos County Ice Rink for the Outdoor Nuclear Shootout. 

The University of New Mexico, Dallas Baptist University, Nebraska University and Northern Arizona University will take part in the event, which will be played in a round-robin format across three days. 

Each team will play each other Jan. 11 and 12. The two teams with the best results will face off for the championship on Jan. 13. 

All four schools are American Collegiate Hockey Association Division III clubs. 

The idea of this tournament has been developing over the last few years. UNM head coach Grant Harvey originally brought the idea of playing outdoor hockey up to several of the Dallas Baptist players, who were intrigued about playing outdoor hockey at 7,200 feet of elevation. 

The Lobos and Dallas Baptist played an exhibition game last season at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, in between a two-game regular season series in Albuquerque. 

The event was a big success, leading the teams to expand the idea this season. 

Dallas Baptist is one of the top programs in ACHA this year, currently with a record of 17-4. 

The team features of one of the highest powered offenses in the country and seem to put on a show every game. 

The Lobos enter with a record of 9-9-2, and have battled through inconsistency since the season began. When the team is on its game, it is capable of taking down any team in the country. 

Nebraska and Northern Arizona have both struggled through much of the year, as Nebraska enters the tournament with a record of 7-8, while Northern Arizona enters with a record of 5-10-2. 

UNM and Dallas Baptist get the action going at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 11, followed by Northern Arizona and Nebraska at 8:15 p.m. 

Jan. 12 will be full of action, as UNM and Northern Arizona face off at 7 a.m., followed by Nebraska and Dallas Baptist at 9:45 a.m. 

Following an afternoon break, UNM and Nebraska will face off at 5:30 p.m., and the day’s action concludes with Northern Arizona taking on Dallas Baptist at 8:30 p.m. 

The championship game for the tournament’s top two teams will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 13. 

A full tournament pass is $30. Those wishing to attend just one day can do that as well. Friday’s action is $10. Access to Saturday’s games is $20. Those wishing to just check out the championship match Sunday can do so for $7.