Today is the last day of 2017 and it feels like we’re all living in the North Pole. Temperatures in the Washington DC area have plunged into the teens after a southward dip in the jet stream has blown in arctic air for the last week. According to The Weather Channel, temperatures in the eastern half of the United States may be the coldest to ring in any new year in at least 70 years. The cold weather pattern will likely continue through the early days of 2018.
The frigid temperatures have caused lakes, rivers, and even the C&O Canal in the Washington DC area to freeze solid. Over the last few days, local players have taken advantage of the free ice and begun playing pond hockey all across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Virginia, and West Virginia – a rare occurrence for this part of the nation.
One picturesque location players are taking to the ice is on the C&O Canal at Canal Road and Chain Bridge Road. According to David Finder, people have been parking and then playing right at the lock.
Photos: David Finder
Photo: Andrew McDermott
Photo: Paul Garza
Over the last few days, pond hockey is also being played at Nightingale Beach on Lake Linganore. The man-made lake was created several decades ago to add value for a community in Frederick County, Maryland. The lake is located just outside of New Market. According to Henri Sanders, the group is working on getting a big skate going on Tuesday.
Photo: Jason Wolf
Hockey is being played in Eldersburg as well – a town located in Carroll County, Maryland. Reader Jason tells us that they have been getting some shots in on a lake next to Century High School.
Photo: Austin German
A hub of hockey players have taken to a development’s drainage pond in Martinsburg, West Virginia to get games going.
Ashburn VA pic.twitter.com/OF9bMODrew
— AMHockey (@AlecHockey) December 31, 2017
Alec sent us video of himself has playing in Ashburn.
Photo: Tripp McHenry
Local beer hockey legend Tripp McHenry also has been skating at the Cushwa Basin on the C&O Canal near Williamsport, Maryland.
Longtime reader Mick has been playing outdoors in the hometown of the Capitals’ minor-league affiliate.
Photos: Mick Klock
Daniel Shores took photo of his son Elliot enjoying a skate in Winchester, VA.
Photos: Daniel Shores
Photo: Ian Oland
Finally, this morning I played ball hockey at Fairgrounds Park located in Hagerstown, Maryland. It’s at an outdoor rink that the Capitals renovated last year. A group of friends have been playing ball hockey there every Sunday for nearly a decade. This morning there was a huge turnout of men and women despite the temperature being 14°F at puck drop. One of the longtime players, Tom Cleary, ended up having his beard freeze after two periods of play. He scored four goals.
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